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Maine Occupational Research Agenda (MORA) Meeting
Minutes

Bureau of Labor Standards

Third Floor Conference Room

January 12, 2005

 

 

Staff Present: Ted Bradstreet, Steve Greeley, Terry Hathaway, Leslie Manning, Desi-Rae Mason, & John Rioux.

 

Members Present: Sharon D’Orsie (USM), Peter Doran (ALAM), Carol Eckert (MIOHE), Saskia Janes (Maine Public Health Association), Ginger Jordan-Hillier (DEP), Jonathan Lepoff (Consultant), Ruth  Lawson-Stopps (Occupational Health Associates), Kim Lim (Bureau of Labor Standards), & Leslie Walleigh (Workplace Health/Bureau of Health).

 

Members Absent: Brad Brown (Bureau of Insurance), Valerie Carter (Bureau of Labor Education), Peter Crockett (MLGH), Denise Dumont (U.S. HealthWorks), Jeff Levesque (Maine Workers’ Compensation Board), Dwight Littlefield (Maine Bureau of Health), Heather Mason (Maine Safety Council), Steve Minkowsky (Maine Workers’ Compensation Board), Ivan Most (Strategic Occupational Health), John Newton (OSHA), Louise Morang (MAOHN), & Pat Philbrook (Maine State Nurses Association).

 

Guest: Bill Peabody, Director, Maine Bureau of Labor Standards.

 

 

Jonathan Lepoff, Chair, opened the meeting at 9:08 A.M. Members introduced themselves as there were some new faces present.

 

 

Approval of November 10, 2004 Minutes.  Peter Doran made a motion to accept the minutes. Sharon D’Orsie, seconded. Vote, unanimous.

 

Prevention Data Advisory Group (PDAG) Update. Peter Doran provided an update of the PDAG work group. Ginger asked what the title meant and what the purpose of the group was. Peter explained that the official name of the group is the Occupational Safety and Health Data Collection and Injury Prevention Work Group. The work group was initiated by MORA to get a better handle on data collection and injury prevention in Maine. Peter explained that this work group is a broad composition of both public and private groups. They meet on the third Wednesday of the month. Bill Peabody is the chair.

 

At the last meeting of PDAG, Ann Beaulieu (Research and Statistics Unit, Maine Bureau of Labor Standards) did a presentation on how they code the Workers’ Compensation First Reports and the involvement between the Bureau of Labor Standards and Workers’ Compensation.  Also, Jeff Levesque presented a follow-up regarding Dirigo concerning proposed questions that involve occupational safety and health on the initial intake questionnaire in hopes that Dirigo could also provided data on occupational health issues.

 

Also, PDAG has undertaken a comprehensive review of several data collection sources. Bill Peabody will be drafting a report of recommendations to the Legislature. The group should be reviewing this at the next meeting.

 

Ruth Lawson-Stopps reminded MORA members of the original intent of the legislation; it was to include Medical Only (First Reports of Injury) to collect more data. According to what she is hearing, nothing is being done.

 

Leslie Manning asked Bill Peabody to come into the meeting to explain further how PDAG works and also to get a copy of the current Labor Committee members from the current Legislature.

 

Leslie returned and handed out copies of the current Labor Committee. Bill told the group that rules had been drafted concerning Medical Only reports and that everything was still on track. He did emphasize that the rules could be changed, but would need to be done publicly with a chance for comment.

 

Peter suggested that at PDAG a follow-up be made with Jeff Levesque and a report back at next month’s MORA meeting.

 

Bill further explained that the Bureau does an annual  “Troika” report, which is called “The Annual Report on the Status of the Maine Workers’ Compensation Commission”. This report is done in conjunction with the Bureau of Insurance as well as the Maine Workers’ Compensation Board.

 

Bill did explain that the Bureau does not have the resources to code the Medical Only. He believes there are two states requiring the insurance carriers to pre-code.

 

Update of MOU between BLS and MORA. Leslie Manning provided an update as John Rioux was not able to attend this meeting. There was a draft of the MOU in the packet, along with the comments. Leslie asked members to review and get back to her with any suggestions. With the budgetary issues and hiring freeze, BLS has six (6) vacant positions. BLS would not be able to pay for any project-related costs.

 

Also, Leslie asked that MORA prepare a code of conduct so there is no conflict of interest. Ginger suggested that MORA have an Assistant Attorney General come to the meeting to find out what MORA can and cannot do as there is a fine line. Leslie Manning will check into this.

 

Election of Vice Chair. Jonathan led the discussion and asked if there were any volunteers; no response. The vice chair assists the chair and will maintain that role for a year; then, will step A couple of folks were nominated, but declined. Leslie Walleigh was nominated and accepted the position of vice chair.

 

2005 Conference Update. Leslie Ingraham, University of New England (UNE), could not be present. Kim Lim provided a draft of the brochure for the MORA Symposium to be held May 25 and 26, 2005 at the University of New England, Biddeford Campus. So far, there is a possibility of 39 presenters. Kim is waiting for confirmation before the final brochure is printed at the end of the month. After this conference, there will be no money in the kitty for another conference. Kim is still looking for supporters of the lobster bake. When asked what recognition the supporters would receive, he said that they would be recognized in the MORA program. Kim will check with Leslie Ingraham for a list of accommodations in the Biddeford area. Kim asked the members e-mail him with how many brochures they would need to mail out to their respective groups. Also, there is a need for facilitators from MORA. Once the presenters are confirmed, the facilitators will be assigned.

 

Leslie Manning told the group about the Maine Department of Labor’s disclaimer stating that we guarantee universal access and we need to be contacted if the Bureau is funding part of the conference. Kim Lim with work with UNE regarding universal access.

 

Kim told members to check the web site for complete details regarding the 2005 Conference.

 

Open Forum – Calendar of Guests for 2005. Terry will do follow-ups on the list of possible speakers for this year.

 

Leslie Manning said that there is an increasing concern that employers are not responding to violence; nothing is being done in terms of prevention or responsibility. Desi-Rae Mason is willing to do a presentation on workplace violence for MORA.

 

Discussion ensued and Peter Doran suggested that as MORA has already identified priorities, there is no reason they can’t be looked at again to see if workplace violence could be one of MORA’s priorities.

 

Next Meeting – Wednesday, February 9, 2005 – Agenda. The following will be included on next month’s agenda:

           

Approval of Today’s Minutes

            2005 Conference Update

            PDAG Update

            Open Forum

            Steve Laundrie?

 

Adjournment. Jonathan adjourned the meeting at 12:36 PM.

 

Respectfully submitted,

 

 

 

Terry M. Hathaway