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Maine Occupational Research Agenda (MORA) Meeting

Bureau of Labor Standards

Third Floor Conference Room

February 9, 2005



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


Staff Absent: John Rioux


Members Present: Sharon D’Orsie (USM), Peter Crockett (MLGH), Peter Doran (ALAM), Saskia Janes (Maine Public Health Association), Ginger Jordan-Hillier (DEP), Jonathan Lepoff (Consultant), Ruth  Lawson-Stopps (Occupational Health Associates), Jeff Levesque (Maine Workers’ Compensation Board), Kim Lim (Bureau of Labor Standards), Dwight Littlefield (Maine Bureau of Health), Ivan Most (Strategic Occupational Health), & Leslie Walleigh (Workplace Health/Bureau of Health).


Members Absent: Brad Brown (Bureau of Insurance), Valerie Carter (Bureau of Labor Education), Denise Dumont (U.S. HealthWorks), Carol Eckert (MIOHE), Heather Mason (Maine Safety Council), Steve Minkowsky (Maine Workers’ Compensation Board), John Newton (OSHA), Louise Morang (MAOHN), & Pat Philbrook (Maine State Nurses Association).



Ivan Most opened the meeting at 9:01 A.M.


Before Ivan turned the meeting over to Jonathan Lepoff, who is the new Chair for 2005, he made an announcement concerning NORA. As of October, NORA will be out of business in the way it does things as committees are being disbanded. Ivan will keep MORA posted. Ivan said that this change increases the importance of MORA and it is the responsibility of the state to carry on. He will suggest that the Federal government support state efforts like this; therefore, it is important to strengthen ties with private organizations, such as MCD, etc.


Approval of January 12, 2005 Minutes.  Peter Doran made a motion to accept the minutes. Jeff Levesque, seconded. Vote, unanimous.


2005 Conference Update – Kim Lim. Kim passed around the final draft of the flier, which will be going to the printer today. John Howard and William Wiatrowski are confirmed as the keynote speakers. The University of New England (UNE) processes CEU’s. Information regarding the conference will be posted on the Bureau of Labor Standards’ (BLS) web site. UNE is handling the registrations. As a result of discussion, Leslie Manning will speak with John Rioux and Adam Fisher regarding a link from the BLS web site to the UNE web site. Kim announced that the participants and presenters would be staying at a hotel and that transportation would be provided to UNE. Kim pointed out that the second day is comprised of Maine presenters.


Also, the second day, Jonathan Lepoff, Chair of MORA, will be providing a MORA update. Kim suggested that MORA members provide suggestions to Jonathan.


Leslie Manning said that there is a request in to the Governor’s Office for him to speak at the MORA Conference; however, it is too early get a confirmation from them.


Leslie also announced that the Bureau of Labor Standards will be having a summer intern from the Wood School of Public Policy. This intern will specializes in migrant workers and will be with BLS for a minimum of ten (10) weeks; twelve (12) weeks is the maximum, so she will be attending the MORA Conference.


Prevention Data Advisory Group (PDAG) Update – Leslie Walleigh. Leslie summarized the last meeting of this group. Ruth Lawson-Stopps spoke to reinforce the original intent of our group and the concern of improved data from Workers’ Compensation concerning Medical Only  (M.O.) and not just lost time. Bill Peabody is to contact Paul Dionne of the Workers’ Compensation Board to move towards this.


At the next meeting of the work group, a draft of the initial report to the Legislature will be reviewed and update of contact with Paul Dionne.


Jeff Levesque has been working with the Maine Municipal Association (MMA), Maine Health Care Association (MHCA), and Maine School Management Association (MSMA) and found that schools and health care settings are the most unsafe. Ginger stated that the Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) has found that schools have chemicals (i.e., element al mercury), making them unsafe. DEP has been working with BLS regarding training programs for teachers regarding chemicals in the classrooms. DEP’s web site has a list of all known chemicals where schools can do their own inventory.


Peter Doran noted that the Maine Indoor Air Quality Council is working with the Maine School Facilities Mangers Group for their annual meeting at University of Maine @ Farmington (UMF).


Leslie Manning said that BLS will develop its own Local Emphasis Program (LEP) and make a concerted effort to reach out to the Maine Education Association (MEA) and Superintendents’ association to put the ownership on the management of school districts and school programs. BLS does sponsor the Summer Safety Institute for Industrial Health Programs as BLS is responsible for all public sector safety. Discussion involved custodial workers has being injured, but not staying out of work as they are assigned to one location and there is no one to do their work if they are out.  Also common are assaults on teachers and bloodborne pathogens exposures.


Ivan raised the questions of asthma in schools. Leslie Manning responded by saying that the American Lung Association of Maine (ALAM) is working with NIOSH as well as the Department of Education to develop research regarding indoor air quality.


Safety is a prominent concern of education. Peter Doran had a copy of an article, which appeared in the National Education Association (NEA) magazine. The article is entitled  Working in Pain: It Just Doesn’t Pay”.


There are a variety of unions for school support staff; including AFL-CIO affiliated as well as non-affiliated.


Workplace Violence – Pilot Study – Desi-Rae Mason. This pilot study is supported by a NIOSH grant on workplace violence prevalence and was done by screen media sources (newspapers and news stations) for a two-year period, January 1, 2003 to January 1, 2005. There are 4 types of violence:


Type 1 – Random Violence

Type 2 – Customer/Client

Type 3 – Coworkers

Type 4 – Personal Relationship


Desi-Rae presented the findings based on types of workplace violence, occupations, and employee’s stories.


This presentation prompted discussion, including further investigation by Desi-Rae, either through the Attorney General’s Office (redactive) or through the District Attorney’s office, as it would be public record. Al so, the Maine State Police are aware of this research.


Open Forum. Ivan handed out a brochure on the 2005 Annual Conference of the Maine Indoor Air Quality, Building Commissioning.


Ivan announced that the Harvard School of Public Health finally approved his pilot project,

Workers’ Compensation Costs, after a lengthy screening. Ivan will be working for five (5) months with the University of New England (UNE). There will be two (2) forums, Bangor and Portland, with those who have gotten lump sum payments from Workers’ Compensation over the last five (5) years and will develop a survey. Ivan is hoping for 20-30 people per forum.


Draft Agreement between MORA and MCD – Saskia Janes. A draft of the agreement for MORA to Purchase Services from Medical Care Development (MCD) was handed out for review. The purpose of this agreement is for MCD to act as a fiscal agent for MORA from July 1, 2005 through June 30, 2006. Saskia will make the agreed-upon changes and e-mail to Terry to forward to the group before the March 9th meeting. At that time, this agreement as well as the agreement between MORA and BLS will be presented to MORA for a final vote.


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

            Approval of Today’s Minutes

            2005 Conference Update

            PDAG Update

            MORA and BLS MOU

            MORA and MCD MOU

            Open Forum


Adjournment. Jonathan adjourned the meeting at 11:30 A.M.


Respectfully submitted,


Terry M. Hathaway