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Maine Occupational Research Agenda (MORA) Meeting

Bureau of Labor Standards

Third Floor Conference Room

October 13, 2004



Staff Present: Ted Bradstreet & Terry Hathaway


Staff Absent:  Desi-Rae Mason & John Rioux.


Members Present: Brad Brown (Bureau of Insurance). Peter Doran (ALAM), Carol Eckert (MIOHE), Ginger Jordan-Hillier (DEP), Jonathan Lepoff (Consultant), 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).


Members Absent: Valerie Carter (Bureau of Labor Education), Peter Crockett (MLGH), Sharon D’Orsie (USM), Denise Dumont (U.S. HealthWorks), Saskia Janes (Maine Public Health Association), Ruth  Lawson-Stopps (Occupational Health Associates), Heather Mason (Maine Safety Council), Steve Minkowsky (Maine Workers’ Compensation Board), Louise Morang (MAOHN), & Pat Philbrook (Maine State Nurses Association).


Guests:  John Newton (OSHA) & William Peabody (Director, Bureau of Labor Standards)



Ivan Most, Chair, opened the meeting at 9:03 A.M.



Approval of September 8, 2004 Minutes.  Jonathan Lepoff made a motion to accept the minutes. Peter Doran, seconded. Vote, unanimous.


Safety Conference. Ivan Most wrote a draft letter to Lyman Cousens of the Safety & Health Council of Northern New England. This letter was an apology based on a miscommunication regarding MORA’s cancelled presentation at the recent Safety Conference.  As a result, Carol Eckert suggested that MORA keep a list of presentations that can be used.


Prevention Data Advisory Group Update – Leslie Walleigh.  At the last meeting of the Prevention Data Advisory Group, Kim Lim did a presentation of the Occupational Safety and Health Indicators Project by the Council of State Territorial Epidemiologists. This project developed a formula for using data sources already existing in various states’ occupational health indicators. Also, Leslie had asked the work group to review the missions, which are to write a report which reviews the sources of information are in the state in occupational health and evaluate how those sources would be improved. A report is due to the Legislature in mid-January. Bill Peabody stated that there are two areas for the work group: data and research and prevention efforts.


Jeff Levesque explained that Workers’ Compensation Act has a confidentiality clause. Once there is a lump sum settlement, then it can be opened. After further discussion, Leslie Walleigh will be checking into how other states handle this and will report to the group at the November meeting, which will also be a planning session for our February meeting: background of confidentiality.


Operative Document. Discussion ensued. Several changes were made. Some of the key issues to be looked at are: 1) Define trends – look at economic community development; 2) Phase I – Employment Report – BLS, Occupational Injury by various – BLS; 3) Characterize hazards – exposure data; 4) Objective – Phase I - Assessment; Phase II – Projection; 5) Do we flip-flop Goal I and II. Ginger Jordan-Hillier suggested that Ivan Most present the update document to the group at the November meeting. In the meantime, Ivan will get together with Saskia Janes and present the updated document at the November meeting.

Under Goal II, Objective A, Organization – steering committee, which is comprised of task forces, officers, and alliance of groups. A question regarding task forces – should the task forces be allowed to have non-MORA members. Ivan stated that MORA is still called a steering committee as it steers a larger group. The question is does MORA continue being a steering committee? Peter Doran sees MORA as an interest group which allies with other interested parties. The missing links for members are business, labor, and insurance. Discussion of officers – chair, vice chair (project coordinator), secretariat (BLS), and treasurer.


Bill Peabody. Bill is a supporter of the Bureau of Labor Standards (BLS) providing staff to MORA and that a BLS employee is a representative on MORA. Also, BLS provides the facilities and is comfortable continuing with that; however, if commitments become more, it is open for discussion for a conditional commitment. If there is a treasurer and MORA starts taking in money, it might change the relationship and MORA would be subject to auditing by the Treasurer, State of Maine. Ivan would like to maintain a relationship with the Bureau. Peter Doran suggested that perhaps a fiscal agent (such as Medical Care Development) rather than a treasurer. One point to consider is that MORA needs to think about its relationship with the University of New England (UNE).  Bill said that if MORA became a part of the Department of Labor through legislation, MORA could lose options. Also, does MORA want to have by-laws?  Further discussion tabled to the November meeting as Ivan will invite Dr. John LaCasse, Medical Care Development.


Bill did say that the Bureau of Labor Standards will provide seed money for the 2005 Conference. He will review what money is available. Also, registration fees may need to increase to cover the cost. Ivan suggested that the 2005 Conference budget will be reviewed at the November meeting. Ivan will be talking with Steve Shannon (University of New England) regarding UNE becoming a fiscal agent for MORA.


Ivan Most and Jonathan Lepoff will be the nominating committee. Jonathan will become Chair and they will look for nominees for Vice-Chair.


Open Forum – All.


MORA Contact


Title of Event



Location &


Leslie Walleigh


Symposium: The Use of Science in the Bush Administration – Environment and Human Health Implications


University of New England

Ludcke Auditorium

UNE - Westbrook

Oct. 27, 2004



Next Meeting – November 10, 2004 - Agenda – Ivan Most. The next meeting will be held Wednesday, November 10, 2004 from 9:00 AM to Noon, Third Floor Conference Room, Bureau of Labor Standards.  Agenda items are as follows:


I.                      Approval of October 13, 2004 Minutes

II.                    John LaCasse, Medical Care Development

III.                   Aging Report – Ruth Lawson-Stopps & Sandy Butler, UMO

IV.                Operative Document

V.                  2005 Conference Update

a.      Speakers

b.      Budget

VI.                Confidentiality Plan for February

VII.              Open Forum

VIII.            Ann Backus Follow-up – Ivan Most

IX.                Next Meeting – December 8, 2004 – Agenda

Chair Ivan Most adjourned the meeting at 11:45 AM.

Respectfully submitted,


Terry M. Hathaway