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Maine Occupational Research Agenda (MORA) Meeting
Minutes

Bureau of Labor Standards

Third Floor Conference Room

December 14, 2005

 

 

Staff Present:  Ted Bradstreet, Steve Greeley, Terry Hathaway, & Leslie Manning

 

Staff Absent:  John Rioux

 

Members Present: Sharon D’Orsie (USM), Peter Doran (ALAM), Ginger Jordan-Hillier (DEP), Jonathan Lepoff (Consultant), Ruth Lawson-Stopps (Occupational Health Associates), Kim Lim (Bureau of Labor Standards), Desi-Rae Mason (Maine Asthma Program), Ivan Most (Strategic Occupational Health), Michael Rowland (Maine Migrant Health Program), Cathy Schultz (Maine Workers’ Compensation Board), & Leslie Walleigh (Workplace Health/Bureau of Health)

 

Members Absent: Peter Crockett (MLGH), Carol Eckert (MIOHE), Saskia Janes (Maine Public Health Association), Steve Minkowsky (Maine Workers’ Compensation Board), & John Newton (OSHA).

 

Guest: Bill Coffin (OSHA)

 

 

Jonathan Lepoff, Chair, called the meeting to order at 10:04 A.M.

 

Introductions were made.

 

Approval of November 9, 2005 Minutes.  Ivan Most made a motion to accept the minutes of November 9thas amended with a correction on page 2. Peter Doran seconded the motion. Vote, unanimous.

 

Vice Chair. Jonathan announced that as Leslie Walleigh is stepping down as Vice Chair, Carol Eckert is willing to take on that role. Jonathan Lepoff has agreed to serve as Chair for 2006.

 

Ivan Most made a motion that the chair and vice chair should be for a two-year term. Ginger Jordan-Hillier seconded. Vote, unanimous.

 

MORA Alliance with OSHA. Bill Coffin stated he wanted to observe the MORA meeting so he could get an idea of what MORA is about and how OSHA might be able to help them. He told the group that OSHA has eleven (11) alliances established in the State. These alliances are with business or associations, centering on the concept of training.

 

Ivan said that MORA is concerned with research initiatives. The MORA group would like Bill Coffin to attend MORA meetings regularly. He will draft an alliance for MORA to review at the January meeting.

 

Committee Updates:

 

            Finance Committee:  Leslie Manning announced that the MIOHE voted to dissolve and turn $4,400 over to MORA. Maine Labor Group on Health has offered to act as an agent for the money. This money is available in small grants for the education of primary providers, research, and promotion of best practices. The former executive director of MIOHE is available to help distribute. MIOHE will continue to write checks. The Finance Committee will be looking at other alternatives.

 

Peter Doran explained the Health Access Foundation and that setting up for an opportunity to develop a proposal regarding occupational health.

 

            Program Committee: Sharon D’Orsie attended the National Study on Children’s Health in Washington, DC . In 2000, Congress passed the National Children’s Health Law. Over a 20-year period, 100,000 children are going to be tracked from conception until they reach the age of 20. In the last five years, $80 million dollars has been spent laying the foundation on organizing this study. As a result, eight Van Guard Centers have been named and established. Four locations are in New England: Cumberland County (Maine); Bristol, Massachusetts; Worcester, Massachusetts; and Rhode Island. There is a second round of RFP’s (Requests for Proposals). There is an opportunity for research in occupational asthma, especially in schools. Sharon will keep MORA posted.

 

Mike Rowland said the Harvard School of Public Health has advanced information, but doesn’t know what it means (i.e., blood tests). Sharon will talk with the Harvard School of Public Health.

 

Desi-Rae announced the Finance Committee informed the Program Committee of the $4,000, which will be in $1,000 increments. The Program Committee will be working on how the money can be used.

 

Ivan Most presented the Report on the Cost Drivers to the Workers’ Compensation Board in hopes to have the survey approved. This has been tabled to the next meeting. The questions for this survey are: (1) What is the health status after receiving lump sum status? (2) What is the working status? (3) What is the financial status? The survey would begin in February, if approved in January, and a report should be available in the summer of next year.

 

Leslie Walleigh said NIOSH has a surveillance book, which includes list of ICD-9 codes for pesticides. It requires time and effort to go through it. Leslie Manning asked if it is something a summer intern could do under the direction of someone.  Leslie Walleigh does have someone who can do it, but not at this time. Leslie Manning informed the group that the Margaret Chase Smith Institute has interns. Ginger said Bates College does too.

 

PDAG Update – Leslie Walleigh.  The last work group meeting was held on Wednesday, November 16th. The report has not been released at this time and the work group would like a presentation from OSHA on the “Worst Top 200” Program. As the report is not released and no one is available from OSHA to do a presentation, MORA voted that there would be no work group meeting on Wednesday, December 21st.

 

Workers’ Compensation Coordinating Council Meeting. Ruth Lawson-Stopps attended the annual meeting. There was a panel of legislators discussing new legislation.

 

Maine Migrant Forum.  Leslie Manning said the forum was well attended and well received.

There were federal official presents as well as employers, advocates, and representatives of the community. It was requested that the forum be done regularly as it hasn’t been done in several years. There were opportunities to network to bring safety and training programs to the community. There are two (2) OSHA courses to be conducted in Spanish in Portland area and there is a willingness to do in other areas as well. The Portland CareerCenter has a Federal Bilinguist, Manuel Olate.

 

Leslie Manning mentioned that a recent Federal report stating that Hispanic workers in the United States are more likely to be injured due to the nature of the work and lack of literacy.

 

She also mentioned that the Maine Department of Labor has released an annual report,

Census of Fatal Occupational Injuries. The fatalities have decreased from 24 to 16, with a continuing downward trend for 2005.

 

Also, a new SafetyWorks! class has been added, 15-Passenger Van Safety Training, as a result of the grant from the Highway Safety Administration.

 

Next Meeting – Wednesday, January 11, 2006. The two committees, Program and Finance, will meet at from 9:00 AM to 10:00 AM. At 10:00 AM, the MORA meeting will convene.

 

Adjournment. The meeting was adjourned at 11:58 A.M.

 

Respectfully submitted,

 

 

 

Terry M. Hathaway