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Maine Occupational Research Agenda (MORA)
Steering Committee Meeting

Bureau of Labor Standards

Third Floor Conference Room

December 10, 2003


Staff Present: Terry Hathaway, Lynne Lamstein, & John Rioux.

Members Present: Sharon D’Orsie (USM), Peter Doran (MIOHE), Ron Dyer (DEP), Jonathan Lepoff (Consultant), Jeff Levesque (Maine Workers’ Compensation Board), Kim Lim (Bureau of Labor Standards), Dwight Littlefield (Maine Bureau of Health), Heather Mason (Maine Safety Council), Ivan Most (Strategic Occupational Health), Pat Philbrook (Maine State Nurses Association), Rhonda Surette (Maine Bureau of Health), Jonathan Torres (WorkMed), & Leslie Walleigh (Workplace Health).

Members Absent: Brad Brown (Bureau of Insurance), Valerie Carter (Bureau of Labor Education), Peter Crockett (MLGH), Denise Dumont (U.S. HealthWorks), Carol Eckert (MIOHE), Saskia Janes (Maine Public Health Association), Ruth Lawson-Stopps (Occupational Health Associates), Steve Minkowsky (Maine Workers’ Compensation Board), Louise Morang (MAOHN), & Phyllis Wolfe (BIW).

Guest: Desi-Rae Grady (Bureau of Labor Standards).


Peter Doran, Chair, opened the meeting at 9:11 A.M.

Lynne announced that Bill Peabody has been named as the new Director of the Bureau of Labor Standards. The MORA Steering Committee is pleased to hear that.

Approval of November 12, 2003 Minutes. Dwight noted that he was not included on the list of attendees. Ivan Most made a motion to approve the minutes with that correction. Jeff Levesque, seconded. Vote, unanimous.

IAIABC Conference Report. Jeff told the Steering Committee IAIABC (International Association of Industrial Accident Boards and Commissions) are continuing progress on standard data for EDI, Release III. Also, the IAIABC is giving awards to states doing analysis of workers’ compensation data. IAIABC is also focusing on what is being done with the data after it’s received as well as analyzing the data to prevent injuries and lower costs. Pat mentioned latex allergies. Peter Doran suggested this could be included in our research toxic area.

Workers’ Compensation Council Report. Ivan will talk to John Marr. Jeff announced that there is a Workers’ Compensation Board meeting on Thursday, December 18, 2003 at 10:00 AM. If anyone is interested in attending, let Jeff know and he will contact Steve Minkowsky to have the names put on a lsit.

Ivan summarized the NIOSH Conference held at the Morgantown Lab on November 17 and 18, 2003. He attended with Norm Anderson (American Lung Association of Maine). Ivan attended a "mold workshop"; he passed around a packet for members to look at. He wrote a summary of the meeting. This could be of particular interest to the research priority on occupational asthma group. There is an ongoing study of molds in schools and the study will be expanded to Maine. Ivan will invite Norm Anderson to our February meeting. Sharon has applied for a small USM grant for analysis and sampling of air quality. She will keep the group updated on this grant.

Prevention Data Advisory Group. John summarized the November 19 th meeting of the Occupational Safety and Health Data Collection and Injury Prevention Work Group. John said that Paul Fortier (Workers’ Compensation Board) summarized EDI; Jeff Levesque (Workers’ Compensation Board) explained what happens after the First Report is received: John Rioux (Bureau of Labor Standards) explained the role of BLS in processing the data. The December meeting of the Prevention Data Advisory Group has been cancelled. At the January meeting, Bill Peabody will review what has been discussed so far and where the group will go from this point in filling in the gaps.

Jeff stated that MEMIC will be forwarding all First Report information to Workers’ Compensation EDI. This is 50 percent of the market.

2004 Maine Safety Conference. Lynne handed out a Draft Proposal for a Presentation at the 2004 Maine Safety and Health Conference for review. The proposal is due at the end of this year. Ivan will check into a NIOSH training publication, which will fit in with both objectives listed on the draft proposal (attached). Peter commended Lynne and Jeff for participation in the Maine Safety and Health Conference. At our March meeting, the content of this presentation will be discussed. Jeff made a motion to accept the draft proposal as written. Jonathan Lepoff, seconded. Vote, unanimous. Lynne will confer with Heather.

In reference to MORA’s presentation at the 2003 Maine Safety Conference, Jeff said that a post-settlement survey would be useful. As this in the statutes, Jeff will get a copy of the necessary information from the Workers’ Compensation Act for the group. After much discussion, Ivan made a motion that MORA make a recommendation to the Prevention Data Advisory Group. Jonathan Torres seconded the motion. Vote, unanimous.

Toxic Exposures Rules and Regulations. Leslie, Rhonda, & Carol met with Andy Smith (Bureau of Human Services). The primary focus was on heavy metals and lead. Leslie explained that occupational asthma and silicosis are important area. There is a collaboration agreement with the American Lung Association of Maine and the Maine Asthma Program. It was suggested that also Peter Doran and Jon Torres could partner with Andy. Regarding silicosis, Leslie suggested a survey of the pulmonary doctors and radiologists to find out how much documentation there is. Lynne suggested Taras Dijak (Bureau of Labor Standards) has done a lot of research on silicosis.

Conference 2005 Planning. Before discussing the Conference, Kim gave members a copy of Fatality Investigation Report - FACE Facts. Kim is looking for suggestions for outreach. These brochures will be available on the BLS website. Committee members were very impressed with the concept and format.

Pat handed out an awareness card regarding patient care nursing loads in hospitals from the Maine State Nurses Association, using humor effectively to illustrate a serious problem.

Kim handed out a brief summary of the 2005 Symposium’ the theme is Special Population 2005. This includes workers with disabilities, young workers, older workers, migrant and seasonal, immigrants and ESL workers, agricultural, and self-employed and temp workers. There is no need to have a call for papers. The 2005 Symposium will be a day and a half and will be held at UNE, Biddeford. Kim is looking for suggestions for contacts dealing with the various topics. Kim will be applying for a grant, but would like members to be thinking about money.

Sharon asked if the State of Maine has a general safety training program for people before they can get hired. The answer is no. She told the group that Texas has such a program - their program is two hours. She will report back to the group at our February meeting.

MORA Leadership Nominating Report. Jeff and Jonathan feel they need guidelines and a definition of the role of the chair. This means that the person would not be in jeopardy of conflict with their current position. The chair needs to be insulated. Jonathan stated that Bill Peabody would be a likely candidate as he is Director of the Bureau of Labor Standards, but it would be up to Bill. Discussion followed. Lynne suggested that Jonathan and Jeff work on guidelines and report back to the Steering Committee at our January meeting. They will be contacting Steering Committee members for their ideas. Peter Doran has agreed to stay on a couple more months.

Future of MORA. Heather will work on the first draft of the Operative Document and will e-mail a copy to Terry, who will send it on to the membership of MORA. Discussion of Kim’s Letter of Intent to CDC; the CDC will let him know if it is okay to apply for a grant. Kim would find out in late 2004 about the grant.

Ivan suggested that we invite Associate Dean Meredith Tipton from UNE to our February meeting to talk about occupational health training in the MPH certificate programs.

The six task force (priority areas) were listed with their respective chairs.

1. Occupational asthma - Jon Torres, Peter Doran, Sharon D’Orsie, Ivan Most,

& Dwight Littlefield.

2. Toxic exposure and occupational illnesses - Leslie Walleigh, Carol Eckert,

Rhonda Surrette, & Ron Dyer

3. Cost Drivers - Jeff Levesque, Jonathan Lepoff, John Rioux, &

Steve Minkowsky

4. Older Workers - Lynne Lamstein, Ruth Lawson-Stopps, Peter

Crockett, & Heather Mason

5. Fatalities - Kim Lim, John Rioux, & Lynn Lamstein

6. Muscolo-skeletal - Denise Dumont, Ivan Most, & Pat Philbrook

Heather urged the task forces to get their one-page summaries done this month. Once the summaries are completed, then we can work on a timeline on projects.

Friends of MORA list, please contact Heather Mason for any ideas. Jon Torres suggest that these folks would receive minutes of our meetings and we could extend an invitation for them to sit in on our meetings.

Heather suggested that members be thinking of how we will conceptualize the MORA Steering Committee; if we stay as a steering committee and our role, definition, and further organization; and how it will relate to the larger group. Ivan will present the NORA structure at the February meeting.

Next Meeting. The next meeting of the MORA Steering Committee will be held Wednesday, January 14, 2004 from 9:00 AM to Noon in the Third Floor Conference Room, Bureau of Labor Standards.

Adjournment. Chair Peter Doran adjourned the meeting at 11:59 AM.

Respectfully submitted,


Terry M. Hathaway