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Maine Occupational Research Agenda (MORA)
Steering Committee Meeting
Minutes

Bureau of Labor Standards

Third Floor Conference Room

February 11, 2004

 

Staff Present: Desi-Rae Grady, Terry Hathaway, Lynne Lamstein, & John Rioux.

Members Present: Peter Doran (MIOHE), Sharon D’Orsie (USM), Ruth Lawson-Stopps (Occupational Health Associates), Carol Eckert (MIOHE), Saskia Janes (Maine Public Health Association), Jonathan Lepoff (Consultant), Kim Lim (Bureau of Labor Standards), Dwight Littlefield (Maine Bureau of Health), Ivan Most (Strategic Occupational Health), & 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), Ron Dyer (DEP), Jeff Levesque (Maine Workers’ Compensation Board), Heather Mason (Maine Safety Council), Steve Minkowsky (Maine Workers’ Compensation Board), Louise Morang (MAOHN), Pat Philbrook (Maine State Nurses Association), Jonathan Torres (WorkMed), & Phyllis Wolfe (BIW).

Guests: Norm Anderson (American Lung Association of Maine) and Kathy Schultz (Maine Workers’ Compensation Board).

 

Peter Doran, Chair, opened the meeting at 9:09 A.M.

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Approval of January 14, 2004 Minutes. Ivan Most made a motion to accept the minutes as corrected. Dwight Littlefield, seconded. Vote, unanimous.

Peter Doran announced that Rhonda Surette, Bureau of Health, will no longer be a member of the MORA Steering Committee as she has a new job. Leslie Walleigh will be working at the Bureau of Health and will now be their representative on the Steering Committee.

Jonathan Lepoff made a motion that Peter Doran should write a letter on behalf of MORA to the Governor’s Office stressing the importance of seatbelt safety and how it saves lives. Enclosed with the letter will be a copy of Fatal Occupational Injuries in Maine 2002. Sharon D’Orsie seconded the motion. Vote, unanimous.

Kim Lim that the Bureau of Labor Standards has a SafetyWorks! program, NETS (Network of Employers for Traffic Safety). Lynne suggested that Michele Grant, who works with NETS, be invited to a future meeting to explain this program.

APHA Abstract. A copy of the APHA abstract, "Translating Research into Action: Occupational and Environmental Health" was handed out. Lynne summarized this handout. Members made suggestions.

Kim Lim announced that there is a press conference on domestic violence to be held Tuesday, February 17, 2004 at the Hall of Flags. He invited MORA members to attend.

2005 Symposium Planning Update. Kim is waiting for a response to the Letter of Intent (LOI). If the response is yes, Kim will need letters of recommendation, supporting the 2005 Symposium, from MORA Steering Committee Members. Kim will send members an e-mail with pointers.

Kim attended the BLS (Bureau of Labor Statistics) managers meeting and invited the new Director and his staff to the 2005 Symposium. John Howard, NIOSH Director, will be the keynote speaker.

Plans are coming together for the 2005 Symposium. It will be held at UNE (University of New England), Biddeford, on May 25 and 26, 2005.

Lynne asked members if they would contribute articles on special populations for publication in the Bureau of Labor Standards’ "SafetyWorks! Newsletter".

Occupational Asthma Plan Update. Norm Anderson, Director of ALAM (American Lung Association of Maine). This is due to a Memorandum of Agreement, which was signed last May, between ALAM and the MORA Steering Committee. He presented a draft of the "White Paper on Work Related Asthma in Maine", which was written with the help of Ivan Most and Dr. Jonathan Torres. This white paper is for review and comment, between now and our March meeting, from MORA Steering Committee members.

Also, Norm handed "Indoor Air Quality and Occupational Asthma" disabling cases, prepared by Steve Laundrie, Bureau of Labor Standards.

Sharon received a small grant, which will end in May 2005, for a project with a USM graduate student. This is grant is to identify and prepare a compendium of methods to sample and analyze certain asthma indicators.

Also, Mr. Anderson extended an invitation to an ALAM Consensus Workshop on Indoor Health and Environmental Tracking Indicators, with a Focus on Schools. This will be held on May 19 and 20, 2004 at UNE, Biddeford.

Members received a copy of the Annual Report on the Status of the Maine Workers’ Compensation System. Kim Lim explained that this an annual report prepared by Bureau of Labor Standards (BLS), Bureau of Insurance (BOI), and Workers’ Compensation Board (WCB). Ruth Lawson-Stopps suggested that someone from MORA be active in pursuing the quality of data and that someone from the data work group report to the MORA Steering Committee at their March meeting.

MORA Leadership Nominating Report. As Jeff Levesque was absent from this meeting, he did send an e-mail stating that two (2) people had agreed to be the chair for a one (1) year period. They are Jonathan Lepoff and Ivan Most. Jonathan deferred to Ivan, so Ivan is the new Chair of MORA. The Vice Chair nominees were Jonathan Lepoff and Jeff Levesque. A secret ballot vote occurred; Jonathan Lepoff was elected the Vice Chair of MORA. The Vice Chair will become the Chair in February 2005 and at that time, there will be an election for a new Vice Chair. In the meantime, the Vice Chair is responsible for overseeing the MORA Steering Committee meeting in the Chair’s absence.

Ivan congratulated and thanked Peter for his leadership of MORA.

Operative Document Discussion. As Heather Mason was absent, Ivan deferred this agenda item to the March meeting. Ivan will contact Heather regarding this.

Ivan suggested that at the end of each MORA meeting, the group take a few minutes to set up the agenda for the following meeting.

Other. John Rioux announced that, due to budget issues, the Department of Labor had to terminate the Occupational Safety and Loan Fund. As a result, several members of the Commission on Safety and Health in the Maine Workplace resigned. Ivan wondered if there was any Commission role that MORA might be able to fill. John will set up a meeting with Bill Peabody, along with Ivan and Ruth, to discuss this and report back to MORA at the March meeting.

NORA Structure and Relationship to MORA. Ivan reported that he has written a series of letters to Dr. Fingerhurt (NORA) suggesting that the MORA model be used in other states. Dr. Fingerhut does receive copies of our minutes. Ivan is a member on one of NORA’s committees. He handed out a copy of NORA’s program priorities. It was suggested that perhaps MORA members who are associated with priority areas could join the NORA committees. The process for selection of NORA members needs to be explored by those MORA members who are interested.

Ruth and Lynne will be attending the Human Resources Workshop, May 5-7, 2004, at the Samoset. They will be doing a presentation on aging workers. Ruth will bring brochures to the March meeting.

Ivan will be sure that the group is updated on the monthly USM talks at the Center for Integrated and Applied Environmental Toxicology.

Anne Backus is a member of the ERC (Educational Resource Center) at Harvard. There are 17 ERC’s around the country, but only one in the northeast. Their purpose is to promote environmental occupational health and education research funded by NIOSH. Peter Doran and Jonathan Lepoff are both visiting scholars. Peter will invite Anne Backus to a future meeting of MORA.

Next Meeting. The next meeting of the MORA Steering Committee will be held Wednesday, March 10, 2004 from 9:00 AM to Noon in the Third Floor Conference Room, Bureau of Labor Standards.

Following is the agenda for the next meeting:

1. Approval of February 11, 2004 Minutes

2. Operative Document Discussion - Heather and Others

a. Role of Steering Committee

b. Membership Categories and Expectations

c. Agenda, Research and Process

d. Task Force Summaries and Guidelines

3. Update on Prevention Data Advisory Group

4. Open Forum - Exchange on Conferences, Research, Doctoral Thesis, etc.

5. Budget for 2005 Conference Development

6. Report on Meeting With Bill Peabody - John, Ivan, & Ruth

Adjournment. Chair Ivan Most adjourned the meeting at 11:40 AM.

Respectfully submitted,

 

 

Terry M. Hathaway