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Maine Occupational Research Agenda (MORA)

Steering Committee Meeting

Minutes

Bureau of Labor Standards

Conference Room

February 21, 2001

Staff present: Lynne Lamstein, Jonathan Lepoff, Terry Hathaway, & John Rioux

Members Present: Peter Doran (MIOHE), Ron Dyer (Maine Department of Environmental Protection), Ruth Lawson-Stopps (Occupational Health Associates), Kim Lim (Maine Bureau of Labor Standards), Steve Minkowsky (Maine Workers’ Compensation Board), Ivan Most (Strategic Occupational Health), Peter Snell (Peter Snell & Associates), Jonathan Torres (Workmed), Leslie Walleigh (Workplace Health)

Members Absent: Dan Cote (MEMIC), Margaret Parsons (Maine Cancer Registry), Tom Ryan (Central Maine Technical College) & Denise Dumont (Healthsouth - maternity leave)

Guest: Glenn Mills (Labor Market Information Services, Maine Department of Labor)

Peter Doran welcomed MORA Steering Committee members at 9:05 A.M. The purpose of this meeting was to share information about databases. The presenters are expected to give an overview of each database available, its source, its nature, and how it is presently being used as well as the potential of the system as it relates to occupational health evaluation and research.

John Rioux was the first presenter of databases used by the Bureau of Labor Standards. The following handouts were distributed: Census of Fatal Occupational Injuries, Occupational Injuries and Illnesses in Maine, and Characteristics of Work-Related Injuries and Illnesses in Maine. Also distributed were the Occupational Health and Safety Database Inventory for the following: OSHA Log Data Collection System, Maine WCB First Reports of Injury and Illness, Occupational Safety & Health Survey, and Census of Fatal Occupational Injuries. Mr. Rioux started out by giving background of the Bureau, which started in 1873. Currently, the Bureau is using a data warehouse, Oracle, which is an accumulation of databases for data from a large number of sources and includes Workers’ Compensation (provides the bulk) and employers. The data can be extracted into other products, such as SAS (Statistical Analysis System) and spreadsheets. There are confidentiality restrictions per the law. Workers’ Compensation cannot release the name of the injured employee, but can release employer name and insurance company. The goal is to use this data as a public resource, making data available on-line. In order to do this, programming costs would be the major factor. The purpose is to link injury/illness data to employment.

Ivan Most suggested that this information be posted to MORA’s website.

Lynne Lamstein would like to be able to get information on injuries to minors, both as they happen and historically. Since many times, a First Report doesn’t get filed or the date of birth is missing, there is no way to be sure if all injured minors are included.

Mr. Rioux further explained that the compilation of OSHA injuries and illnesses is based on employers’ records and is funded by an OSHA Federal grant. Specific SIC’s (Standard Industrial Classifications) are determined by summary data for employers or local emphasis programs.

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics does a survey using a sample of employers, based on SIC and size, reporting to Unemployment Compensation. Lynne Lamstein clarified the difference between the OSHA 200 log, which is ongoing, and the OSHA 200 Targeting, which is the top 200 companies with the highest number of injuries.

Glenn Mills from the Department of Labor’s Labor Market Information Services (LMIS) office did a presentation of 5 of their databases. He handed out inventory sheets for them. The first database is OES (Occupational Employment Statistics) Program, consisting of 770 occupations (soon to be 820) based on a survey of employers classified by industries. Wage ranges are published statewide, county, metropolitan area, & southern York County. The second database is ES-202, Covered Employment and Wages from the UI (Unemployment Insurance) tax filings by businesses done quarterly for all Maine employers. This includes industry group, average wage, and total wages. The third database is CES (Current Employment Statistics) (a monthly survey of house and earnings data) program, which is similar to the 202; information is available statewide and for Portland and Lewiston- Auburn. The fourth database is Mass Layoff Statistics based on Unemployment Insurance claims. This program collects layoff information based on age, gender, education, home, and vet status. The fifth database is LAUS (Local Area Unemployment Statistics), which is based on people and their residence of unemployment rather than the location of the business. Mr. Mills left a sample of each of the following LMIS publications: Maine Occupational Wages (October 2000), Maine Employment Statistical Handbook 1998, Maine Civilian Labor Force Estimates 1998 & 1999, Maine County Staffing Patterns March 1999, 1997, and Maine Employment Outlook to 2008.

Steve Minkowsky, Deputy Director of the Maine Workers’ Compensation Board, presented the Workers’ Compensation Board Progress Engine database. An inventory sheet was handed out to the MORA Steering Committee Members as well as a copy of the Employer’s First Report of Occupational Injury or Disease, with draft instructions attached. Mr. Minkowsky explained that this database is set up for dispute resolution by filing the Employer’s First Report of Occupational Injury or Disease. There are two types of First Reports: medical only and lost time. He also explained that there could be underreporting of medical only reports. Lost time reports are when a day or more of work is lost. Mr. Minkowsky explained the set-up of the First Report. First Reports may be filed by the employee, the employer, the insurance company, or a TPA (Third Party Administrator). The First Report can be used in place of the Supplemental 101 Form for OSHA. Mr. Minkowsky went on to explain that Workers’ Compensation has a two-year backlog concerning cost data. He feels that the Board needs to fully understand the value of First Report data for prevention research and hopes MORA can reinforce this.

There was not enough time for all the databases to be explained, so the following are scheduled for the next meeting: Ron Dyer (Maine Department of Environmental Protection), Dan Cote (MEMIC), Peggy Parsons (Maine Cancer Registry), and Earle Pease (Maine Health Information Center).

Ivan Most suggested that the Steering Committee set an agenda at our next meeting for the quarterly meeting of MORA in May; then, at the April meeting, finalize the agenda.

Also at the next meeting of the MORA Steering Committee, the members will complete the review of databases and summarize data needs/recommendations and try to identify priorities.

The goal for the MORA Steering Committee for the MIOHE Conference at UNE in May is to make a status report/recommendations on MORA activities.

Ron Dyer suggested checking DEP (Department of Environmental Protection) data on their website: < http://www.MaineDEP.com>. Click on "Maine Toxics".

The MORA group needs to be the voice that affirms the data needed to evaluate occupational illness and injury patterns.

The group agreed that the Mission Statement from the last meeting be adopted as the MORA Steering Committee Mission: To develop occupational safety and health research priorities and guide their implementation for Maine. The mission will be recommended to the larger MORA group in May.

The next meeting of the MORA Steering Committee will be held Wednesday, March 21, 2001 from 9:00 A.M. - Noon in the Bureau of Labor Standards’ Third Floor Conference Room, Hallowell, ME. Ivan Most will be the facilitator as Peter Doran is not available. Kim Lim will report back to the Steering committee on his meeting in Atlanta with the National Group.

Respectfully submitted,

 

 

Terry M. Hathaway

Secretary