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Maine Occupational Research Agenda (MORA)
Steering Committee Meeting

Bureau of Labor Standards

Third Floor Conference Room

September 10, 2003


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

Members Present: Saskia J. Bopp (Maine Public Health Association), Peter Doran (MIOHE), Jonathan Lepoff (Consultant), Jeff Levesque (Maine Workers’ Compensation Board), Kim Lim (Bureau of Labor Standards), Ruth Lawson-Stopps (Occupational Health Associates), Louise Morang (MAOHN), Ivan Most (Strategic Occupational Health), Pat Philbrook (Maine State Nurses Association), Rhonda Surrette (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), Ron Dyer (DEP), Carol Eckert (MIOHE), Heather Mason (Maine Safety Council), Steve Minkowsky (Maine Workers’ Compensation Board), & Castine Verrill (Maine Cancer Registry).


Peter Doran called the meeting to order at 9:10A.M.

Approval of July 2, 2003 Minutes. Ruth Lawson-Stopps made a motion to accept the minutes of the July 2, 2003 meeting. Jonathan Lepoff, seconded. Vote, unanimous.

2003 Symposium Summary - Lynne. Lynne provided a copy of the " Summary Report" for the "Second Maine Occupational Safety and Health Research Symposium" held May 21-22, 2003. Lynne has met with Leslie Ingraham (University of New England) regarding improvements to future conferences.

L.D. 398, Creation of a Data Advisory Group on Data Collection and Injury Prevention - John. John stated that L.D. 398 creates a Data Advisory Group on Data Collection and Injury Prevention. This L.D. mandates that the Data Advisory Group present a report to the Legislature by January 1, 2005 and January 1, 2006. The Commissioner of the Department of Labor would like some members of the MORA Steering Committee to be a part of the data advisory group. A sign-up sheet was circulated and presented to John later during the meeting.

Six members expressed an interest in being a part of the Data Advisory Group. It will be determined how much representation from MORA is appropriate. John and Terry will solicit from members who weren’t present at today’s meeting. The first meeting should take place prior to October 1, 2003. He suggested that the Data Advisory Group could report to the MORA Steering Committee and the Commission on Safety and Health in the Maine Workplace as well as other interested groups.

NORA Interest in MORA as State Model - Federal/State Partnership Proposal - Ivan. The Steering Committee received a handout, which included Ivan’s letter to Dr. Marilyn Fingerhut, now Director of NORA, as well as the proposal. Ivan provided a history. At MORA’s spring conference, there were several NIOSH folks present. Ray Sinclair (NIOSH) suggested Ivan write a paper proposing a federal/state partnership. It was pointed out that a number of states have research programs, but they are not affiliated with NORA. Ivan suggested that if all fifty (50) states had a partnership with NORA, the states could feed into NORA’s 21 areas of research. Ivan stated that Dr. Fingerhut has been in contact with him and that the paper Ivan wrote is being passed around in Washington, DC.

Jeff Levesque made a motion to forward this set of minutes showing support of this proposal to Ray Sinclair and Dr. Fingerhut. Louise Morang, seconded. Vote, unanimous.

Ivan suggested that Peter Doran invite Ann Backus (Harvard School of Public Health) to speak at a future MORA meeting. She had spoken at the MORA Symposium regarding "Exposure Assessment in Lobstering Workshops" (Reducing Toxic Exposures at Work).

Safety Conference Presentation - Jeff & Lynne. Jeff and Lynne will be making a presentation at the Maine Safety Conference on Friday, September 26, 2003 regarding "Identifying High Cost Claims"; it will be an active training session. Jeff stated that Wisconsin has the lowest compensation rates and an extensive return to work program. He suggested that members could check out the Wisconsin Workers’ Compensation Division website link. Jeff brought a notebook containing the "Lump Sum Worker Satisfaction Survey" for members to look at - this is a North American survey. Ruth suggested that a couple of folks review the survey and report back to the Steering Committee. Jeff and one other person from the Steering Committee.

Maine Public Health Association Presentations - Lynne, Kim, & Peter D. Kim told steering committee members that the MPHA website did not allow a call for papers. Saskia clarified that speakers are invited. Lynne said that there is a half-hour slot for the presentation of posters. The Maine Public Health Association Annual Meeting will be held on October 31, 2003 at the Augusta Civic Center. Lynne and Peter are preparing a presentation, which has been accepted.

Ivan informed the group about a Research Forum to be held May 19-20, 2004 at UNE (University of New England) on Lung Health-Air Quality Research. Our ALAM-MORA Action Plan for Occupational Asthma should be ready to present.

Aging Workforce Priority Area - Ruth, Lynne, & Peter C. Ruth stated that Lynne had arranged a meeting with Lynne Kane and Sandy Butler from the Maine Center on Aging, University of Maine @ Orono (UMO). Next week, Ruth, Lynne, & Peter will meet at Orono. The definition of the older works is 55 plus. Some of the questions they will be looking at are: what do we know about Maine’s older workers? What are some of the attention-getting issues? Where are gaps in the research? They will be looking at specifically what Maine data is, what employers think about older workers and their concerns. What do employees think about about the aging workforce? This group is working on an agreement with the UMO Center on Aging and the MORA Steering Committee. A copy of this agreement was distributed. The steering committee had favorable comments & made some suggestions for the aging workforce priority area group to follow up on. Ivan Most made a motion to accept the agreement as written. Jeff Levesque, seconded. Vote, unanimous.

Bloodborne Pathogen Exposure Survey - Leslie, Carol, & Pat. A copy of this survey is in the newspaper, "The Maine Nurse", from the Maine State Nurses Association. This is a survey that was sent to all nurses; other surveys have been done and filled out by administrators. The results of the survey may be on the website by November. The Maine State Nurses Association Conference is being held September 19-20, 2003. Lynne said we should find a vehicle for the dissemination of information. The Bureau of Labor Standards website is one possibility. Also, the word needs to get out to epidemiologists.

Department of Conservation, Forest Protection Division, Physical Training Program - Kim. The e-mail concerning this topic was forwarded to the MORA Steering Committee. Many companies are looking into physical fitness training because of high medical costs and cost of insurance. The committee suggested that Kim invite a representative from the Department of Conservation to speak to us at a future meeting regarding this topic.

Steering Committee New Members.

A. Sharon D’Orsie, USM - Ivan explained that Sharon is a part of the occupational health and safety program and has a strong background in industrial hygiene. Jeff Levesque made a motion to add her to the Steering Committee. Louise Morang, seconded. Vote, unanimous. Peter Doran will send her an invitation

B. Insurance Industry Representative - Jeff. After much discussion, it was decided that Peter Doran, Ruth Lawson-Stopps, and Jeff Levesque would determine the process for a representative from this area.

"Future of MORA" Brainstorming Analysis - Heather. Tabled to the next meeting.

Other Business. John announced that Michael Frett, Director of the Bureau of Labor Standards is leaving as of the end of September. Ivan Most made a motion for Peter Doran to draft a letter to Michael. Jeff Levesque, seconded. Vote, unanimous. Bill Peabody will be the Acting Director.

Next meeting - October 8, 2003. This meeting will be held at 9:00 AM in the Third Floor Conference Room at the Bureau of Labor Standards, Hallowell. Agenda items will include:

Occupational Disease Reporting Rules & Regulations, Bureau of Health

Rhonda Surrette

"Future of MORA" Brainstorming Analysis

Heather Mason

Change of Leadership for MORA Steering Committee

Update on Advisory Group on Data Collection and Injury Prevention

John Rioux

Update on Aging Workforce Priority Area

Ruth Lawson-Stopps, Lynne Lamstein, & Peter Crockett

MORA Conference - Spring 2005


Respectfully submitted,

Terry M. Hathaway