MORA Meeting Minutes
October 20, 2010: 10:00 AM
MORA MINUTES October 20, 2010
Present: Leslie Walleigh, Jim Braddick, Peter Doran, Kirk Duplessis, Ginger Jordan-Hillier, Kim Lim, Ivan Most, Mike Roland, Kathy Schulz, Desi-Rae Severson, Amy Wagner, and Terry Hathaway
Guests: The following guests attended from the Research & Statistics Unit, Technical Services Division, Bureau of Labor Standards: David Grudda, and Steve Laundrie.
Call to Order. Leslie Walleigh called the meeting to order at 10:10 a.m.
Introductions: Introductions were made.
Approval of September 8, 2010 Minutes. Peter Doran made a motion to accept the September 8th minutes as written. Kirk Duplessis seconded the motion. Vote unanimous to approve the minutes.
Announcements. Desi-Rae announced that the Maine Indoor Air Quality Council is looking for presentations for their March 2011 Conference.
Leslie announced that the MORA subcommittee (comprised of Ginger, Mike, Amy, and herself) regarding the Statewide Safety Committee, is holding off meeting until Leslie hears from Bill McPeck regarding where it stands legally and the history. Also the group wants to know Bill Peabody’s position on it.
Ivan announced that there will be a meeting of the Workers’ Compensation Research Group in November in Hopkinton.
Effectiveness of EISA Program – Kim Lim. Kim did a power point presentation entitled Evaluation of the Maine Federal OSHA Expedited Informal Settlement Agreement (EISA). This was developed by Linda Huff, Kim, and Ben Ogden (a Research and Statistics summer intern). This pilot program was the effort of the Maine Federal OSHA Director to link the amount of penalty reduction to whether the Maine 21(d) Consultation Program is contacted by the employer to provide free consultation services following the OSHA inspection. The time period is October 1, 2004 through September 29, 2008. The purpose is for the State to provide consultations to small businesses and high-hazard workplaces to: identify safety and health hazards, control or eliminate hazards successfully, establish or improve the workplace safety and health program, and understand all requirements of applicable Federal/State law and implement regulations. The EISA options are: abate hazards and pay 75 percent of the fine or abate hazards and contact the 21(d) consultation program and pay 50 percent of the fine. The role of the EISA program is to eliminate OSH hazards as well as increase knowledge and awareness. The data sources are list of EISA employers from Federal OSHA, Federal OSHA citations, and 21(d) consultation records. Out of the 742 Maine employers who were offered the EISA, 211 declined and 531 accepted. Out of the 531, 111 employers abated the hazards and 420 abated the hazards and contacted the 21(d) program.
Quick Look at Occupations and Codes – Kirk Duplessis. Kirk did a power point presentation, An Overview of the 2009 Workers’ Compensation First Reports of Injuries. This presentation was based on the coding information for the employer, occupation, injury, event, source, and body parts.
The top five industries are: General Medical and Surgical Hospitals, Elementary and Secondary Schools, Nursing Care Facilities, Supermarkets and Other Grocery, and Shipbuilding and Repair. The top five occupations are: nursing, laborers, truck drivers (heavy and tractor trailer), janitors and cleaners, and retail salespersons. The top five injuries are: sprains, strains, tears; traumatic injuries and disorders, unspecified; soreness pain, hurt, injuries (except the back); bruises, contusions; and back pain, hurt back. The top five events are: overexertion, falls, slips and trips, overexertion pulling and pushing objects, and bodily conditions, not elsewhere classified. The top five sources are bodily motion/position of injured worker, nonclassifiable, health care patient/resident heal care facility, floor of building, and bodily conditions of injured/ill worker. The top 5 body parts are: multiple body parts, lumbar region, knee(s), back (including spine, spinal cord, unspecified), and shoulder (including clavicle and scapula).
In summary, the Research and Statistics unit is caught up on coding, healthcare professionals are very strongly represented in the 2009 data, lifting is the most common cause of injury, and back injuries are the most common with over half of them in healthcare.
Kirk did hand out a brochure, SafetyWorks! Info Brief, which is a summary of the work-related injuries in the health care sector.
NORA Update – Ivan Most. Postponed to the November meeting.
Review of Draft Letter Regarding Proposed Changes to Workers’ Compensation Rules – Leslie Walleigh. Each member present received a copy of a draft letter regarding the proposed changes to Workers’ Compensation rules as well as a copy of the original rule with the proposed changes. Leslie has contacted John Rohde, legal counsel for the Maine Workers’ Compensation Board, asking for clarification on (A) and (D). Leslie said the hearing is scheduled for Monday, October 25th, and the closing date for comments is Thursday, November 4th. Mike stated that the Maine Department of Labor is unlikely to comment on the proposed rule changes as state agencies usually do not comment on other state agencies’ proposed rule changes, so he is deferring to MORA.
Ginger inquired as to how the proposed rule change would affect the accuracy of data. Kim responded that the impact would not be known until after the proposed rule change took place, if that were to happen. Further discussion included “lost wages” versus “lost time”.
Leslie suggested that the MORA letter, with changes, be placed on MORA letterhead and signed, with permission, by the non-State employee members of MORA. Those people are Peter Doran, Ivan Most, Amy Wagner, Jonathan Lepoff, Carol Eckert and Peter Crockett. Peter Doran made a motion for MORA to send the letter to the members of the Maine Workers’ Compensation Board. Ginger Jordan-Hillier seconded the motion. The motion carried with Kathy Schulz abstaining from the vote.
Other. Ginger asked if the information regarding the health care sector could be relevant to reducing costs in the State of Maine by sharing with the health care cost containment agencies in State government and advise that happen through the Council. Leslie responded that it is a part of the MORA mission to advise State agencies. Mike agrees and suggested that this be sent to Trish Riley, Executive Director of Health Policy and Finance. Amy suggested sending this information to the health care associations first and then to Trish Riley’s group. Kim suggested that “core training” be provided for all health care workers statewide. He suggested research on the training be reported back to MORA. Leslie said that she can look into the national studies on health care; Kim and Steve (Laundrie) will look at rates and costs. Mike and Ginger will draft a resolution for the next meeting.
Next meeting – Wednesday, November 10, 2010. The next meeting will be held Wednesday, November 10, 2010, 10:00 a.m., Frances Perkins Conference Room, Maine Department of Labor, Central Maine Commerce Center, 45 Commerce Drive, Augusta.
Adjournment – Leslie Walleigh. Chair Leslie Walleigh adjourned the meeting at 12:15 p.m.