MORA Meeting Minutes
April 8, 2009:
MINUTES MORA April 8, 2009
Attending: Leslie Walleigh, Carol Eckert, Peter Doran, Ruth Lawson-Stopps, Jonathan Lepoff, Ivan Most (via phone), Kathy Schulz, Kim Lim, Leslie Manning, Linda Huff, and Terry Hathaway
Call to Order. Leslie Walleigh called the meeting to order at 10:04 a.m.
Approval of March 11th Minutes. Leslie Manning made a motion to approve the March 11, 2009 minutes as amended. Peter Doran seconded the motion. Vote, unanimous.
Announcements. Carol handed out fliers for the Workers’ Memorial Day Legislative Breakfast, April 28th, sponsored by the Maine AFL-CIO to be held at the United Association of Plumbers and Pipefitters Local 716, 21 Gabriel Drive, Augusta.
Leslie M. announced that on May 2nd, the Western Maine Labor Council is hosting a Workers’ Memorial Breakfast at the Franco American Heritage Hall (formerly St. Mary’s Church).
Ruth announced that the May 15th Asthma Conference has been cancelled as the keynote speaker is unable to be there. She is hoping to have something in June.
Peter gave a summary of the Indoor Air Quality Conference. The attendance was twice what they expected and the Conference was the best quality conference that they have put on. The Indoor Air Quality Council received excellent feedback. Leslie M. added that there was excellent activity between the exhibitors and the attendees.
Leslie M. added that the economic recovery stimulus money is available for OSHA 10-hour, lead and asbestos classes.
Maine Asthma Workplace Group Meeting Update – Ruth Lawson-Stopps. Ruth said that they are organizing workgroups for State plans for five-year objectives and a work plan for next year. She will bring to MORA.
PDAG Update – Leslie Walleigh. Much of the last PDAG meeting was focused on a presentation of the Board of Occupational Safety and Health (BOSH) by Michael LaPlante, Public Sector Enforcement. He explained that the Board was legislatively established to set the health and safety guidelines for public sector employees. The Board has ten (10) members. Information regarding BOSH is available on the web. There was discussion on how the Board decides what to address. Mike said that there are different avenues, such as presenting scientific data and how it would apply to Maine public sector employees. Once it is brought to the Board, then the Board appoints a task force.
Also, Ann Beaulieu, Research and Statistics Unit, Technical Services Division, Bureau of Labor Standards, Maine Department of Labor, explained how she compiles the 2007 Fatal Occupational Injuries in Maine, which is also available on the web. Occupational illnesses are not included
Discussion of “Annual Report on the Status of the Maine Workers’ Compensation System – All. Leslie W. stated that the Workers’ Compensation section explained very well how the workers’ compensation works. She pointed out that Section C, Bureau of Labor Standards, presents a clear picture of the research and available data (especially starting on page C-7). In the Executive Summary, Workers’ Compensation stated that the Governor was going to appoint a task force to deal with employee misclassification, with the emphasis on enforcement. Leslie M. explained that an employer/employee relationship occurs when the employer pays taxes, records wages, etc. The task force came about as a result of The Harvard Study.
Ruth asked what the purpose is of reviewing the Annual Report. Leslie W. stated that the report summarizes sources of data and doing research on work-related injuries and that it includes Workers’ Compensation, Bureau of Insurance, and Bureau of Labor Standards. Ruth wanted to know where we go from here. Leslie W. responded that this is background information and is useful. It also talks about the prevention services SafetyWorks! offers.
Discussion of “Guidelines for Minimum and Comprehensive State-Based Public Health Activities in Occupational Safety and Health. As MORA needs to spend more time with the NIOSH document, it was tabled to the next meeting.
MORA Priorities – 2005 Operative Document Draft and MORA Template Draft. Leslie W. said the focus should be on lead, carbon monoxide poisoning, and work-related asthma. Kim added that long-term surveillance cannot be done regarding illnesses. The surveillance program is not active and is not being used; we need outreach and education and it is being funded by us, Bureau of Labor Standards(BLS) to the Maine Center for Disease Control (CDC). Leslie W. added that it is not well-defined and that the funding is for certain positions. She added that the Maine CDC is getting data and sharing with BLS and then giving identifying employers that need assistance. The MOU (Memorandum of Understanding) between Maine CDC and BLS is to monitor lead, criteria for carbon monoxide poisoning and work-related asthma. Leslie M. added that it needs to come from CDC to the medical communities as most illnesses do not go to Workers’ Compensation. Linda stated that MORA needs a work plan so that we are not meeting every month talking about the same thing. Leslie W. will do a presentation on lead at next month’s MORA meeting. It would also help to see what other states have done. Leslie M. stated that BLS is hiring an intern this summer to replicate the New Hampshire toxins study done by David Skinner.
Ruth suggested that MORA develop a process to decide focus for the next year. She suggested putting the priorities into groups by the end of the next meeting and then MORA can decide on the focus of activity, vote on priorities and put together a work plan, similar to what the Maine Asthma Council’s Work Group is doing. Linda suggested a draft template, do a report and recommendations for policy and outreach activities.
Further discussion took place. Leslie W. added that MORA operates in different ways: sounding board, networking, and influence. She suggested the group review toxic exposures, asthma, aging workforce, cost drivers, fatalities, and musculo-skeletal disease.
Next Meeting – Wednesday, May 13 2009. The next regularly scheduled MORA meeting for Wednesday, May 13, 2009, 10:00 a.m. to Noon, Frances Perkins Conference Room, Maine Department of Labor, Central Maine Commerce Center. At the May meeting, Leslie Walleigh will do a presentation on Lead, Linda Huff will provide a template to evaluate all presentations, and Review of the CDC’s Guidelines for Minimum and Comprehensive State-Based Public Health Activities in Occupational Safety and Health.
Adjournment. Leslie Walleigh adjourned the meeting at 11:56 a.m.