OSHA Advisory Council March 5, 2004 Minutes

Members: Eric Ajax Melanie Isabell Allen Gene Harmer Scott Metcalf Daryl Tindle Ed Raine Members Excused: Carol Bufton Harvey Burski Pat McGovern Paul Grundy Scott Richter Members Absent: Michael Hawthorne Staff: Debbie Caswell Jim Collins Alden Hoffman Jeff Isakson James Krueger Jane Luger Patricia Todd Roslyn Wade Visitors: Ken Damewood John Nesse

Assistant Commissioner Roslyn Wade, serving as chairperson in Bufton’s absence, called the meeting to order at 10:15 a.m. She made announcements about security procedures. Wade stated MNOSHA had a thorough agenda prepared but, due to weather and minimal attendance by members, they would address the agenda items in an abbreviated fashion rather than repeating things at the next meeting. III. Approval of the minutes from the Nov. 14, 2003 meeting The minutes were held over until the June meeting for approval, because there were not enough members present. Wade asked the OSHA Advisory Council (OAC) members to review them and be prepared to approve them at the June meeting. Wade apologized that the minutes were not out until today. Budget reductions and reductions in staff have spread her assistant thinner and they were not able to publish these minutes earlier. V. Assistant commissioner’s update Everyone, including the new members, introduced himself or herself to the OAC. This was the first meeting for Melanie Allen, Scott Metcalf and Daryl Tindle. Metcalf

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works for the state prison in Faribault and is a labor representative. Allen works at Ecolab and will serve as a safety representative. Tindle is with IBEW, Local 160, and is a labor representative. Wade gave a brief Department of Labor and Industry (DLI) update. She noted the department has a relatively lean legislative agenda this year. That will not speak to DLI’s involvement in overall issues. The bills that impact DLI were not introduced by this agency. Wade reported that the legislative issues that will affect MNOSHA are minimal. DLI has one department catchall bill that will address a provision that would allow DLI to include NAICS codes as well as SIC codes. Wade announced there is a bill that has been introduced by the Department of Natural Resources (DNR) in which DNR is asking to be exempted from a MNOSHA provision that requires vehicles used to transport prisoners to have a barrier between the driver and any passengers in the back. A variance was approved on a limited basis earlier this year. DNR staff members believe they are in control of the situation and want to be relieved of this responsibility in cases where they do not feel endangered. This is House File 2456 and will be introduced by DNR. Gene Harmer asked if DNR’s HF 2456 would impact workplace violence. Wade stated the variance was issued to address a concern DNR had about finding intoxicated people in public parks. They did not want to leave a person who is obviously not at their full capacity, exposed to the elements. Wade noted this is not DLI’s bill and she was not made aware of all the specifics. Patricia Todd, the director of the MNOSHA Compliance unit, stated there is currently an exemption within the system that allows for the State Patrol to have the optional requirement for a barrier. DNR is asking for the same optional requirement. MNOSHA looked at DNR’s procedures and it is clearly the DNR officer’s right to say they feel uncomfortable with that person traveling in their vehicle and can call a police officer or another DNR representative to transfer the individual. Wade announced the governor issued his supplemental budget yesterday. The stated deficit from the February forecast indicated there is about $116 million that needs to be addressed. The governor’s proposal is still somewhat fresh and the state agencies have not been notified, so Wade did not know how it would impact DLI. MNOSHA does not receive any general funding, so Wade does not expect that any cuts that would be proposed would have an impact on the compliance or consultation programs. With no details, Wade could not speak to other cuts that might occur throughout DLI, but the agency should be able to do it in a way that would not impact staffing. Harmer noted that in the past few years, legislation was introduced and did not pass, that tied more serious fines to certain penalties. He asked if there has been any legislation this year to expand the fines for violations that result in a death. Wade noted

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this issue was pretty well vetted last year and there were changes made. Several years back, there was a minimum penalty required if the employer caused or contributed to the death of a worker. The minimum penalty was $25,000. After that, the penalty was enforced for two fiscal-years. The Legislature revisited that issue last year and amended the statutes to allow the $25,000 penalty for certain employers to be divided into five years, with a $5,000 initial penalty and $5,000 in the next four consecutive years. The commissioner has the responsibility to annually revisit that employer to see if sufficient changes have been made to promote a safe workplace. If the employer demonstrates they made the appropriate changes within the workplace, then the commissioner may waive the annual $5,000 penalty. Discussion has occurred in the past tying penalties to outcomes. MNOSHA and overall OSHA programs across the nation have believed that if there are hazards, any penalty should be associated with the actual hazard, not just the outcome. Wade said there have been no discussions for a bill like that this year and noted that bills introduced in the past can be put on an existing bill or revisited this year. VI. Federal OSHA update The Eau Claire office was closed due to the weather, so Tim Kobernat could not be at the OAC meeting and was unable to fax the information he was going to present at the OAC. Todd spoke to Kobernat by phone and got his general update. Todd recommended that anyone interested in looking at the federal fiscal-year (FFY) 2005 budget projects for DLI at the federal level log onto the Web site at www.osha.gov. There is a good summary there of Assistant Secretary Henshaw’s budget proposal. Federal OSHA is maintaining the funding levels in the majority of its programs. There are some areas of increase, including the consultation area, compliance assistance and the whistleblower programs. The Web site provides more detail. Regional Director Mike Connors is working with Georgetown University on case studies where safety has improved the work environment and profitability of companies. They are trying to add cases through the business program about how safety can positively affect a company. If OAC members have any ideas, they were asked to share them with Todd or Kobernat. VII. Staff Reports Compliance Todd gave a staff report for the MNOSHA Compliance unit. She referred members to the Federal Annual Monitoring and Evaluation (FAME) report in the meeting packets for a summary of how federal OSHA stated they performed in FFY 2003. The Annual Performance Plan for FFY 2004 was included in the packets. The annual report for FFY 2003 is also included. The key points in this report indicate MNOSHA’s conclusions about how it did with its first five-year strategic plan.

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The federal government has developed a National Emergency Management Plan for Home Security, which included state-plan states. This has flowed down to the region and they are developing their own plan. Significant things that have happened since the last meeting include participation in the Chase partnership with the AGC. They now have five companies that have reached the white level. MNOSHA implemented a new 75/25 program. There is a report about the program in Safety Lines. The 75/25 program has a link between the number of workers’ compensation claims at a specific site and the OSHA inspection. MNOSHA is trying to help employers that are able to make a commitment toward a certain amount of reduction in workers’ compensation claims. This program is still in the implementation phase. Todd gave an update about employee-retention issues. MNOSHA conducted a survey with its staff at its last local meeting and got input on areas where the employees would like MNOSHA to change. She has been implementing those suggestions. They also met with individual staff member groups to talk about what to stop communicating, what to continue with and new things to begin communicating about. MNOHSA has two inspector positions open and one analyst. Todd reported MNOSHA had a few significant cases and one fatality so far this calendar-year. A summary of the fatalities and serious injuries that occurred in calendaryear 2003 is in the members’ meeting packets. Harmer asked whether there is any impact on the obligation of MNOSHA when federal OSHA enters into a partnership with a group or an industry. Todd said there is not, because federal OSHA is independent and will operate differently than MNOSHA. However, MNOSHA is aware of federal partnerships and tries to evaluate the programs and work with those industries at a state and local level. Within Region 5, they are participating in two such partnerships. One is with the National Association of Power Erectors and they are working on one with the Ford Motor Company. Allen asked how to find more information about the 75/25 program. Todd suggested she go to the department’s Web site and view an article in Safety Lines available on that site. The Web site is www.doli.state.mn.us/pdf/4204sl.pdf. Consultation report Jim Collins, the director of the MNOSHA Workplace Safety Consultation (WSC) unit, gave an update about his unit. He reported the feds provide 90 percent of the funding for WSC and that funding has decreased by a half of a percent. They have two vacancies and those positions are being filled.

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This federal fiscal-year, they met with the feds regarding the progress WSC made for the first quarter. They met their productivity requirements for that quarter, so they are on track in meeting the strategic goals for this FFY. The RACER Report, which is the WSC annual report, was in the meeting packets. They had very good results for their productivity. They completed the year with close to double the requirements put forth to the feds, so it was a very good year. Collins reported ergonomics outreach assistance accomplished a lot for the two positions that were allocated last year. They have done 22 half-day sessions and conducted 11 onsite assessments, including workstation evaluation and adjustments, and the review and evaluation of ergonomics programs for effectiveness. The two ergonomics staff members collaborated with MNOSHA Compliance to complete their State-plan State Ergonomics Directive. This directive is used by enforcement personnel to do their inspections. Consultation uses the same document to advise employers to come into voluntary compliance. Collins announced the ergonomics unit has 40 workshops planned across the state to provide ergonomics training and assistance. Presenters at the workshops include IBM representatives, Dr. Bill Lohman from DLI and Phil Jacobs, who was the chairperson of the Ergonomics Task-force at DLI. Their primary focus is on safety directors, risk managers, human resource directors and vice presidents who are the policy-type individuals. Workplace Safety Consultation will begin a second project in mid-March to concentrate on a nursing-home study with the department’s Research and Statistics unit. They picked a reliable sample of nursing homes with high MSDs and are trying to determine the impact of consultation assistance to those nursing homes. The goal is to reduce their incident rates by half. That project starts the third week in March. Collins stated we have 11 informal alliances in Minnesota. Federal OSHA defines an alliance as groups or entities that would like to begin a dialog with MNOSHA, focusing on workplace safety and health. The groups are usually employer groups, employee groups, trade associations, unions, federal agencies, colleges and universities. They recently signed alliances with the Minnesota Safety Council and the Minnesota Electrical Association. WSC intends to sign a few more this year. The outreach and education unit has conducted several luncheons for general industry. They have had five sessions and trained 99 participants. They had eight Construction Breakfast seminars and trained 113 participants. In this FFY, WSC has conducted 297 training sessions and trained 6,226 participants. Collins announced that WSC’s Safety Grant Program has been trying to bring the rules in-line with the statute. These rules are being amended so WSC can now begin to cover training and education. That is important, because it gives the commissioner the authority to offer grants for training and education, that would include training tied to the

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purchase of ergonomic equipment. The next step is to publish the rules in the State Register for 30 days, for information purposes, and then WSC can offer those expanded services. The rule language is on the way to the assistant commissioner for approval. Harmer asked whether there is a provision in the grant application that requires a business to disclose its financial status to qualify for a grant. Collins noted that part of the rule did not change. They require a financial statement for the employer, to make sure the employer has the matching funds to make the purchase. Harmer commented that some employers might not apply for a grant, because they are not willing to make their financial status public and asked if this becomes public information. Collins did not know and said he would seek legal counsel’s advice and get back to the OAC. He noted they have had no problems and, at this point, do not disclose this information, even with MNOSHA Compliance. Eric Ajax commented he is pleased to hear about the budget increase for the Workplace Safety Consultation unit. It had a positive impact on the employees at his company and he strongly supports it. He also commented that WSC’s efforts on behalf of alliances are noteworthy in working with the associations, labor, industry and educational institutions, and bringing all of those organizations together. He asked how we are going to get the message out about WSC and the impact it has on manufacturing in Minnesota, helping us save the local marketplace and be competitive in the global marketplace. VIII. Old business There was no old business. IX. New business Wade noted she has previously talked about taking the OAC on the road. Paul Grundy is willing to help organize a meeting in Greater Minnesota and they are working on taking the Sept. 10, 2004 meeting to Rochester. Details will be available at the June 25, 2004 meeting. She would like to plan at least one meeting a year in Greater Minnesota and partner with member alliances or other MNOSHA partners to host those meetings. In coming years, the Greater Minnesota meetings will probably be the June or September meeting dates, because of the weather. Wade asked members to mark their calendars and noted it will be good for all of us to get out there. Harmer suggested IBM provide an overview of their safety program as a MNSTAR site and provide a tour if the September meeting in Rochester is hosted by that facility. Wade said she has gone on that tour and it is impressive. She will make Grundy aware of this request. Public Relations Subcommittee Wade noted that, in the past, three members of the OAC served on the Public Relations Subcommittee. Those who served on the subcommittee are no longer with the

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OAC. Due to low attendance at this meeting, this item was held over to give all the OAC members an opportunity to consider whether they could participate on this subcommittee. Wade said this subcommittee reviews the Art McCauley Award nominations and has other public relations discussions. She noted Collins is the DLI staffer for this committee. Wade asked for one labor representative, one industry representative and one safety representative. She would like volunteers, but if there are not enough volunteers, she will ask OAC members to participate. Wade clarified that the meetings are just prior to the regular OAC meeting, for 30 minutes, and will not result in an additional meeting date. The subcommittee will give a verbal report of the discussions at the meeting. Art McGauley Award For those not familiar with the Art McGauley Award, Wade noted this award was developed by the OAC. McCauley was one of those individuals at the forefront of OSHA. He participated in the national discussion and was always active in safety and health in Minnesota. This reward is designed to recognize individuals with a longstanding commitment to promoting safety and health in the workplace and who continue to make significant contributions. Wade noted there are currently a couple of nominations to review. Absent a Public Relations Subcommittee, Todd, Wade and Collins will review the nominations. They will notify the person chosen for the award. That person will be recognized and presented with a plaque at the annual Minnesota Safety Council meeting. X. Future agenda items Wade suggested the OAC hold a place on each agenda to discuss some of the recommendations that came out of the OAC’s Sept. 12, 2003 meeting, about ways to improve the current MNOSHA program. She did not have a discussion planned for this meeting. DLI is making significant progress in ergonomics and believes feedback from the OAC is absolutely critical. Therefore, she wants to have a broad discussion about ergonomics at the June meeting. By then, MNOSHA will have a very well-defined process in place and be better able to share more details with the OAC about the scheduled training sessions they plan to take on the road. Harmer asked if Phil Jacobs would be at the June meeting to give an overview of the recommendations put forth by the Ergonomics Task-force. Wade said she is planning on having Jacobs at the meeting. She will provide OAC members with a report that was generated at the conclusion of the task force to serve as a primer they can review prior to the June meeting. Wade stated, “in a nutshell,” everyone agreed ergonomics is an extremely important issue but, absent a specific standard, stakeholders prefer we address this issue through DLI’s Workplace Safety Consultation program. DLI has followed that guidance through today, including securing two ergonomics positions for WSC. Other

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information, including training that is scheduled as DLI identifies the sites and resources, will be made available to OAC members prior to the June meeting. Wade thinks they are going to create some win-win situations for everyone involved. The Minnesota Safety Council is “on board” to help and DLI is identifying its partners. She reported resources have been offered from IBM. DLI is looking for anyone who wants to be a part of this discussion and is willing to share his or her expertise. Wade asked anyone who is aware of any resources DLI might tap to move this discussion forward bring it to her or Collins’ attention. Melanie requested MNOSHA identify three ergonomics areas it wants input about at the June meeting, so she can prepare in advance and be able to contribute as much as possible in the discussions. Wade agreed that was an excellent suggestion and she would get that out before the meeting. XI. Paper reports Wade asked OAC members to review the reports in their folders and bring any questions to the next meeting for discussion. Metcalf asked if the minutes could be e-mailed to OAC members. Wade noted the minutes are on the Web site. The minutes are usually timelier and she recognized the need to get them to the OAC in advance, but DLI is working with very limited resources right now and will do its best to get them to members prior to the meeting. DLI can forward them to members electronically. That is something they will continue to work on. The meeting was adjourned at 11:15 a.m. Respectfully submitted,

Debbie Caswell Executive Secretary dc/s