OSHA Advisory Council March 4, 2005 Minutes

Members: Melanie Allen Carol Bufton Harvey Burski Pat McGovern Michael Hawthorne Gene Harmer Scott Metcalf Scott Richter William Stuart Daryl Tindle Members Absent: Eric Ajax Ed Raine Staff: Debbie Caswell James Collins Alden Hoffman James Krueger Patricia Todd Roslyn Wade Visitors: Kerry Barbetti; Progress Casting Group Randy Lewis; International Surface Prep. Gary Thaden; MMCA/NECA

The meeting was called to order by chairperson Carol Bufton at 10:02 a.m. Members and visitors introduced themselves. The agenda was approved as presented. Pat McGovern made a motion to approve the minutes from the Dec. 3, 2004, meeting. Bill Stuart seconded the motion. All voted in favor of the motion and the motion passed. V. Announcements Assistant Commissioner Roslyn Wade reported that the agency is busy with the session. This is a budget year, so a great deal of her time has been spent at the Capitol, supporting the governor’s budget bill. She said there were no surprises or anything within the governor’s budget bill that would negatively impact the Department of Labor and Industry’s MNOSHA program. MNOSHA’s budget is not as vulnerable to the Legislature or even the governor’s budget bill, because its primary funding source is the workers’ compensation fund and the matching grant from federal OSHA. They do not expect any reductions in MNOSHA-based operations on the governor’s recommendation. Wade noted that legislators have many opportunities to speak their mind about the program and there are always bills that are introduced that may impact OSHA.

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Because this group has repeatedly asked for additional input into the legislative process, Wade noted that would be on the agenda later in the meeting. She distributed and summarized the bills that have been introduced so far. Wade said the only agency bill that has been introduced regarding the OSHA program authorizes the agency to recognize the North American Industry Classification System (NAICS) of employers. This is to be included and used for employers required to have an AWAIR program. Previously, it was referred to as the SIC code and now they are also including the NAICS. Wade noted that none of the remaining bills have received a hearing to-date, but she does expect considerable discussion about them. Senate File 1300 would require the commissioner of the Department of Labor and Industry (DLI) to adopt an ergonomics standard, which continues to be a highly controversial issue. DLI took the approach, in 2003, to address ergonomic hazards by hiring two full-time staff members in the Workplace Safety Consultation unit, which has had some positive results. They have focused on hard-to-reach areas, particularly nursing homes, where there is a high volume of ergonomic injuries. Wade said this bill is being considered, but a hearing date has not been scheduled. There has not been a companion bill introduced in the House. Gene Harmer asked what position DLI would take concerning a requirement for OSHA to implement an ergonomics standard. Wade said the Senate asked DLI to study the issue and DLI convened a task force several years ago. There was a great divide between business, labor and safety professionals about whether a single uniform approach would actually have a positive impact on ergonomic injuries. The agency took the approach that, with appropriate resources dedicated, they could have a more positive effect through consultation rather than attempting to enforce a uniform standard, because the injuries impact almost every industry. Therefore, Wade believes the agency would oppose a requirement to adopt a standard. Harmer noted he was on that Ergonomics Task-force and said one of the areas of disappointment was that they looked at different models, including those of other states and of British Columbia, where they were not able to find an effective model to serve as a basis, so he supported the position of not being able to recommend a requirement to have an ergonomics standard at this time. Wade expressed appreciation for Harmer's comments and reinforced the position of the agency: absent a standard, an employer still has an obligation to take this issue seriously and, to the extent possible, control ergonomic hazards. The agency continues to be committed to addressing ergonomic injuries in the workplace. However, absent an agreement on a compliance approach, they are continuing to focus the majority of their efforts through the Workplace Safety Consultation unit.

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Melanie Allen expressed appreciation for the complete overview of all of the active legislation. She asked, as a point of clarification, whether the OAC comments to the Legislature, as citizens and as representatives of labor, industry and the safety profession, about how they feel as a group could be helpful. Wade said the effort that is put into selecting the council membership is directly tied to the industries that are represented. As a private citizen and as a representative of each industry, OAC members have every right to weigh-in about the legislation being proposed. This body, in the past, has not been used to formulate official positions about legislation. This body is quite different than some of the other advisory councils, specifically the Workers’ Compensation Advisory Council (WCAC). By agreement with the Legislature, it was decided the WCAC would be the primary work group for developing workers’ compensation legislation. That is very different than almost any other advisory council. However, that does not prevent OAC members, either as a public citizen or as a representative of industry, from weighing in. She said they have the opportunity to provide the agency with feedback, as well as a direct feedback to the Legislature, about any topic that concerns the members. This group has repeatedly asked for greater involvement and Wade said it was part of the agency’s response to give OAC members more opportunities. Considering they only meet four times a year and usually only once during session, Wade said this was the best way for OAC members to provide feedback. Wade noted the OSHA legislation is generally driven by activity on the federal level. If there are particular concerns the agency decides it wants to approach through legislation, it has generally kept the legislative agenda fairly lean. We are constantly looking at the overall effectiveness of the program, as well as existing statutes and rules. Therefore, generally speaking, you would not see a comprehensive legislative agenda. DLI believes it has a strong program and, through the adoption of their standards, they are able to address most of the major concerns. Wade continued to summarize the proposed legislation and invited members with specific comments or concerns, or who want to go on the record in support, to feel free to do so. Wade pointed out a bill to require crane operator certification in the member’s packets. This is an issue DLI looked at in the past and a special task-force was convened in 2001 to study whether crane operator certification should be required by statute. The task force had representation from all known stakeholders within that industry and concluded that, given the opportunity that cranes and crane operators have to negatively impact not only the worksite but also the general public and property, this is an area that warrants consideration. However, there was continuing dissent on that task force about the most appropriate method. There were individuals in the group who felt strongly that by simply identifying the National Crane Operators Certification Commission (NCCCO) as the certifying body, it limited opportunity for other organizations. There were members of the task force who wanted the agency to leave open the opportunity for other certifying agents to be able to certify that operators were, in fact, knowledgeable and skilled in the operation of a crane. After the task force, the agency provided a report to the Legislature detailing the activity of the work group and even offered them some sample legislative language that had been approved by the work group. Wade reported

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that this issue lay dormant in the following years. Last year, there was a brief discussion and the bill she gave the OAC members was the bill that was introduced this year. To date, Wade was not aware of a senate companion bill and DLI has not been asked to weigh-in about the bill as presented. Wade said this bill caused her some concern about enforcement activity; 184C would be a new chapter altogether. This bill is silent about who is in charge of it. Wade noted that in previous discussions it was suggested language regarding this subject would be included in the existing OSHA Chapter, which is 182. She presumes it makes the most sense and it is the OSHA personnel who would be more likely to come directly into contact with this through their regular construction inspections, but this bill is silent about enforcement. If this bill is granted a hearing and DLI is called to testify, those would be her primary concerns. Harmer expressed concern about whether it is wise to have the training program all under one agency, as opposed to having the option of having other firms have the ability or the option of having their program approved as well. Wade said those were the concerns that were expressed during the task-force meetings. The language the agency suggested clearly would recognize NCCCO, because they currently have a certified program; however, it left the door open to allow any other nationally recognized certifying agency to also be considered. Stuart said he was concerned about an exclusion for people in arboriculture. He asked if there was some discussion surrounding that in the task force and asked why they would choose the cutting down of trees as an industry to exclude. He thought they would want to control that industry very carefully. When the first crane certification bill was introduced, there was as much discussion about who should be excluded as there was about who would be included, which was why the bill failed to move through the Legislature. In an effort to get to the crane operators who have the ability to impact property and damage and the general public, the group advocating for certification wanted to come to agreement with those users of cranes that is far more limited. You have the utility workers, where it is a single company and the operator is the employee of the utility company, and you have cranes that are used in a far more limited capacity, such as in the logging industry. As a compromise, there was a lot of discussion to exempt almost everything except those on a traditional construction site. Wade noted there was disagreement from some about why you would exclude anyone from this, because “a crane is a crane is a crane,” is what some people said. Other people had a very different approach. Cranes used on traditional worksites propose a significant hazard to the worksite, as well as property and people in and around it, versus a crane being used for a more limited purpose. DLI was not consulted about this bill prior to it being drafted. It has not been scheduled for a hearing; if it is, then DLI will make all the information it has available to the Legislature, so legislators understand this is an issue that has been discussed with the industry that is most affected and we still believe the previously suggested language would be a better fit than the language as proposed today. Stuart asked if that information was available on a Web site somewhere for review. Wade said that considering the age of the report, she would talk to the department’s

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Communications director to get his input about whether it is valuable to put the actual report on the Web site, but it could be sent to members electronically as well. Allen offered to give support or testimony if any of the bills in members’ packets got a hearing. Wade said if there were any contentious bills out there, where the agency needed the council’s support, she would notify anyone who would volunteer to offer support and asked that those who are interested let her know. She noted that short notice of the hearing is often part of the challenge. Wade said there was a bill that requires students at the Minnesota state colleges and universities to be treated as employees for purposes of complying with the provisions of the Employee Right to Know Act. Students come into contact with chemicals and things they need to be aware of and the author of that bill wants the students to be treated with the same regard as employees, who would be made aware of their rights about the chemicals they are exposed to. No hearing has been scheduled for that bill. Wade said that, second to ergonomics, the bill that would hold an employer liable for damages for serious injuries or death was the most controversial bill introduced so far. Currently, the workers’ compensation system addresses this issue by establishing a nofault system. Similar bills have been introduced time and time again and have been met with strong resistance from the business industry. This bill was part of a story that was aired on Wednesday night on KARE-11, where Rick Kupchella talked about an employee’s limitations for redress when employees are injured on the job. It has been around for awhile. Wade was not aware of a House companion bill in the past couple of years and there has not been a bill introduced in the House yet this session. Harmer asked what the department’s position was concerning this bill. Wade said the department would strongly oppose employees going outside the workers’ compensation system for addressing injuries that take place in the workplace. Allen asked if other states have similar laws. Wade said she was not aware of other states that allow employees to sue outside the workers’ compensation system. There are exceptions to every rule and every law, but she was not aware of other state activity. Stuart asked if the workers’ compensation group was looking at modifying their process to assist the families who are at loss under the circumstances that were cited on that KARE-11 report. Wade noted the story was almost identical to a story that was run in 2001, and none of the information related to recent deaths. The department has already attempted to address some of the shortfalls cited in the story. She said the Buffalo Bituminous incident, where the 19-year-old was killed on his first or second day on the job, contributed to changes in the workers’ compensation benefit structure. The death and burial benefits have recently been increased substantially and the law was amended to allow for employees who do not have dependents to have a death benefit go to their

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estate. Prior to this change, an employee who did not have dependents would only receive the burial benefit. Wade noted that under current OSHA law, if an employee’s death is caused or contributed to by an employer, that employer would receive an automatic $25,000 penalty. This was also in response to the story that was aired several years back. She thinks the agency has been extremely responsive. Any death is too many; however, DLI strives to maintain a workable balance between the rights of the employees, the obligations of the employer and keeping the Minnesota business climate healthy enough to maintain and attract new business to Minnesota. She noted a lot of the existing law is in response to the law being thrown out of balance because of substantial lawsuits and the workers’ compensation rate rising so high that Minnesota was becoming an area that was least attractive to business to start up and expand, so there was considerable workers’ compensation reform in the early and mid-90s. You often hear about the 1992 and 1995 reforms. Those deals were struck to try to create a better balance between the rights of the employees, the responses within the workers’ compensation system and maintaining a healthy business climate. Scott Metcalf noted he represents AFSCME, which, in turn, represents the colleges. It has been brought up that a lot of the students do not become employees because they are under work-study programs because of funded grants and scholarships. Some of those students were put into work areas where they worked, but were not given the same rights as an employee. Some students were injured because they were never trained in the proper use of chemicals. The employees who work side-by-side with these students ask that the students be covered under the same training program that the employees were covered under. James Collins asked that the bill about MNSCU, college and university employees also cover private-college students. Wade said she would make a note. Burski asked whether the department had a stance about that bill, since it was not involved. Wade said not at this time. VI. Federal OSHA update Bufton noted that Mark Hysell was not present. Wade announced Tim Kobernat’s last day of work for the federal Department of Labor was yesterday. Wade thought that, given the contributions Kobernat has made and the commitment he has demonstrated to Minnesota OSHA, she did not want him to go away without fully recognizing what a major contributor he had been. He was in his role as area director for a very short time; however, prior to that promotion, he supported Chuck Buren for many years and has always been a supporter and contributor to MNOSHA’s programs. Therefore, DLI had a plaque made for him that said, "The Department of Labor and Industry, in cooperation with the Minnesota advisory council, expresses appreciation and visible recognition to

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Tim Kobernat for advancing, expanding and advocating workers’ safety and health in Minnesota.” The plaque will be given to Kobernat on behalf of the department and the OAC. Bufton said they would miss him and wished him well. Allen asked if there would be a new area director. Wade said she fully expected his position to be filled, but she did not have any specific information about the timing of an appointment. VII. Staff reports OSHA Compliance report Patricia Todd gave an update about what was happening in OSHA Compliance. She noted members received copies of the Fatal and Serious Injuries Report for calendar-years 2004 and 2005, and the Occupational Injury Type that Resulted in a Fatality and/or Serious Injury Summary. The fatal-injury summary indicates that since 2000, the most common reasons for fatalities were crushed-by, falls and struck-by injuries; the serious-injury summary shows the most common reasons for serious injuries since 2000 were crushed by, amputations and falls. Todd noted MNOSHA’s key performance measures were provided to members in their packets. A summary of the comparison among 2002, 2003 and 2004, as well as annual numbers just for 2004, were included. She pointed out these reports showed the number of overall inspections have increased with the greatest increases occurring in the construction area. The number of discrimination complaints has decreased as they dedicate more time toward resolving issues up front. Todd said they have 100 procedures within their agency that give them direction. They are on-plan to update all of those within the next five years and, as such, completed 30 last year. They have implemented new technology. Todd reported MNOSHA hired an inspector for the construction area and one in the St. Cloud area. They currently have five openings for new investigators: one in discrimination, two in construction and two for general industry. She noted the OAC and her staff expressed concern their turnover continues to be so high and asked what is being done to deal with some of the issues that staff members have brought up with regard to why some people leave. They added another class level between a senior and a higher level of principal, so there is another promotional opportunity; it will be based on performance criteria. They have also added additional positions at the higher level. Todd noted she and Wade continue to support the concept that a certain amount of turnover is good, because most of the people who leave continue to work in the safety and health field.

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Todd noted a workflow analysis is being performed to determine how they can better improve their process for discrimination. MNOSHA will generate settlement agreements, versus having it done in the department’s Legal Services unit, to reduce the amount of time to produce an agreement. Todd reported they updated the SIC code list for AWAIR. They adopted some federal standards by reference. Todd said they included some members of their staff on a federal OSHA National Technical Advisory List for Homeland Security. They will be available to answer questions about asbestosis, lead and building structures for federal states and state-plan states as needed. They provided a summary to federal OSHA about the activities and approach they used for homeland security. Wade made an announcement that, unfortunately, they have had a higher number of fatalities in this calendar-year than they have seen in many years past. There have been eight fatalities to-date and they are all open inspections; therefore she was not able to provide specific details or discussion about the fatalities themselves. However, the agency is extremely concerned. The commissioner has asked her and her staff to organize a meeting with the construction leadership, some safety and health professionals, and some risk managers to talk about how to have an immediate, positive impact to reduce fatalities in the near future. We are not even in the “boom” of construction season, yet there have already been four fatalities in the construction area this year. The other fatalities have been dispersed, so it is hard to tell whether it is an industry issue or just an isolated incident. Wade said that next Friday the commissioner would meet with some construction leadership members and other key players to discuss how to turn this trend around. She said the department is taking this very seriously and is in discussion, as we speak, about how we can make a difference in that area, to reduce the fatalities. They do not want to see this be a record year. Allen asked if that meeting was open to the public or the OAC. Wade said she was welcome to join the meeting and mentioned she did select a few people from the OAC council to attend the meeting, because she believes they bring a unique perspective. The meeting goal is to get to the significant leadership, so they can ensure the discussion and the best practices go down to the worker level. She said anyone who would like to join that meeting was welcome to do so and to please let Caswell know so they could make appropriate accommodations. Metcalf said he realized they could not get into the specifics about the fatalities at the meeting, but asked it they could have general information about what caused the accidents. Todd responded they are doing some analysis and the information she provided for the type of causes from 2000 to 2004 is of similar distribution as the ones that have occurred recently.

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Workplace Safety Consultation Collins reported that the commissioner recently recognized the efforts of the Workplace Safety Consultation construction team for its efforts to provide assistance to construction workers to improve their safety and health, and authorized the hiring of two full-time-temporary people in Workplace Safety Consultation, beginning in April. The commissioner recognized the increase in construction fatalities and wants to prevent and lower the number of construction fatalities. Collins reported federal OSHA increased the MNOSHA Workplace Safety Consultation baseline budget by 2 percent, which was $20,000. Collins pointed out the information about the Art McCauley award and encouraged OAC members to nominate candidates they have confidence in to receive this excellence award in safety. Collins said this year the MNSTAR program had a goal with the feds to certify two new sites and re-certify four existing sites. They received four applications from the metro area and two from the nonmetro area. They have currently visited three sites. He said that Workplace Safety Consultation does not have enough staff members and Todd has provided some assistance, but more is needed and they were collaborating on providing staff members. Todd provided a health person to help at Flint Hills. They also have five re-certifications to complete before the year ends, including IBM, OSB, Potlatch Lumber Mill, Louisiana Pacific and, perhaps, the Ah-Gwah-Ching Nursing Home, if it does not close. Collins noted MNSHARP is a partnership focused on small employers. The goal is to do four MNSHARP sites this year and to re-certify seven. All seven sites are on track to be re-certified this year. Collins gave a briefing for the logger education program. He said they are collaborating with the Minnesota Logger Education Program (MLEP) to conduct two conferences in addition to the regular 14 workshops they do around the state every year. They will continue to do the annual evaluations at those training sessions to learn to better manage the program using fewer resources, because they have less funding. Collins noted the training schedule was on the Web site. Collins reported that the Safety Grant Program was doing well. The volume of obligations has increased, so the employers asking for the maximum are also willing to take less, so that other employers can get some funding too. From July 1, 2004, to Feb. 28, 2005, the unit has issued 136 grants for a state match of $708,000 and an employer match of $2.8 million for a total of $3.5 million. Ninety-three grants were issued to the private sector and 43 grants were issued to the public sector. There were

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seven grants issued for schools, 30 for cities and six for counties. Collins anticipates receiving a couple of applications for the state related to violence prevention training. VIII. Old business Agency response to OSH Advisory Council input Wade noted that in June 2003, after a turbulent legislative session, the governor asked DLI to take a close look at its OSHA program and look for ways to improve the overall program. They did that by convening a special meeting with the OAC. There was a great deal of discussion and many good suggestions were made to the agency about ways it could improve and strengthen the existing OSHA program. Sixteen items were identified for potential improvement from that meeting. A packet distributed at the meeting represents the agency’s response to the OAC about what it did with the OAC’s suggestions. Many of the suggestions made continue to be “work in progress” and DLI will continue to provide feedback to this group as significant efforts are made or if it makes particular accomplishments. Wade did not review the report, but noted a great deal of discussion had taken place. She thought it was well worth the agency’s time to put in writing the value of the OAC’s input and how they plan to use the input to manage the program in the future. Wade asked OAC members to read the report and bring back any items they feel need additional discussion. Time will be dedicated to address some of the significant issues on each agenda. This is not the end of looking for ways to constantly improve MNOSHA. This is a reflection of the input that was made at the time and how the agency intends to respond or has responded. Wade said her message to the OAC was to make a commitment for the agency to continue to look for ways to improve MNOSHA. Bufton noted the discussions were in 2003, and wondered if it would be wise to do a refresher at the September meeting to look back at what has happened and look ahead at opportunities that would provide more feedback, if this has been helpful to the department. Wade said they could do that. The September meeting would be an excellent time to carefully review the suggestions that were made. That would have given the agency time to seriously tackle some of the issues and provide any statistics to demonstrate how it used the OAC input. Wade noted she designated September as the outstate meeting and it would be particularly valuable to their outstate constituents who do not see OSHA, to get a feel for what they do, how they act and why the continued input is important. That meeting can be used as the time to go through each one of these items. Some of the information is self-explanatory and some will spark additional debate and can be used for the open discussion item in Duluth on Sept. 9, 2005. McGovern announced they are conducting a series of seminars open to the community about occupational health and safety. The information will be e-mailed to the OAC members.

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McGovern also noted that on April 21, 2005, David Wagman, an internationally known occupational medicine physician, would speak from 5 to 6 p.m. His topic will be the older worker and what the health and safety concerns are, because we have more workers staying on the job longer. IX. New Business Legislative subcommittee Bufton noted Harmer would be leaving early. Harmer asked that the legislative subcommittee be discussed before he left. If a subcommittee is formed, he said he would volunteer to be a part of that. Wade noted the OAC has repeatedly asked that a legislative subcommittee be reestablished. There was one several years ago that dissolved when the OAC got new membership. She said anyone is welcome to participate, but as a standing committee she wants to ensure they have adequate representation from business, labor and safety. She noted Harmer and Allen have expressed interest and she asked for a labor representative who was willing to participate. Mike Hawthorne volunteered. Wade explained the way the subcommittees worked in the past. Unless there were urgent items needing discussion or action, generally the subcommittees have met the same day as this advisory group, to minimize work-schedule disruption. DLI will provide a room. If there were other needs to be addressed, she asked members make her aware of them, so the activities can be coordinated and we get a good level of participation. The expectation is that the subcommittee be prepared to provide some feedback to the OAC at its regularly scheduled meetings. Bufton asked who would set the charge for this group. Wade said the OAC should set the charge. Bufton asked for discussion about what the scope and purpose of the subcommittee is. Allen said they did not know and noted they were expressing interest to each other and found they had mutual interests. They want to be more active and have an inclination to serve. They have some skills and experiences that would benefit the legislative process. It would be great to have some folks who were a part of the system affecting some of what goes before the Legislature and at least keep the OAC abreast and “ride herd” on the process so that they can bring this body real, technical information. They discussed where they can go, where they can participate and where they can fit in to add value. Harmer agreed with Allen and commented that some of the difficulties of logistics can be overcome with e-mail messages, so they can participate. There are a lot of resources available to become aware of what the issues are, what the bills are and who is pushing them. He hoped there would be interest in allowing them to have some input in that area. Tindle said he has participated in a fair number of labor/management and political affairs committees and, frankly, he found it rare when they can reach a consensus, but

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when they do, it is a very powerful tool and he thinks that is something this committee can offer to the commissioner and assistant commissioner. It should be a powerful thing to bring to the Legislature and he is very much in favor of the idea. Allen commented that it might be beneficial to look back to the comment that Wade made originally, which is that there was an agreement the WCAC would take leadership in the legislative end of things. Allen suggested the OAC work with the WCAC, because both councils have the same government leadership. Maybe the OAC can be subordinate to them or help them with more technical safety and health experience. Maybe there is a synergy between what they are trying to accomplish, in addition to setting schedules and fees, and how the OAC wants to impact the process. Wade responded that, as she has indicated time and again, the charge to allow the WCAC to be the driving force of workers’ compensation legislation comes directly from the Legislature. It was done after many years of not being able to move any substantial legislation through the legislative body. Different legislators were being pulled into highly contentious, highly debatable issues to make decisions and they did not have the necessary expertise. The Legislature made a commitment to recognize the WCAC as the source the grassroots agreement would come from. They also made a commit that no bills would move through the legislative process without the consensus of the WCAC. The OAC does not have that charge and has not been asked to do that. The OAC’s role is to provide input to the commissioner and his representative, which means Wade at this time. She does not oppose the OAC’s desire to learn, to get more active, to be creative and provide input, but the OAC’s charge is very different than the WCAC’s charge. It is not the goal of this council to do work in that fashion. They are not looking to change OSHA regulations every year. They do not have the same kind of contentious debate, whereas for everything that is gained on one side there is a loss on the other. Generally speaking, money is not on the table in this arena. Certainly, commitment, support and resources toward safety cost money, but it is a “different beast” and Wade does not want to leave the group today with them feeling that from this point on all of the legislation, etc., is going to sift through the OAC before it can get to the Legislature. They simply do not have that charge and the legislators have not made such a commitment to this group that this is going to be the grassroots effort and that consensus has to be gained at the OAC before an issue can go to the Legislature. Wade referred to the packet of information she provided and noted the agency has one general, noncontentious bill that has been offered, yet up to five very debatable bills have been offered that will impact their program. She wants to manage the expectations that, certainly, it is a benefit to the agency to receive input about the proposed legislation from the OAC and DLI needs the OAC’s help because of the meeting schedule. Therefore, a subcommittee is doable, but she wants to manage the expectations because it is not the goal of the agency that we restrict private citizens or legislators who are convinced that action needs to be taken. They have not moved this body into that arena.

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Bufton asked Allen, Harmer and Hawthorne to talk through what they think the charge should be and how they see the committee being constituted as one of the first things they do and bring that back to the council. She was really sensitive to Wade’s comment about setting the expectations that will create success for the subcommittee and their work coming back to the OAC. She wants to make sure they are aligned with what the agency needs. Allen asked, in lieu of a legislative subcommittee, what the department would have them do to be more active. Maybe a legislative subcommittee is the wrong title. The intent or the focus is not to take over the agenda of another agency, but rather to participate and contribute. She asked OAC members to think about that. Tindle commented he did not see a tremendous parallel between the WCAC and the OAC. He asked if the statutory requirement for balance within that council is the same as the OAC. Wade said the make up was not the same. Legislators actually sit on the WCAC. The legislators who sit on the council are appointed by the majority and minority leaders in the House and Senate, and the governor. The make up is significantly different, simply because there are legislators on the council and that is the door to proposing legislative changes. Wade made a final comment, so that her comments or concerns as far as managing expectations were not misinterpreted. The legislative subcommittee is an area that continues to be brought up. DLI wants to be responsive to the council, so the OAC can provide the input to DLI that it needs, but she does not want to turn it into a mini brewery for legislation, because that is not the OAC’s charge. If there is balance on the subcommittee, she thinks there is extreme value to having a smaller group. They have more issues to discuss and Wade needs the OAC’s input about more than just legislation, so she resists the urge to turn this group to just debating what legislation is out there. She asked the members to understand this was not to discourage the formulation of the group, but she thinks they have to be very careful in managing the expectation. Bufton clarified that Allen, Harmer, Hawthorn and Tindle would constitute the legislative subcommittee. The first order of business will be to articulate the charge and bring it back to the OAC, so they can all make sure they use that group well. She thanked them for volunteering. Metcalf asked if there was anything on the federal level that was being brought up at this time, regarding ergonomics, about the issue of one of the bills Wade distributed. Wade responded there was an ergonomics standard that was adopted at the end of the Clinton administration. One of the first acts of the Bush administration was to repeal the ergonomics standard. Since that time, federal OSHA’s approach to ergonomics has been to develop specific guidelines for industries that are seriously impacted by ergonomic injuries. There has not been any significant discussion on the federal level about adopting an ergonomics standard that was different than the standard before. In repealing the

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ergonomics standard, the provision of the law that allowed for that repeal prohibits the federal government from adopting a similar standard. So, for federal OSHA to adopt any ergonomics standard, the standard will have to look substantially different than the previously approved one. She was not aware of any discussion at the federal level to move to a uniform ergonomics standard. IX. New business Employee and employer survey discussion Todd noted the survey was one of the carry-forward items Wade referred to earlier and they would like some input based on the suggestions at the September meeting. A summary was provided of the different surveys that have been conducted in the past in the MNOSHA Compliance unit. Some of the concerns that were highlighted in previous discussion had to do with the types of questions that were being asked and whether they were getting to the heart of the matter. A concern was brought up that if they are getting only positive feedback, are they asking the right questions? Should they be asking different questions to get a different type of feedback, with maybe a more balanced effect than they have seen? She also wanted to discuss that their most recent survey is online and they have had limited success with stakeholders responding. She asked for suggestions about how they could market the online survey in a better manner or, instead, maybe go with a paper survey as they have before. McGovern noted the subject incentive is one way to enhance the survey. If DLI has the budget, it could do something as simple as put a dollar bill in with the survey. There is a theory of how you create a sense of a relationship with someone if you say to take the dollar and “go buy yourself a cup of coffee while you sit down to do this survey,” you can actually dramatically enhance your response rate. It is not a “payment,” it is a token of appreciation. They find that if you increase it beyond about $5, it does not make it better. There is an expert in the School of Public Health whose whole career is built on surveys, their design and construction, and the response rate. If you ever really wanted to tap that kind of expertise, McGovern said she could connect them with Professor Todd Rockwood. McGovern suggested having a drawing for a savings certificate, with special rules to follow so people do not think it is a lottery. A colleague of hers, Professor Susan Gerberich, who is an expert in injury prevention, uses that on all of her studies and routinely gets response rates in the seventies and eighties. Tindle commented that the breakdown of return on compliance versus consultation is to be expected. He asked if the direction or the trend in the answers to the questions were noticeably different. Todd responded that the survey that was conducted in 1988 had exactly the same questions for consultation and compliance. Collins said they had the Research and Statistics unit help them craft surveys based on a survey that was used on a national level. The rate of return was 94 percent satisfaction rate. The rate of

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return on the survey was in the seventies. For the consultation areas, they focused on a Web-based survey and did some research. They experimented with a Web-based application and would include the survey with the employers’ reports, but make it not mandatory, and discuss the survey at the opening conference and the closing conference. The responses from this experiment from November through January have been very positive. They are concerned now about whether they can improve that response rate if they chose the Research and Statistics unit, because it is a neutral area. Metcalf asked how many surveys were sent to safety committees. Todd said the ones sent from Compliance were not directed toward the safety committees. They waited to send their employer surveys for a period of time after they received their citation and then picked randomly from a list of employers and sent a survey to that list of employers and asked them to respond. The survey said the Research and Statistics unit would analyze the data, so the employer clearly knew that OSHA would not see it directly. Research and Statistics did some follow-up calls for those surveys. Their return rate was 36 percent on the first one; after Research and Statistics did follow-up calls, they had 74 percent. Metcalf said he asked about the safety committees getting some of these questionnaires because they have five or six organizations within one facility, such as the employee and management, not just the employer. The employer tends to react to what happens with management, so it would be nice to contact the safety committee to see what some of those surveys would say. Collins mentioned the safety committee survey that was conducted by Research and Statistics, and explained it. Bufton suggested holding this discussion until to the next meeting and, in the interim, she suggested members take the survey information and be thinking about whether these are the kinds of questions you would appreciated being asked as an employer or an employee if you were helping OSHA to measure satisfaction and what we might be missing there. Everyone approved of the suggestion to hold the discussion. Discussion items for the 2005 meetings Bufton noted there were a couple of open items from the work done in 2003 that the OAC wanted to bring forward. One item was about helping MNOSHA build its brand with employers, employees and outside stakeholders. That will be discussed at the next meeting. There are meetings set for September and December. In September, they were to re-look at the work the OAC did and talk about the relevance of this group and how it can provide input to MNOSHA. She asked what other topics they could look at for the next couple of meetings that would be helpful to the OAC as an advisory group to help MNOSHA.

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Wade noted it seemed they would have a full agenda for the June 24 and Sept. 9 meetings and suggested they only need to focus on the December meeting at this time. She asked members to look carefully at the written response the department supplied in the meeting packets and let it stimulate ideas and guide us. Bufton suggested the OAC might explore the subject of older workers, learn more about it and begin to talk about what the implications might be for MNOSHA Compliance and Workplace Safety Consultation. McGovern asked if Research and Statistics might have any information about how many people are older than 65 and still working in Minnesota. This information would be an important prelude to the discussion. Allen said she heard a Walgreen’s radio ad that targeted older workers and suggested working there as a second career. She suggested contacting their risk managers to see what they have done that makes them feel confident to advertise and solicit older workers. Bufton asked OAC members to send e-mail messages with suggested topics to her, Wade, Todd or Caswell. Allen said she would like to know what issues, such as older workers, have been identified as something that will become a bigger issue. Would it be the impact of demographics in the year 2030 or more language issues? She asked where the enforcement and consultation strategies are being directed in the future. Metcalf noted Wade reported a higher fatality rate is being investigated. He asked if information about why the fatalities have increased this year compared to previous years, such as whether it was industrial, personnel or a lack of training, and an analysis of why there were more fatalities could be provided at the September meeting, if the investigation has been completed by then. Bufton encouraged members to look at the paper reports in their packets and asked for additional nominees for the Art McCauley, Jr. award. She welcomed Scott Richter and Bill Stuart to the advisory council. Metcalf made a motion to adjourn. McGovern seconded the motion. The meeting was adjourned at 12:08 p.m. Respectfully submitted, Debbie Caswell Executive Secretary dc/s