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Occupational Safety and Health Advisory Council Minutes March 16, 2007
Members present Erick Ajax Melanie Isabell Allen Carol Bufton Harvey Burski Mike Mueller Greg Rindal William Stuart Pete Teigland Daryl Tindle Members absent Michael Hawthorne Pat McGovern Scott Richter Staff members present Alden Hoffman Jeff Isakson Tom Joachim Julie Klejewski

Visitors present Mark Hysell

The meeting was called to order by chairperson Carol Bufton at 10:05 a.m. She welcomed new member Greg Rindal. Members and visitors introduced themselves. New member Greg Rindal introduced himself and stated he works for ALLETE/Minnesota Power and has been there 28 years. He was graduated from the University of Minnesota–Duluth. He is a CSP/CIH and is a long-time member of the Minnesota Safety Council. A motion was made by Bill Stuart and seconded by Mike Mueller to approve the Dec. 1, 2006, minutes as presented. All voted in favor and the motion passed. Carol Bufton approved the agenda as presented as there were no additions or changes.


Assistant commissioner’s update – Tom Joachim

Tom Joachim congratulated and welcomed new member Greg Rindal to the council. He also congratulated the five members who were reappointed: Erick Ajax, Carol Bufton, Harvey Burski, Michael Hawthorne and Bill Stuart. He extended his thanks to all members for their valuable time, input and comments in helping to provide safe buildings and safe operations for employees across Minnesota. Joachim briefly reviewed some legislation that DLI is aware of and mentioned Jeff Isakson would be reviewing legislation about the crane-operator bill. HF643 or SF879 is about the meatpacking industry and workers rights. It would set forth a bill of rights for workers in the meatpacking industry and establishes a meatpacking industry workers rights ombudsman in the Department of Labor and Industry. Another is HF712 or SF828, which is the Safe Patient Handling Act. He stated DLI has already met with some of the industry about this legislation. This bill establishes the requirements for safe patient handling programs at health care facilities and the proposal is to appropriate $2 million a year through 2010 to the commissioner of the Department of Labor and Industry for safe patient handling grants. The concept would be that health care facilities would apply for grants and use those dollars to purchase safe patient handling equipment for moving patients versus the staff moving patients, thus resulting in fewer worker injuries.
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Mike Mueller asked how the process works between the department and the legislative committees, etc. Joachim stated that generally the industry will come forward to discuss a proposal with the department. We may help them write language so it is in the correct format to allow us to be able to administer and enforce it. The industry will then go to the Legislature to debate funding and any other procedures. We will generally get asked by the Legislature how the department feels about certain situations and, most likely, will get asked to testify. In most cases regarding new legislation, it is the industry that brings something forward and presents it to the Legislature. Unless it comes from an advisory committee, such as this group, the department would then be carrying the bill and presenting it to the Legislature. Joachim stated that in his 23 years working for state government, it seems best if the regulator does not bring legislation forward. The process works best if legislation comes from the industry in which we are regulating. Burski asked what the background was on the meatpacking industry’s employee rights bill. Joachim stated he didn’t have much information about it and wasn’t sure who was bringing it forward. The bill author is Hansen and a few others. Tindle asked, in regard to the safe patient handling bill, if there was any input from pre-hospital vendors, such as ambulance services, or strictly from in-facility. Joachim stated the department has met with the Minnesota Nurses Association group, but not ambulance service staff members. Isakson stated the focus was the health service facilities.

Enforcement news

Federal OSHA update – Mark Hysell

1. Feb. 14 – Final rule on electrical installation standard • • • • • • • • • First changes to the electrical installation requirements in 25 years Standard reflects the most current practices and technologies in the industry Revised standard strengthens employee protections and adds consistency between OSHA's requirements and many state and local building codes Changes to the electrical installation standard focus on safety in the design and installation of electric equipment in the workplace New method for classifying and installing equipment in Class I hazardous locations New requirements for ground-fault circuit interrupters (GFCIs) New provisions about wiring for carnivals and similar installations Final rule updates the general industry electrical installation requirements to the 2000 edition of the NFPA 70E NFPA 70E was used as the foundation of the revised standard 2. Feb. 22 – MNOSHA notified of final rule and change • • • Adoption is required by the state Requested to respond by April 23 as to intent (identical or as effective as) Required to adopt by Aug. 14 of this year

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3. OSHA seeks information from stakeholders about ionizing radiation • • • • • Inviting public to participate in informal stakeholder meetings about occupational exposure to ionizing radiation First stakeholder meeting will be March 16, 2007, in Washington, D.C. First meeting will cover the uses of ionizing radiation in the healing arts (including medicine, dentistry, chiropractor service, veterinary service, etc.) Second stakeholder meeting will be March 26, 2007, in Orlando, Fla. Discuss exposure to ionizing radiation, including: uses of ionizing radiation, controls utilized to minimize exposure and available exposure data and training 4. OSHA released new "It's the Law" poster • • • • • Current poster is still valid; employers are not required to replace their existing poster with the new version Using plain language, depicts employees in various settings – from the medical field to the construction industry – explains how employees may confidentially file a complaint, report an emergency or seek OSHA advice Provides employees with the information they need to protect themselves if there are unsafe or unhealthful conditions in the workplace Reminds employers of their two most basic responsibilities: furnishing a place of employment free from recognized hazards and complying with OSHA's hazard-specific health and safety standards The OSHA poster is free and available in both English and Spanish, may be downloaded from OSHA's Web site at www.osha.gov.

Closer to home 1. MNOSHA’s combined SOAR/CAPR report was received in December • • • • Summary of MNOSHA’s FFY 2006 performance and comparison with their established goals Hysell’s office review shows MNOSHA is meeting and exceeding virtually every established goal for the rating period Program (as always in the past) at least as effective as the federal program Presenting his summary of MNOSHA’s report in Chicago next week to federal OSHA

2. Federal Register for certification of crane operators • • • • MNOSHA can implement such requirements under state law, without prior approval of the plan change by federal OSHA Federal OSHA approval and Federal Register announcement is not a requirement for MNOSHA enforcement of this legislation Federal OSHA will publish this new legislation and MNOSHA’s intent to enforce the legislation Federal OSHA will publish one Federal Register notice announcing all of their different state standards that have not previously been announced

Hysell entertained any questions for federal OSHA. A question was asked about what the standard number was for the changes in the electrical installation requirements.

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Hysell stated 302 to 308; you can also access the final rule on the federal OSHA Web site. Tindle asked if 70E as some point getting into the 269 standard that affects the utility industry. Hysell replied he hadn’t heard anything of that nature at all. Federal OSHA has been enforcing 70E through a number of different mechanisms through 1926.416 and their 5A1 general duty clause, and have been requiring employers to follow 70E as a result of that coming out in 2000. The new standard reflects that changes in 70E. Rindal stated the 2007 edition of the National Electrical Safety Code, which takes effect some time this spring, contains a provision adopting a portion of 2004 70E requiring utilities to do incident energy calculations and provide PPE for the incident energy, so that is certainly getting more utilities on board if they’ve been dragging their feet. Joachim commented that one of the pluses to our codes consolidation and also assigning him the OSHA programs is it’s part of his responsibility to coordinate all of those activities, so that when they adopt the National Electrical Code and other construction codes, the OSHA requirements for guard rails, hand rails and any other pieces that can be coordinated, is to make sure we tie those together. It makes sense to have the construction codes we adopt match up with the safety codes that are out there, so we’re not contradicting each other when out doing one inspection after the other. Any input federal OSHA can give us is appreciated. The next adoption date for the NEC in Minnesota will be July 1, 2008, and we should make sure that anything that should be included be brought forward to match up the OSHA requirements with our standard construction code requirements. Hysell stated he would certainly keep a watch out for that and let us know of anything.


Staff reports: Compliance – Jeff Isakson

Projects • Crane legislation: Crane legislation goes into effect July 1, 2007. Information continues to be posted on our Web site; a list of Q&As is also listed on Web site under Construction Breakfasts. MNOSHA and MSC partnered to provide eight outreach presentations about crane legislation to stakeholders throughout the state. The most recent was March 12, 2007, at the Minnesota Safety Council in St. Paul. One more presentation date remains: o April 12, 2007 – Concordia Language Village, Bemidji, Minn. Presented by: o Tyrone Taylor, MNOSHA construction supervisor; and o Doug Swenson, Phillippi Equipment Company (formerly of Associated General Contractors of Minnesota). • FFY 2007 annual report has been completed and submitted.

OSHSPA OSHSPA met in Tucson, Ariz., Jan. 9 and 10, 2007. MNOSHA was represented by Commissioner Scott Brener and Jeff Isakson. Minnesota will be hosting the OSHSPA conference in June 2007.

Health: • issued three citations to a contractor involved in a workplace fatality in Moorhead, Minn., involving an oxygen-deficient manhole.

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• •

issued eight serious citations to an employer for allegedly exposing employees to asbestos during a floor tile removal project. conducted a follow-up inspection where none of the items were abated; items included: unapproved equipment near flammable spraying operations; lack of PPE (goggles) when using corrosive acid; using respirators with no training, fit-testing or medical evaluations; using corrosive products with no eyewash; no right-to-know training; no forklift operator training; using propane forklifts; and monitoring for carbon monoxide.

Construction Breakfast • Minnesota conducted the second of five Construction Breakfast sessions during the 2006 through 2007 season, with fall protection being the topic. Nov. 21, 2006 Record number of participants: 151 Program identified fall protection for: o roofers o deckers o loading areas o leading edge Presented by: o Mark Monson, St. Paul Travelers Insurance; and o Jerry Sykora, MNOSHA safety investigator IV Other Construction Breakfast topics and presentation dates for this season are: o residential fall protection, March 20, 2007 o trenching, May 15, 2007 A detailed description of each presentation and presenters may be found on MNOSHA’s Web page at www.doli.state.mn.us/mnosha.html. Outreach • MNOSHA staffed a booth at the 16th Annual Midwest Plant Engineering and Facilities Maintenance Show 1,000 in attendance o The staff members who attended this conference stated numerous questions were asked in regard to MNOSHA standards In the first quarter of FFY 2007, MNOSHA conducted the following in outreach training sessions: o conducted 18 presentations; o attended by a total of 687 participants; and o all but one of 18 presentations was conducted in strategically targeted group. • MNOSHA responded to 1,235 phone calls and 373 written responses (primarily e-mail messages) related to safety and health issues. This resulted in 68 nonformal complaints and 62 formal complaints. The winter edition of Safety Lines has been issued. This issue contains questions and answers about MNOSHA’s crane-operator certification and a fact sheet about the hexavalent chromium standard. For further information, visit MNOSHA’s Web page at www.doli.state.mn.us/safeline.html.

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The presentations given across the state about the crane standard were through a partnership with the Minnesota Safety Council and has been a great success. An appreciation is extended to the Minnesota Safety Council for all their help in setting this up throughout the state. In January, MNOSHA participated in the 51st Annual Institute for Building Officials conference Discussed what MNOSHA does overall Went over the options that building officials, inspectors, etc., should do when they are in the field and happen to come across a particular situation that looks unsafe Reviewed the formal and nonformal complaint process

Discrimination • MNOSHA continued to maintain all cases resolved within 90 days during the first quarter of FFY 2007 MNOSHA settled five cases MNOSHA dismissed four cases All cases have a lapse time of fewer than 90 days No cases have been closed in excess of 90 days Employee training • During first quarter of FFY 2007, MNOSHA had 12 staff members attend the following OTI courses: Eight staff members attended the OSHA 2030 Basic Electrical Principles One staff member attended the NITON XRF training Two staff members attended the OSHA 3020 Tunneling and Underground Operations One staff member attended Asbestos Inspector Refresher In-house staff training • Initial phone training was conducted for four staff members • Digital recorder training was conducted for seven MNOSHA staff members in each Refresher digital recorder training was conducted for the Greater Minnesota MNOSHA staff during each of their staff meetings • Employee Right-to-Know training was conducted • Two investigators completed all three phases of our new-hire training program • During our global staff meeting for the MNOSHA staff, training was provided about workplace violence and included how to deal with potentially violent situations during inspections Open positions • No positions open • One resignation, but now overstaffed by one • One temporary status investigator will be moved to FTE Inspections • QA inspections MNOSHA Compliance continues to conduct quality assurance inspections within all units Technology • OSHA redesign and enhancement project for federal IMIS Project was started in January 2006 Project completion and rollout is scheduled for early FFY 2008

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The following activities have taken place since the last OAC meeting: o implementation team has been identified o two analysts o one admin supervisor o one Greater Minnesota admin support o implementation team has met twice o training committee has met once o beta users are being added to the system

Joachim commented that in February, he and the commissioner were fortunate to attend the International Builders Show in Orlando, Fla. There were approximately 150 classes available and at least a dozen of them were about safety, which is good considering 10 years ago you wouldn’t have seen that at a builders show. Of the classes Joachim attended, the largest attendance was in the fall protection class. Burski asked Isakson if there are any plans for providing training about the new electrical standards before they starting enforcing them. Isakson stated they haven’t discussed it at this point, but will make note of it. Hoffman stated they provided training last year about 70E, specifically for OSHA investigators. Burski stated he feels this would be a perfect opportunity to do training in the state, such as a Construction Breakfast, for both the industry and the construction trade.

Consultation – Jeff Isakson, on behalf of James Collins
Projects – research and training alliance University of Minnesota–Duluth, Department of Mechanical and Industrial Engineering, College of Science and Engineering, has signed a research and training alliance with the department Faculty consists of the following professors:
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Richard R Lindeke, Ph.D.; Robert G. Feyen, Ph.D.; David A Wyrick, Ph.D., P.E.; Seraphin Chally Abou, Ph.D., P.E.; and Bachel Han, Ph.D., C.P.E.

Twin Cities Roofing Contractors Association The director and the team leader for construction met with the safety director of TCRCA to discuss their participation in an alliance program. The next meeting with their executive director is now pending. Their membership is approximately 35 employers and 1,000 workers. The Builders Group The director and the team leader for construction met with Stu Thompson, fund manager, and a member of his staff to discuss and explore a training and educational alliance with his group. Their memberships consist of 1,000 small-construction contractors. Dennis Anderson, director of the Loss Control Group, attended a few of our training sessions and really liked what he saw. Therefore, he is anxious to participate in an alliance with Workplace Safety Consultation. I intend to have this group sponsor Construction Breakfast sessions in Greater Minnesota.

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United Builders Contractors The state of Minnesota is participating in an OSHA Regional Alliance to provide three 10-hour sessions in Minnesota in April 2007, at the locations listed below: April 10 in Lakeville April 12 in St. Paul ∗ April 24 in Detroit Lakes ∗ April 26 in Fairmont Michigan, Ohio, Illinois and Wisconsin have completed their sessions.
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Builders Associates of Minnesota ∗ Workplace Safety Consultation conducted one 10-hour course and trained 30 members ∗ Workplace Safety Consultation conducted 10 two-hour sessions and trained 362 members Hennepin Technical College ∗ Workplace Safety Consultation completed seven training sessions for residential contractors and trained 348 contractors Twin Cities Roofing Association

As a test-run, Workplace Safety Consultation conducted two training sessions and trained 80 members. They were impressed. They now want to enter into a training alliance with us.

Minnesota Safety Council
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Workplace Safety Consultation participated in providing training for the 500 train-thetrainer courses and trained 20 participants Workplace Safety Consultation also participated in the crane safety course and trained 40 participants Workplace Safety Consultation participated in providing training for chromium and trained 60 participants.

Ergonomics projects Workplace Safety Consultation continues to collaborate with Allina Hospitals and Clinics, the Minnesota Nurses Association and Service Employees International Union to develop a training video about safe patient handling. A draft script has been developed. Task-specific modules are planned that address common patient handling tasks. Ergonomics will be a topic for the 2007 LogSafe conferences and seminars. A review of injury risk factors and methods to minimize the risk will be presented. Added focus will be on repetitive motion hand injuries and whole body vibration. The Region V ergonomics program coordinator will be speaking during at least one of the conferences. New ergonomics best-practices have been added to the Web site with more to follow. The newer practices include material handling, work height adjustments and a lightweight mopping system. MNSTAR general industry and construction Two new MNSTAR sites added since last meeting: ∗ LG Constructors certified Jan. 5, 2007 (period of one year) ∗ Honeywell Aerospace Minneapolis Operations certified Feb. 2, 2007 Twenty sites now currently certified as MNSTAR sites ∗ 18 general industry ∗ one resident contractor

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one construction

Three sites were evaluated since the last meeting and are working on 90-day items: ∗ Weyerhaeuser St. Paul Distribution Center ∗ USG Interiors (Red Wing) ∗ Valmont Industries (Farmington) Seven applications on hand and are in the evaluation process John O’Brien named a new general industry MNSTAR coordinator MNSHARP general industry and construction The MNOSHA consultation SHARPs were updated. ∗ The employee size-limit for consideration for MNSHARP was removed ∗ All employers, whether high-hazard or not, are now eligible for MNSHARP ∗ An alternative injury and illness rate calculation is available for very small sites ∗ The duration for MNSHARP certification was raised from one to two years for initial, and three years thereafter ∗ The term inspection deferral has been replaced by Pre-MNSHARP We currently have 32 sites participating in MNSHARP. ∗ Two of those sites are new MNSHARP (converted from Pre-MNSHARP) ∗ Timber Roots (Wadena) ∗ Pollux Manufacturing (Minneapolis) ∗ Two new Pre-MNSHARP sites were added ∗ BASF Polyurethane (Plymouth) ∗ Minnesota Freezer Warehouse (Austin) The commissioner approved the expansion of MNSHARP/Pre-MNSHARP Construction, Dec. 20, 2006. Workplace Safety Consultation will provide on-site, full-service consultation assistance to major construction contractors and their subcontractors. This program formalizes the processes we have for followed for many years. The program will recognize construction contractors and their employees for their safety and health initiatives. Projects with at least 18 months duration will participate in the program. Currently, the two sites participating in Pre-MNSHARP are OPUS at Medtronics in Mounds View and Bovis in Faribault. Loggers safety education 1,200 received LogSafe training in 2006 Statewide training topics in 2007 are: ergonomics, slips and falls, fall protection, fatalities awareness, landing and woodyard safety, CPR and first aid. A training alliance is being developed with the University of Minnesota, Local Training Assistance Program (LTAP) One vacancy on the LogSafe Advisory Committee is being filled with the safety director of Ainsworth, Don Carr OSHCON board of directors The OSHCON board and federal OSHA are hosting the year’s annual meeting in Newport, R.I., in April 2007.

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Staffing The unit has one supervisory vacancy. We are in the process of conducting two four-hour strategic-planning meetings and, after that, the position will be filled. Ajax congratulated Isakson about the success of the Construction Breakfast program and, on the consultation side, the alliances that are being established. He finds it very intriguing and could be beneficial for the metal-forming industry. There are two members of his local precision metal-forming association (Twin Cities District) that are MNSHARP sites and he would be very interested in forming an alliance or recommending that with the metal-forming industry. They are a high-hazard industry averaging one amputation a month in Minnesota alone. Isakson stated the programs that are in place right now in addition to MNSTAR/MNSHARP, are the alliances and partnerships. He referred to Jim Collins on the alliance side to get the fine details. He stated MNOSHA Compliance has partnerships with different trade organizations, such as ABC of Minnesota, Associated General Contractors and a federal partnership with Ford. Basically, a partnership is a system where the association oversees the safety and health programs that the different members have, and they also have different tiers they can strive for. It would be a great benefit to all industries if more companies participate in cooperative programs, including partnerships. It is not OSHA overseeing the safety and health of these programs as the companies are achieving the different levels, it’s the organization itself. There is a lot of mentoring going on among the different companies. Allen asked for a brief overview about the status of employer responsibility with regard to PPE and an overview about the safe patient handling legislation. Hoffman stated there are proposals on the national level, but personally thinks they will not affect Minnesota, because Minnesota has had in statute a requirement for employers to pay for PPE since the beginning of the program. There may some gray issues, such as how much of the extra costs to make steel-toed shoes required, for example, the employer has to pay. Those are looked at on a case-by-case basis. Generally in Minnesota, employers have to pay for the cost of work-required PPE. Joachim stated that in regard to the safe patient handling legislation, HF712/SF828, he and the commissioner have met with the nurses association and addressed from the department’s perspective what we felt the language needs to be if we are going to be charged to work with this program. The latest report he had was from March 5 about the House side and the committee action was to pass as amended and rerefer to Commerce and Labor.


Old business – Carol Bufton

Bufton stated that today the council would be working through the list of ideas they would like to ask MNOSHA to consider in its strategic plan during the next two to five years. A spreadsheet was handed out, with the ranking of the ideas with the lowest member average being the top-ranked idea. The goal is to come up with approximately six categories that the council really feels would be the top priorities and then make that recommendation to MNOSHA. She asked Isakson if there were any ideas listed that possibly could be problematic for the department and would need to be removed or reworked. Isakson stated the idea of reversing the ratio of compliance versus consultation staff, and increasing the consultation staff, is problematic because staffing is based upon federal benchmarks. MNOSHA is currently 50-percent funded by federal dollars. MNOSHA has asked for an increase in the past and federal OSHA has told MNOSHA to take a look at its whole system to see if it could support additional positions and then come back to discuss. MNOSHA is pursuing, right now, with the Legislature to see if it can get approval of additional positions and, if that happens, some would be going into the consultation side. Stuart commented that there were many items on the list related to the promotion of the OSHA program and awareness through different media. They are extremely important, but could be rolled into one category. He questioned how we get employers to change their mind set, in that we want to reverse

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the trend of employers feeling hostile towards inspectors, but rather they feel and know the OSHA inspectors are there to help. Bufton asked if everyone agreed to roll numbers 2, 8 and 9 into number 12 “Promote effectiveness...,” and make it broader to state increasing awareness and promotion of MNOSHA. All concurred. Stuart stated that increasing the number of consultation staff members is still important and appreciated the explanation from Isakson regarding where the support and dollars come from. He feels a good place to start is to separate out what really is promotional, how much importance the council as a committee puts on the promotional efforts of OSHA and force-rank that category within the midst of the other extremely important pieces. Ajax agrees with Stuart in establishing and highlighting some of the great things OSHA is doing in the state, such as the Construction Breakfast program, alliances/partnerships and MNSHARP sites, etc. He believes most employers still look at OSHA as an adversarial relationship instead of a partnership. Isakson fully agrees also. He stated that in Minnesota there is an average of 25 fatalities a year and about 350 people a day are getting hurt. Of the items on the list, which would have the biggest impact on keeping that from happening? Those statistics do fluctuate up and down throughout the years, but that average remains about the same. Partnerships, alliances and other cooperative programs with companies are what he feels would have a great impact in creating a safe and healthy work environment – if we could come up with a way to get more companies to participate, even those that don’t have the resources. Bufton stated that is the number one vote-getter. Allen commented that she is in favor of the mentorship type model and cited the United Way as an example. Maybe benchmark them to see how they got other organizations to come in and work with them to help achieve their effectiveness. We need to find a way to get the small companies the same support from OSHA as the larger companies. Suggested if we could get the larger companies to let us build into their supply chain, such as a safety fostering program, so that the smaller companies would get the benefit of the efficiencies that the larger companies have gotten; and give the larger companies some kind of heightened support from OSHA for allowing us to do that. The smaller company now would have a reason to have a relationship with the larger company and the larger company would start to see OSHA as a partnership and discover the compliance side and better use the services on the consulting side. Tindle commented about the concept of creating an even playing field. Out-of-state contractors come in and will do a quick job, cutting corners, don’t recognize all the safety rules and that’s why they are “more competitive” than the local contractors. OSHA can play a big part if we can establish alliances with the big retailers and that they look at the quality of workmanship and establish a need for compliance prior to contracting out. Bufton asked if that is something that should be added to the list. Mueller commented that, in essence, you’re looking for a code of conduct. Isakson stated that with the partnerships that OSHA already has that is one of the requirements; and the partnership could also require that they have drug and alcohol testing for their employees and subcontractors, and comply with all the other policies and procedures. Stuart commented that what Tindle stated is an example of a contractor safety process and should be implemented within the industry. He feels MNOSHA is already involved in expanding and increasing the construction partnerships and alliances, so a recommendation from this council to do that doesn’t appear right. Isakson replied that with AGC and ABC yes, but bringing in other organizations, such as metal forming, metal casters and others, what can we do to help encourage them to form a partnership with MNOSHA. We try to sell the process to them by stating what we can do for them, but they need to take the next step and agree to form the partnership with us. Maybe working with insurance companies would help.

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Bufton commented that this is a legitimate signal of something important coming from the council if it feels this is an important strategy and simply change the idea to say “continue” to expand and increase construction partnerships and alliances, as encouragement to the department to keep a focus in that direction. Ajax suggested to expand that beyond just construction. Bufton stated the word construction can be deleted. Isakson suggested including cooperative programs. Bufton commented that number 12, “Promote effectiveness ...,” ties in to the umbrella strategy of increasing awareness of MNOSHA and it can also be broadened to increasing the awareness by organizations of the positive effects for investing in safety and health. MNOSHA’s role is helping employers and employees get to that place. Allen suggested adding to the list the idea of making sure the small companies understand the importance and competitive advantages that could come from being a MNSHARP site; and to make sure the large companies understand what that means in terms of quality implications and how valuable it is to hire as many suppliers that have a MNSHARP designation. Joachim commented that one of the classes at the International Builders Show addressed fall protection for contractors and it was interesting to learn a great majority of contractors are turning down bids because their safety rating is too high. They only want to hire a contractor that, for example, has a one or less. The insurance agents there were doing comparison cost and it opened the eyes of the smaller contractors in that if they drop from a 1.2 to a .9, that would be a lot of dollars to spend on safety education, which in turn is more money in their pocket. The larger companies are already aware of this, but it’s the smaller companies that do not; he feels this is an area that needs work. Allen stated that it is very important to translate this message into a language that the audience really embraces and gets motivated by. There was discussion about number 15, “Develop and make ...,” what its intention is. Isakson stated model programs could come from MNSHARP sites and suggested adding to that idea what Allen had stated about the safety fostering/mentoring programs. Tindle was curious why number four, “Raise employee awareness ...,” was rated so low when he felt it is education, just like establishing a cooperative is educational. We need to have the employer and employee educated in safe practices to make it successful. Rindal stated he ranked it in the middle, because he felt a good job was already being done making employees aware of their rights. Allen agreed that MNOSHA already does a very good job of saying they are here for the employees and the point of this brainstorming activity is to say how do we create an overall safer workplace in Minnesota. To do that you have to get the employers engaged. Tindle stated there is a difference in establishing a militant “I’ve got the right to a safe work place” and educating the employee in being a partner in safety. Bufton clarified if this could also be a part of number 12 (the umbrella) in promoting the effectiveness of MNOSHA and the business case for it. Add a broader statement addressing it. Tindle stated that any part of a cooperative intent on the part of an agency, like here, to instill safer work practices in the workplace, has to include the employee and the employer. Ajax agreed that there has to be a partnership between the employer and the employee if, somehow, this can be done in a collaborative partnership between MNOSHA, the employers, labor and the employees.

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Bufton asked if number four, “Raising employee awareness ...,” needs to be folded into number seven, “Expand and increase ...,” someway, so that when the department is forging relationships that this issue is being included as well, and also wrapped into the broader public relations goal. All concurred. Discussions were held about number five, “Use technology ...,” and, even though MNOSHA is currently working on updating technology both now and for plans in the future, it was decided that it should stay on the list. Joachim gave an update about the department installing high-speed lines into the building and home offices and also wireless connections. Security is a big concern. Bufton stated number 16, “Help to encourage ...,” will be wrapped into the big umbrella goal. Number 11, “Reverse the ratio ...,” will be removed. Joachim stated from both his and the commissioner’s perspective, they really see the benefits of the consultation program advancing and this will be more of a future goal. They will continue to ask to be brought up to federal standards for staffing, whether or not we get federal funding. We will also continue to ask for state dollars. Ajax urged extreme caution when considering reversing the ratio of compliance staff versus consultation staff. Looking at the fatality/injury report, enforcement and compliance really need to work with those companies. Bufton asked about number 14, “Be a part of helping ... disaster preparedness ...” Joachim stated that another benefit to the consolidation is working with the disaster plan. The construction codes unit has a well-developed disaster preparedness manual and plan that they have worked on with cities, and staff members from both MNOSHA and the codes unit has met to discuss this and sees this item as ongoing. Bufton stated it will stay on the list. Bufton stated that number two, “Publish OSHA news ...,” will be rolled into the big umbrella goal; and number four was already discussed. Number six, “Consistent rule interpretation ...,” will stay on the list. Number one, “Employer/employee meth issues ...,” will stay on the list and is being changed to “Explore the possibility of adopting DOT random drug-testing rules for all industries...” Number three, “Add meth awareness ...,” is being rolled into the large public relations, promote effectiveness concept. Ajax suggested that in number one, state “higher-hazard industries,” instead of all industries. Rindal stated that DOT calls them safety sensitive positions. Burski stated that number 13, “Encourage the movement ...,” fits in well with both number 15 and number 16. Bufton questioned number 10, “Competency training.” Stuart stated it may fit in with employee awareness. In regard to number 17, “Encourage colleges to integrate safety ...,” Burski commented that he feels there isn’t a good enough job being done in academia to encourage those coming out of college who are going to become business owners and engineers, to even understand safety; and is not sure what kind of effect MNOSHA may have on those universities. Joachim stated that number 17 should stay on the list. The construction side has the same kind of issues with universities in trying to get code classes in the graduate architectural engineering classes. The universities state there isn’t enough time to deal with it. There has been progress as building codes has offered educational programs to the Minnesota American Institute of Architects and engineers associations, and now they are asking for more information, and also that it be included in some of their programs. Bufton thanked everyone for their input. The list of ideas will be cleaned up and sent to council members for review and approval before it goes to staff members. Also, an important reminder that any time in the future, ideas can be brought forward to help strengthen the MNOSHA program.

OSH Advisory Council Minutes

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VI. None

New business


Future agenda item

Continued discussion and review of consolidated list of ideas. Bufton adjourned the meeting at 12:07 p.m.

Respectfully Submitted,

Julie A. Klejewski
Julie A. Klejewski