OSHA Advisory Council Sept.

10, 2004 Minutes
Members: Melanie Isabell Allen Carol Bufton Harvey Burski Pat McGovern Paul Grundy Scott Richter Members excused: Eric Ajax Gene Harmer Michael Hawthorne Scott Metcalf Ed Raine Daryl Tindle Staff members: Debbie Caswell James Collins Patricia Todd Roslyn Wade Visitors: Brian Breider, IBM Mary Cummins, IBM Aaron Hess, IIA Tim Kobernat, Federal OSHA Mike Mueller, IBM Karen Spading, IBM

The Sept. 10, 2004, meeting of the OSH Advisory Council (OAC) was at IBM in Rochester, Minn. The meeting was called to order by chairperson Carol Bufton at 10:05 a.m. She thanked IBM for hosting the first meeting of the OAC outside the Twin Cities area and said she hoped it would become a new tradition for the OAC. OAC members and the visitors introduced themselves. II. Announcements Assistant Commissioner Roslyn Wade welcomed everyone on behalf of Commissioner Scott Brener and thanked them for taking the time to travel to outstate Minnesota. She said the presence of the OAC in Rochester was a reflection of the input received by the OAC. She stated it was critically important, not only to receive the input from the OAC members, but to hear from the direct users of MNOSHA's services and programs, as well as those who are subject to regulation. DLI works hard to ensure all segments of labor, industry, safety and health were represented on the OAC. Wade made a commitment to take the advisory council "on the road" to provide for additional input and that was why the OAC was in Rochester that day. She thanked Paul Grundy and staff members who supported and set up the meeting, giving the OAC the ability to listen to concerns.

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Wade announced there was not a clear record of the June 25, 2004, meeting minutes, because it was not completely captured on the system at the agency. Therefore, it was still a "work in progress." She apologized for the absence of those minutes and said they had dedicated a lot of resources already and would continue to work to create a reflective record, but it may not appear in the same form as the previous minutes. The agenda was accepted as presented. V. Assistant commissioner's update Wade noted DLI had an exciting summer and they were continuing to do great things at the agency. She focused her time on working with the Cabinet and they have held a number of strategic-planning sessions. They are currently working on a project about the business process review, with the hope of improving what DLI does and how it does it. She felt fortunate to have Patricia Todd, the department's CIO, the deputy commissioner and another department manager to head this project. She reported the commissioner's charge was to look at everything DLI does. Wade had spoken in the past about the need to stay focused on DLI's core mission. This goes beyond that and they are examining each process within the agency to determine where the bottlenecks are, how to make improvements with the continuing budget challenges and looking at how to best use technology that was needed to improve DLI's processes. DLI made a commitment from the commissioner down to program operations to review every single process. Since the last OAC meeting, the executive Cabinet has spent a great deal of time on this subject, including an all-day, offsite session a couple of weeks ago. They dedicated an entire day to looking at where DLI is, how it is doing, where it wants to go and how to get there. Wade was excited about the project and noted that it was early in this process, and said she would give the OAC updates about this initiative for quite some time, because it will impact what DLI does and how it does it. Wade noted the last time the OAC met, DLI was wrapping up the legislative session. Not much was done at the Legislature, but the discussions that took place were relevant. She reported many of the initiatives the department had last year that were not acted on would be the premise for its legislative agenda this year. The impact on the MNOSHA program was minor. They would have to address moving from SIC codes to NAICS. Ideally, if this could be done by legislation it would be a more expedient process and less costly to the agency in terms of staff time than if a rule change were required. She noted many of the MNOSHA rules were exempt from the regular rulemaking process, but said it was still time and labor intensive. If there was an opportunity to fix it legislatively and they got the cooperation, particularly if it was not a controversial item, that option was preferable. What could be done with two lines in a statute could save DLI two years in work and time, because the rulemaking process has very specific rules that must be followed, such as the notice period and a statement of need and reasonableness. The legislative process does not have all those particulars to go through, so that would be DLI's preference, if possible.

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Wade said DLI was in the process of pulling together its legislative agenda and would use last year's agenda as a starting point. The preliminary deadlines were coming up rapidly; she stated DLI had Oct. 1 and Oct. 15 deadlines to meet. The first deadline was generally for housekeeping issues and the later deadline was for more substantive issues. She reported that, as an executive branch agency, DLI must forward any ideas it intends to propose or take action on to the governor's office. They have an internal process by which they review those ideas and for the governor's advisors to weigh-in before any of those items could be advanced. The governor and the commissioner want a fairly lean legislative agenda this year, because it was a budget year. When it was a budget year, DLI tried to keep its policy issues low, because it had to focus on the budget. The legislative agenda was lean last year, and there were no new substantive issues that came up in the past year that would warrant the department creating an initiative in order to act on it. Wade stated the agency would be focusing on its budget agenda and would have to deal with a small deficit. So far, there had been no specific or clear guidance about how the Department of Finance would address the deficit. DLI was in a better position than many other agencies, because it had minimal General Fund funding coming into the agency. There are only two units in the Workplace Services Division that get a general fund appropriation. When the Legislature is making any of the major cuts, they rarely look at DLI. The two programs that receive a General Fund appropriation are the Labor Standards unit and the Code Administration and Inspection Services (CAIS) unit in Workplace Services. CAIS licenses and inspects boilers and high-pressure piping. It is unique, because it actually recovers all of its cost. A past Legislature put CAIS funds back into the General Fund. There have been some discussions to try to remove programs from the General Fund that are capable of supporting themselves. That type of action must be approved by the Department of Finance, as well as the governor's office. Realistically speaking, only one unit is purely funded out of the General Fund, because the other unit recovered its costs. There remained a deficit that would have to be addressed, but at this point, Wade did not anticipate any significant cuts to DLI. If there were any cuts, she seriously doubted they would affect MNOSHA, because its funding does not come out of the General Fund. DLI was scheduled to commit its budgets to paper that afternoon. VI. Federal OSHA update Tim Kobernat, the Eau Claire area office director for the U.S. Department of Labor's OSHA unit, gave an update about recent activities. He reported they were wrapping up their fiscal year in September, and distributed the most current performance data. Kobernat stated that people wonder about a performance impact due to a change in administrations. His handout showed inspections were down slightly and violations were up. That meant they were being more effective with the inspections they were doing.

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Kobernat said their average per serious violation has gone up a little bit. Most of the others are statistically insignificant. He noted that before OSHA was brought into effect, the fatalities were at about 12,000 a year. This year, it looks like it is going to be in the 5,000 to 6,000 range (even though OSHA does not have jurisdiction on all of those), which is still way too high, but at least it looks good to see the fatality trend going down. Kobernat said federal OSHA's significant enforcement cases remained the same. Their definition of a significant case is one that issues more than $100,000 in citations or has some other significant impact on that industry. OSHA's trend is to look at the "high road and the low road." If you take the highroad approach, like the members of the OAC, OSHA is a partner and is helpful. If you take the low-road approach, not taking safety and health seriously, that is where the significant cases come out. They involve publicity. Seeing a $250,000 fine on the front page wakes up some programs that are monetarily, not humanitarianly, driven. Kobernat reported the House was debating their 2005 appropriations bill this week. No one knows what will happen with that. OSHA is in the Department of Labor, where the Wage and Hour Division is also located. Wage, hour and overtime issues are controversial right now, so they are not sure if their bill might be held up by that or something else. Kobernat said OSHA came out with musculoskeletal disorder (MSD) guidelines for the poultry industry last week. They follow the guidelines for nursing homes and retail grocery. It also follows the trend for guidelines instead of standards, at least in ergonomics. He did not see an ergonomics standard coming out in the near future, but said you never know. Kobernat stated they have a proposed voluntary protection program (VPP) for construction that was out for comment until Oct. 30. It follows their recent corporate VPP, where you have already gotten some of your facilities into the STAR program with VPP and you would like to go for it as an entire company. Grundy noted they are one of the pilots going through that program and have won VPP status for a number of their sites. Kobernat noted September had been named "Homeland Security Emergency Preparedness Month” by Tom Ridge, head of the Department of Homeland Security. In keeping with that, MNOSHA and federal OSHA have been doing a lot of things together about emergency preparedness. They have been attending some of the tabletop meetings; he attended the exercise two weeks ago. As of this week, all of the compliance officers in Wisconsin have been trained in incident command system (ICS) 200 level training. Kobernat worked at the World Trade Center site on two different occasions and wished he knew then what he does now about coming onto an emergency site, about who determines who is in charge, etc.

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Kobernat reported they are still looking at their Minneapolis district office. They have just one person there now and there is a possibility that office might close, with work then coming out of Eau Claire, Wis. They are doing 90 percent of the work out of Eau Claire now, working with MNOSHA. Burski referred to the information sheet about the percentage of violations issued as serious and asked whether there has been an emphasis on OSHA's part to increase the number of serious citations. Kobernat said those citation numbers had been creeping up since about 1972. If you looked at a chart, during the past 10 years, it has gone from about 66 percent to 72 percent. There is a bit of an emphasis on that. There is a program about construction sites where, if a company has a great program and training, plus a person in charge of safety on a construction site, OSHA would only cite serious items. Others items would be just mentioned and corrected immediately. Basically, for a lot of their good construction sites, they would not have any other violations, it would just be the serious violations, so that policy artificially inflates that percentage. The construction companies like it because it does not look like they were cited for as many items. VII. Staff reports Compliance Todd said the grant application and performance plan were in members' folders and were submitted from Compliance and Workplace Safety Consultation for federalfiscal-year 2005 (FFY05) to federal OSHA. It was a good summary and gives an idea of the second year of the developed strategic plan that started last year. Ongoing improvements have been identified. The fatal injury report was also included in the folders. Todd reported MNOSHA continues to update its internal procedures and documentation. There are more than 100 directives, as well as specific manuals, that provide guidance to the MNOSHA staff. This summer, due to staffing changes, there was a backlog of 218 cases that required redacting prior to sending the information to the stakeholders. They hired two temporary summer helpers and managed to reduce that backlog to 15 cases. Todd said they were continuing to evaluate the new technology. They were evaluating trench-measuring devices. They were also looking into handheld tablets to take notes during an inspection and to fill in forms. They were pilot testing five tablets and hoped to pilot an additional six next year. They updated computers for their staff and were evaluating new digital recorders. They were looking at a digital recorder that could save the information on a CD, instead of having to be transcribed, and that can also use voice recognition to transcribe it automatically. They hired one new investigator this month. They also hired a new discrimination person and filled the two supervisory positions she mentioned at the last meeting. One was filled with an internal candidate and one was filled with an external candidate. At

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this time there are three open positions in the health division: one training officer position is open; one position in Greater Minnesota is open; and one investigative position in the metro area is open. Todd reported about what they stated they were going to do in the strategic plan for FFY04 versus what they actually have done. They emphasized they were going to conduct a number of their program inspections in strategic, high-hazard industries. Their plan was to conduct 60 percent of those program inspections in those areas and they have done 83 so far. They also developed a pilot program from different industries and their goal was to conduct 5 percent of their programs; they have done about 4 percent. They were supposed to do a workflow analysis to reduce the amount of time it takes to generate their reports to their external stakeholders. The two areas they focused on were the health inspection process and the citation issuance. In the past month, their average for health was 33 days versus a high of 181days. However, they are still not to the level they would like to be. Their goal was to get the average for a four-month period at 35 days. Citation issuance was taking up to 13 or 14 days. They have redone their process and are down to seven days. They are now looking at the causes of why it was still seven days. It was mostly caused by reissuing citations due to the wrong address for the employer. Todd said the online information remains available at DLI and includes the online payments and surveys for employers and employees. She noted they have not received the response rate to the surveys they would like, but they would prefer not to send a survey in the mail, so they will look at how to market the online survey better. They have only had 19 employers and five employees respond to those surveys; they want to improve that. Todd reported they adopted various changes. They generated the new SIC list for AWAIR. They also adopted federal OSHA's punch press and the respiratory changes. Todd said she participated in the Homeland Security tabletop discussions in July; in August she participated in a functional exercise with other state agencies. They identified areas to improve upon or do things differently. Burski asked her what she provided to the other agencies and whether she had any recommendations during the exercise. Todd said their goal was to exercise the Minnesota Emergency Operations Plan as well as the Governor's Executive Order that defines what DLI's role was. DLI has the responsibilities for accident investigations with health-related issues. She said they end up as a help or an aide for other agencies. They have a secondary role for safety or health-related issues for employees who are responding. For example, if someone from the Department of Health needs to go out to clean up anthrax, DLI would provide what type of personal protection equipment they needed and, potentially, help to identify what type of cleaning methodology they would use, as well as obtain the personal protection equipment they would use.

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Workplace Safety Consultation Jim Collins reported federal OSHA recently gave them a one-time-funding sum of $11,390. Workplace Safety Consultation (WSC) used the money to upgrade its PCs and three handheld computers for field use to quickly prepare and be able to turn around the employer’s reports. WSC successfully completed a joint application with OSHA Compliance. The application was sent to the regional office and then forwarded to the national office, with no major changes. They hope to get a timely approval. The budget in this year’s application was funded at last year’s level, with provisions that after congress funds it, the 2005 federal budget amendments will be made to reflect the change. Collins made staff changes by switching two positions around: John O’Brien from the public sector to the private sector; and Mike Seliga from general industry to construction. Collins also hired Jolyn Crum from Compliance to replace John O’Brien in the public sector as the industrial hygienist for the public sector. Collins made some changes in the safety hazard abatement grant program by expanding it to include training and tuition reimbursement. Employers can now take advantage of applying for safety grants to cover training tied to the purchase of equipment, such as would be the case for ergonomic equipment and the training tied to such a purchase. Tuition reimbursement was the type of training the employers would get by attending classes presented by trade and business associations such as the Midwest Center for Occupational Safety and Health, the Minnesota Safety Council and Associated General Contractors. This expansion of the grant program was a good thing for Minnesota employers and employees. The downside was the funding has not expanded to correspond to the expansion in coverage. Collins reported the outreach training and intervention sessions, which includes the Construction Breakfast seminars, general industry luncheons, speeches and lectures, were not well attended. Collins was combining locations to make it work. Participants rate the training as being wonderful and excellent. Collins made improvements in creating partnership and alliances, so costs were reduced and efficiencies were improved. The art of leveraging partnerships and alliances to expand WSC's resources, so they do more with fewer state workers, was an idea whose time had come. They will continue to find more innovative ways to do more with less. In this regard, WSC has entered into an alliance with Allina. WSC was also making some connection with the Mayo Clinic, as another type of alliance. Collins said WSC now has the required amount of nursing homes to participate in the nursing home study. The project was on track and was going well. Twenty-six employers are committed to the nursing home study; 15 of them have had their initial comprehensive safety and health visits. Consultants have identified many more than 300 significant violations. Specific ergonomics visits by specialists Phil Jacobs and Dave Ferkul immediately follow the safety and health visits. The two-stage approach allows

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employers to first correct safety and health hazards and then concentrates their efforts on the ergonomics assistance and corrections. Even though there are no penalties levied by the consultants, employers would of had to pay $210,596 in penalties for violations if these were Compliance visits. As WSC conducts the nursing home study, it was finding some gaps in their consultant’s knowledge base. Consultants are not accustomed to providing best practices advice and management strategies for claims reduction and worker’s compensation claims management, so they were linking up with the Workers’ Compensation Division and learning more about how claims should be managed, best practices in this area and better ways to communicate this information to the employer. One of the difficulties, in this area, for the consultants was they do not have a mastery of the workers’ compensation system and, therefore, do not feel comfortable with it yet. Collins reported the MNSTAR program was very short on state resources to manage the program. It has embarked on yet another partnership within the federal system to take advantage of OSHA trained volunteers. These employees are referred to as special government employees (SGEs). SGEs are OSHA-trained employees who volunteer with their specific employer's approval to work with OSHA WSC in conducting on-site inspections at potential MNSTAR sites. Their employers pay their entire salaries, travel, meals, etc. For the first time in the history of our state-OSHA program, WSC has found a way to incorporate SGEs into its program as a way of leveraging resources. Greg Randel, from Minnesota Power, has agreed to participate in an on-site recertification inspection at one of Minnesota Power’s current MNSTAR sites. He has an MA, CSB, CIH and PE credentials, and several years of safety and health corporate-level experience with his company. His knowledge, skills and abilities blended well with WSC's staff and helped them tremendously in accomplishing their MNSTAR goals for FFY05. With his assistance, MNOSHA met its 2005 goals and objectives. MNSHARP also met its goals for 2005, by certifying five MNSHARP sites and six MNSHARP deferral sites. Employers who participate in the deferral program are those employers that need assistance to improve their injury and illness rates from being above the national average in their industries to getting below those averages. As they make progress within six to 18 months, WSC grooms them into good candidates for MNSHARP or the MNSTAR program. Kobernat made a comment about the cooperation between Minnesota OSHA and federal OSHA with the homeland security issues. As he spoke, one of Collin's consultants was training the federal OSHA compliance staff in Wisconsin. He asked Collins to loan him someone with expertise in workplace violence training for one of their training sessions, and Collins and Wade agreed. He noted that during an exercise at the original tabletop session, he was the only federal representative invited by the state or local region to attend that session. He also believed Commissioner Brener was the only commissioner who took this endeavor seriously enough to attend the session as well. Wade was there too. Kobernat reported they are working on an alliance right now with MNOSHA, federal OSHA in Wisconsin and in Iowa, with three states with Gunderson Health Care System. That would be the first such alliance in the United States. There are a lot of pretty exciting things happening from Kobernat's viewpoint as far as how proactive MNOSHA was.

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Grundy asked how the ergonomics training was coming along. Collins said it was coming along well, although they are not getting as many people as they anticipated. He noted the quality of the training was outstanding and that was what he keeps hearing from the evaluations from the seminars. Grundy noted Collins hoped to get senior management to attend the seminars and asked if anyone from senior management was materializing. Collins said there was a "mixed message" coming from the participants. They focused on the CEOs and vice presidents and what they were getting was the human resources directors, the risk managers and the line supervisors. This was just as well. What they anticipate is to focus on line supervisors in the future and really drill the best practices, plus provide initial guidelines training. Collins asked Brian Breider, from IBM, for his take. Breider agreed with Collins' comments. He noted there are a lot of questions. The attendees want to know how to buy into ergonomics. They do not just talk about the savings in workers' compensation, but also show them the business side of it and they take that back to their operations. They have had a couple of sessions and they tend to be mixed audiences, and it was going well. Collins noted one of the principle presenters, Phil Jacobs, felt there was a need to incorporate more workers' compensation claims management information into the seminar material. That was the reason for the alliance with the workers' compensation Customer Assistance unit, to learn more and incorporate their knowledge into the training sessions. McGovern asked whether WSC adapts the training to the industry, such as office ergonomics specifically, or whether they are just doing health care training now. Breider said the training was broad and that Jacobs was a very good presenter, able to change the curriculum based on the audience. They try to tailor the session to the audience. In Bemidji, Minn., they switched gears for the audience. The last group was mixed, so there was a broad spectrum. Collins noted they have talked about focusing on office ergonomics in the future. Allen went back to an early comment regarding WSC's alliance with the nursing home industry. She thought it was a fabulous idea to partner with trade groups and leverage those relationships to benefit that entire discipline or functionality. Out of curiosity, she asked about the skill gaps WSC has become aware of, about some special needs of that industry. Allen asked, at a very high level, what kinds of things they are finding that are very different that WSC has to develop some training materials for in the nursing home that they do not have. Collins said it has to do with workers' compensation. He has done some claims management at DLI, but when they recruit the safety professionals for OSHA Consultation, they often recruit them from OSHA Compliance and they do not bring that experience of dealing with workers' compensation and the related issues, including things like developing and getting advice to the employers about how to develop light-duty work. Collins got that information from his Human Resources director, but some of the folks in the field do not have that. They have that knowledge, skill and ability within DLI. With this project, they are realizing that and made that connection with the workers' compensation unit. Two courses are scheduled and they

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have met with workers' compensation staff members twice, working on the PowerPoint presentations. Questions come up from injured workers during their walkaround interface with staff members, such as "no one contacted me" or "when I got hurt, I went to the doctor and I have never heard from the employer, so I did not hear about workers' compensation." These kinds of issues are coming up, so WSC needs to be prepared to address them. Allen asked about how the ergonomics training was being marketed in terms of getting the kind of turnout that was wanted. She asked if, in developing the content of the class, as well as the marketing, they have feedback about issues that were relevant to a senior manager and issues that are relevant from an insurance perspective and human factor issues, as these issues are all "on the plate" of a senior manager. She suggested maybe pitching the case such that "this was an improvement in productivity," because if they can clearly anticipate the bump in workers' compensation costs over time, because they have a year or maybe even a three- or five-year window to anticipate the expense and budget, there was not the urgency. However, they have to compete against competitors overseas that do not have the same pressures of labor costs that we have here. Perhaps the human factors ask that and say, "We are going to teach you about the importance of human factors in the leadership organization and we are going to improve your productivity." She suggested a consultation from the great human factor specialists such as IBM, that lead the nation in improving the operational interface between the human and machine. Maybe there was someone within the OAC who can give advice about getting insurance involved about how you can benefit or how the senior leaders can benefit from learning about leveraging the ergonomics training in lowering their insurance costs or persuading the insurer that they are a better risk than others. Allen also suggested, in putting together their marketing pitch to senior managers such as Eric Ajax, they should get his perspective about what is important to him and what would make him drop everything to come to the class. That might boost WSC’s attendance from the sector of traditional human resources directors and risk managers to that layer within the decisionmakers, the CEOs, the vice presidents of operations, etc., to market the content they are dealing with every day. Kobernat commented he also teaches and speaks to a lot of upper-level management groups. He brings in the "safety pays" aspect and actually says "you are going to have to produce 100,000 cans of corn,” if he is speaking to a food products group, for example, “to make up that one MSD.” He puts it in those terms and then they figure out they would have to work for a month to pay for one carpel tunnel case. When you put it that kind of a context, upper management wakes up a little bit. They thought it was just an operational cost issue. IX. How to obtain more involvement from external stakeholders Bufton invited the audience to sit at the table earlier in the meeting. She asked everybody to help the OAC to do some thinking about how MNOSHA could more effectively reach external stakeholders and get that feedback and involvement to help it better serve its stakeholders.

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Wade noted some information was sent out to the OAC members about what the discussion would be regarding involvement for external stakeholders. She issued a sincere plea to allow the agency to hear from those who have to live with the regulations DLI enforces. DLI takes the comments and feedback seriously and is constantly looking for ways to improve the services it provides to its stakeholders. Wade noted bringing the meetings to outstate Minnesota was a small step. DLI truly wants to look at ways to get more individuals weighing-in about safety. She wants to hear what is important to you, as Allen mentioned. In some respects, she said she felt like she was "preaching to the choir" with the OAC, because everyone was committed to safety at work and we all want our employees to remain safe in whatever capacity they work. To accomplish that, DLI has very specific standards in which they provide consultation or enforcement. Wade asked what would be most helpful to the users and asked what they need from DLI, both sides of the program in MNOSHA. She had three questions to begin the discussion, but noted that was the context for input. Wade noted the OAC was a very respectful council, but she could not say the same for her experience with many of the other councils she participates on or administrates. When looking at this as a stakeholder, she asked how they thought MNOSHA could get more people involved. Wade noted there were not many people in the audience and added we have to figure out how to continue to make safety a priority for every employer. DLI does that through enforcement and consultation, but she wants to start thinking differently and think about whether DLI is meeting the needs and, if not, how it can help meeting those needs. Bufton noted she thought the questions sent to members with their agendas were meant to generate some thought about what the most effective ways were that MNOSHA could get input from external stakeholders. For example, what kinds of mechanisms into the organization would be helpful for those who are not part of the state system? Particularly, for employers when they are working with MNOSHA, she asked how they would like to be able to provide input to MNOSHA to make their operations most effective for themselves and, ultimately, to shape the agenda for occupational safety and health in Minnesota. Specifically, you and your involvement with Minnesota OSHA and then, in general, how can MNOSHA go out to the employers in Minnesota and get that information. She asked that people speak up, informally. Grundy noted that when he read the questions, the first thing he thought was that MNOSHA was a lot more visible and doing a lot more than Wade and the others think they are. When he listens to Todd and Collins and interfaces with them throughout the state and at training programs, he thought all of that was coming back to the table. He acknowledged it was important to do more, but he would start with the premise that there was an amplification effect through any company through the STAR status, and you have a number of good companies that work with us and we deal with them and MNOSHA was not even aware of them. He thought there were other companies in the same categories, so there was a lot of amplification going on that was not visible. Even though they might not have the time to come to a meeting like this, Grundy did not think the

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OAC was "working in the dark." He was getting input from a broad sector by talking to colleagues in the field. McGovern said one way to get interaction with the different subgroups was through professional organizations such as the Minnesota Association of Occupational Health Nurses. They meet monthly and look for service projects or governmental affairs projects. One idea, if there is enough time and enough resources, is for the agency to plan to have a MNOSHA spokesperson pose questions for the nurses who work at all the private employers and to ask them how they receive MNOSHA's presence and how they could work together to lift the safety of their workforce. Another suggestion was the industrial hygiene group, a huge group, and they also have an occupational medicine group. McGovern noted Wade came to a National Occupational Research Association (NORA) conference when they did a panel about ergonomics and that she got positive feedback about the comments Wade made about MNOSHA's efforts about ergonomics. Another forum for that kind of research is that they have the Midwest Center for Occupational Safety that trains people to go out and do occupational health and safety in the community. They have advisory board meetings that include representatives of private employers and maybe she could build MNOSHA into the agenda for one of their advisory groups and pose that same question for their employer and labor groups who are part of that, and ask what type of interface they need. Wade thanked McGovern for her comments and noted MNOSHA professional staff members participate in a number of the groups McGovern mentioned. She thought that was good and, based on resources and time, MNOSHA would always be open. McGovern knows her specific stakeholders better than MNOSHA ever would and Wade said she needed McGovern's voice out there with her stakeholders to make them aware that there is a desire from the MNOSHA program to hear their feedback. With adequate notice, Wade invited McGovern to contact her if there was an opening on the agenda. If she was not available, Todd, Collins or other professionals on staff, depending on what the needs are, would like to attend. Bufton asked Richter for input from his perspective. Richter said that, coming from the construction industry, it was hard to say how to get in front of a multitude of people. There are plumbing, electrical, steel erectors and a variety of people, so he suggested MNOSHA should go after more of their local chapters, the unions and the apprenticeship programs. You could get it into their heads when these guys are new that OSHA was not out there to hurt you, they are there to help you. He noted when he started with his company seven years ago, safety was always an issue, but it was not strong. Now they have a good safety program and they have their safety problems down quite a bit just by informing their employees; now they are not worried about OSHA. Mary Cummins, from IBM, suggested that aside from having Wade or her staff members actually go to present information, they could write an article and put it in a quarterly or every-six-months-type of newsletter for the Minnesota nursing organizations.

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Information could be provided about what MNOSHA does and that they need your help getting the word out. That would not use any manpower other than having a note they could share with their organizations and on their Web sites. They all have Web sites where MNOSHA could share information about where to access information about MNOSHA. Cummins agreed with Richter that training about what OSHA does just before people leave the vocational or technical training school was a good idea. Then when the employees start with an employer they would know about OSHA. Her son is a carpenter and works for a big construction company in the city. He talks about MNOSHA and said it was his worst enemy. If they started out on the right foot, they would realize MNOSHA was there to help. That word needs to get out there. A visitor, Aaron Hess, commented that the basic perception was of how MNOSHA could go about implementing regulations and giving citations. One question was what motivated Superior to make all of those changes and become very aware of safety and what motivated other industries to do that. A lot of the time it was finances. Grundy suggested building on some of these ideas with the various strong organizations, unions and chambers we have around the state. He suggested sending some formal invitations at the beginning of the year, with a list of the OAC meeting dates and the location of the meetings. He wondered whether that would get some response. Also, publish the invitation in places where you can put announcements for free, such as with the Minnesota Safety Council. Bufton agreed that was a great idea and it would be helpful to always build in this kind of conversation with some issues that they were looking for input on so that employers, employees, union folks, apprenticeship folks and people from the professional societies would know what the topic was going to be and can come to the meeting prepared to actively participate in the discussion. This would mean the OAC would have to "get their act together" as a council, in December for the 2005 meeting schedule with those issues that need to addressed by this organization. Harvey Burski said there was still a big fear factor out there of OSHA. He did not think many people realize the value. He gets questions and, if he asks if they talked to their local OSHA, the person would say they never call them. When he asks why not, they say they do not want to call, due to the fear of retribution. You have to tell them there is a consultation side and there are ways they will help you without them coming onboard and giving you a citation. He noted that when you read the newspaper, you see the headlines that OSHA cited so-and-so $100,000 for this or that. That was the bad press. He asked how you get the good press. Burski suggested adding the insurance people to the list of professional organizations. Every small company out there gets loss-control quotes from its insurance company; a lot of them are members of MSSE, but they also have their own discipline at insurance groups. Training sessions are available and are very valuable to an employer. He suggested meeting with them to let them know what OSHA does to help, other than coming onboard for a serious injury. Find ways to get to those folks.

OSHA Advisory Council Minutes

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September 10, 2004

Allen suggested ways to change MNOSHA's image modifier to augment its image in terms of a contributor. They are enforcers and have a responsibility to carry that mission out. It would be great if the consultation side, with its wonderful dividends, could publish a short article, maybe in the Star Tribune or on the Web site, once a month about one really big success, such as a VPP organization. They could outline how they partnered with that organization and talk specifically about two or three big paybacks. That big payback could be an increase in productivity, an increase in "presentee-ism" and it could be a decrease in direct medical costs paid for a given period of time. This could be linked to the interventions that MNOSHA brought to the table through its free consultation services, so senior leadership of other businesses could read and know that whatever challenges that business was facing, safety can help them gain ground from a profitability and competitive standpoint by them implementing and partnering with OSHA. That may bring more people knocking at WSC's door than they can service. However, it would help to change the face of what it represents. In that short article, they could talk about their success and how it impacted the stability of another American company or entrepreneurial adventure. And they could mail these articles to entities to get their attention. For example, look at what we did at Allina, where patient transfer was a high-hazard task and took so many minutes away from critical care. We helped them develop a solution and now it was one of the low-priority tasks, because of "x, y and z." Allen asked if the communications person DLI has on staff writes technical articles. Cummins commented the Minnesota Safety Council reaches people outside of the state of Minnesota. Bufton taps into all kinds of people when it comes to different job levels and that would be another opportunity to give out a handout. When she attended the classes, there was information available to them. She did not know what kind of a budget there was to work with. Every year, every company gets mandatory Department of Labor forms they have to fill in. If a mailing could be developed that provided a helpful handbook from MNOSHA with this information, that would get the information out and tap a lot of people. The mandatory mailings get people's attention and it would get the information out there. Breider referred to Burski's earlier comment about people's perception of OSHA and Bufton mentioned having a piece of the OAC meeting dedicated to discussion about an issue. As part of the outreach training, he thought there was a great opportunity there and he has learned, being part of that, they do an excellent job for the people coming to those sessions, of educating them, not just on ergonomics, but on "this is what compliance does and this is what consultation does." One presenter actually said, "we are the softer side of OSHA," and they are trying to change that perception, so people know there are two different entities that exist. People do not realize that. He suggested dedicating five or 10 minutes at the beginning of the training or outreach sessions to talk about the OSHA set-up with the two groups and, for those who are not aware of that, give the information about how to contact WSC. When people heard there was a wall dividing them and they do not talk to each other, they will start to understand that and embrace it. It will get back to their organization as more people hear about the two sides.

OSHA Advisory Council Minutes

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September 10, 2004

Bufton said she took notes and she thought there were at least a dozen strong ideas that came from this discussion. She thanked everyone for thinking about it and being prepared in advance. She expected good things would come from the discussion and expressed her appreciation. X. Future agenda items Bufton noted the December discussion topic would be about companies that are using behavior-based safety models. She asked Wade if this would be for fact-finding or whether they were looking for input. Wade said she thought they were going to identify some companies. Todd said in the brainstorming session, one of the items that was brought up was to identify companies that are using behavioral safety models and to find out what has been working for them, the successful changes within the actual environment within those companies. They would try to use their techniques and learn from them how that could be useful and how OSHA deals with companies in general. Collins said some of the STAR sites and SHARP sites use this model effectively. Bufton invited OAC members with some specific issues related to behavior-based safety they would like to see covered or questions they would like to see answered to contact Deb Caswell. That will help to shape that piece of the agenda. Allen asked for a clarification of whether the OAC would like to have people volunteer to make a presentation of the behavior-based safety models. Wade said they would. Collins noted one of the initial ideas was to get some volunteers from the STAR and SHARP sites to come forth with their success stories about how they got from where they were to where they are today. They would include some of the things talked about regarding their organizations and the impact of safety and health. Allen asked if they were looking for someone who could run down what worked for them and what did not work. Todd said that would be helpful to get a broader approach. The MNSTAR and MNSHARP sites would definitely help, but she also thought if anyone knows of a company or if anyone has any information to share, that would help to educate us all and that would be ideal. Grundy invited everyone to stay for lunch and provided a tour of their facility with the manager of their manufacturing side where they make the big computers. The meeting was adjourned at 11:45 a.m. Respectfully submitted, Debbie Caswell Executive Secretary dc/s