OSHA Advisory Council Dec.

2, 2005 Minutes

Members: Carol Bufton Harvey Burski Michael Hawthorne Pat McGovern Ed Raine Scott Richter Bill Stuart Daryl Tindle

Staff members: Susan Boone James Collins Alden Hoffman Jeff Isakson Jim Krueger Roslyn Wade

Members absent: Eric Ajax Melanie Isabell Allen Eugene Harmer

Visitors: Flore Allen Stacey Fujll Mark Hysell Lois Klobachar John Nesse Gary Thaden

The meeting was called to order by chairperson Carol Bufton at 10:10 a.m. Members introduced themselves. Pat McGovern asked when she should discuss the NORA meeting in Chicago. Bufton told her now would be fine, because she is aware McGovern would be leaving early. McGovern reported that on Dec. 19, the National Institute on Safety and Health (NIOSH) will be meeting in Chicago. It is called a town hall meeting and they travel across the country to try to organize representation from labor and industry and public institutions to help identify research priorities for the next decade. The National Occupational Research Agenda (NORA) has been around for a decade and now they want to do NORA II. McGovern explained they take seriously the public comment they get and it helps them decide their research priorities and what kind of research they are going to fund, i.e., is it going to be in the construction industry, looking at some of the risk factors that cause the fatalities that we’ve been hearing about in this advisory council or something else. McGovern said if anyone is interested they should give her their card afterward and she would resend them the e-mail message and the link. Registration is necessary. She noted she would be taking comments from her colleagues in the School of Public Health; if anyone in the group would like her to give comments on their behalf, she would be more than happy to do that. What NORA asks you to do is: say what the issue is; the number of people you

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think are affected by the issue or problem; and how you think research could contribute to prevention and control of the hazard. Visitors introduced and identified themselves. Harvey Burski made a motion to approve the minutes from the March 4, 2005 meeting. Bill Stuart seconded the motion. All voted in favor of the motion and the motion passed. The agenda was approved as presented. V. Assistant commissioner report Assistant Commissioner Wade stated that at the last meeting, the advisory council started to hear discussion about where the department was headed and that on May 16, 2005, the governor’s executive order consolidating the code units went into effect. For the Department of Labor and Industry this meant five different code construction operational units would now be housed within the Department of Labor and Industry. Previously, the agency’s involvement with the construction code units was limited to the boiler and highpressure piping unit. Now, four other units have been combined with this unit to make up the Construction Code and Licensing Division. The specific units impacted by this reorganization include: the Building Codes and Standards unit, formerly of the Department of Administration; the Plumbing and Engineering unit, formerly of the Department of Health; the Electrical Licensing and Inspection unit, previously referred to as the Board of Electricity, which was a stand-alone agency; and the Residential Building Contractors unit, formerly with the Department of Commerce. Wade reported the four new units have all been successfully moved into the building and, collectively, the new division is made up of approximately 120 employees. She shared that it’s been an especially exciting journey for her because all of the new business units report to her, making her very busy. Wade stated that while much of her direct focus has been on consolidation of the code units, her other responsibilities have not been ignored. Wade explained we’re looking at every opportunity to make the most of the code consolidation and really go to the heart of the thought processes behind the consolidation. One of the reasons the Department of Labor and Industry was chosen as the agency to oversee these units is because of the close ties of building construction and our safety programs. The group was reminded that earlier in the year they discussed the alarming trend of increased fatalities and one of the suggestions that came from this group was that we work closer with the building construction industry, including the state and local inspection staff, to advance safety at every opportunity and really to get in on the ground floor when the buildings are just going up or use those other resources to continue to advance safety. Low and behold, a month later, they have become part of DLI. Wade noted we are continuing to look at opportunities to pair up MNOSHA staff, get the management to find opportunities to talk with each other, talk about best practices, look for opportunities on every level – from the line staff right up to the management, and vice versa. Her attention has been focused on bringing the groups into the building successfully and the last group moved into the building Oct. 28. Now, with everyone under one roof, we are focusing our attention on what additional structural changes are needed to fully implement this consolidation. We are starting to look at individual functions to determine the most efficient way to accomplish servicing the construction industry. It’s all been very, very

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exciting. It’s been time, resource and labor intensive, but – at the end of the day – the consolidation is a good initiative to undertake. It has been around for more than 10 years and, under this administration, we are starting to see the benefits of consolidating and improving services for the end users. Wade indicated she is now in the process of hiring an executive director. The executive director will be invited to future advisory council meetings because there is a strong correlation between good compliance with the building codes and insuring the integrity and the safety of both our work and our living environments. Many relevant discussions are taking place each day with both the MNOSHA Compliance and Workplace Safety Consultation units working with different components of Construction Code and Licensing Division. It is a unique opportunity to work with known partners in a very different manner. Wade stated one of the core stakeholders of the Construction Code and Licensing Division is the electrical unit. This unit already has partnerships with many of the larger players in the electrical industry. There is an alliance with both the Minnesota Electrical Association and the Builders Association of Minnesota. In many respects, these are not new customers of DLI, but now we have a different relationship with them. A lot of them are already known partners; for those we don’t know as well yet, we will be getting to know them better over time. Wade reported the agency is now preparing for the Legislature. She stated that while in many of the past years a very lean legislative packet was proposed and maintained, that will not be the case this year. Because of the consolidation, there is a need for proposing a comprehensive bill that will clean up the legislation the Construction Code and Licensing Division previously was under. All the statutory authority will have to be transferred to the Department of Labor and Industry under the leadership of Commissioner Brener. Additionally, technical changes must be made to realize the full benefit of the consolidation. There will be a comprehensive bill, but the proposal is not finalized at this point. By the next time we meet, we will be able to share with the group the direction we’re heading. Wade commented we would also be looking for any other quick wins. It is very clear that we have five operational units that have more similarities than differences; however, some of the differences include licensing provisions, fee structures and enforcement statutory construction. We are reviewing the statutes to identify best practices; we are working with the existing leadership to get the dialogue going about what works and what doesn’t work; and we are examining whether customer needs are being met. There are many decisions that have not been finalized, but we have made significant progress during the past six months and we will continue to make progress. We will continue to rely on the input of the stakeholders to help shape our future directions. Council members and members of the audience are invited to bring concerns to Wade’s attention. Wade indicated that both the compliance and consultation units would be reporting today. The other unit that is under her purview is the Labor Standards and Apprenticeship unit; those units are working hard with their limited resources and moving their agendas forward as well.

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VI. Federal OSHA update Mark Hysell, federal area OSHA director, introduced himself and stated he became area director for federal OSHA approximately six months ago. He is charged with oversight of the MNOSHA program for the federal government. Hysell believes it’s not really oversight of, but rather assistance to MNOSHA. MNOSHA has an outstanding program and he will do everything he can to help. Hysell stated there is not a lot of news. Deputy Assistant Secretary Snare is still the acting deputy assistant secretary and has been acting since President Bush’s election to a second term. On Sept. 15, Bush announced his intention to fill the position with Edwin Falk from South Carolina. Falk is presently an attorney and a former chairman of the Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission. He has an extensive background in safety and health. Because of the transition, there is no new regulatory news today. Federal OSHA, state-plan states and MNOSHA are involved in recovery and reconstruction efforts in the south. Compliance officers and compliance assistance specialists are there working seven days a week, with no end in sight. It could be many months or years before the process is completed. Hysell reported the federal OSHA fiscal-year 2006 budget is very tight. Effective Nov. 15, a hard hiring freeze was put in place. There will be no vacancy announcements in the nation for a federal OSHA position unless it has prior approval by the national office. That policy will be in effect until further notice. If someone hadn’t been selected, offered and accepted a position before Nov. 15, they will not be hired. Hysell noted federal OSHA closed the area office in Minneapolis last fiscal-year and we are approaching the anniversary of that closure. At the time, it was hoped federal OSHA would provide excellent customer support to customers in Minnesota and to MNOSHA, even though those operations were consolidated to the area office in Eau Claire, Wis. Hysell believes the transition has gone well. Support of the MNOSHA program is as effective as it was when the area office was located in Minneapolis. Bruski asked Hysell if he can tell us where he is from and a little about his background. Hysell responded he is from southern Illinois, which is where he grew up. He also spent a lot of time in Wisconsin. He was graduated from Southern Illinois University in Carbondale, Ill., with an engineering degree. He’s worked for the Department of Defense Air Force in California at Edwards Air Force base in missile test and flight test for 22 years before taking the position with federal OSHA. He took a position with federal OSHA in 1997 that was a considerable downgrade from his former federal government position. Originally, he was a supervisor with the Department of Defense Air Force and moved his family back to Eau Claire, Wis., where he started as a compliance officer, moved up and was promoted to area director in April. Tindle asked if several regional director positions would remain open. Hysell stated all but the Texas regional administrator position are filled; Texas is being filled on an acting basis. There are 10 regional administrators in the nation. Federal OSHA is approaching 35 years in existence and, because of that, there are many pending retirements. Everybody that’s a manager in federal OSHA is pretty close to retirement. This means there will be a big change at the top coming. It is unknown how the hiring freeze will impact this.

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Raine asked how involved Hysell is with the CCO, certified safety operator. Hysell responded he is not involved at all. Eau Claire enforces the code of federal regulations in northwest Wisconsin and monitors MNOSHA. Trends in the future will be that some federal offices in state-plan states will be consolidated into the nearest federal office in a federal enforcement state. When the federal office in Minneapolis closed, it saved the taxpayers approximately $90,000 a year in office lease space and equipment, which is nothing compared to what is being saved in payroll in the four positions from that office. VII. Staff reports Compliance – Jeff Isakson Isakson noted that at the last meeting he presented a number of project reports that were still in draft form. They have now been completed and the executive summaries are in member packets. In the first one, fatalities, catastrophes and serious injuries investigated in the years 2000 through 2005 were analyzed. Part of this project included developing informative letters to those stakeholders identified as having a higher number of fatal and serious injuries that occurred within their SIC. We are currently in the process of getting those letters out. The second project was to analyze data from the 2004 health inspection program targeting isocyanate exposure in the spray-on truck-bed-relining industry. That will be discussed later in this presentation. Isakson stated two other projects were done by our Research and Statistics unit, one was to compare workers’ compensation claims and OSHA data initiative cases to determine whether it makes sense to continue using both sources and ascertain what, if anything, can be learned to improve MNOSHA’s targeting strategies. Isakson indicated the final project was analyzing workers’ compensation safety incentives in Minnesota and offering ideas for expanding these incentives in the Assigned Risk Plan (ARP). OSHSPA: Isakson reported that on Oct. 27 and 28, 2005, Commissioner Scott Brener, Workers’ Compensation Division Assistant Commissioner Patricia Todd and he attended the Occupational Safety and Health State Plan Association (OSHSPA) meeting in New York. Isakson noted this was his first OSHSPA meeting and it was very enjoyable. He learned a lot and met many peers from the other states that share the same incentives and concerns we do. One of the highlights included a discussion of Hurricane Katrina relief efforts. In Minnesota at that time, we had 17 volunteers from both the consultation and compliance groups. Within the past week, two others asked if they could participate in this effort, putting us at 19 volunteers. To date, no MNOSHA employees have been deployed through federal OSHA, but a request has been made that the list be updated, because they will be sending people out, scheduling from January through March 2006.

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Isakson noted two of our staff members went to participate in the relief efforts through the American Red Cross. That was early in the disaster relief effort. One individual has stated he would like to return. Isakson commented that the brief explanation provided to MNOSHA about what the roles and responsibilities would be when staff members go down there is that it is primarily for outreach and consultation purposes, to work with the folks who are working with the demolition and renovation process in the area. This will take place for at least one year, if not longer, and they are also looking to send workers to the Florida area. Isakson stated another discussion he participated in, with constituents from other stateplan states, was employee retention. What other states are facing is no different than what we are facing here in Minnesota. Maryland OSHA is starting to offer an employment package with the intent being to keep a new employee for three years. Their employment package includes: premium training, which is training that OSHA provides to an employee coming from another area in the workforce or someone coming from a safety and health college program – training that is second to none; resume building, including assigning them the role of a project manager on an agency project; and, finally, to help to attain CSP/CIH. Health: Isakson reported MNOSHA’s Truck Bed Liner Local Emphasis Program was completed for 2005. Thirty-seven sites were inspected, of which 18 were identified with overexposures, and 94 citations were issued. The most common citations identified were: no respiratory protection, methylene bisphenyl isocyanate (MBI) over-exposure, lack of engineering controls, and no written right-to-know (RTK) program or training. Informational letters have been sent to affected stakeholders summarizing results and abatement recommendations. Abatement follow-up is the next phase of the program and will take place in 2006. Construction: Isakson stated MNOSHA has a group that meets on a regular basis to implement the recommendations that were brought forward in March in response to the fatalities occurring in the construction industry. Isakson noted our Construction Breakfast program has seen a lot of success; in fact, attendance has increased 34 percent compared to 2004. The last two Construction Breakfast seminars – personal fall-arrest systems and skid steer worksite safety – had 175 participants each. Both presentations were well received. The next breakfast is scheduled for Jan. 17, 2006, and will feature Scott Richert, St. Paul Travelers, who will talk about the cost of not having a real safety program. Further information can be found on the MNOSHA Web pages. Outreach: Isakson indicated the small-business presentations will continue through 2006. MNOSHA continues to give presentations on the behalf of the Minnesota Safety Council, Midwest Center for Occupational Health and Safety, Minnesota Health and Housing Alliance, and small businesses. Last quarter, approximately 30 presentations were conducted for 900 participants. In addition, we had a booth at the Midwest Plant Engineering Show. The fall edition of Safety Lines is available on the MNOSHA Web pages. We will have an article in the next edition of Safety Lines regarding new crane legislation taking effect July 1, 2007.

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Ed Raine commented that in California they waited until the last month and could not get in. He is aware it is being promoted through the AGC safety committee and that we are promoting it. Isakson responded that MNOSHA is moving forward and starting to inform as many stakeholders as possible, so they can begin their training now and give themselves at least a year and a half to get their certifications. We are also working with the BNE’s Occupational Safety and Health Reporter and their end of the year document, which is a periodical, will have an article about Minnesota. We’re also putting together a number of letters that will be sent to affected stakeholders that we identify through AGC and ABC, and we will continue to do that on a six-month basis. Employee training: Isakson reported that in mid-November, MNOSHA staff members attended the OSHA 2015 hazardous materials course conducted by OTI in Shoreview, Minn. We received many positive comments from our staff in regard to this training. We plan on bringing OTI here again in the spring to present a trenching and excavation course for MNOSHA staff members. Also, MNOSHA is in the planning stages for an electrical training course and high-voltage training. Isakson indicated Bob Sarna is the new Greater Minnesota supervisor for Duluth; Tyrone Taylor is the new supervisor in the construction area, replacing Mitz Del Caro, who retired; and Jerry Sykora is the new metro construction principal. There are a number of open positions in the process of being filled. There are 10 in all, which sounds like a high number, but analysis shows only two of the 10 were from resignations. The rest are due to promotions or noncerts. Isakson stated MNOSHA continues to conduct quality assurance inspections within all units. Supervisors and principal leads are going out with inspectors and investigators to make sure there is consistency throughout the state. Isakson noted the IMIS redesign’s first phase was completed during the past quarter. This system is being put into place to streamline and simplify data collection, organization and report writing. This will help MNOSHA move forward technologically. Isakson reported a group from DLI went to Washington, D.C., last week to meet with federal OSHA to determine how we can partner to move forward with the IMIS process and ensure the MNOSHA system meets all the requirements of the federal IMIS system. The group included an ITS project manager, the IMIS project consultant, Patricia Todd and Commissioner Brener. Just before today’s meeting, the commissioner told Isakson he’s had feedback that the meeting was quite a success. McGovern asked for clarification about the date of the next Construction Breakfast. Jim Krueger responded it is Jan. 17, from 7 to 9 a.m., and the cost of the breakfast is $10. Scott Richert, St. Paul Travelers, plans to go over the cost of an injury and also discuss the compliance issues. Information can be found on the DLI Web site at www.doli.state.mn.us/brkfst.html.

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Tindle asked if there was any input from federal OSHA regarding training for 70E as compared to 269, because there are rumblings that the lockout/tagout procedure typical to general industry and the utility industry is going to be enforced in power production. In talking to a lot of people, he’s learned that physically locking out of all energy sources in a power plant is a substantial undertaking with valves, hydraulic steam, etc. Isakson asked Hysell what he could tell them. Hysell responded the rulemaking committee has extended the comment period for the revisions of that for 90 days, until Jan. 11. In addition to that proposal, there are also proposals for working in enclosed spaces and working on energized electrical, among other employee protections. A member of the audience asked if there is a plan to increase MNOSHA inspectors. Isakson responded “not at this time.” He explained there are currently 17 inspectors on the health side and approximately 40 on the safety side. Wade stated that discussions began this past year with federal OSHA about benchmarks. The benchmark process looks at the total population of the state and the type of industries in the state, then sets minimal standards about what federal OSHA believes is an acceptable number of investigative staff members. There is some potential, but discussions have not been finalized yet. We believe there is room for some growth; however, we want it to be smart growth and make sure we are recruiting and retaining in areas that we need it most. We have met our targets as previously agreed on with federal OSHA. Part of the process includes ensuring there are state resources that can be specifically identified for purposes of matching or requesting additional federal dollars. We have some legwork to do here in Minnesota. We simply do not have the discretion, by the Legislature nor by our agreement with federal OSHA, to say we need more investigators. It is a very complicated process to secure appropriate resources. Before we can target recruiting additional staff members, we have to secure the appropriate resources that go along with that. Not just at the state Legislature, but we must also ensure federal OSHA is on board with continuing to provide us the 50/50 match that our agreement allows. Workplace Safety Consultation – Jim Collins Collins stated his presentation would be brief; he has only five items to discuss. The first item is administrative operations. Last time we met, we had five vacancies; of the five, we have three filled, with two to go. The other two should be filled soon. This is the first time we have had this many vacancies going at one time in 10 to 12 years. Thanks to Jeff for assistance. Those who have come to Workplace Safety Consultation from Compliance, we consider promotions. Collins reported item two is an update about the federal inspector general’s audit. At the last meeting it was reported the federal auditors were here for the first time. They were here for seven weeks. Their goal was to make sure the consultation program is working as we have promised the feds and that it works smoothly and efficiently, that all hazards identified are abated timely. Our focus is for small employers. Four, sometimes five, auditors spent

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seven weeks here. At the end of seven weeks, after reviewing federal fiscal-years 2002, 2003 and 2004, they concluded the overall program is being managed effectively and efficiently. Collins explained that, as in every audit, there is a list of things to be fixed. One of those has to do with interim protection where the consultant identifies a hazard, explains it to the employer and if the employer does not fix the hazard right away, which is to remove the employee from the hazard, they have to provide interim protection for that employee from the hazard. The records show we did those well, but did not document sufficiently. Going forward, each serious hazard will have interim protection documented in the file. We do this now with employers, but there was not enough documentation in our files. Collins indicated another issue that was brought up was that the local IMIS data did not always match the federal host IMIS data. We’ll work to rectify the databases to make them current. This is a work in progress; we’ll work with Mark Hysell. Federal OSHA is also in the process of changing from old computers to new computers. The timetable is about three years. There is a long, tedious history with this project. Bufton offered congratulations for scoring with flying colors. Collins offered an update about alliances, stating there are currently eight alliances of official record, with many more informal alliances. Recently there were signings with Minnesota Mechanical Contractors Association and with the printing industry. We have a lot of work with the alliances and we are changing strategies; we are working with the alliances to help us organize training sessions where we actually send consultants to provide training, but the rooms, coffee, rolls and many other things are provided. It is a nice way to work handin-glove with the alliances. They also make huge contributions in terms of best practices. Collins commented we also provide training and education at other institutions for potential alliances, such as Dunwoody Institute, and we have the 30-hour construction course for future job-site superintendents. Hennepin Technical College has 11 training sessions scheduled about safety and health management systems training. Last year we did nearly 450 training sessions, training almost 18,000 employers and employees. Collins reported the MNSTAR program is approaching the last phase of a four-phase project with Flint Hills, one of our larger accounts. This has gone really well. We’ve identified more than 100 hazards and they have all been corrected. We reviewed all of the programs, completed the interviews and now we are on the final phase of making recommendation to the commissioner. Collins indicated last year’s LogSafe training has been completed. More than 1,000 people were trained in courses that included CPR, AWAIR, Right-to-Know and fire extinguisher. The satisfaction rate is extremely high, in the 90th percentile. Bufton asked how many companies are in the pipeline of the MNSTAR program, working toward recognition. Collins responded there are five in the pipeline as of Nov. 25; he anticipates two or three more coming in by mid-January. They are done in phases and currently we are involved with four of the five sites.

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Bufton asked how a company gets into the process. Does the company come to DLI or does DLI recruit? Collins answered that the word has been out there since the compliance side had Minnesota First, a program that focused on large employers in general industry. In addition, we also have former employees out there helping and reminding employers that this is an excellent program. We are now moving into the construction industry to have a similar program. It will be a site-specific program for construction. Collins indicated there would be training coming up this month that will be a followup about our ergonomics study for nursing homes. There will be three sessions. There are 26 nursing homes in the study. The goal of the study is to show a 50 percent reduction in workers’ comp costs and ensure all employers in the program have an effective safety and health program. Registration for each of the workshops is looking good. We will continue to offer this training. Burski asked if the AWAIR program was being taught in the LogSafe seminars. Collins responded that this training is done every other year, because it has been requested. Surveys show this to be a priority. VIII. New business: Building OSHA’s brand Bufton stated this discussion goes back to the strategic planning session a year and a half ago and is one of the last remaining items. At that time, discussion centered on whether OSHA should be perceived as a compliance organization or a consultation organization? What does MNOSHA represent in people’s minds, inside the organization and outside? We felt at that time that further discussion was needed about how we could help MNOSHA think about shaping their brand to better represent how the agency wants to be perceived. Things to think about include: how do we perceive MNOSHA; what is the business of MNOSHA; what do we think is the public’s perception of our business. What do we do and how do we do it? How easy is it to do business with MNOSHA? What is the personality we want to project? We will not be able to get deeply into it, but if we could provide comments for the agency to think about as they go about shaping their brand, that would be helpful. Tindle suggested the key idea is that “perception should be consistent among all three groups.” He thinks it is a wonderful goal, but difficult. Look at number eight, “How do we want our constituents to see us?” What if we could get the concept to employers, to labor and to the general public that MNOSHA, particularly with Workplace Safety Consultation, could be viewed as an advisor, a trainer or a mentor who happens to have enforcement authority. That might be a good way for people to perceive MNOSHA. Right now, when speaking to employers on properties where he represents the employees, OSHA is almost a dirty word. Burski agreed with Tindle. He stated he has students currently out doing walkthroughs in industries and the issue with the employer right now is “I’ll let you come in, but please don’t report me.” To him, that means they perceive the OSHA folks as something they don’t want to deal with. We need to find a way to make OSHA look like a more helpful agency than industry perceives. Comments he receives are “I don’t want anything to do with them if I can help it.”

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McGovern suggested she is curious about how OSHA wants to be seen. Historically, the accent mark was always on enforcement, yet under the Bush administration, the accent mark clearly is on consultation. The question she would have for the agency is: how do you want people to think of you first or is it always both? Should there be an accent mark? If there should, what would it be? Also, how is the budget structured, consultation versus enforcement, because that is part of the story too. Isakson indicated that coming from his past in private industry to the agency, the perception he would like to see of how people view the agency is that of MNOSHA as an organization focused toward preventing people from getting hurt. That would be first and foremost, because that is the business we are here to do. We do this by making sure certain laws and standards are put in place to ensure that happens, and these are maintained by the stakeholders affected by them. We are here to help stakeholders achieve this through outreach, consultation and enforcement. Raine stated that in construction that is not the message they are receiving. They do not want to see MNOSHA coming. He is totally opposite; he would welcome MNOSHA on any job, because he thinks it only strengthens the programs, which is what you try to teach. He works with 21 companies as a consultant. Ryan Construction is one of the companies he works with and they welcome MNOSHA on any job, but they are unique. Maybe that is what the agency can promote, more that you are there to help. Yes, you will fine a company, but that is not really the point. The fines mean nothing compared to the insurance costs or an injury; your fines are peanuts. If we can get that message across to them, it might be a goal. Isakson stated it is an interesting thing when you, as a consultant or others as safety professionals or administrators, want to move an organization forward to implement a policy or procedure within the organization, one of the first questions that is brought back to you as the person recommending that change is “what does OSHA say?” What do the standards say, being that the standards and those rules are the minimum? Raine commented he stresses that a lot, that too many minimums are going to cause an accident. His goal is to put a lot more maximums than minimums in place. McGovern stated there is a tendency to perceive MNOSHA as a nameless, faceless bureaucracy and the fear of a fine, and not understanding that you can work with OSHA to reduce a fine. There is a disconnect between consultation and compliance. If there were a way to get the face of the MNOSHA staff out there, it would decrease the fear factor. Her personal experience is that the organization is incredibly helpful and responsive, yet somehow this does not get communicated. She tries to encourage people getting trained in the occupational health and safety disciplines to see OSHA as a resource and to communicate that to employers. Raine commented he uses OSHA to verify what his companies are doing. He finds them very helpful, but trying to get this across to employers is a whole different story. He doesn’t know how to do it. The problem started many, many years ago, when he was a MNOSHA Compliance officer with DLI. Basically, they were out to get companies. It has changed now, but the perception remains.

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Bufton responded there is a dichotomy because MNOSHA has enforcement authority and it is the only agency that does in this area; for some employers, that is the motivator to capture their attention. Clearly, the other piece of it needs to be communicated as well. Wade stated the agency has looked at its overall mission and has moved from promoting a safe and healthful work environment to being a trusted resource for both employees and employers. Redefining our mission will go a long way; however, we are in the early stages of marketing a new mission statement. OSHA is now 35 years old and a lot can change in 35 years, going from being on the ground floor of simply establishing minimal standards in the workplace to really promoting and prioritizing safety in every possible arena. We’ve seen the political pendulum shift back and forth depending on the administration, depending on the knowledge base and previous experience. We all benefit when we prioritize safety. It has been her experience that federal OSHA advertises when large fines are levied. That is what they advertise to the mass media, so you will see it reported in USA Today that XYZ organization out of Louisiana, or anywhere else, was fined $250,000 for some named violation. The part of story that does not get told is that a fine levied is not necessarily a fine that is collected on. What we leave with the public is a huge distaste for an organization that seems to have endless power with their ability to fine any employer they find in violation. That story is not followed up with information that, through negotiation and the settlement process, OSHA allowed the same company to reinvest $100,000 of the penalty into their safety program. There seems to be a disconnect. Wade indicated she would like to see the country as a whole, certainly the state of Minnesota, move from not only advertising the bad news to the general audience, but to really starting to talk about how we become a more trusted resource. She believes we are a trusted resource for employees or, at least, we are a first call for help. She would like us to be a first call for help for our employers as well. We all have a role to play in that. As she speaks to different audiences, she always tells them we have two sides of the coin within this building. We have the workers’ compensation system, for when safety fails, and we have the safety program, which is inclusive of both enforcement and consultation. We need a balanced program for safety to succeed, because without strong enforcement our history shows us that many employers will not prioritize safety. Enforcement was really designed to be a tool to assure minimum safety standards are complied with. It was never intended to be this huge overarching stick, where the penalty could be so big that companies fear we are basically out to put them out of business. Wade stated she recognizes at MNOSHA it takes a strong economic environment for the state to prosper and for people to have a place to go to work. We have to somehow rethink how we talk to individuals about OSHA. Many of the organizations she speaks to have some relationship with our agency and they know OSHA to be more than just an enforcement organization. We must be careful, but we must reshape how we think about OSHA and how we think about the department as a whole. It is a fine line for regulators to walk, because we do not want the regulatory or the enforcement end to be compromised to just ensure folks don’t cringe when they see us coming. We can do a better job of getting the message out that we have resources here that are available to employers. We have technical expertise that is often available on demand, we look for captive audiences and we have massive information available electronically. All of you can help us get a different word out to Minnesota employers, in particular. It is not the employees that cringe; it is those who will be held

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responsible for paying a fine. Employers are the group that we need to focus our attention on to reshape that message. Raine noted there was a case a few years back where we lost two people, two electricians and the general contractor got involved. The president of the company came in and said that if they reduced the fine in half, which was a $25,000 fine, on his recommendations, the company could take the other half and put it into training; he was willing to put $50,000 into training in the next 18 months. Since then, they have already spent another $50,000. This never got in the paper or on the news; only the $25,000 fine was publicized. Somehow we have to get the media to acknowledge this. Lois Klobachar stated she thinks we should be out there promoting the MNSTAR program, MNSHARP, the grants, those things we are doing for the public. The company she works for got a MNSHARP award and they contacted the papers and other media, but no one would pick it up. Tindle commented that OSHA looks like the bad guy for levying the fine, then the appeal goes through the AG’s office and they become the good guy that splits it up, cuts it in half or diverts some back to the company. It would be better if the financial structure could be set up in such a way that OSHA could make the initial suggestion and, therefore, look like they are advocating the consultation program and training, as opposed to just being the enforcement entity. Hawthorne stated that when speaking about the employer, the public perception is mostly the employees. They are the ones the employer has the contact with. If you have an employer who is afraid of OSHA, that attitude will be spread down to their employees also. In his OSHA 10 classes, the biggest thing he has to get through to everybody is what their rights are. Most of these people don’t understand they do not have to sacrifice their safety for their employer. No one really understands what OSHA has done for them over the years. An amazing example he saw was a story about a dam built in Brazil. They didn’t have records for it, but estimated 145 people died during the construction of that dam. Can you imagine what we would do if 145 died on a single project here? That is simply unheard of, but we take that for granted. I think the public perception of what OSHA is and what OSHA does is simply not known or is not understood. Bufton noted she was just looking at the national statistics and in all types of injuries there are a little less than 100,000 people killed in unintentional injuries each year. Of those, 4,200 are in the workplace. All of the rest are outside of the workplace, so that is a huge tribute to the work of the employers and employees, but was also driven by OSHA during the past few decades. Wade explained that our existing process allows us to work with employers. Whenever there is an inspection, if citations are issued, the employer has the opportunity to object to either the citation or the dollar value. We do get a lot of contested penalties and citations and that initiates a process where the employer is invited into the agency in an informal setting. This is prior to the case’s being referred to the AG’s office. During the process, we look at the employer’s size and history, the gravity of the violations and the potential for the hazard to cause serious harm or death. Regardless of the situation, we do

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have some tools that take most of that information into consideration even before the fine is levied. But after the fine is levied or the penalty is assessed, employers still have an opportunity to negotiate with DLI. Wade stated that some employers are not motivated. Oftentimes, employers or citizens as a whole will look for a political solution to issues that could be more easily addressed through administrative activity. That is, some employers would prefer to look not at how we can resolve this situation, but how can you get me out of this. The OSHA division as a whole works through the resolution process very successfully. We do a lot of penalty reduction. Even the most vocal opponents of OSHA don’t always tell the full story about what their actual experience was. Wade inquired how we reshape the thinking around the benefit of having a state-plan program with these resources available. If we advertise more, people will perceive us differently. The OSHA program should be perceived as a whole that has two very different, strategic components, one being enforcement and one being consultation. There are many different tools that are used through both programs. We have to do a better job of telling the full story. Wade asked what other venues there are for us to use to talk about how the settlement process works. We have professionals in the field that are highly regarded and able to present themselves in a professional manner. Hopefully, the employer is learning something regardless of the outcome or what it might mean to their immediate bottom line. We are saving them money, because the cost of an injury almost always exceeds the cost of an OSHA penalty that may have forced the employer to correct it before someone got injured. How do we move to the next level and get a more complete message out that we are managing expectations. Those resources are also limited. It is not the goal or the intent to inspect every worksite, nor can we provide consultants to every worksite. We have to find a healthy balance and ensure we are managing the expectations all around. We want users of our systems to have a reasonable expectation. We do not want them to fear MNOSHA enforcement, but at the same time we have to be cautious to ensure they do not look at consultation as the “get out of jail free” card. Wade indicated her role is to balance this arena, the same thing with the Legislature and even within the individual programs. There is just so much the consultants can do and there is a whole audience that has no motivation to contact consultation or compliance. That is an audience she wants us to reach as well. Think about what kind of publications your individual industries use. Is there opportunity for us to provide more information in a user friendlier tone? It doesn’t have to be a safety magazine, but if each one of your organizations puts out monthly, quarterly, yearly newsletters or reports, you have an opportunity to talk about your experience with OSHA as well. Those are opportunities we can capitalize on and give them a different message. McGovern stated it is a fine line; in addition to each of us sharing OSHA’s message with the communication vehicles our organizations use, another one that comes to mind, is the business sections of local newspapers. Drama seems to sell; if there were case studies of difficult situations that were somehow made better, if you found the right writer and

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developed a relationship with that writer, you can actually work out a strategy. You try to find a way to pitch your message relative to what their need is with their readers. Hawthorne commented he agrees with Pat and added if there is any type of survey or analysis that OSHA has done with any of these companies, that shows where they were and where they are now. If you can show somebody, almost anybody wants to save money, but you have to show them that if you spend money you can save money. If you have a company that got a citation and put $50,000 into their training, what does that save them, what is the cost saving for them? If someone is reading the paper and reads that a company saved so much money by spending money on training and maintained their employees, they may go back to work and suggest trying it. Bufton stated we have not mined this discussion for all it is worth, and recommended bringing it back at a later time. Roslyn asked that we think specifically about communication vehicles where the OSHA message can be shared. It would also be good if OSHA had a set of key messages that we could all use internally and externally when we talk about the OSHA experience, so the message gets reinforced by all of it. There are concrete follow-ups we could have to this discussion. X. Future agenda item: stakeholder participation Bufton indicated the discussion for the next meeting would be focused on stakeholder participation. This comes as a result of conversation started in Duluth in September, about how to get people involved with these meetings. Please note there are reports in your packet and Safety Lines is online now. Also note the meeting dates for 2006. Tindle suggested that with the Construction Breakfast coming up, MNOSHA should take excerpts from that and create a DVD to market the brand. That is the way you impress employers, particularly private industry employers. If it costs them money not to do it, they will find a reason to do it. Tindle made a motion to adjourn at 11:54 a.m. Burski seconded the motion. All voted in favor of the motion and it passed. Respectfully submitted, Susan Boone Executive Secretary