BEFORE THE UNITED STATES DEPARTMENT OF LABOR
OCCUPATIONAL SAFETY AND HEALTH ADMINISTRATION
In the Matter of:
COMMITTEE ON CONSTRUCTION SAFETY AND HEALTH
National Institute for
Spokane Research Center
315 East Montgomery
August 28, 1996
The above-entitled matter came on for hearing, pursuant to adjournment at 9:10 a.m.
KNUT RINGEN, Chairperson
Director/Center to Protect Workers' Rights
111 Massachusetts Avenue, N.W.
Washington, D.C. 20001
STEPHEN D. COOPER
International Association of Bridge,
Structural & Ornamental Iron Workers
1750 New York Avenue, N.W.
Washington, D.C. 20006
WILLIAM C. RHOTEN
United Association of Journeymen & Apprentices of the Plumbers & Pipe Fitting Industry
901 Massachusetts Avenue, N.W.
Washington, D.C. 20001
WILLIAM J. SMITH
Director/Safety & Health International
Union Operating Engineers
1125 17th Street, N.W.
Washington, D.C. 20036
LAUREN J. SUGERMAN
Executive Director Chicago Women in Trades
220 South Ashland Avenue
Chicago, Illinois 60607
Safety/Loss Control Manager
J.A. Jones Construction
J.A. Jones Drive
Charlotte, North Carolina 28287
The Ryland Group
11000 Broken Land Parkway
Columbia, Maryland 21044
Anzalone & Associates
12700 Foothill Boulevard
Sylmar, California 91342
ANA MARIA OSORIO, M.D., MPH
Chief, Occupational Health Branch
California Department of Health Services
2151 Berkeley Way - Annex 11
Berkeley, California 94704
JUDY A. PAUL
American Association of Occupational Health Nurses
1200 Southeast 98th Avenue
Vancouver, Washington 98664
DIANE D. PORTER
Associate Director NIOSH
1600 Clifton Road
Atlanta, Georgia 30333
1111 3rd Avenue
P R O C E E D I N G S
MR. RINGEN: The first thing that I think we'll try to do this morning is to
see if we can schedule a date for our next meeting before people leave. And
we're probably looking at the end of October or early November. How does
November 5, 6 look?
MR. HALL: Is 5 election day?
MR. RINGEN: That's not so good, is it?
MR. HALL: 11, week of eleven through 15?
MR. RINGEN: Okay, there's something called Veterans Day on the 14th. I
don't know what that is.
MR. HALL: Well the 11th might be -- that would be Veterans Day.
MR. RINGEN: We could do either 11 and 12 or 12 and 13. If we do 11, then
you have to travel on Sunday.
MR. HALL: Well also 11 might be a federal holiday. MR. RINGEN: Which
holiday is that?
MR. HALL: Veterans Day. We take our holidays on Mondays.
MR. RINGEN: All right, we can certainly travel on Veterans Day.
MR. OSORIO: So the prior week wasn't good for you.
MR. RINGEN: That's Election Day. The 7th and 8th would have to be --
MS. OSORIO: Oh, I see.
MR. SWANSON: Well Election Day is only one day, except in Chicago.
MR. RINGEN: It's a full day for you, but for the rest of us it's pretty
easy. So what's your pleasure, 6th and 7th or 12th and 13th?
MR. MASTERSON: 12th and 13th for me.
MR. RINGEN: Okay, any opposition to that? 12th and 13th in D.C.
MR. CLOUTIER: We can't come back to Spokane?
MR. RINGEN: You got that date, Tom?
MR. HALL: Yeah, 12, 13?
MR. RINGEN: Right.
MR. RINGEN: Let me find out how many people here are interested in this
visit to the construction site today. A show of hands.
MS. PORTER: So three people, is that what I have?
MR. HALL: What about the people who are already here like Cooper or --
MS. PORTER: Okay, so what did we have, five? Okay.
MR. RINGEN: Okay, so we're set for that. This morning what we have to do is
we were going to have a presentation from Marie Haring-Sweeney about the NIOSH
Research Program and then we're going to have the work group reports and we're
going to complete the program about what we need to do between now and the
next meeting. So Marie
-- unless there's any discussion?
MR. SWANSON: And you're going to let me give a supplemental report.
MR. RINGEN: That's right, you have a supplemental report. Why don't you do
that after Marie does hers, since we already have the screen down.
MS. PORTER: Let me just do a little bit of introduction. Marie is the
construction program research coordinator for NIOSH. She's a Ph.D.
epidemiologist from the University of Michigan, has been with NIOSH for 19
years and has worked a great deal on the health side of construction, safety
and health, knows a lot about disease among construction workers, but has
recently become indoctrinated in the program.
The reason that she's there in this position is as a result of the
evaluation that we did a year ago which Stu Burkhammer participated in trying
to help us put together a more coordinated program, and so Marie's in the
beginning of doing that and she'll show you a little bit about what we've
accomplished thus far.
MR. RINGEN: We worked together on Marie's first study at NIOSH 19 years
MS. HARING-SWEENEY: Mr. Chairman, members of the committee, I'm happy to be
here this morning and I think I'd rather do this at 9 o'clock in the morning
rather than 3 o'clock yesterday.
I've set out -- if you haven't seen them already-- some publications that NIOSH has produced and printed relative to
construction, and if you like these or want more of these publications our 800
number is 1(800) 35-NIOSH and you'll get a menu and it'll flip you over to the
If you can't hear me over the fan, please tell me and do not hesitate to
ask questions because I may not see your hand or I may not hear you. What I'd
like to do this morning is give you just a brief overview of our program,
program elements, describe just a few of the projects, because we have well
over a hundred projects that are being done relative to construction, and talk
to you a little bit of our future in terms of strategic planning.
NIOSH gets approximately $12 million in earmarked funds from Congress to do
construction-related research and associated activities. We began to receive
earmarked funds in the early '90s. Now if you estimate that there are
somewhere between six million and seven million construction workers, we are
spending in this country about 1.75 per construction worker on health -- on
occupational safety and health research coming from the federal government.
Approximately one-third or 30 percent is spent on intramural projects, that
is, projects that are done by NIOSH staff. The other 70 percent is used to
fund a network of extramural centers that do occupational safety and health in
construction and they do include the Washington State of NIOSH. Those are in
yellow. There are approximately 19 states that we fund our programs in,
including the District of Columbia.
The NIOSH construction program and actually our research program is based
on a public health model. We use surveillance to track and prioritize our
activities. We track injuries, diseases, deaths and hazardous exposures. It
helps us to prioritize the types of research that we're going to be doing and
then it also may in fact help us to prioritize what kind of interventions or
controls we'll be using in the future.
Let me just go over the -- we fund a little more than a hundred projects. I
want to take you through just some of them. In terms of surveillance projects,
we are now in the process of going through doing proportionate mortality
studies in 10 construction trades. We have three of them that are finished and
seven more are in the pipeline, probably will be finished within the next two
years, and I'll give you the data in a few minutes.
We have a large effort in doing surveillance in musculoskeletal disorders.
We're also looking at patterns of occupational exposure in operating
engineers, for example, DOTS, silica, diesel and then we also have a large
program that's based in Morgantown, West Virginia looking at patterns of fatal
injuries, usually through the NTOMSS program, which is the National Traumatic
Occupational Mortality Surveillance System, which is a nationwide system, and
also the FACE program which is the Fatal Accident Circumstances Examination or
Evaluation Program which evaluates the circumstances around fatalities, both
pre- and post-fatality and through that we've been able to effectively reduce
things like deaths in overhead cranes.
In fact you might have seen in these pink documents, which is out for
printing right now is one of the alerts that we published in 1985 and again in
1993 and have found that since the publication in '86, we've seen a dramatic
decrease in overhead crane fatalities due to this publication.
This is just some data, some results from the three proportionate mortality
studies that we have completed of laborers, carpenters and iron workers, and
what I did was I took -- looked at the results and I took those which are
common among the three groups or at least two out of the three groups.
And what we find is that lung cancer is a big killer among all three of
them. I think we need to do a fair amount of work to probably reduce
continuing asbestos and silicon exposure as well as perhaps reduce some
personal risk factors such as smoking. We found stomach cancer in laborers and
carpenters, asbestos as to carpenters and iron workers. For all three of them
we found transportation injuries and falls as their major cause of fatalities,
and this falls in line with what we already know. It helps us to confirm it.
It also helps us to prioritize where we would be directing our research in the
I thought this little cartoon reflects well what we're trying to work
against and trying to prevent musculoskeletal disorders. This cartoon
represents to me some of the fallacies that we've been using in the past in
trying to reduce musculoskeletal disorders, particularly back injuries and
that is if you lift right, that is, with the package close to your body,
between your knees with a straight back that is going to prevent low back
injuries. And what we've found is that a lot of that doesn't work if in fact
the individual is asked to lift something that's beyond his personal capacity.
So I think we need to look a little bit harder in trying to reduce
We have a large surveillance project through our partners at the Center to
Protect Workers' Rights and the University of Iowa where they did a survey of
eastern Iowa construction workers and they asked them about pain and symptoms
in the last 12 months in 9 different body parts. And what we found, which
wasn't striking, was that 76 percent of all construction workers we surveyed
reported low back pain in the last 12 months.
This is the percent who reported back pain in the last 12 months by trade,
and here we have roofers and glazers, almost a hundred percent of them said
they had low back pain, which helps to prioritize where we ought to be looking
at in reducing this type of musculoskeletal injuries in these groups.
This picture was taken by Louis Hine in the construction of the Empire
State Building in 1931. This individual is an iron worker, and hopefully we
have in the last 40 or 50 years been able to protect a lot more workers in
falls. However, when you look at the BLS data and the NTOMSS data, we find
that falls still kill more construction workers than any other cause. But
they're closely followed by motor vehicle accidents, which we saw in the
proportion mortality studies, transportation accidents, electrocutions and
contact with machinery. Again this surveillance data tells us where we ought
to be working.
And in fact let me just go back here. The Division of Safety & Research
in Morgantown has a number of projects which is looking at falls, particularly
falls from scaffoldings, falls from ladders. They're doing a case control
study of the FACE data relative to falls. So I think we're trying to cover the
bases on that.
Our research program is wide and varied. It goes from the basic laboratory
research. For example trying to identify which isocyanide compound causes
immunologic reactions and asthma, all the way to measuring exposure levels and
methods development for new exposure measurements.
I wanted to talk to you not about the epidemiology studies, but a lot of
what we're doing in exposure research. We have gotten a lot of press and we've
done a lot of work on being able to measure exposures in the manufacturing
sector. It's a sector where you have somebody who works at the same station
every day over and over again and is exposed to perhaps somewhat the same
hazards on a day-to-day basis.
That's not true for construction, as we all know, and we have to develop
new methods to identify the hazards and measure the hazards in that sort of
itinerate work environment of the -- of the construction worker. One large
focus project that we're doing is evaluating lead and trying to reduce lead
among painters, as well as people who are involved in rehabilitation of
structural steel, particularly bridges.
We have done studies on lead levels for painters, as well as in their
children. We found that if in fact there's not a good protection program on
site the person carries home the lead. It's in their cars. It's in their home
and it's in their children. So based on that, we'll be able to do some -- to
use that information to help make sure people do not take the lead home to
their children, as well as protecting themselves.
We also doing methods development on trying to detect lead with quick
methods, on site detection kits for lead, as well as doing salivary lead
levels for workers who are on site, so you won't have to do blood levels and
find out that a person's been exposed when in fact you can find out right
there on site. We're also doing some methods for detecting heximal and
chromium on site as well.
One of the activities that's being spearheaded by Pam Susie at the Center
to Protect Workers' Rights is the task based exposure assessment methods. It's
again trying to measure some peak exposures in individuals based on their
activity on a day-to-day basis. Again some construction workers do not do the
same thing day after day and this is one way of perhaps capturing those
itinerate exposures that they may have today and not tomorrow.
When Linda Rosenstock came on board two and a half years ago she gave us
four areas that she thought we should be working in and we should spend more
efforts in, one of which was intervention. Another one was surveillance, which
we've done a fair amount in, another is work organization, which we are
beginning to do some work in and health services research, which I don't think
in construction we've gotten that far yet.
Some of the projects that we're doing, one of the ones that's actually I
think being carried to fruition is reduction in asphalt fumes and paving
operations. We're working with labor as well as management and the people who
are manufacturing the asphalt paving equipment to reduce the exposure, asphalt
fume exposures among pavers.
We also have a couple of other things that are going on. We're developing a
new kind of hearing protection where in fact the worker is able to hear
conversational tones, but it blocks out all the harmful frequencies as well as
We are developing a tool based ventilation system, particularly in sanders
to reduce the amount of exposure from dust to the worker, as well as prevent
exposure to the people who are in approximate areas, such as -- I don't know,
probably wouldn't be painters, but other kinds of people, other kinds of
construction workers in the area.
And then also we're working with both the University of Massachusetts at
Lowell and the University of Iowa to develop new seating for heavy equipment,
particularly bulldozers and other types of construction equipment to reduce
whole body vibration for operating engineers.
Other intervention activities, we have -- we work with the University of
West Virginia and with Chicago Land on fall protection, doing training on
reduction in electrocutions. We have a number of projects on ergonomics, and I
forgot to bring the book. We have apprenticeship training programs relative to
ergonomics, trying to develop modules that the apprentice -- these are
directed at carpenters right now -- will include in their four year training
program to get them to understand a little bit about ergonomics and to be
aware of the hazards and what they can do to reduce the amount of exposure to
We have a whole other program where we're trying to evaluate work
organization in the construction industry and that is a whole other area that
has confounded people because of the culture in construction. We have a
project that's going on with the University of Massachusetts at Lowell. It's
looking at ethnographic factors; that is, what institutional activities
prevent the use of safe work practices on the job. We're also looking at the
use of personal protective equipment and also the effect of women being
introduced into the construction industry.
NIOSH has a large silicoses prevention project. Several of them in fact,
and it goes hand in hand with the special emphasis program on silica that OSHA
is doing right now. We have one project that specifically looks at minors.
It's a screening program in western Pennsylvania to evaluate silicosis in
them. We're also looking at the economic impact of alternative blasting
materials and also evaluating contaminate levels of alternative blasting
materials to silica.
One of the efforts to look at alternative blasting materials gave us the
opportunity to understand that some of the blasting materials alternatives are
not that good. One of them which we found we had to close the operation down
with OSHA because the blasting material was made out of uranium tailing.
MR. SWANSON: How much contact have you had with OSHA as far as us seeking
your help on targeting our efforts under the special --
MS. HARING-SWEENEY: Actually there's a fair amount. We have a number of
people who are sitting on your committee with Ruth McAuley and I've actually
been in touch with her as well, and so I don't know all that's going on
specifically, but we sit on your -- on the panel with them and OSHA.
One of the things that -- we also have a large education program right now
that relates to silicosis and also we've put on --
MR. RINGEN: This is a multimedia briefcase.
MS. HARING-SWEENEY: It is, multi-plugs, too. We have education programs on
silica that we're calling, "It's Not Just Dust." This is one of four
posters that our Health Effects Laboratory Division Communications Branch put
together, along with an alert -- several alerts on preventing silicosis in
construction workers and also a number of updates. This is I think a rather
effective poster, if you can read it. I'm sorry, can you see the small print?
And there's also this publication, again that came out, "Construction
Safety News." Again, "It's Not Just Dust," and hopefully by
beginning to raise awareness of the worker as well as those people who are
using the various blasting materials that we can reduce silicosis, an entirely
As Diane said we had a review that came out in January of 1996 that
suggested that NIOSH's program could use a bit of focus and help. It said we
should look at a variety of different things within the program. But I think
over the last five years NIOSH with its partners has had a large number of
One is that in 1990, 1989, there was no infrastructure for doing research
in construction. It just was not. Now we have approximately 35 centers that
are doing construction-related research. We have also been able to increase
the awareness and understanding by the industry of the public health issues
related, the public health and safety research issues in industry, as well as
increased the awareness of the public health community about the work-related
diseases and injuries in construction and the need for doing more research and
As part of our strategic planning, as I said we'll talk about the future.
We have a steering committee now which is represented by 18 divisions and
NIOSH and the offices. Over the next year we're going to try to do a GAPS
analyses, basically strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats.
In order to do this we need your help in terms of telling us what you think
is important related to research. In our strategic plans we want to
incorporate the national goals, as well as the goals of the National
Intervention Research agenda. Hopefully all of you have seen the NORA
document. If not, we don't have any here, but we can get some.
We went through the construction priorities. I think we saw all but three
of the 21 priority areas that came out of the National Information Research
Agenda relate to construction. We don't have mixed exposures, but I think we
should because in fact there are large opportunities for mixed exposures in
When I was talking to Knut about what we should say, what we wanted to do
here he says ask the committee about things you need from them. So I sat down
and talked to my steering committee and said okay, what would you like from
the ANOSH committee. We need a fair amount of guidance as to what you think is
We also need a lot of assistance in developing ways to communicate our
safety and health message to the hard to reach sectors of the industry. As we
all know there are numbers of different tiers in construction, as well as
there are in mining, as well as there are in other types of industries. The
larger companies seem to get the message, and it is the middle and the other
areas that we're not quite -- don't quite know how to reach.
We'd also like your assistance in developing programs or research to follow
the suggested research and surveillance, and also to assist us in translating
NIOSH-related research findings to you. Thank you.
MR. RINGEN: Diane, Do you have something to add?
MS. PORTER: Just that we are very excited with the opportunities that these
earmarked funds have provided to enable us to build an infrastructure, both
extramurally and intramurally within the institute, and I believe if I had to
speak to one weakness of the program is the lack of communication that we've
had in some respects over the last five years. But as with any program an
evolution over time you learn a lot. And partnership with respect to the
industry and the labor folks, trying to pull this research agenda together and
make some sense.
I was talking to Dr. Rosenstock last week and we're talking about the
National Occupational Research Agenda and you saw that we unveiled that on the
25th anniversary of NIOSH and she said we could do the entire National
Occupational Research Agenda in construction. There's no question that if we
can get some additional funds and whatever, we would be able to accomplish
what we want to accomplish on the research agenda by just using the
construction industry, because as Marie pointed out it represents basically
all of the 21 priority areas for research.
So we're excited about the opportunities we've been provided and look
forward to the input of the committee, directed to Marie, because she's
actually the research program coordinator, and obviously you can talk to me
about it as well.
MR. RINGEN: I think what Marie said was -- first of all, she made a very
good presentation of this. In 1989 NIOSH spent about 300,000 on construction
so to about 12 million more or less to about this point in time, which has
obviously been a very big growth curve and we've had very good Congressional
support for this program and continue to have excellent support. And our goal
in the building trades is to get this budget up to about 20 million or so. I
think we could spend that effectively.
As a result of the fast growth NIOSH decided about a year ago to hold an
external review, a big review of this program. And I'm sorry Stu Burkhammer
isn't here because he was on the review and Joe Adam who was a long time
member of this committee was also on that review and they both felt very
strongly that the program, all of us who were involved in it, are driven a
little bit too much by our own interests as opposed to what the industry
really needs and that in some ways the research has not been well enough as
you say integrated into it. And they recommended very strongly that this
committee be one of the major focus points that can give guidance to this
program. So that's something that we're going to try to accomplish here and
this is the first step in that.
There's another thing that's important in that respect that we have to keep
in mind also. Before this research program was started really the field of
construction safety and health was driven entirely almost or to a large extent
by anecdotes and experiences that had very little basis in any kind of
research or a strong data component to it. A lot of it was based on things
like the fatality data, which we all know is lousy data to start with.
And you'd go to construction safety and health meetings and there would be
a bunch of consultants standing up and making very forceful presentations, but
with very, very little by and large factual basis for what they were saying.
So I think that this program is helping to provide more of a factual and also
intellectual basis for activities that I think is good, but that could be
much, much better if it was integrated more into the people who are actually
out there doing the work. So that's -- that is the other thing that this
committee has to help achieve, how do we get these researchers.
And most of them have never done anything in construction before, they've
been in other fields of occupational health and it's been a little bit
dragging people into this kicking and screaming sometimes, both into
construction and especially into safety research, which none of these
academics seem to feel that that is very intellectually challenging until they
get into it.
So there's a host of challenges still that we're trying to accommodate, get
more researchers involved, get them to do research that is relevant, that's
practical and this kind of stuff, and also get the people in the industry to
make better use of this research program. That's roughly where we're it. We
certainly have a critical mass that people can use at this point in time. We
look for this committee to guide us on how to achieve these multiple
objectives as this program continues to grow.
MS. HARING-SWEENEY: One other thing that we have now with the integration
of the former Bureau of Mines there's a whole other angle is mining,
construction in mining, and we have to sort of think of that as another angle.
We're only use to most of the time above ground application, but now we need
to think about the underground applications as well.
MR. SWANSON: Another area that we have to spend more time thinking about is
the integration with this new directorate of construction in OSHA and in your
office. There's such a natural interface that from our side of the table that
we've done nothing about to date and that has to change.
MR. RINGEN: That came out in the review. That's a very important thing that
NIOSH and OSHA have to work better together and you talked yesterday about the
problems that you have just with your statistics operation.
MS. HARING-SWEENEY: Yeah, we've actually asked for -- putting a project
plant for running the steering committee so that we might be able to spend
more time interacting with people on a face-to-face basis as well as coming to
OSHA or having OSHA coming to us.
MR. SWANSON: I'd love to have OSHA come to you. Can I detail somebody to
Cincinnati? You can train him for a year.
MR. RINGEN: A long term detail. But the stuff you're saying about
integrating construction and mining is real important when we went through
this facility yesterday. Just to mention four things that I saw here that I
thought were very relevant which was starting out, obviously they're dealing
with excavation and tunneling mainly, if we want to put it in construction
They have a huge research program in heavy equipment operations, nothing
different from what the operating engineers are interested in, including the
cranes and hoists kind of issues. Great opportunities for the use of 3-D
stimulation -- simulation, not stimulation. 3-D CAD simulation of safety and
health, which is something that we can and you can use much more of. And they
do an awful lot on education and training, and that could be very good for our
industry, so I see great opportunities.
I also think that what based on what they said yesterday that the fatality
rate in surface mine operations is about 53 per 100,000, which is pretty high
and it's mostly equipment operations.
MS. SCHUSTER: How are you currently reaching out to the -- you've posed
that in your meeting now, but how are you currently reaching out to the
MS. HARING-SWEENEY: We are looking into how to do it better. Right now most
of our outreach is through our publications as well as through publications in
the periodic literature. We are now beginning through our education and
information division going into locations and also we do a fair amount of
outreach through our collaborators and our partners. We're doing training and
things like that.
The program is going to be expanded and that was one of the questions that
I asked is how are we going to do it, what do you think are the methods that
are most effective in reaching not only those people that we already talked
to, but people that don't know that we exist. And we went and did a focus
group of vocational teachers in and around the Ohio area and only one out of
nine of those people in the focus groups knew that NIOSH actually existed.
MS. OSORIO: I think that's a little bit deceiving because if you saw, quite
a bit of their money is going for -- and we're the recipient for some of it.
And if you look at the state level, we couldn't do our work unless we
interfaced with trade groups, with unions. We go to vocational schools. We go
to community colleges and all that. So I think although NIOSH is not always
known, we always acknowledge who is funding us.
I think if you look at the people who are funding, I think they're making
some inroads, too, but I agree that sometimes with NIOSH you maybe say it once
and it goes right over people's heads, at least with the experience that we've
MS. HARING-SWEENEY: That's what I said. We're most effective through our
partners and our collaborators and people that have gotten through the
extramural programs. MR. RINGEN: The other thing that came up yesterday is
what's the role of the seasonal crews. That's a very good questions. They're
all over the country. How can a facility like this which is out in the western
part, where NIOSH isn't represented very well, how can they work with people
in the states and through the VRCs and so on out here.
MS. HARING-SWEENEY: Actually apparently this facility does very well in
community outreach, so it would be probably very easy to tag onto that and
keep on going.
MR. RINGEN: And how does NIOSH -- does it interact not just with federal
OSHA but with all of the state plans? Does it work at all with the state
plans, construction offices?
MS. HARING-SWEENEY: Again that's one of the gaps we need to look at.
MS. PORTER: Yeah. I think when one looked at the array of projects that we
had, and we kind of broke them down by surveillance research, service
orientation and outreach, the curve went like this, right?
We have a lot of money and projects being spent on the research side, but
in terms of how to reach out to the community and get the information so we
know we've got to level it or maybe even tilt it a little bit this way,
because it doesn't do a darn bit of good to be doing all this research if we
don't have a way to translate it and transport it out to the industry, and so
that's something that we're looking at and Marie is looking at in terms of
trying to balance out that curve a bit with the dollars that we have
intramurally and maximizing and even understanding, because I think that one
of the big weaknesses of the NIOSH program to some degree is that interface
between the extramural and intramural program.
We give out the money and we say go, you know, and then we may not follow
back to say well exactly what did you do, so that when Marie kind of
represents what we know about translation, it may not be the whole picture
because it's not the picture of what the extramural people are doing, and that
was one of the things that was pointed out in the evaluation studies. We need
to get better integrated with our extramural partners to understand the big
MS. HARING-SWEENEY: One thing I do -- I should say is that we've had some
very good interaction with people with whom we've had cooperative agreement.
It may not be the same with contracts, I grant, but the cooperative agreements
have been very collaborative.
The other thing is I think one has to say that we needed to do the research
up front the first five years to really focus where we need to pay attention
to. As you said, you know, people were standing up and not knowing, they were
just blowing smoke. But now we know where to focus the energy.
MR. RINGEN: Any other comments?
MS. SUGARMAN: I just have a quick question. I also wanted to compliment you
on a great presentation and I was going to ask also about the dissemination,
because until I got on this committee I really didn't know about any of the
work that NIOSH was doing or that it existed, and I'd be glad to be like on a
mailing list and other organizations like mine who are encouraging workers to
go into this industry to get posters that we can use in our training classes.
One of the biggest issues that women face is not feeling confident that
it's a safe industry, you know, are hearing about that and I think if we're
making them aware of what the resources are for making it safer, it's more
MS. HARING-SWEENEY: Yeah, I think that you bring up a good point. We have a
new division director in the education and information division. Things will
be changing on how we do dissemination, so stay tuned.
MS. SUGARMAN: I also just -- I often get calls from workers about health
and safety questions and I'm -- I'm never sure if there's a national clearing
house or a resource place that says if I have this question about what kind of
safety equipment would be best to use or is this a dangerous exposure. Is
there -- does NIOSH serve as like a 1(800) number for --
MS. HARING-SWEENEY: Yeah, we have a 1(800) number, it's 1(800) 35-NIOSH,
and let them ask the question and then they'll -- they may be able to help
them, particularly on hazardous exposures and be able to give them some of
these publications. In terms of a national clearing house for tools and for
equipment, we don't have that information. We don't keep a repository with
that kind of information.
MS. PORTER: Respiratory protection, we do.
MS. HARING-SWEENEY: Respiratory, right.
MS. PORTER: But, you know, we don't --
MS. HARING-SWEENEY: But gloves and --
MR. RINGEN: You can call the Illinois Construction Safety Council.
MS. SUGARMAN: In Chicago, yeah.
MR. RINGEN: Yeah, Chicago. They're the natural people that do this.
MS. PORTER: And we've also started a project, haven't we, Marie, on kind of
designing respirators at least that fit women and minorities, because there's
a bit problem in, you know, size and those kind of things with respect to
appropriate protection, and so we're currently working on trying to get things
for women and minority workers, and again that's a long term project. It will
probably take us four years to figure it out, but we will then develop
hopefully a market for that kind of personal protective equipment.
MS. HARING-SWEENEY: We need to do anthropometric studies, which is
basically measuring people and figuring out what the range is.
MR. RINGEN: Unless any members of the community has any objection to this,
I think that what we'll do in the future is to ask NIOSH to make a
presentation at each of our meetings about the specifics of one or more
MS. PORTER: Yeah we several years ago did a presentation to the committee
on silicon and I think it would be great to do a couple research projects. It
gives the researchers a chance to interface with the committee and I think it
would be a great opportunity.
MR. SWANSON: Let me just if I could a comment. At the present time we're
working with your organization at the center to do three programs in Seattle,
Portland and in San Jose and it's working quite well on that well and fume
examination and we really appreciate that effort that we're getting from you.
And I think when it's completed what we're going to do, no doubt, is an
article in our journal to spell out what the results were and the help that
we've gotten and we do appreciate it very much. If you hadn't taken that
project on, it just wouldn't get done.
MR. RINGEN: And I think the organization of the program within NIOSH is
really starting to come together and we're seeing a much more effective
result. Okay, thank you.
Bruce, do you want to give a brief supplemental presentation?
MR. SWANSON: Yes, if I may. It's supplemental to the extent that I didn't
give it yesterday when I should have. It's a cousin to just in time inventory.
I'm leaving here in 20 minutes so let me give the rest of my report that was
faxed out to me this morning.
What it is, is this is a communication from the Health Standards Unit
inside OSHA that is developing a tuberculosis standard that will have an
impact on the construction industry, not a significant impact in breadth, but
perhaps a significant impact in depth for a small number of employers.
And they asked me to give you folks an early heads up that will be a
proposed standard in the federal register before the end of this calendar
year. So that's where we are time-wise. We will be back to ACCSH after the
proposal and a year or two before we get around to any final standard that is
going to have an impact in the construction industry.
But with that intro, let me quickly cover the background here on infectious
TB being spread by airborne droplets generated to people in the infectious
state by coughing, sneezing or speaking. Since '85 the incidence of TB in the
United States has increased approximately 14 percent, reversing a 30-year
In 1993 alone, 25,313 new cases of TB were reported in the United States.
In '93 CDC reported to Congress that 12 health care workers had died from TB
and that several hundred workers were under medical treatment. On October 8th,
1993, OSHA issued nationwide enforcement guidelines for TB in high risk work
places that were identified by CDC. On January 26th, 1994, OSHA initiated rule
making in this subject area.
Construction activity: From '94 to date, approximately 500 TB-related
inspections have been conducted by OSHA and the state enforcement programs, so
this stuff is all 50 state data. Inspection activity has focused on general
industry facilities, specifically places identified by CDC. Examples are
health care facilities, homeless shelters, correctional institutions and the
Referencing CDC guidelines to control TB, five A-1 citations have been and
are being issued. Citations are being issued for standard violations for
respiratory protection, record keeping and sign/tagging as well.
The proposed TB standard: The scope of the standard will cover employees in
general industry as well as those in construction activity such as
maintenance, repair or renovation. Examples would be ventilation systems,
isolation rooms, laboratory hoods, et cetera. The standard will require the
manager of the facility to inform all contractors of the potential hazard to
TB when and where appropriate.
The standard will further require the contractor, based on the potential of
employee exposure to develop an exposure control plan, provide respiratory
protection as necessary and develop a medical surveillance program, provide
training on the hazards associated with TB. Agency review of the standard has
been completed in-house, and as I said after O & B review and subsequent
amendment, the hope is to come out with a proposal by the end of this calendar
year. Thank you, that's all. We are not asking for formal action.
MR. RINGEN: We're going to get something on TB?
MR. SWANSON: Yes.
MR. RINGEN: Is he going to cover anything specific on construction?
MR. SWANSON: It will cover what is anticipated will be necessary on the
requirements of the medical surveillance program and a specific TB program
that an employer will have to put in place, should the specific situation
require it, such as a ventilation contractor going into a hospital facility or
a nursing home where they have had TB activity, then a specific plan would
have to be initiated. Thank you.
MR. RINGEN: I don't know if anybody here has ever had the issue of
tuberculosis come up in their work.
MR. RHOTEN: Oh well it seems to me like a good idea. It's like the blood
born passages that are standard at us and not with our contractors
necessarily, but we've had facilities where our members worked in hospitals
and they've been able to adapt to it quite easily, and I assume this is going
to just be the same, you know, type of situation.
MS. OSORIO: We actually have a coop agreement with NIOSH and we have an
occupational TB registry in our state and I have to tell you that most of the
cases we're seeing, cases could be an active case of TB, which is very rare,
or that they have a skin test converted from negative to positive. And where
we're getting and seeing the cases is in institutional care. There are some
custodial people that have converted, but you know, the construction industry
per se hasn't come up.
MR. RINGEN: We had a problem in a couple of instances with immigrant
workers that have tested positive.
MS. OSORIO: Well see we're assigning this as occupationally acquired. Those
are people that they would have already had a skin test. So we're trying to
see what work place factors that led to conversions. I'm not saying it doesn't
exist, I'm saying we haven't picked it up at least in our registry for three
MR. RINGEN: All right, we'll look forward to it, Bruce. It's an important
That concludes everything I think except for the work group reports.
MR. RHOTEN: I had one issue, if I could. I think yesterday the statistics
that were passed out by OSHA that pointed out what the fatality rate was in
smaller shops I think deserves a little more attention. I think maybe the
problem has been there a long time.
But what I think needs to happen is with these rates as high as they are
that it needs to be further identified, and I think what I'd like to know, if
we can get the information, is if this problem is basically in the residential
field or the light commercial field or industrial. Is the cause of this
training? I think training is in that top ten of citation issues and if that
could be determined, if that's more prevalent in the smaller shops than the
I mean basically what I see here is a major problem that should have a top
priority to fix it and I think we need more information so that we can fix it.
But I think you can't pass something like this out and just say this is the
information that the death rates for a contractor that hires four and under is
32 for per 100,000 on the fatality rate without going further and trying to
fix this problem.
I mean to me it's a major, major problem. I think, you know, there's no
doubt where I've been coming from on this training issue and I think there's
been some opposition from the contractors' point of view that it shouldn't be
required or mandated, and maybe it's not training. Maybe it's enforcement.
Maybe there has to be more emphasis put on enforcement by OSHA in these
small shops, but I definitely think that I would like to have more information
on why it's that way and with the aim at trying to fix it and I think we need
to concentrate on that. I don't think we can just let this go year after year
and think everything is okay or it's acceptable. It's absolutely unacceptable
to have these kind of figures presented without going after a solution to
MR. RINGEN: Well Ana Maria raised the same issue in a different way
yesterday when she said we better get a set of data that we can all pretty
much agree on, I think, to paraphrase. Why don't you express it yourself?
MS. OSORIO: I agree it's very alarming and stuff, but I hate to be like
really repetitious. I think I said it in the last three meetings is that I
just don't think we can just look at the Fed OSHA situation, but look at the
state plans, too, to get the complete picture.
And I also want to emphasize that neither seasonality issues or other
issues that are regional. You know, like some of the work done in certain
parts of the country may have tailings or any tailings that you work with. And
we may have other parts where it's more altitude, you know, problems get more
-- so I think we have to get the whole picture together. And so I'm not saying
those death rates aren't important, I think that's part of the picture.
MR. RHOTEN: Well I think you're looking at an overall problem, and what I'm
trying to point out is that I'm just looking at the small contractor problem.
I mean I agree with you that you need all this information, but I don't think
that the problem with small contractors happens because of any particular area
maybe that he's working in or any particular material he's working with.
Maybe it is, but the problem seems to me to be that the guy is a small
contractor, period, and something is not going right, that's all I'm
suggesting. I think this problem with the small contractor needs to be
separate than any other information that we need. I think we need to
concentrate on this issue is what I'm suggesting.
MS. OSARIO: But I think -- I guess my feeling is that you need input from
everybody involved and it just can't be a fed OSHA problem. It's a state plan,
MR. RHOTEN: I agree.
MS. OSARIO: And I think that if you look at solutions by looking at it
regionally, if you have buy in from different people, there's trade groups,
you know, union groups and whatever in different regions. I mean, I can
organize people in California and there's people like me or that do similar
things to me in other parts. So I think that is part of the solution, even if
they're just looking at the data.
MR. RHOTEN: I'm not opposed to anything that you just said, all I'm
suggesting is that I think we need first is all the information that we can
get to find out exactly why that rate is that high, who the contractors are,
whether they're plumbing contractors or underground contractors so we can
further identify this particular problem and then ask OSHA to go after it.
MR. SMITH: I guarantee you they're not painters at least not in Southern
MR. RHOTEN: But I don't disagree with anything you said, I just want this
further emphasized is all.
MR. SMITH: Yeah, just to follow on what Bill is saying, I think what he's
saying is absolutely true. It looks like from the 250 and up or the 500 and
up, which is where OSHA federally has been able to target, it looks like
they're somewhat fixing the problem that was broken because their numbers are
definitely low and probably prior to 1970 the numbers were higher because
nothing was out there to do it and you'd have probably seen in 500 or greater
like the Empire State Building and when there was workers and crafts falling
everywhere, the numbers were going to be high.
After 1970 until now, they've been able to target this group because of
dodges and because of the way they contract, and the group that they can't
track is the 50 or 20 or 10 and less, and that's where the numbers are higher,
so what Bill is saying is absolutely true.
What's broken now in this environment is that federally OSHA needs to find
out how to go after and attack that broken mechanism in the smaller companies,
and what we probably would find is that as the states reported, the states
have a mechanism of using different latitudes like the workers' comp data that
they can use to go after the individuals in their own state, in their own
backyard and get these smaller contractors.
So the numbers state why, even though what we get are probably going to be
lower here, because federally they can't do that yet and Bruce stated it the
other day and we've talked about this with AGC and with a bunch of
associations that it seems that what we need to do is get federal OSHA to tie
into the state plans with the workers' comp system to use a better form of
information to tracking really where the injuries are occurring.
MS. OSORIO: But you know it's an easy thing to just count deaths and I'm
just saying that --
MR. SMITH: I'm not talking about the death side, I'm talking about the
injury side, the whole nine yards.
MS. OSORIO: Right.
MR. SMITH: I mean, the workers' comp side doesn't just do deaths.
MS. OSORIO: But I guess my protest is that I just don't want to fixate on
deaths. I totally agree that I think the smaller employer, contractor or
whatever needs to be focused on it, but he or she may need to be focused on
not just for fatalities, they may need some chronic exposure to other things,
that's all I'm saying.
MR. RHOTEN: Well I agree with you 100 percent. That's basically what I'm
asking for is more information like that. Now the only information I've got is
the death rates I think and I don't know --
MS. OSORIO: We could do better and there's more data out there.
MR. RHOTEN: That's exactly what I'm asking for. I think what you'll find is
that the injury rate is going to mirror this death rate and all the other
problems and I think it's going to be basically with the smaller contractors.
I don't disagree with anything you said. I'm just asking for some more
information so that -- I mean, we know there's a problem right here, find out
further what the problem is and then identify the problem further and then fix
it, that's what I want to do.
MR. RINGEN: What we may do here -- and I think you're absolutely right,
that we don't have enough information really still to make decisions, although
we have a lot more than is being presented here generally, and we can form a
formal group or an informal group of the committee to collect first of all the
data that we have and to figure out how to make a meaningful presentation of
data regularly available to this committee. I'll be glad to take charge of
doing that or Diane can take charge of doing it, which would be even better,
and have NIOSH --
MS. PORTER: That's fine, I can do it.
MR. RINGEN: All right, so Diane will -- yes?
MS. SCHUSTER: I just think that being sensitive to the concerns that are
raised by Bill, that we can gather all the data, but maybe the first
presentation for the next meeting should focus on more details on what those
deaths entailed, where they occurred, what kinds of circumstances were
MR. RHOTEN: Well that's exactly what I'm asking for is where they occurred,
what type of work where there's falls.
MS. SCHUSTER: Exactly, I think that's the first step. I guess my problem is
that's the first step and then other areas of morbidity and mortality we may
explore, that's all I'm saying.
MR. RINGEN: I think Marie also had a quick comment here.
MS. HARING-SWEENEY: I have a comment. We've got -- we have a project going
on in North Carolina at Duke University that's actually looking at the
contractors for both injuries and fatalities. That should be done in the next
-- very shortly and actually I think we should talk to John about how he is
going about getting the information, because I think he's doing it in actually
a couple of different ways, going to insurance companies, going to the Home
Builders Association, and so it might be worthwhile to do that.
MR. RINGEN: It may still be a little too early, but we'll have a
presentation from him soon. But by the next meeting we will get together, get
Ana Marie involved to look at some of the states and we will put together much
better data for you than we have now and then we'll talk about where to go
MS. PORTER: And as I said yesterday, I mean, you know, you present one
piece of data and ten more questions come up. So this is like, you know,
gathering a baseline and start building from that, because it's only going to
improve over time, but you're not going to be able to answer all the questions
at once. But I think Bill's right, you know, this kind of evokes ten more
questions that need to be dealt with.
MR. RINGEN: Yes.
MS. SCHUSTER: I think size is often very misleading, too, on that data
because another very important factor, is that it may be a small contractor,
but are they on a much larger site, is it a multi-employer site, and what were
the interactions between their and the other people there is really critical,
too, especially in some of the accidents and the fatalities that we've been
MR. RHOTEN: I appreciate that.
MS. SCHUSTER: It goes along with that multi-employer thing we did.
MR. RHOTEN: And I might have been guilty of already predetermining a
solution for this problem which is training, and that might be wrong. So in my
mind I've already got a solution for this problem, but I guess I have to
clarify that that's really the problem. I guess when we get done with this, if
that's what will happen, you'll find out that there's no training for those
people in those four-man shops.
MR. RINGEN: We will deal with that. You were shaking your head, Steve, why,
MR. CLOUTIER: I think that's the tip of the iceberg in looking at fatality
data or other data that's out there. The data is available. We've got to find
a method to accumulate it, bring it back to the committee and I've said for
years that OSHA has directed their talents or their efforts in the wrong place
and those statistics bear well. We need to go after the smaller folks, to
educate them, to train them, to bring them up, raise their level of expertise
and everybody wins.
MR. RHOTEN: They've been fishing in the wrong hole.
MR. RINGEN: Let me raise one thing before Bruce goes, because this occurred
to me yesterday in the conversations. One of the reasons that the state plans
have the ability to function differently than federal OSHA is that they have
access to an involvement with the workers' comp programs, which are by law
state governed and by law for all practical purposes, OSHA can't do anything,
can't force them to do anything, to operate safely as employers. OSHA and the
Labor Department tried to get together the people who are responsible for
workers' comp insurance in the state, and especially the people who are
responsible for the involuntary risk pools, the assigned risk pools out there
and get them together to talk about how they can implement better safety and
health programs, because that's where you're going to find most of the small
employers and that's probably the most effective way to get at them, and those
assigned risk pools, even though they charge higher premiums, even though
everybody else subsidizes them, even though they operate unsafely, do very
little to promote safety at all. In most states they don't do anything, I
It's getting a little better, but far from it. So I would like to support
-- or I'd like a discussion on that possibility of having the Labor Department
bring together some of these insurance folks with the states, and the state
OSHA officials as well to talk about how you can make a better effort at
getting at this issue.
MR. CLOUTIER: Well, Mr. Chairman, I think that might be the next step after
we gather whatever information we can get from state plans right now, what
NIOSH has, what OSHA has and then if we get a lot of information, then we may
not have to go to them. If we don't fill all the holes and take care of our
needs, then we'll go back and ask the Secretary of Labor to get us
MR. RINGEN: That wasn't just for data. I mean, the main purpose is not for
data, but that's fine. I have no problem with that. We will collect the data
by the next meeting or whatever we have out there.
MR. SWANSON: That might be optimistic, but off you go.
MR. RINGEN: Well Diane is in charge. Anything else in general? We have a
couple of other things to get to also, but let's take first what is on the
agenda formally since you're going to leave now.
The most important thing is probably coming up so the safety and health
MS. PAUL: Now?
MR. RINGEN: Now.
MS. PAUL: Or after a break?
MR. RINGEN: I suggest we just -- unless people feel strong about a break,
we'll keep going or do you need a break? Okay, five minute break and then
we'll go ahead.
(A recess was taken.)
MR. RINGEN: Let's get started again with the report of the work on the
MS. PAUL: Okay, at the last ACCSH meeting, you'll remember that we
presented to the committee a document that was our effort up to that point and
we felt that it was fairly complete and had quite a few comments from the
members of the committee itself.
So in the interests of getting everything integrated, the chair of this
committee asked that we go back to the drawing board between that meeting and
this meeting and requested that members of ACCSH send their comments to the
OSHA group that was doing the compiling for us through Bruce Swanson's office
and that the stakeholders do the same, again ongoing, and that's exactly what
This document that we just passed out is the document. If you look -- my
assistant -- there we go. If you look on the fourth page and you received a
red line strike out, part of this safety and health program's document, and
that document was sent out with a group of other documents to 130 different
people, stakeholders and the ACCSH committee member.
So this red line strike out document is the one we worked from yesterday.
The clean copy is the three pages on top, with the changes that were made
yesterday. So I'm not asking the committee to look at the full document, this
red line strike out document you have had for some time, so I just wanted to
make that point.
You will see there are a few changes, a few additions. We felt that this
work group has done just about all that the work group can do. We have come
just about as far as we can. We have had tremendous participation from
stakeholders. We have had Camille Villanova of Bruce Swanson's staff has done
an absolutely fantastic job, other than the fact that at 5 o'clock in the
morning she was faxing these things practically daily, because she is in
Washington, D.C., I'm in Vancouver, Washington, and she kept forgetting about
that three hour difference. But be that as it may, she was intent that I was
going to get this information and know what's going on.
So we believe that this construction safety and health management document
is about as far as the work group can go. We give thanks to Bruce Swanson who
has supplied us with people working on this, and like I say, especially to
Camille Villanova, who has just worked her head off over the whole thing, to
get us to this point.
We don't have total support, but Knut made it very clear to us that we're
not a consensus work group, we were a work group that was to work as far as we
could to get as much agreement as we can and then pass it on to the full
committee, and that's what we're doing today, we're passing it on to the full
committee for your -- not comments, I'm not trying to ask you for more
comments, but this is the document we've come up with, you know, given the
period of time and given the time frame, I move that you pass this document on
up the line for the next step to the Assistant Secretary or whoever, the next
step, and I'm not real familiar how that goes, but we present this to you as
MR. RINGEN: Okay, thank you very much, Judy. Thank you for doing a very
MR. RHOTEN: I'd like to just mention I'd like to make a comment that
everybody is very unhappy with this document and I second the motion that you
submit it on through. There's something in here that everybody wants in here
that's not here, you know, but I second that.
MR. RINGEN: So you've made the motion that?
MS. PAUL: I've made the motion that we pass this along. And could I say one
other thing? You know, this is the first step, although we've been doing this
for almost two years and working on this, this is the first step, you know,
and that's what we're bringing to you now, you know. And like I say, this is a
lot of hard work and bending and, you know, and saying, okay, we can do this,
and those kinds of things. You all know, you know, that it takes a lot of work
to take diverse groups and come up with a document that even you will work
from. So, you know, I thank everybody that's been involved and I'll leave it
MR. RINGEN: Okay, what about other people involved in the work group? Bill,
to some extent you've been involved?
MR. RHOTEN: To some extent. I missed several meetings because I was
involved with a confined space group.
MS. PAUL: And Ana Maria, do you have comments?
MS. OSORIO: Well I just want to emphasize some of the points that Judy made
that I think there was a lot of discussion at the last meeting we had here
that everybody who attends the meeting will not endorse this document a
I do think, though, as a credit to Bruce and Camille and Judy they've made
an all-out effort to get everybody's opinion and try to put them down on paper
in a way that is kind of middle of the road, if you will. And so I think
there's been a good faith effort, but you know, this is just sort of like you
said, sort of like an amoeba that needs a little more forming still.
So I think as a first step in the direction of ultimately getting something
that will then go, you know, the formal OSHA route, I think it represents a
lot of good faith effort by a lot of people and I think at this point, I think
we can keep on having meetings with all this stakeholders that we talked
about, but I don't think we're going to get any further than what we have now.
MR. RINGEN: I think it's important, the two things that you raised is that
at this stage you've probably done as much as you can and that all this does
is to form the basis for OSHA issuing an ANPR, if it finds it satisfactory, at
which time everybody else will have opportunities to once again comment on it
and we will get back something much more substantial in a couple years
probably, whenever it is.
Bob, do you have any comments?
MR. MASTERSON: Only basically to say the same thing the others have said. I
think nobody is a hundred percent satisfied with what's in here, but I think
the effort put forth by everybody that participated was incredible. I mean
everybody had to give and get a little. None of us got everything that we
wanted, but I certainly think it's a document that we can work from and
hopefully serve the real purpose, and that's to develop good safety in our
MR. RINGEN: Any other comments about this? We have a motion that this be
adopted and be sent forward. I'd like to suggest that maybe we make a small
amendment to that, as we said yesterday, with opportunity for those who are
not present at this meeting also to be able to send their comments on it to
the assistant or to OSHA and if there should happen to be large disputes
arising out of what those comments may be, that we may have to bring it back
again, but anticipating that that wouldn't be the case, we'd move forward with
MS. PAUL: There was a kind of a time frame for getting comments back. I had
a couple of them faxed even to me on Monday here and I read those --
MR. RINGEN: And they've been taken into account?
MS. PAUL: -- where appropriate. Yes, so the ones that came as of Monday we
took into account and put those on the table, too. So we are that current.
MR. RINGEN: I think that includes Bernice Jenkins.
MS. PAUL: Yes, it does, and her comments, let me just tell you were on the
June draft, and Bob and I -- there was conversation and I sent the letter
around which we can put in the record here from Bernice to the members of the
work group and they felt that -- or at least Bob felt that the concerns that
Bernice raised regarding the June 13th draft, which was the draft before the
draft, that we had addressed her concerns. So, you know, I just will put that
in the record and send this around, so for your own information you have it.
But this letter was directed to the draft that we fixed, so to speak,
according to Bob. I asked him if that was the case.
MR. MASTERSON: Right and I think Jim also had agreed with that. Most of the
provisions in Bernice's letter have been satisfied on that July draft,
MR. RINGEN: Okay, the motion is on the floor. Any other comments or
discussions? All in favor of the motion say Aye.
(Group says Aye.)
MR. RINGEN: Opposed?
MR. RINGEN: Okay, thank you very much. The record should reflect that there
was nobody opposed to the motion, so this document will go forward to OSHA and
they will do with it what they please.
Again I want to thank all of you and lots of people were involved --
MS. PAUL: Lots.
MR. RINGEN: -- and I think there was an extraordinary effort of getting
input into something that started out as contentious and worked out. And you
did an admirable job of shepherding it through, thank you. Now you're
available for another work group. Thank you.
Next issue, is the confined spaces work group report ready, Steve?
MR. CLOUTIER: The confined space work group met on Monday, August 26th and
in view of the final document which was sent to each ACCSH member on July 3rd,
1996, this number of pages long being double-spaced, wound up 44 pages long
and everybody had a copy, and I don't have extra copies here for the
committee, and I apologize for that. But there were a few minor changes made
to the original document, and those changes are as follows:
On page 8, before we asked for some additional potential problem areas, and
we were looking for an example, and we came up with an example of lack of
adequate lighting, so we've added that wording.
On page 12, line 3, there was a discussion if it was a multi-employer site
that somebody had to decide whose confined space entry plan they were going to
use, so the committee felt that we needed to change it instead of having
everybody work off their individual plan, that a decision would be made at the
site that there would only be one plan being used for confined space entry, so
we changed the wording to say, "Employers must work off a single entry
And then on the last item of discussion at the meeting which was on page 32
where we were talking about on site and off site rescue services, it was
decided that if the employer is going to use an off site rescue service then
the standby person must be trained in CPR, and those of us in the committee
felt that that was a perfectly legitimate request because we all know that
there is a time lag of when you pick up the phone and dial a two, four or nine
digit or a seven digit or a three digit emergency number, whether you're
dialing 9-1-1 or a seven digit number that there's a time delay to get that
response on site.
So we had some discussion on that and we all came to an agreement that we
felt that if we're going to use an off site rescue service that the standby
person must be trained in CPR.
Those are the only changes that were made to the original draft that was
sent to you, and that was the June 28th, 1996 draft on confined space. So at
this time, Mr. Chairman, I will make a motion that the work group's product go
to the committee for a vote.
MR. RINGEN: Well I think those changes by and large are excellent. Bill,
you served on the committee, do you have any comments?
MR. RHOTEN: No. I think it's a good document and I think that Steve did a
very good job in getting all the information and all the input from any of the
interested parties and I think he worked very hard on that and I'd second the
motion that it be passed on.
MR. RINGEN: And let's see, Diane Porter was involved in it also, but she's
not here right now.
MR. CLOUTIER: And, Mr. Chairman, I'd also like to thank Gil Esparza with
the Department of Labor. He spent many, many hours on this coordinating it and
giving us good draft information and Gil's been somewhat under the weather
with open heart surgery here recently, and that didn't stop him up until the
last moment. I would like to recognize him.
MR. RINGEN: I hope this wasn't a contributing factor.
MR. CLOUTIER: No, he's --
MR. RHOTEN: I'd like to recognize Gil also. He was a lot of help to me in
going through some of the things I didn't understand. He was well familiar
with this whole confined space issue and without his help I would have had a
hard time coming to some judgment decisions.
MR. RINGEN: Well I want to also thank the work group and Steve in
particular for the excellent effort again in an almost impossible time request
from OSHA to produce what I think has been a very thorough review of the
issues put together an excellent document that I'm certainly very happy with.
Any other questions or comments?
MR. RINGEN: Okay, we have the motion on the floor to adopt this report of
the work group and to send it forth to OSHA. All in favor of the motion please
(The group says aye.)
MR. RINGEN: Any opposed?
MR. RINGEN: Nobody is opposed, okay, a unanimous agreement. Thank you very
much for doing that and that concludes our work reports. Because of logistical
problems the HAZWIC committee wasn't able to report today. We have one or two
more issues left to take care of.
Subpart M, we discussed that yesterday and we established a work group. Bob
Masterson, because of other commitments, asked to be relieved of the
responsibility of being chairman, and since Steve Cooper isn't here, I suggest
that we make a motion to appoint Cooper as chairman.
MR. RHOTEN: I'll second that motion.
MR. MASTERSON: I would still like to participate. I just don't have the
extra time to chair and do the job that needs to be done there.
MR. RINGEN: It's understood, and we'll take care of that and I'll talk to
Steve when I get back, realizing that that was a unanimous agreement once
again. It's something that Cooper is familiar with.
A couple of other things that have come up. Steve raised it yesterday, the
issue of federal construction procurement, we will make every effort by the
next meeting also to put together a discussion of that issue and ask the
various federal agencies who are the main construction -- the main agencies
that buy construction services in the federal government to join us in a
discussion about how to make procurement requirements uniform across the
various agencies when it comes to safety and health. That's something that
this committee is supposed to be doing as we said yesterday, so we'll deal
The final thing is -- I don't know where Diane is -- but we have a request
that Stu Burkhammer first brought to our attention and that is that OSHA and
-- and maybe you can speak to this, Marie?
MS. HARING-SWEENEY: Yeah.
MR. RINGEN: They're developing a conference on best practices --
MS. HARING-SWEENEY: Right.
MR. RINGEN: -- in construction.
MS. HARING-SWEENEY: We're actually going to be calling it effective
programs and practices to reduce work-related musculoskeletal disorders. I
think we've all come to the conclusion that right now best is not a word we
can use just yet. But we would like people to bring forward their
-- the programs and practices that they've used that seem to be successful
in their work space, in their work environment and even some of the programs
that might not have worked and talk about lessons learned.
MR. RINGEN: When is this conference going to be held?
MS. HARING-SWEENEY: This conference will be held in Chicago on January 8th
and 9th, 1997. It will be at the Sheraton Chicago Hotel & Towers.
MR. RINGEN: You couldn't hold it in Florida?
MS. HARING-SWEENEY: We tried. We tried. We tried Florida. We tried Texas.
It's right on the lake. It's right on Michigan Avenue. The winds are much
MR. RINGEN: And this conference is a conference for all industry?
MS. HARING-SWEENEY: Right.
MR. RINGEN: And what Stu proposed and what I think you as conference
organizers are interested in is having a section of it or some part of it
dealing with construction.
MS. HARING-SWEENEY: That's right.
MR. RINGEN: And what I propose that we do with that is that we ask our WMD
work group to work with you in developing that program, Stu and other people
who are on that work group will be in touch with you. I don't think we need a
motion or anything on this, but if anybody on the committee has suggestions
about things that we can include in that conference, it would be very helpful.
MR. RHOTEN: Maybe they could get a job site visit to a high rise up there
on the lake.
MR. HALL: Just to let you know NACOSH your sister group has two people on
the planning committee for that conference. Do you remember who those two
MS. HARING-SWEENEY: Pankling and Paxaminarian.
MR. HALL: Yeah, so there are two people from NACOSH working to plan that
conference, to give you an idea.
MR. RINGEN: Well we can certainly have members from this committee join the
MR. HALL: Well I'd say that's between you all and NIOSH if they want more
people or if it's already so far along that they do. I don't know how you'd
like that. Did you want more people on the planning committee?
MS. HARING-SWEENEY: We will discuss it with the chairperson, Larry Fein.
But we will definitely take your suggestion under advisement.
MR. RINGEN: But what if we do the following, we say that we will organize a
construction part of this under the auspices of our WMD work group?
MS. HARING-SWEENEY: I think that will work.
MR. RINGEN: Okay. We don't just want to be window dressing to the thing, if
we're going to be involved.
Okay, other than that I don't believe I have any more issues that we need
to discuss at this meeting. Do any of you have any additional business that we
need to attend to?
MR. RINGEN: If not we'll see each other again on November 12 and 13 in
Washington, D.C. Thank you all for taking the time to come. It's been an
excellent meeting. I appreciate everybody's activities and all of you for
being involved. We stand adjourned.
(Whereupon, the committee meeting was adjourned at 10:46 a.m.)
This is to certify that the attached proceedings before the UNITED STATES
DEPARTMENT OF LABOR, in the matter of:
NAME OF PROCEEDINGS: Advisory Committee on Construction Safety and Health
DATE OF PROCEEDINGS: August 28, 1996
PLACE OF PROCEEDINGS: Spokane, Washington were had as therein appears, and that this is the original transcript
thereof for the files of the Department of Labor.