U. S. DEPARTMENT OF LABOR
OCCUPATIONAL SAFETY AND HEALTH ADMINISTRATION
THE ADVISORY COMMITTEE ON CONSTRUCTION SAFETY AND HEALTH (ACCSH)
Thursday, March 15, 2001
Frances Perkins Building
Room N3437 A-D
Department of Labor
200 Constitution Avenue, NW
P R E S E N T
Stephen D. Cooper, Executive Director
International Association of Bridge,
Structural & Ornamental Iron Workers
1750 New York Avenue, N.W.
Washington, D.C. 20006
Larry A. Edginton
Director of Safety and Health
International Union of Operating Engineers
1125 17th Street, N.W.
Washington, D.C. 20036
Director of Safety and Health
United Union Roofers
Waterproofers & Allied Workers
1160 L Street, N.W.
Washington, D.C. 20036
Director, Safety and Health Department
International Brotherhood of Electrical
1125 15th Street, N.W.
Washington, D.C. 20005
William C. Rhoten
Director, Safety and Health Department
United Association of Journeymen &
of the United States & Canada
901 Massachusetts Avenue, N.W.
Washington, D.C. 20001
Ahern & Associates, Inc.
5725 Kanawha Turnpike
South Charleston, West Virginia 25309
Vice President & Manager of Safety
And Health Services
5275 Westview Drive
Frederick, Maryland 21703-8306
Fretz Construction Company
P.O. Box 266784
Houston, Texas 77207-6784
Vice President Risk Control
St. Paul Fire and Marine Insurance
385 Washington Street
St. Paul, Minnesota 55102
Anzalone & Associates
12700 Foothill Boulevard
Sylmar, California 91324
Assistant Deputy Commissioner
Director of the Division of
Occupational Safety and Health
North Carolina Department of Labor
4 West Edenton Street
Raleigh, North Carolina 27601
Thomas A. Broderick
Construction Safety Council
4100 Madison Street
Hillside, Illinois 60612
Jane F. Williams
A-Z Safety Resources
4901 E. Kathleen Road
Scottsdale, Arizona 85254
Marie Haring Sweeney, Ph.D.
Chief, Document Development Branch
Education and Information Division
National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health
4676 Columbia Parkway
Cincinnati, Ohio 45226
Designated Federal Official:
Directorate of Construction
200 Constitution Avenue, N.W.
Washington, D.C. 20210
Office of the Solicitor
Occupational Safety and Health Administration
Dr. Carol Merry Stephenson
Mr. Berrien Zettler
Marthe B. Kent
Director, Safety Standards Program
A G E N D A
Opening remarks and introductions
Bob Krul, Chairman
ACCSH Workgroup Reports
Silica Stakeholder Conference
Noise in Construction
Marie Haring Sweeney
NIOSH Presentation - Noise Hazards in Construction
Carol Merry Stephenson
Workgroup reports continued
OSHA 10 Hour
Subpart N - Cranes
OSHA's Organizational Structure
H. Berrien Zettler
Construction Standards Report
P R O C E E D I N G S
CHAIRMAN KRUL: Good morning, and welcome to the Advisory Committee on Construction Safety and Health. My name is Bob Krul and it will be my privilege and honor to serve as the chairman of this committee. For those of you who, like me, are new to the committee we will learn together how this committee works, functions, and operates in participating in its deliberations. For those of you who are reappointed, we new kids will be looking to you for guidance and advice as to, again, how this committee functions and operates. Bruce handled the exits. Did you handle the restrooms -- locations are also out this door to the right for those who don't know. For the members of the public who are here, I'd like to just give you a heads up. If you intend to speak, please take a piece of paper, put your name, association, and the topic you would like to address and give it to the juror, preferably before the lunch hour so that we know we can set aside some time for you later on. What I'd like to do before I go into any further opening remarks is, because this is the kick off meeting, just starting on my left basically go around the table for the members of the committee, do some self introductions, and if you would extend your remarks a little bit by giving what your background is in safety and health and your association, what you do for a living, and what you expect to see come out of this committee and your work on it. So we'll start with the Solicitor, because she's on my left.
MS. SHORTALL: Hello. My name is Sarah Shortall. I am from the Office of the Solicitor. I've been with the Department of Labor since 1987. For most of the last 10 years I've been working in the area of ergonomics, but also on some other projects, including vehicle safety, glycol ethers, reproductive health hazards for workers. And my role here is to answer questions for ACCSH members about procedures, about the various laws under which the ACCSH committee works and must comply, and to serve as a resource for any of their needs. Thank you.
MR. BURKHAMMER: Stu Burkhammer, Principle Vice President and Manager of Environmental Safety and Health Services for the Bechtel Group. I've been an ACCSH member since the end of 1991. I had the honor of serving as Acting Chair previously to Mr. Krul coming and taking the position. It was rightly labor's anyway. I wasn't killing the role for Labor, and sometimes they didn't think I did that very well. So I'm glad we finally got a labor representative in the chair so now I don't have to take the heat anymore. I've been with Bechtel 38 year; it'll be 39 in June. I've been about everywhere doing that. Not a whole lot to say, a lot of you know me anyway. So I'll end with that. I have a few remarks later.
MR. EDGINTON: Good morning. I'm Larry Edginton. I'm the Director of Safety and Health for the International Union of Operating Engineers. The Operating Engineers sort of have two main components: construction and our stationary engineering fields. The bulk of my activity has been associated with construction safety and health. I've been on the international staff for about 11 years. The last five or six years, whatever its been, I've been their Director of Safety and Health. I'm very pleased to have been reappointed. One of the things I would like to say about this group is that I think it's -- our past activities are proof positive, when you get good people together with good intentions good things can happen. And I really think that's the spirit in which the last ACCSH worked, and I certainly hope that that's a spirit that's going to be maintained with the new one. And just looking around the room, I have little doubt that that's not going to be the case. The challenge is before so many. As we know, and we've heard from Bruce and others, while we're experiencing a boom in this nation's construction economy, that's going to continue for the foreseeable future, what we haven't figured out how to do is -- we've figured out how to grow the industry but we haven't figured out how to reduce some of the injuries and illnesses that are present. And I think that really remains a principle challenge to this organization, is to provide some insight to the agency how we can better focus and target and direct some efforts to bring about those workplace safety and health improvements we're really all trying to get after. Thank you, Bob.
MR. KRUL: Thanks, Larry.
MR. SMITH: My name is Owen Smith. I'm the Painting Contractor from Los Angeles. I've been with the same company since 1954; I've owned it since 1969. Well, owned it completely since 1969. I became an owner in 1960. I was commissioned with the Department of Industry Relations in California for 18 years. I was appointed by Governor Brown, served through to his nation's term, and part way through Wilson. I acted kind of like a liaison between our union and non-union members for the Brotherhood and our associations. Safety is part of it, and what do we do, and we do it every day.
MS. WILLIAMS: Good morning. My name is Jane Williams. I've been in construction for 31 years. I'm the owner of my own company, which is A-Z Safety Resources in Arizona where I do instruction and program development for union and non-union contractors that I do work with. My first job was the nuclear power plant in 1969. I'll tell on myself. As you well know, OSHA came in at 1970, so one of my first tasks was given all the information to read about OSHA and what it meant and, quite frankly, how to keep them off the job because no one knew what they were going to be doing. I have been doing that ever since. I specialize totally in safety and health training and development for the last 16 years.
MR. MURPHY: Hi. My name is Dan Murphy and I'm with St. Paul Companies. A little bit about my background: I have a master's degree in safety and health. And I started my career in the mining industry and went from there to the power houses and from the power houses I worked for one of the major contractors in the southwest before coming to St. Paul. At St. Paul we worked with many, many contractors across the United States providing risk management services to them. I've had the opportunity for the last couple of days to sit in on some workgroups. And I'm very anxious to be a part of this group because it seems that the theme through all the workgroups is how can we make this a better place to work. And I'm really looking forward to contributing to that.
MS. AHERN: My name is Jim Ahern. And in forums like this I usually describe myself as a dirt-moving cowboy from West Virginia in a fancy suit and tie. I've been involved in the highway industry for about 35 years. I'm a civil engineer by degree. Maybe more importantly, I'm a business owner now and we work primarily in West Virginia and Ohio doing highway construction work with which Mr. Swanson referred to as having pretty good funding currently through the Highway Trust Fund. We also work in the coalfields, which is a very dangerous area to do construction in. And my sense as a business owner is that we have a moral and economic reason for providing safe workplaces. And it's industry's responsibility to work closely with OSHA to provide this safe workplace. So that's why I'm here is to try to understand how we can do that better and cut down on the number of accidents and the number of fatalities.
MR. BEAUREGARD: Good morning. My name is Kevin Beauregard. I'm the Assistant Deputy Commissioner of Labor for North Carolina, also the Assistant Director of North Carolina for the OSHA program. I probably have a few other titles that I can't remember right now. Primarily my duties right now are running the OSHA compliance program and also having some collateral duties with the rest of the OSHA program. I started out in this area. I went to the University of Maryland as a graduate. I worked a little bit in construction, superintendents building residential facilities. I worked for the State of Maryland Accident Fund, which is a worker's comp insurer provider as a safety consultant for a short while. Then I also worked for the Maryland Occupational Safety and Health Administration, which John O'Connor heads up, for several years. Then I went down to Maryland and have worked every role in their OSHA program. So I know it pretty much inside and out. And we're very concerned about construction safety and health. I see it firsthand and we see the numbers that Mr. Swanson talked about. They constitute a small percentage of our overall industry in North Carolina, but a high percentage of them are injuries and illnesses and fatalities. We've been very active working with the organizations within North Carolina, all the associations with employer and employee. And we're very happy to be having a representative on this committee.
MR. RHOTEN: Good morning. My name is Bill Rhoten. I'm an International Representative and the Director of Safety and Heath for the United Association of Plumbers and Pipefitters. And we've got about 310,000 members. I've held this position since 1992. And then prior to that I was a business manager for a local union in Sacramento, California. And I'm a plumber/pipefitter by trade. I've had the pleasure of serving on this committee the last few years, and enjoyed it. I think everybody here, employer, employee representatives; the aim's the same. And I've enjoyed working in that atmosphere. So thank you.
MR. MEDEROS: My name's Manny Mederos. I'm one of the new members of the committee. I'm from the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers and I'm the Director of Safety and Health. I started out in California for a large utility company. And this morning they were still in business; they hadn't gone bankrupt yet.
MR. MEDEROS: And I was also involved, when I went to work with a local union out there, with contractors and outside line construction. I came to work in Washington, D.C., in 1988. And on the international staff I've been Director of Safety and Health for a little over five years now with them. The IBW is concerned in safety and health that goes back to 1891 when we were established where we were losing one out of every two electrical workers, and those weren't very good odds. And we don't want it to regress even anything like that. I'm involved with several organizations in safety and health and ANSI standards committees. I was just recently certified by the National Safety Council Utility Division and received a certification in Utility Safety Administrator. I look forward to working with this committee.
MR. COOPER: My name is Steve Cooper. I'm representing the Iron Workers International Union on this Committee. I would like to thank Stu Burkhammer for his excellent job as chairman over these past years. Jim Lapping just walked out of the room, for you new members on the panel. Jim Lapping was -- headed up the building trades as Safety Director for 20 years and played a large part in keeping this committee together over the years. As it relates to Owen Smith, who just reported that he went to work in 1954 with that company, ever since he started in '54 the company had gone downhill until he got in a position where he could buy it.
MR. COOPER: I'm happy to see our -- to work with this committee and our new chairman, Mr. Krul. I've known him for years. I've been on this committee a long time. I believe it's now five administrations. Thank you.
DR. SWEENEY: I won't go there. My name is Marie Haring Sweeney. I am officially the representative from Department of Health and Human Services. And I'm also a captain in the U.S. Public Health Service. I have worked for the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, known as NIOSH, since 1977. I have -- I was the first -- NIOSH is a research organization. We are non-regulatory. And I was the first person to begin research in construction safety and health at NIOSH in the late 1980's. I've been working in construction since then. In the last five years, though, I have been working as the Chief of the Document Development Office, which NIOSH -- in which we do recommended exposure limits. And this is my second term on ACCSH. And I feel that it's extremely important. I can't -- I also want to say, during the first tenure we learned to appreciate the role of the staff, the Director of Construction. They put a lot of effort into it. They help us staff all the workgroups. And I would like to thank them. And I'd also like to thank you for my reappointment and hope to work well with you and the rest of the staff. Thank you.
MR. DEVORA: My name is Felipe Devora. I'm the Safety Director for a general contractor in the fair city of Houston and the great state of Texas. I've been with this company for 30 plus years and have actually worked my way up, sort of like Owen, but I've never been able to buy this company.
MR. DEVORA: But I'm a relative newbie. I only started in the business in 1972. But I have been with the same company, a 79-year-old firm in the Houston area, (unclear) General Contractor. Like I said, I came up through the field. I have worked out in the field. I'm a journeyman carpenter. I've project managed, project superintendent, and for the last 12 years have been in charge of -- which started out Operations Manager and we refined the title to Safety Director. And I say refined but I don't know if that fits or not. I changed the name, right. But I have been very active in the Houston and the Texas market with, as Larry mentioned, with the increased proliferation of the construction boom, especially in our area, and the shortage of the labor workforce and the proliferation of the Hispanic community in the south. My company has allowed me to do a lot of outreach training with other companies as well. Currently in Houston we're partnering with OSHA in an outreach effort to reach the bilingual trainers, and also the Hispanic community in terms of sufficient training for them before they go out on the construction projects. Again, this is my second term, like Marie, on the committee. Some of the things that I've been able to work on in the past has been the current -- the first draft of the (unclear) Citation Policy that was batted around here for a while. But I enjoyed my time there. Also we were able to address the reopening of the fall protection, lended some comments to there, and got to interact with a lot of associations and a lot of input from stakeholders. And currently I'm working with Dr. Sweeney on hearing loss prevention workgroup, which we'll talk about a little bit later. Again, my first term was very interesting and I hope we can continue in that same spirit. And I'd like to thank our chairman, previous chairman, Stu. He did an outstanding job in making this -- making the atmosphere a very workable one where we went to Stu as many times to help us figure out how we wanted to do Motions and things like that. He was very helpful to me, anyway. And I appreciate it. Thank you, Stu. And also I'd like to thank the Agency for the reappointment. Thank you.
MR. BRODERICK: My name is Tom Broderick. I'm the Executive Director of the Construction Safety Council in Chicago. I was a union construction worker during the '70s. And in the '80s I was able to get into the construction safety business. I traveled around the country with companies like Boint (sp) Brothers, Rest Engineering, Stone and Webster; all three of which are now out of business and, hopefully, there's not a relationship between their demise and my employment there.
MR. BRODERICK: I am a new public member and I'm replacing Mike Bouchet. I know I have some large shoes to fill. And in his present job I'm sure he'll remind me if I'm not doing a good job of that. So it's an honor to be on ACCSH. And I'm looking forward to two years of making some significant contributions.
MR. SWANSON: Well, if we made the rest of them do it, I guess I'll do it. I am Russell B. Swanson, known as Bruce. I am the Director of what OSHA calls the Directorate of Construction. We've had this office for about five years, since we made it into a Directorate. Prior to that it was a much smaller Office of Construction. To jump back and take a quick glimpse, I have not worked for anyone that's gone belly up yet. And I hope to not have that experience, yet.
MR. SWANSON: Let me see, I was, at an earlier life, I was an Assistant Attorney General for the State of Minnesota. I was a Commissioner of Labor for the State of Minnesota. I joined the federal government as a Regional Administrator in California, region 9. And I went to IMSHA (sp) for a few years, came back to OSHA as the Deputy Assistant Secretary, and matriculated into the Office of Construction. I really feel pleased, almost blessed, to be the Assistant Secretary's interface with an advisory committee that has as much talent on it as this one. Thank you.
MR. KRUL: Thank you, Bruce. The German Scur (ph) began in between college terms back in the '60s, ex-generation. Much to the chagrin of the Chairman's parents, the Chairman dropped out of college, became an apprentice roofer in Local 74 in Buffalo, New York, a journeyman, a foreman, and a superintendent estimator. I also became the apprentice instructor and coordinator for my local union. I'm proud to say I'm a 32-year member in good standing of that local. I came to Washington, D.C., in 1979 under a federal grant. Two years later they hired me full time. I became our National Apprenticeship Coordinator, and also worked to establish our Safety and Health Department at the International Union. And was proud to work on several initiatives that benefited not only our specific trade but within the buildings trade as well. I became a member of the Building Construction's Department of Safety and Health Committee, and proud to be the current chairman of that committee. I'm also active on the ANSI A-10 Committee, the A-14 Lighters Committee, and have worked with our association and other coalitions that have been formed on safety and health issues that affect our industry. It's going to be my privilege, having worked in the trade, to be able to chair a committee like this. I am familiar with a lot of the work that has been done by this committee, since several of the labor people that sit on this committee also sit on their Safety and Health Committee. And I think those of us who have our roots in the building trades know all too well the unfortunate toll that can be taken in lives and injuries in the construction industry. And being able to work even in a small, whatever small measure it can be to reduce those numbers, will be a personal privilege for the Chairman. I'd like to have the audience introduce themselves. We'll begin with this gentleman right here.
(Whereupon, the members of the audience introduced themselves.)
MR. KRUL: And I think we should mention, just for the record, that John O'Connor could not be here. He is the Secretary of Labor for Licensing and Regulation for the State of Maryland, as the gentleman had said. This committee is charged with the responsibility of providing advice to the Assistant Secretary for OSHA on standards and policies that are designed to protect construction workers from worksite hazards. The construction industry bears the dubious honor of having one of the highest fatality and injury rates for all industries in this country. And while there have been some improvements in those numbers over the years they are still at unacceptable levels. To whatever degree, the work of this committee to improve the safety and health of all construction workers in this country, I look forward to working with all of you on this committee to make that happen. To keep our focus on what this committee's mission is, I'd like to begin each meeting, including this one, with a moment of silence for those men and women in the construction industry who have been killed or injured since this committee last met. So if you would just lower your head, each in his or her own way, and pay silent tribute to those workers right now.
(Whereupon, a moment of silence was observed.)
MR. KRUL: Thank you. I'd like to take this opportunity, as several members of the committee already have, to officially thank Stu Burkhammer for his service as Acting Chairman of this committee. It certainly is a plus for this committee that he's going to remain on it and continue to serve as a national representative. As Vice President and Manager of Safety and Health Services for Bechtel Corporation and as former Chairman of this committee, he brings a wealth of wisdom, experience, and guidance that I know I will be tapping and find invaluable. And we'd like to thank you, Stu for a great job, a job well done, and a round of applause.
MR. KRUL: And if I could impose on you a little bit to maybe give a perspective, both retrospective and maybe look forward a little bit, what you see as the plusses, high points, low points of the committee -- I think we ought to leave the low points out. But if you would, please.
MR. BURKHAMMER: Thank you, Mr. Chairman. Michael, you don't have to worry. I've got openings in China, Bangladesh, Pakistan, and India. And between you and Lee and Billy I think we can fill them. Over the past two plus years that I had the honor of chairing this esteemed group of safety and health professionals we have been challenged by several Assistant Secretaries of OSHA to work on some very key issues, some hot issues, some issues that were controversial, at least, and some of those that have MSDs in construction or musculo-skeletal disorders. I list it first because I think it's absolutely the most controversial one that we have ever done in this committee. A sanitation, multi-employer, fall protection and STD 3.1, OSHA Form 170, safety and health protection for a diverse construction workforce, which was the original HAZWIC (sp) workgroup under Lauren Sugarman years ago, and data collection, to name a few. I was truly blessed, and I think, Mr. Chairman, you will see that you are too, with a group of dedicated, hardworking professionals who took on the various challenges and met or exceeded them in every case .I am proud to have had the opportunity to act as chair for this committee for close to three years. With that said, let me take you back and give you new committee members a snapshot in time of some of the above issues, along with some others, and kind of where we are today. When I became Acting Chair we had about 20 workgroups. Some of them had workgroup chairs, some didn't. Some met, some didn't. So we decided to streamline that as best we could. And I think today, when you look at the list of existing committees we have obtained, some of the ones have been dissolved, some have finished their work, some have completed their task and we've sent the recommendations on to this Assistant Secretary through Bruce. The Safety and Health Program Standard was chaired by Bill Rhoten from the UA, who is with us today, and Steve Coulier (sp), former of JA Jones, now on an airplane back from Australia in his newfound job of his office's seat 16A of the United Airlines. This workgroup is still in effect today, although dormant at this time. They were concentrating on NACOSH's development of the National Standard and we had convinced the Assistant Secretaries that construction, if they were to have a Safety and Health Program Standard, that we did not want to be locked in with the NACOSH one. And they had agreed to that and were going to allow us to help draft our own standard for construction, but that never materialized. But we still kept this committee alive just in case some Assistant Secretary decides to bring it back, which I hope in a way they don't. But you never know. The training workgroup, again chaired by Bill Rhoten and Owen Smith, who are both here, are working on the concept of the OSHA 10-hour course, or equivalent, is somewhat of a mandate for all employees working on construction projects. There's still a little bit of debate about whether to use the 10-hour or have an equivalency. There are a lot of associations and a lot of companies that have spent a lot of time developing the training programs for their employees. Now some of us think that our programs are comparable at least to the OSHA 10-hour, but we're still working with that workgroup. We had a meeting this week. And I think Bill will be giving read out of where that workgroup is later on in our agenda. Jane Williams and Steve Cooper, both of whom are here today, chaired the Sanitation Workgroup. This was a very, very stick workgroup to chair. They had a lot of issues. They went through a lot of documentation, several meetings. The workgroup is still in effect today. And to show you how the teamwork works here between labor and management, this workgroup came to a final resolution and reported out to ACCSH some guidelines for consideration by OSHA. One of the prominent recommendations that asking OSHA to put sanitation on their 2001 regulatory agenda and, yes indeed, it did get put on the 2001 regulatory agenda. And I think Jane and Steve deserve a lot of credit for the hard work they did in pushing that forward and getting it on the agenda. The scaffolding workgroup was to work on a revision to subpart L. The workgroup was dissolved in late 1999 when it was decided by OSHA to kind of delay this a little bit. But the workgroup is still hanging around. And when this comes back, Felipe, I'm sure you'll be called to pick up the pieces there. Larry Edginton and I -- Larry's with us today -- chaired the Construction Safety Excellence Recognition Workgroup. This was a spin off from the original Construction Safety Excellence Program that was initiated by OSHA that Jim Lapping and I had developed in the early '90s. This workgroup was dissolved in early 1999 due to the completion of their work and the acceptance of OSHA of the idea that there should be a type of excellent recognition program in the construction industry. And today there's a pilot program, that Paula White's group has, that's out there that several contractors are currently participating in in the pilot effort. Subpart N was chaired by Bob Masterson from the Home Builders and Felipe Devora. This was combined with STD 3.1 in a report by Felipe was given at our last meeting. There were 10 actions and issues that we voted on. And all passed. There was an issue on number one on the list that we ended up having to, as a committee, rewrite. And that also passed, although not unanimously like the other ones did. There was two negative votes for that one. But it did pass. And, again, I think it's an example how labor and management work together to achieve the common goal of helping to provide a safe health workplace and helping OSHA understand the need for that. The Paperwork Reduction Workgroup was chaired by Jane and Steve Cooper. And recommendations were presented by the workgroup to OSHA. And this workgroup was dissolved in early 2000. And then it was reconstituted in late 2000 to review some additional material. And I think that workgroup is still working on that review. Data Collection Workgroup was and still is one of the most challenging workgroups that we've had. Marie Haring Sweeney and Michael Bouchet co-chaired this workgroup. Marie is with us today and Michael's about to go to work for Bechtel, hopefully in India.
MR. BURKHAMMER: But they have been working with the folks from the University of Tennessee. Bruce is smiling still, I hope. From the University of Tennessee, BLS, and the FW Dodge group on the how, what, why, wheres, and whens of data collection, what is good data, what is not good data, what data do we need, what data do we don't need. And when this group took a look at this it was just a mountain of effort to go through this stuff and try to come up with some meaningful data. At the last meeting we combined this workgroup with the Form 170 Workgroup that Jane and Steve chair. We gave Jane some leeway there to finis the form up, and I think she's going to be reporting today later on in our agenda where that workgroup is. And I think, Mr. Chair, you might take a look at the minutes from the last meeting and what we did with those two workgroups so we can -- I think they're to the point now where we can go ahead and make that combination work. But, of course, that's up to you as the chair how you want to do that. Crane Subpart N is chaired by my good colleague, Larry Edginton, from the Operating International Union. Larry is with us today. And his workgroup probably has the most people show up of any. He has a huge room full of people helping him work on this Crane proposal. And I think he'll also be reporting out to us at this meeting where his workgroup stands and where he is in regard to closeness or not closeness to presenting this to Bruce. MSDs was originally chaired by myself when we first started this years ago. It started out as kind of a mixed bag. Instead of looking at ergo I thought that MSDs in construction were the way to go, and we named the committee that rather than ergo. But everybody knew it was ergo. We just kind of clouded over the name ergo with MSDs.And when I figured out that I wasn't going anywhere with this committee, I challenged Marie and Michael to take it. And they absolutely did a phenomenal job picking up the pace. And I'll tell you the truth from my perspective, and I'm not speaking for Marie and Michael, but from my perspective this is the most controversial workgroup, I think, ever in the history of ACCSH. I could write in top volumes on the trials and tribulations and heated discussions, letters back and forth, innuendos, comments, et cetera, et cetera, et cetera, but I won't do that. Because that would take up more than the two days of the meeting that we have here. The group developed a Best Practices booklet, which the full ACCSH committee passed and turned over to Bruce. It was placed on the OSHA web page. And I think if you currently dial into the OSHA web page you'll see that the best practices booklet has been removed from the web page. Hexavalent (sp) Chromium workgroup is chaired by Bill Rhoten and Owen Smith. They're both here. And I think they've had one or two meetings to date. And, Bill, you're going to be reporting out later this week on the status of that workgroup. Multi-Employer, another controversial workgroup, to say the least, chaired by the late Danny Evans and Felipe. They both worked with Noel Connell in Bruce's shop on a revision, on the directive to make it clear and easier to understand. This was a lot of work. And part of the workgroup was completed and lead to the issuance of the revised and easier to understand directive that is currently in place. This workgroup was dissolved in late 2000. And Danny and Felipe did a phenomenal job working with Noel to get this out. I think record time. I think it was one of the faster things that we've done with OSHA over the years. Powered Industrial Truck Operator Training workgroup was chaired by Steve Cloutier and Larry. They worked with OSHA to develop the final rule. The workgroup completed their work in '98, they had a very short timeframe to do it in. the final rule was issued in December of '98, and the workgroup was dissolved in 1999. One thing, Mr. Chairman, you'll find that when the workgroup completes their task we have so many new tasks coming up that we like to dissolve the workgroups and keep a tight knit number so we don't get strung out with 20 or 25 workgroups and have of them are working and half of them aren't. And besides, we don't have enough ACCSH members to co-chair all those many committees so we try to keep it down to a working number. There's two other workgroups that I think are worth mentioning. Jane Williams and Bruce and I sat down one day and talked about the need to develop some kind of a roles and responsibilities and guidelines for the ACCSH committee members and kind of a formal procedure of how to conduct an ACCSH meeting. And, bless her heart, Jane has put her heart and soul in this. And over the last year, year and a half, has come up with a program, which ACCSH has reviewed. And we had a lot of changes, a lot of rework, and she's hung in there like a trooper making all these things. And I think on your agenda for Friday she'll be talking to us about this and going over it with us. So all the new committee members and the new chairman will understand how we operate. And I think it's an excellent product. Jane is to be commended for her outstanding effort on this. And I think all of you will find it very helpful in how we do business. The Diversified Construction Workgroup Initiatives, as I said earlier, is a spin off from the old HAZWIC group. Jane and Larry co-chair this. They've been working to develop some guidelines for OSHA to review regarding a broad range of issues that address women and minorities in construction. This group is still in effect and still working to that goal. Finally, Marie and Larry chaired Silica in Construction. This group is still in effect and they worked on recommendations for OSHA based on the NIOSH study. And I'm sure you're all aware of where silica is today. And we haven't had a meeting with this workgroup but it's still available to meet and to work on new things in silica. Some newly constituted workgroups in late 2000. Noel's and Maria and Felipe are going to be talking about their workgroup later in the agenda. And Process Safety Management, which we just started at the last meeting, OSHA has asked us to review the Process Safety Management Standard. And Owen volunteered to chair that committee. And I'm not sure, Owen, if you've had a meeting or remember that you were the chair, but, yes, you are. And, Mr. Chairman, I think we need a co-chair for Owen. Now for a few personal comments. When I first started on ACCSH, I guess now it was of 1991, it was my opinion and that of many others, and maybe a lot of you sitting here at the table today, that the committee was (off tape) and I know back in some of the old committees when Jim Lapping and Joe Adam and them sat on the committee you could just see the frustration and the agony by them working hard and nothing happened. Finally I think when we got a Directorate of Construction, which was long overdue in coming, things started to change. And I believe now that the voice of this committee is heard louder than ever. The committee does outstanding work and our products are given serious consideration. Our relationship with Bruce and his staff is excellent, and Bruce has an outstanding staff of individuals. Previous Assistant Secretaries of Labor have came to this committee and sat before us and praised the work of this group on several occasions and the work of the workgroups and the workgroup chairman. Being a member of ACCSH is not easy. It requires hard work and dedication to the tasks at hand. It requires diligent work with your assigned workgroups to deliver an excellent product, in sometimes short order. It takes time other than the time you put in here during ACCSH week. Workgroups may need to schedule extra meetings or even hold stakeholder sessions to gather that or the views of the public on various issues. One thing we don't do here is wing it. And data is the most important thing a workgroup has. And the more data the workgroup has and the more input the workgroup has the better the workgroup product. And I'm sure the new chairman will be looking at the current workgroup co-chairs and divide up the work between the new members. And one thing we don't do is ask people to chair or be part of a group that they know absolutely nothing about or it doesn't pertain to them or their particular group or their particular organization. So we try to (off tape) also give them a little pride in producing a decent product and an outstanding product because they know eventually they're going to be part of that product and they're going to have to live with what they deliver. For those of you who have been here in the past on the committee, welcome back. For those of you new members, welcome. I hope you enjoy your stint tenure on this committee. I know I've enjoyed my 10 years and my two and a half years as Acting Chair. And I think you'll find that what you put into this is what you're going to get out of it. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
MR. KRUL: Thank you, Stu. And I think you can see from those comments and the little bit of the history of this committee that this Chairman has big shoes to fill in trying to keep up the good work that Stu did as Acting Chairman of this committee. I can tell you that my brothers and sisters in the building trades used to come to the safety and health meetings years ago and lament about the contentious, the discord, and the counter productiveness of the ACCSH committee. And I can tell you that this Chairperson and his organization, number one, and we operate under a labor/management cooperative and philosophy in our organization. And to be quite honest, I think anybody who has had and currently has experience in organized labor today knows that that's the only way we get things done. And I'm certainly looking to carry that spirit of cooperativeness with this committee. It doesn't mean that we can't disagree on issues, but we can disagree with civility and the majority will rule and it won't matter whether it's the public sector or labor or management that gets harpooned out of it, or if they feel they got harpooned. I don't look forward to having anybody feel like they've been harpooned. But there will be disagreements I'm sure. People can, as I said, disagree but disagree civilly. Once all the evidence is in and this committee votes and makes a recommendation that recommendation will go forward. I'd like to give a pat on the back to the person sitting on my right, as Stu has also said. I think the change in ACCSH came as a direct result of Bruce and the Directorate of Construction becoming actively involved with this committee. Building trades fought long and hard to get a separate division within OSHA to hear the concerns of the construction industry. And Bruce has been nothing but a friend and a cooperating partner and laid it out on the table whether it could or couldn't be done. And I appreciate that kind of relationship. I don't like to be danced around. There's no sense in wasting time on things that cannot be accomplished. So I like it when people are straight up with me and I like to be that way with them. There was a number of you who came in in the audience late, and I will just repeat that if anyone in the public would like to make comments later on, please put your name, your association, and the topic you'd like to address on a piece of paper and get it to the chairman before the noon hour. Speaking of the noon hour, I'd like to review the agenda. Bruce is getting information.
MR. BURKHAMMER: I have it.
MR. KRUL: You have information? Those of us who are new members need to have our photo ID's. And, do you want to give us that, Bruce?
MR. BURKHAMMER: Yes. At 12:00 Jim Boone of the DOC staff will meet the seven, six now, I guess new members who are available right outside the door here and will take you down for photographs. If you do it right, you'll still have a lunch.
MR. KRUL: That's good to know. Are there any changes to the -- Stu had said that we should review this earlier and look at the agenda as it's currently scheduled. And does anybody have any comments or would like to change anything regarding timeslots or topics to be discussed?
MR. BURKHAMMER: Mr. Chairman.
MR. KRUL: Yes, Stu.
MR. BURKHAMMER: At the last meeting one of the things that came out of our meeting was a -- kind of a joint relationship or joint effort between the Maritime Committee and our committee. I went to the last Maritime meeting and, if the Chair would like, I could give a brief summary of that meeting and my trip over there.
MR. KRUL: Please do.
MR. BURKHAMMER: So wherever you want to add that on the agenda let me know.
MR. KRUL: Yes, about right now. Since we're stretched for time.
MR. BURKHAMMER: Not a problem. The MACOSH, the Maritime Committee met in Baltimore. Larry Reed from NIOSH chairs the Maritime Committee and Larry Lebrotore is the designated official for that workgroup. They had about 70 people in attendance. The committee is made up of management and labor from the various shipyards and drilling rig companies. It's an interesting mix; it's an interesting group. They have a couple of Navy folks on the committee. And there was several issues that they were discussing that someone pertained to the work we do. Shipbuilding construction has a lot of the same type of issues we have: ergonomics, scaffolding, fall protection, confined space, welding, cutting, burning. And they do it in very tight spaces sometimes; painting issues, cords, and leads running through ship parts. It's a difficult, at best, environment to work in, not unlike construction. But our somewhat is a little more open than some of those places in the ships and the bowels of the ships where you're down there in these unbelievable small places trying to finish welds or spray paint or clean. So they have a lot of the same discussions what we have. In fact, a couple of times during their discussions I thought I was sitting in ACCSH and not MACOSH because I heard a lot of the same issues that we've talked about for years here. We as a group in ACCSH offered, through me, to kind of have a couple of joint efforts with them. And I left it up to them to decide which workgroups that we currently have that they might be interested in partnering with. So I gave them a brief summary of the current workgroups, where we are in the various workgroups. And they decided to pick scaffolding, for whatever reason, as the one issue they wanted to work with us on, which doesn't make a lot of sense to me. But the Chair, Larry is supposed to give me a call, and I'll refer him to you, Mr. Chairman, and you guys can decide how you want to facilitate their partnership. I'll be happy to participate with you if you want. Or they may not call at all. They're a different bunch of folks and it's a different industry. So. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
MR. KRUL: Thank you. Anyone else on the agenda?
MR. KRUL: You have your minutes in front of you from the last meeting. And what I'd like to do is entertain a motion to have those approved, if there are no corrections, additions, deletions.
MR. BURKHAMMER: Move to approve.
MR. KRUL: Second.
MS. SHORTALL: Second.
MR. KRUL: On the question, all in favor signifying by saying aye.
(Chorus of ayes)
MR. KRUL: Opposed, if any?
MR. KRUL: They ayes have it. Okay. We're going to break and come back at 10:15 with Mr. Smith's Silica Stakeholder Conference report. Thank you.
(Whereupon, at 9:41, the meeting was in recess.)
A F T E R R E C E S S
MR. KRUL: If the public section would come to order, please. I'd like to go back on the agenda and Mr. Owen Smith will be giving us a report, although he tells me it will not be 15 minutes long, on the Silica Stakeholder Conference. Owen, please.
MR. SMITH: Thank you. First off, Coop talked about running the company down, the problem was, you know, I had to do something. Because I used to sit on the front row at the union hall and those guys wanted to make sure that I got away from there. They made sure that I was a success so I wouldn't come back.
MR. SMITH: Anyway, the Silica workshop, or Stakeholders Meeting was in Atlanta. And it was the day after the election. So I voted and then got on the plane and then flew to Atlanta. It was two days. One day for, I guess, light construction, and the other for the roadwork and things of that nature. I'm vitally interested in the Silica because, you know, we probably use more silica and respirators than anybody else. And if you have ever seen anyone that has been affected, you know, with the breathing and so forth you will never forget it. And the other thing was that became a much more sensitive after seeing Captain Sweeney's film. So as I drive around now I'm much more cognizant. OSHA was asking for a number of things. And part of it was monitoring, I guess usage. It was the stakeholders and no press and they were trying to get everybody to just be up front. And I gave them my views. And my views are that it's bad stuff and you really don't need to do a lot of monitoring. And I think my views are also that it's a lot easier to get to the smaller contractor or smaller operator if you just say, you know, in this situation you use this kind of respirator and here you use that and be done with it. Because I think the big deal with it is all the record keeping. I found it very informative. And I spoke to a lot of the people that were there. I held over the second day and sat in on part of the road builders and their usage. And I found it very interesting. I would say for one thing for us as people in the construction business. If we couldn't add rules it's because we don't participate. You know, if we allow everybody else to tell OSHA how that rule should be and how it should affect us, we deserve what we get. And then next time they have a meeting I think it would be far better if a lot of us showed up and gave our input. Thank you.
MR. KRUL: Questions or comments?
MR. KRUL: I can tell you that the silica issue was raised within our committee and a couple of the members of the safety and health committee of the building trades, I'm telling you, there was some skepticism and probably exactly what you're talking about Owen about how broad the net was going to be cast. But there was certainly no question that silica was causing problems within the construction industry. And I think a lot of those things are just consciousness awareness raising. I'm sure before you bought that company out using quart site sand and being enveloped by silica dust was no big thing. That was an expected practice out on a job site, but we all learn. And it comes from research and awareness and, like you say, having rules that everybody that could live with within the industry and protecting the workers. That's what it's all about. Thank you for that report. Jane Williams and Steve Cooper, OSHA Form 170. Jane?
MS. WILLIAMS: Mr. Chairman, I believe for the best interest of the committee and the public I've selected approximately six overheads that I think will more clearly reflect to you what our achievements are and what our remaining tasks are. And after I do that then I can offer some summary comments as to what we need to accomplish next.
MR. KRUL: Let me interrupt you for just one minute, and I meant to say this in the beginning. But for those of you who will give workgroup reports, especially for the new members of the committee, if you would just give us a brief summary of the what the objective of your workgroup is so we can brought a little bit up to speed.
MS. WILLIAMS: That's what the overheads are going to show you. Because you cannot do this briefly.
MR. KRUL: I stand corrected.
MS. WILLIAMS: What I would like to, just briefly, go into for you is how it came about, what our charge was. Because I think it's going to be key to all of our discussions. We had reason to believe, and OSHA certainly had reasons to believe, that the current Form 170, which is a form that's randomly used to report fatality and serious injuries, may have some inaccuracies in its process of filling the data in and consistency. And the data is not allowing OSHA to really review the information to come up with meaningful resolutions. Primarily, how do we protect workers from having these occurrences happen again? In that light, they charged an independent, University of Tennessee, to do a study of three years of fatality data so they could, in fact, see once and for all if the inaccuracies were as believed to be. That report is still being finalized and it's very near to conclusion. But it did reflect in the first year of analogies of the three years what it showed very clearly was in agreement with a specific report that had been done by the SENRAC Committee addressing steel. So the University wanted to see that as a sample case. So they randomly took 25 of the fatality reports of the 170. And in their review what they found, of those 25, 76 percent were completed inaccurately, representing 19. In fact, many of them were not steel related absolutely at all and to a degree that was of concern to OSHA.
We were then asked to look at 170 from the constructor viewpoint for getting the data true process and see what we would suggest how we could focus more on the activity, which is what we became concerned with, so that we could see what was killing our folks versus just comparing a data number of this many people and this many people. So having said that, if you'll bear with me I'll get these overheads.
(Showing of slides)
MS. WILLIAMS: Thank you, Jim. The first couple overheads I'm going to show you, and I apologize for anyone looking through my back. I'll try to stand over. Jim, where's the focus? There we go. This is currently what's happening and why we feel that the data is really skewed. If you look, what BLS and ANSI way of collecting data, and our goal was, and we did in fact adopt, the BLS and ANSI system of doing it. Everything that we will do from this point on will not collapse any data that they would, in fact, be tracking. And that is their own charge and that was the charge of data collection in a totally different vein of what we're doing with our committee. They wanted to focus, and they do focus, on the nature of injury, part of the body, source of injury, secondary source, and the event or exposure. Without going into detail, if you would look at their code and the code descriptions that they have, it shows that they had specific hierarchies of address whether or not -- what part of the body was injured. Well, fatal, skull fracture. That was the brain coming in contact with the ground as a result of being on a beam. And the code ends at 117, fall from building, girder, or other structural steel. It does not identify at all, though, the activity: what was the worker doing or was there another condition that caused that worker to fall.
(Change of slides)
MS. WILLIAMS: This shows it to you a lot easier. If you were to take a statement, and in this case it states: "The iron worker fell 70 feet to the ground when a steel beams collapsed at a parking structure being built." So the statement that would appear only in the narrative is where the information that we were looking for would have to come from. It's not realistic in a computer society to scan the narratives that have to be done manually. So if you take the statement: "An employee received intercranial injuries to the brain after falling from a steel structure, striking the ground when beams at the parking structure he was building collapsed." That's the word that we want to target into. This is the word that we felt was very key in getting information: what caused the collapse. It wasn't just a fall. So knowing that 20 people fell is not helping us write proactive language, new training programs, and targeting standards that need to be revised to protect our workers much better than what we're doing at this point with our language. And it also helps the agency target and prioritize if they can see that 50 in result to a fall did so from a ladder versus steel versus whatever. That certainly would tell them where their activities need to be focused.
(Change of slides)
MS. WILLIAMS: This is just another quick example.
This was a construction laborer who was working inside an excavation pit 23 by 29 so forth and so on. The wall collapsed causing dirt to fall on him. Again, the normal methods of BLS data and the ANSI data, which show that the laborer was suffocated, the body system from a trench cave in, dirt, when he was installing shoring.
But what it doesn't tell us, and is very possible, was it a result of vibration? We have had several that we reviewed that showed people hitting water sources, flooding in the excavation, and the guys couldn't get out fast enough even with the ladders and everything they had that was right within the standard language. It was still a key issue of killing our folks.
(Change of slides)
MS. WILLIAMS: The last one on this issue. Same basic thing. This one involves scaffolding. Internal injuries to the chest, falling from a scaffold, hit the ground, he was climbing. But what about weather related? Was the scaffold -- we saw several were being struck by forklifts or other components that caused the scaffold to fail. Or was it within the erection process? Non-qualified, non-competent persons being assigned, non-trained people being assigned to the task of the erection process. That allowed us to truly focus in on where we had to go.
(Change of slides)
MS. WILLIAMS: As a result of the initial analogies that I just showed you, this is how we decided that we had to target, for our purposes, which was to give OSHA a means today of looking at their own internal data in a reasonable manner so that they could make these analogies much more effectively. So this goes through and lead us to what was at one point, or still is, a 66-page document of questions that the CSHO is giving that he would ask in the field: did this happen, did this happen, and so forth. When we firs started looking at the questions in it it was very evident, at least to myself and Mr. Cooper and the workgroups that we've had over the three years of this task, was we had to eliminate much of the language in this document. Many of the questions the compliance person would not even be able to know the answer or even acquire. How many years had the worker been in construction or how many years had he been in this trade, that is something that a current employer would not really have access to, except for unusual reasons. So we thought those type of subjective questions had to come out. By massaging that and looking at the questions that were relevant, we ended up reducing at this point in time, the 60 some page document down to 22 of very specific questions that the CSHO would, in fact, have the opportunity to acquire meaningful data that could be used in his investigative process. It also allowed us to do another thing. When you go through this hierarchy here, this is where we wanted to go. We do not care about this area; we wanted to go back into, again, if the building collapsed what caused it to collapse. If the guy fell off of a beam was it because of slippery paint, was it because of whatever the case might be. So this is kind of where we -- I can take the next one.
(Change of slides)
MS. WILLIAMS: This is where we wanted to go. Having told you that right now the Form only states -- I'll flip this over -- 117 and it stops. And the statement is erecting structural steel. It has a one sentence, but that's basically -- that's all it told us. It doesn't tell us anything. If we break it down and we have this ability, we being OSHA, they have the ability to add in these additional digits, a four to six digit hierarchy that would allows us to acquire the additional data that they're looking for all the interventions that we talked about. And this is just going to give you a brief example. We took the 177, and by adding 100 we get erecting structural steel; 200 went to decking.
(Change of slides)
MS. WILLIAMS: 300 installing ornamental and architectural steel, and so forth. It goes down. And then we showed you, by doing 700 with solid webbing, this is what we could come up with. Were they bullying up doing detail work? Were they connecting? Were they landing materials, hoisting? Were they moving point to point? Were they moving horizontally? Were they moving vertically? Plumbing, welding, burning, and grinding. Any one of those hierarchies would certainly give the agency a much clearer picture of what the fatality really was, what was the activity that caused it, and would certainly allow us to do.
(Change of slides)
MS. WILLIAMS: The basic summary, then, from the one I first showed you would end up something like this. We retain the BLS, ANSI method of tracking data by not destroying. They could, and we had them in our meeting, they stated at some point in time they would love to add in the additional codes, but they felt it could be a 10-year process with ANSI. We need this information now. We can achieve it now. And we are being supported by other divisions of OSHA, which I'll mention in my summary. But this is primarily where we're going. This is a summary, if you will, of the question form. And you have to remember, for the CSHO in the field to take a 66-page document; it's not going to happen. And, yes, we certainly would love to be able to get them to the age of Palms, but that is a way off issue in funding and all other issues that's not helping us do this within a responsive time that we want to be able to achieve it. We took the questions of the form, and data collection worked with us in this process. And at this point what we did with our form was making a hierarchy of the questions. We added questions in. The questions are very, very key to get the right data. So we really had to work weeks, or several meetings on each specific question that we wanted to identify: name, sex; the old form does not even include the sex. We need to do that. The nature of the injury, of course, we would keep. We've expanded the occupation codes. How long at usual occupation? Training history. And we're looking at site-specific type data. We're not going to have the training history of a worker who migrates from job to job but we certainly would be able to get the training history: was it site specific; was it pre, before he came on the job site, which was a question we came up in training yesterday that we want to identify; and was it done in a language that he could understand. So these are all key questions. Another one that's not identified: hours worked up to the incident. We wanted to see had the worker been working 8 hours; had he been working 8 to 12; is there a fatigue factor that's involved that might lead us to other considerations by the Agency at some point in time. And we go through it. There are the type of levels of questions that we were able to summarize and still capture the information that we really wanted.
(Change of slides)
MS. WILLIAMS: And the last one, I call this my pie in the sky one. If we were to take the code of 100, erecting structural steel, go down and break into a -- and this is just selecting some I've already showed you -- a 120, which was hoisting. Say we went down to the 200 area and we had identified it whether it's equipment, rigging, weather, communication, collapsed, electrical -- we may not want all these. This is just for discussion at this point. But say we took 205 and we found out that during the steel erection process there was, in fact, a collapse. The collapse was a result of crane failure or structure failure. And if it's a crane, I think Larry would be most interested in knowing is there a pattern between the crane, the model, or whatever. Could we get that specific, and do we want to, I don't think so. But I know certain people would have that at least interest. And these are questions we still have. Rigging is a key issue. ANSI just came up with a rigging standard. Stability, that is another key issue. Thanks, Phil. That presents an overview, if you will, of what we've been laboring at for these three years. We have two diverse goals and remaining tasks. Originally we were charged to look and see what we could complete by December. We have been meeting regularly. We met even as late as December in workgroup meetings and continually massaging this. In addition, we were brought in and we have been working very closely with the Office of Management Data Systems. Even as far as Monday we worked all day on this process. We're at the point where we can provide them identifications of activities. We met with the Building Trade Safety Committee so that we could ask for their help in identifying the activities. We did that. We have gotten responses back. We have other resources who have already identified these activities. So, as a result of that meeting on Monday, which we had some new members of the workgroup working with us, we have come out with some key trade activities that we feel we can start really focusing on and breaking down into their key activities. Mr. Zettler came to me this morning and I'm delighted that once again the Directorate has offered to support the workgroup in helping us to build the hierarchy, which in the last three days I've only been able to achieve four. Because you really have to do a lot of research going back to the standard to ensure you're taking key activities. I have yours, Bob, that I appreciate. And we've gotten in a few others. And we feel that -- I was excited because the Directorates could certainly have a much closer feel than the workgroup in the type of activities they want to be focusing on. So he's going to start that as a process which allows me and Mr. Cooper and the workgroup now to concentrate on additional issues that have come before us in the workgroup of what Management Systems is looking for. But it was very evident to us on Monday -- and Steve has brought this up repeatedly -- a description to him, a definition to him may be totally different than a person reading the definition. The definitions we currently have that Mr. Zettler has, in fact, provided to me I haven't been able to go through them entirely. But we know we need to really work on the definitions. So with the help of the Directorate in the first level, and they're going to keep the workgroup totally in the process of where they're going and how they -- as they develop things, which they always have done with us, they will allow us to concentrate more on concluding the definitions, which we hadn't, quite frankly, started. And I could not commit to Management Systems that that would be able to be done within the next 20 to 30 days. But I can really concentrate a lot better and be talking with Steve to get that done. The other issue they provided me that we haven't done is our investigative summary-processing document that was provided to me right from Management Data Systems. So I will be going through the bed. And I'll do my first cut. And then I'll give it to Steve and he goes through it and he does his cut. And then we have a cumulative product, if you will. That's going on. Management Systems asked me if we would consider coming into their next meeting, which, in fact, involves the CSHOs. We've always thought that this would be a good thing to do to have them by into the process so we can try to explain how wonderful we want to make their life by reducing the burden it's really placed on us at this point in time, and referring back to mammoth books of coding that they're not doing. And we think that's why the data is flawed to begin with. We will accomplish this by drop down, drill down menus that will give them the choices you saw where they would just click on the most identifying activity hierarchy of it and allow us to truly build a picture where the narrative would be something that would just add some additional information, but not be the controlling thing that has to be read to figure out what happened to the worker. So if, in fact -- and I have told them that I would certainly welcome any opportunity to work with her and that group and would she please give her formal request for us to do that through Mr. Swanson so he would know when we're coming in town and what our intent is, and certainly give us the guidance from the Directorate that we have. And Barium (ph) is waiting for that request now. So regarding this Form, we have several tasks to do in a relatively short timeframe. They're very different from the overall objectives of data collection, that's one of the concerns that I have. I would not be a proponent at all to merge data collection at this time with 170 because of their overall task of making systems and new systems and coding that really is outside the charge of what we were doing. The second part of that also is 170 at our last meeting in September, Owen Smith and myself and Steve attended the OSHA roundtable on certifying regulatory compliance. At our last meeting, Barbara made a presentation to the full committee and has asked for our assistance as a workgroup in reviewing again the paper requirements, if you will, to help them achieve a goal of reducing the paper. ACCSH had been charged by that under Mr. Jeffress. And myself and Steve, we worked on that as a separate workgroup. We made our recommendations back to ACCSH. And that was we were concerned in this regard of reducing the paper because we were afraid of eliminating a check and balance process and that it may not be happening at all if, in fact, we were to do that. Unbeknownst to everybody, NACOSH was given the same charge. And I was at the meeting as the liaison for MACOSH to NACOSH where they unanimously also supported the same recommendation that ACCSH had made, don't eliminate the paper. Well the folks in the Office of Management and Budget were amazed that we didn't want to eliminate paper because that's totally contrary to what general contractors and all of us really want to do. But it did open up the dialogue that resulted in this roundtable that we went to. They want to know, do we need more meaningful paper, reduce the problems that we identified in that meeting. So at the last ACCSH meeting we were charged -- we responded to their request to have ACCSH again participate with them in their review process. And that was given to 170, as it's more of a form function of what we were looking at and working very closely on those issues. So 170 workgroup really has two charges at this point totally non-related to the data collection process. And as of this morning I was approached by them and they are ready to give to us their first packet of information for us to start reviewing in timeframes that they would want for that review, and I would work, of course, through the Directorate. So we can see if that's a timeframe that ACCSH can, one, support and work with the other workgroups, like Larry. Steve is co-chair of that, so it works right into the Crane and we think that's going to be the first one that might be an agenda item for Larry at his next meeting. So with that I would be glad to -- I'm sure Mr. Cooper can respond to any questions -- but my recommendation certainly at this point would be that we keep 170 as its own workgroup at this point in time and that we continue with our work as rapidly as we can, but it is not concluded.
MR. KRUL: Thank you, Jane. Steven.
MR. COOPER: Thank you, Mr. Chairman. At first glance you would think that it would be a very easy endeavor to take an accident form that exists and work on it and make it better. OSHA 170 sounds pretty boring until you understand that that data has never been properly collected and targeting of not only physically with CSHOs but monetarily in the right area in construction safety and health is extremely important. You will find those of us who watch the regulatory agency over census birth (ph) will always understand that the first thing that comes up in new administrations and new assistant secretaries and others a targeting program. And the second thing that happens is recently over the years is the Paperwork Reduction Act, which is another boring issue until you get into that area. We have found out, due to the immense amount of work, which surprised all of us, that probably much more work than we anticipated, but to not as large as what Larry Edginton has taken on with the Crane standards. We have found out a few basic things. Number one, as Jane pointed out, we have to know the work activity of the worker. Just because the worker fell, that tells us nothing. But we need to find out by particular craft what is the top two or three or more areas of work activity in that particular arena that causes the problem, and then we can target those particular areas first. The other thing, which is quite basic but we all tend to forget, is can we get the CSHO to fill out the form, as Jane brought up. And we have run this data by quite a few CSHOs in the field, many of them west of the Potomac, and asked them what is meaningful to them. Because the amount of data, as we pointed out to you moments ago, they just run out of time and don't fill it out. And that's human nature, that's not taking away from the dedicated activity of the CSHOs. But will the CSHO fill out the data so the agency can get the right data whereby we can target the resources correctly and therefore as an end result protect the life and limb of the work. We thought it would be easy. Well, it wasn't easy. We're not done yet. I would like to point out that Marie Sweeney, who sits on my left, and Michael Bouchet have worked very hard on this, along with a lot of other committee members. And we thank them for their help and we will have a document to you soon. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
MR. KRUL: I take it the co-chair doesn't care to delve in the subject of the merger of the two workgroups?
MR. COOPER: Not at this time. And I'm on next so...
MR. KRUL: Any questions? Discussion?
MR. SWANSON: Yes, if I may. Let me -- seeing as how we're not pressed for time -- let me take just a moment or two. The revision of the 170 Form, for you new members of the committee, is really just for us in construction. It is one small piece, at least in my opinion, one small piece of something much larger that has to be done. OSHA cannot accurately identify where the problems are. And by that I mean, I mean you heard me use this morning that 1,200 construction workers died. OSHA had a strategic plan that all the old members have heard about many times. The strategic plan called for a 15 percent reduction over a five-year period of time in construction fatalities. And little or no progress has been made on that goal. We are still looking at 1,200 fatalities, and the number grows every year, although the rate doesn't go up much. Anyhow, for us to use OSHA's limited resources in a more intelligent way to target how we can apply the resources to the potential fatality situation and the before situation rather than do an extraordinarily good job of making fatality reports, which we do, or inspections at least if the reports aren't adequate, we're going to have to have a better handle on where to expect those fatalities and how better to direct our resources to that portion of the construction community that is more likely to have a fatality. So you want to go back in and look at, well, where have fatalities occurred in the past? And as you heard from this committee of your colleagues, when they look at OSHA's 170 Form a couple years ago they found that, you know, we got fatalities from such things as hoisting bundles, and you notice that it was trenching job. Well, you know, something doesn't match. The Form doesn't elicit the correct information. The compliance officer, not any fault of the compliance officer, has very often not correctly or completely filled out the form. The reason that the Form has not been correctly or completely filled out, at least one man's opinion, mine, is that OSHA has never put an emphasis on this. If the information on the report is just going to be used for "data purposes" and is not going to be used directly within the next six or nine months to support a citation, then why bother putting the information on the paper, it's of no use for what OSHA does. And that's an entire culture out there that is going to have to be changed, but it makes no sense to start changing the culture until we have a system, a data collection system, that when we get people energized about doing a good job we at least have the tools for them to adequately use. The 170 has to be fixed. It has to be fixed not just for construction. I am reminded from time to time that the Directorate of Construction does not run OSHA and the 170 Form is for everybody, so maybe we want to talk to our colleagues before we change it. But not only do we have that problem of changing the 170 Form but then we have to change a whole philosophy, I think, of how to use that data to reach OSHA's greater goals. The 170 Form is in the process of being changed. If you can shortly submit to us your information, that's fine, and we thank you for that. I can assure you that you will again witness what you have witnessed in the past, and that is that OSHA might not quickly act on your recommendations, however. But we will act. Thank you.
MR. KRUL: Jim.
MR. AHERN: In the back of my mind, about a year ago I read where there was going to be a focused effort by OSHA to look at rigs construction in Ohio, Indiana, Illinois, and maybe another Midwestern state because of the propensity of injuries and maybe fatalities. Does that ring a bell to you at all, Bruce? That effort? I know I read this but I don't know the details of it.
MR. SWANSON: In all honesty, there are no bells going off, Jim.
MR. AHERN: Okay. Well I need to research that and be better prepared.
MR. SWANSON: Indiana is a state plan state and Ohio is a state in Region 5 jurisdiction, federal jurisdiction. And they are often very innovative and lead the way and we do have local emphasis programs. And it could have been a local emphasis program out of southern Ohio. The Cincinnati area office is a very active office. Once you get down into West Virginia, however, you're talking about another OSHA region. And I've heard nothing about the two regions cooperating on a bridge effort.
MR. AHERN: This was an article from Engineering News Record. And what I was heading the question was that my recollection, which is very vague, lead me to believe that it was the result of data collection that said; we're having problems in this portion of the industry and this geographic footprint. And, therefore, we're going to step up enforcement to try to seek it as an impact on the ultimate results. That's my recollection. But where I was heading it was I was wondering how they got the data that lead them to believe there was a problem in that geographic area.
MR. KRUL: Marie.
DR. SWEENEY: I don't have directly the question. You might be thinking about, after there were a series of fatalities in West Virginia and Ohio, unfortunately by the same contractor or by him in place at the same contractor, West Virginia put a fall, I think it was a fall protection program in. It was an education program through the University of West Virginia. But I don't recall, and I don't think my esteemed colleague here, recalls anything that related to bridges. But I do know that they had put a fall protection and education program in. They're certifying people who do work on scaffolding, bridges, et cetera.
MR. KRUL: That was the fall safe?
DR. SWEENEY: Yeah. The fall safe program. Right.
MR. COOPER: Mr. Chairman, the esteemed colleague would like to respond. Your recollection makes me want to recollect. As Marie said, there were two collapses in two different areas of the country. And I believe they were state plans that were involved. And, as Marie said, there was a review and analysis of procedures in those two area. But I think that was the state plans a few years ago. So Marie is correct, Bruce is correct, you're correct, and I'm correct. So let us concede, Mr. Chairman.
MR. KRUL: Go ahead, Stu.
MR. BURKHAMMER: In light of my esteemed colleague, Mr. Cooper, or you could drop the E and say steamed colleague, Mr. Cooper.
MR. BURKHAMMER: Also I think there was an initiative in New York on the lid (ph) on the bridge painting in New York. We had that initiative going. And then Boston, at the Artery Tunnel project, we had the initiative on the tunnel. Plus the bridge is the single span bridge that we're building. So those are local emphasis programs that Ruth had in region 1 and then Clark had in New York.
MR. KRUL: Marie, did you have something else?
DR. SWEENEY: I actually, Mr. Chairman, would like to go back to the issue of the 170 Form, if that's possible. One of the things that we, working with Jane and Steve, tried to do with the 170 Form is to make it compatible with the BLS data and the coding system. That's why she was showing the OIK (ph) system. In terms of the Worker Activity Code, we all agreed that there needed to be an additional level of information, which is not collected by BLS. And they have some small number of Worker Activity Codes that might relate to construction, most of them do not, which is why the need to go further in terms of doing activities--Jane, I wasn't at the last meeting but I didn't think we were going to go down as far as six or seven cods.
MS. WILLIAMS: We are.
DR. SWEENEY: Because the -- I'm not sure -- well, based on the data that had we looked at those codes with what we get from the CSHOs reports right now, and could we in fact -- does the level of detail in the CSHOs report on say, for example, a fatality allow us to go down to those levels. And, I'm just thinking, it may provide a level of frustration. We're trying to reduce CSHOs level of frustration while we increase the quality of the data. And by adding that task, that activity code, which we really want, but by making it so fine and detailed we may be still causing some problems. And my suggestion would be going back to the CSHOs report and seeing whether or not we can get to that one little detail.
MS. WILLIAMS: Mr. Chairman? You're absolutely correct. Let the data that we had show. And we also used other databases that have this information already available, primarily Ontario, Canada. They have gone four and five and have been very, very successful in their activity. We had originally discussed six. And I only showed that because while we were making the numbers available management saw -- Systems felt that; let's just go and make a six slot whether it's not the intent to use it totally. However, we felt that there are certain activities, certain crafts where we would truly need a five possibly or a very specific activities. So we felt not to limit ourselves and to make it available and that was the recommendation that we got out the information data people. And I just an example, right off the top of my head, of how that could work. But it certainly wouldn't be the norm because we have to ensure credibility behind the numbers that we -- or the activities that we hope to be able to provide for the Directorate to look at.
MR. KRUL: Go ahead, Marie.
DR. SWEENEY: I just had a response. One of the things that we've worked with, the labor group and the construction group in Canada, they have -- their narrative are actually much better than what we've seen come out of the CSHOs here. And they're required by whatever law or statute to do that. And I'm just concerned that we might be stretching the system here. That's all. Thank you.
MS. WILLIAMS: The one other thing we want to do, Mr. Chairman, is when we pass the 170 Form over to the agency is to have a very strong recommendation that deals with training of the CSHOs in addition to validation of the information that's being put on the forms. And it has to be a concerted effort by the agency to do that. I'm not sure the Director of Construction actually has the resources to do that, but somebody needs to do it. You either do it by contract or you have a third party to make sure that the data we'd like to get captured is truly being captured. The other thing, with these kinds of forms, is to give it perhaps a trial run, six months a year, to see whether or not the data are actually being put in, how the CSHOs -- or how whoever's putting the data in, is actually relating to the form. And there's a whole sort of overall scheme that we need to prepare before we actually give the form to the agency. I don't make recommendations.
MR. COOPER: Mr. Chairman, in closing our report on 170 I neglected to point out that we have, surprising enough, Bruce, we have had nothing but total support from the Directorate of Construction on this endeavor. And Barry Zettler and many other parties, and your Directorate, and, as I said, it seems like it's kind of a slam-dunk to make out a report for accidents. It seems like it would be easy. It wasn't. One thing, Bruce, so I've been on the record to kind of nail you down a bit, and Marie brought it up, we would like very much, Jane and I would like very much to have -- so we're not guilty of what we say the regulatory agency is guilty of, and so this committee and these co-chairman are not guilty of it either -- we really would like for you to look into the possibility that we can get two live CSHOs, not at this region, to take a look at our product, maybe after we send it to you, preferably before, and evaluate from those who are active in the field of endeavor to give us their comments on this product.
MR. SWANSON: That was your attempt to nail me down?
Mr. Cooper, I think I can assure you that we can come up with some compliance officers to take a look at it, maybe even from out in a mountain state someplace so it would be convenient for those that live in Denver.
MR. COOPER: That's a great idea, Mr. Chairman, I mean --
MR. SWANSON: I know you'd like that.
MR. KRUL: Well the chair -- oh, I'm sorry. Go ahead.
MR. BEAUREGARD: Yes, Mr. Chairman, I'd just like to interject here. I'm not sure if this group is aware that OSHA currently has a Forms Redesign Workgroup, and the OSHA 170 Form is one of the areas that they're redesigning. Are we working with them?
MS. WILLIAMS: Yes, we are. That is the group that I referred to. And they have participated, up to and including on Monday of this week, at almost every meeting since we were made aware that the group existed. And these are the tasks now; we're doing this to provide them information. They're at the level now where they could start creating the field that they knew what they were to say. So we are doing that.
MR. BEAUREGARD: Great. I just wanted to make sure that we weren't working two different groups designing the same form. Thank you.
MR. KRUL: Well, the dilemma of merging these two workgroups apparently falls on the new chairman's shoulders, and here's the problem as I see it anyway. And somebody correct me if I go off in the wrong direction here. When Jane first brought this to the Building Trades and Safety and Health Committee we certainly were in favor of collection of more relevant data, via the OSHA Form 170 for obviously very selfish reasons. When we track fatalities and serious injuries and accidents within our respective trades, having that kind of information would be extremely useful. There's obvious up front benefits that would come from having a collection system for that type of information, both for labor and management and other interested parties, insurance companies. But it seems to me, and I won't make a decision at this one, I'd like to research this a little bit better. While it seems to me that there's urgency that, on the one hand you'd like to have this as quick as possible, and I hear the chairpersons reasoning and logic is that the data collection group work could go on for years. I see the problem of having validity for what your workgroup is doing; it would just be the work of the ACCSH committee without having input. It seems to me we would be subjected to criticism and probably valid criticism that we have excluded, the Dodge reports and the BLS statistics for those collection fields that the Form 170 asked for. So I would like to, the Chairman would like to just suspend any action until the next meeting regarding any mergers, whether there will or there won't be, until I can get a little bit better prepared as to whether or not this is a good thing, a bad thing, I'd like to have the Directorate's reaction to what I just said because I do feel that there probably is a need here, but I'm also being sensitive to the workgroup urgency request as well.
MS. WILLIAMS: Mr. Chairman, does your comment infer that we should not continue to work?
MR. KRUL: No. Not at all. Not at all.
MS. WILLIAMS: It's your decision making process.
MR. KRUL: Both groups need to continue forward with it. I think it's just a matter of whether the two workgroups necessarily should be merged. I don't think they're mutually exclusive, that's for sure.
MR. WILLIAMS: Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
MR. KRUL: Okay. And I think the Steve and Jane show continue with the sanitation workgroup. Steven.
MR. COOPER: Thank you, Mr. Chairman. I've noticed that this meeting is the meeting where a lot of people are -- some new people on the committee and a lot of reminiscing about who shot John back in the old days and how far we've come from the advisory committee standpoint. I'd like to bring to the attention of the new members, and maybe some of the old members, in 1979 OSHA had its first Special Assistant for Construction, '79. And I believe it was in the '90s when we got through Prassia (ph) and other means, Directorate of Construction. And then the Engineering Department fell under that area and a lot of good things have happened since then. I can remember when I was on this committee way back in the '70s and various people who are no longer on this committee and have been replaced by others of the same group. And you mentioned Joe Adam, Larry replaced Bill Smith who replaced Ben Hill of the Operating Engineers and others. We've come a long way. This meeting this morning is kind of a good old boy and girl network. But the work starts next meeting, and in between now and this meeting. And everyone's been congratulating everyone else. I would like to point out one thing, which I think many of us can remember, is in the early days the guy that was in charge of safety was the unemployable brother-in-law of the owner. And he had a tin hat on and nothing much happened. I can recall in talking to my good friend, Stu Burkhammer, looking across this morning at him, the Dupont and other large companies had safety people and there hardly was anything happening except people trying to escape regulatory requirements, whether they be state or federal. Over the years -- I want to say something good about Bechtel Corporation. And that's very difficult to me to come up with something. But I'd like to point out to you from now, Bechtel Corporation, under the administration, of course, Bechtel, but the safety department under Stu Burkhammer has 1,100 full time safety people. And, of course, they're an international company -- 1,100. We have companies of pretty good size in this country yet not like Bechtel Corporation, but 200 and 300 and have nobody. So, Stu, I'm a member of the early days when you didn't have that large amount. But think about that. And you will see where safety and health has come up over the years. Now, Mr. Chairman, did you want me to respond on sanitation?
MR. KRUL: If you're done with your accolades, yes.
MR. COOPER: I'm not going to say anything good about you, though. Sanitation -- let me just back up and say that sanitation was a roll over standard from general industry. And it was rolled over into construction and everyone thought that was wonderful. Then we found out that the general industry standard only related to a fixed workplace, which has brought up a lot of problems over the years in any type of enforcement and getting things done. So therefore a few years ago, maybe a year ago -- time sure flies -- we started our Sanitation Workgroup, which is Jane Williams and myself and numerous others, women in construction that I know are very active in this early on and the building trades and others. I'll just read you this report. And I'll hand this report out. I'll make it fast. And this report will go to the committee members. It's dated March 14th. The Sanitation Workgroup was called to order by Jane Williams at 9:00 in the morning, 14 members in attendance, and the proper procedures were conducted, which I've got in front of me of where the exits and other sundry things. Williams presented an overview for the history of the workgroup since its inception in 1998, April, and noted the following: The Sanitation Workgroup was charged to review Title 29 CFR 1926.51 and the language in subpart D and present its findings to ACCSH. And the direction at that time was Stu or someone. The Workgroup responded back to the ACCSH that the language was in need of revision. That although the issue of women in construction is a key concern, the Workgroup solemnly believed the focus should be on the sanitary, accessible, private, and available upon need facilities for all workers and also includes the appropriateness of hand washing facilities -- the key word. The Workgroup received unanimous support from the ACCSH committee and began its charge. We've had multiple meetings conducted working with OSHA and NIOSH in the Senate to protect worker's rights, construction employers, industry reps, employee reps, and the portable sanitation industry -- who has done quite a bit of work for us in evaluating where we stand in this country. Having presented multiple reports to ACCSH, a draft of the proposed language was presented to ACCSH in December of 1998 where it was unanimously adopted for presentation to the Assistant Secretary. And I've attached the draft to that paper you have before you. The consideration of rulemaking for the Sanitation Standard appeared on the construction regulatory agenda as a long range planning item that later progressed to an announced notice of proposed rulemaking -- keep those words in mind, notice of proposed rulemaking -- date of December 2000. The Standard Developments Office of the Directorate of Construction succeeded in reporting of ANPR and presented questions to begin the process to the Solicitor's Office in December 2000. At this time, the language is under review by the Solicitor's Office pending assignment by the Administration. Two questions were discussed at the meeting; most recent that have been presented to co-chairs Cooper and Williams since the adoption of ACCSH of the drafted language. And those being the lack of service by others and quantity versus project site feasibility. The Workgroup agreed with Williams that the co-chairs would forward such questions to the Directorate of Construction, Mr. Swanson, for an inclusion in the case files without presentation to ACCSH committee. And now we have each question upon its receipt. The Workgroup included with all attendees and asked to support the revision of the Sanitation Standard during the process period with the anticipation that this revision will proceed as a priority item for 7.5 million construction workers who are anxiously awaiting its development. The Workgroup will, the next meeting upon call by the chair. Thank you, Mr. Chairman. And that is -- this data is presented by myself and Jane Williams. Thank you.
MR. KRUL: Discussion or questions?
MS. SHORTALL: I think there needs to be one change in the report there on page 2. In reference to "announce notice of proposed rulemaking." It should say, "advanced notice of proposed rulemaking," which are two completely different types of documents.
MS. WILLIAMS: Would all the members -- you're absolutely right, I was trying to speed it up. Would you all make that change on your second page, from "announced" to "advanced" notice? And on the record copy, Mr. Swanson, would you note that as a change also, please?
MR. SWANSON: Yes.
MS. WILLIAMS: Thank you, Sarah.
MR. SWANSON: And the Chair just asked me to comment on where the Advanced Notice of Proposed Rulemaking is at the moment. And our intentions of this making the Federal Register and getting out under the last administration did not come to pass. We failed in that intention. It is back on a tentative agenda, our regulatory agenda, which has gone out or is in the process of going out. But exactly how bound to that regulatory agenda the new Assistant Secretary will feel is obviously open to question.
MR. KRUL: Well this has been -- go ahead. I'm sorry, Stu, go ahead.
MR. BURKHAMMER: Point of order.
MR. KRUL: Go right ahead.
MR. BURKHAMMER: The second to last paragraph on page 2 where he's discussing the questions: "The workgroup agreed with Williams that the co-chairs would forward such questions to the Directorate of Construction for inclusion without presentation to ACCSH." A workgroup cannot forward anything directly to the Directorate. It has to go through ACCSH. ACCSH is a body. It's the only group that can forward to the Directorate.
MR. KRUL: Jane.
MS. WILLIAMS: At the meeting we discussed that with persons that we had present. I think what we were alluding to here to that every question that comes in would not have to go before the committee and that the process would be open to the public at some point for comments and these would be part of their collection files. If that is something that can't happen, it would be as if I read the regulatory agenda and as an independent person had a question and I mailed it in to the contact person that's listed there. So that was my understanding that that was the process we could do. Sarah, can you comment? Should I --
MS. SHORTALL: I'm not sure what the questions were. I have a feeling I wasn't in the room at the time; I was making copies of your sign-in sheet.
Mr. Burkhammer is right, it would have to come through ACCSH. So you would have one of two things to do. The easiest thing I think probably would be just for individual members to send their questions in an indicate whether at any such time they'd like to have that included in whatever public docket you have for this ANPR.
MS. WILLIAMS: I will give that to the proponents of the questions and I would ask them to submit their questions directly.
MR. KRUL: And I'll recognize Bruce in a minute. But I think the order is well taken that workgroups are appointed by the chair, and their charge comes from the chair, and anything that comes back to the workgroup, whether it's in the form of a recommendation or questions, has to come back before the full committee. And I think Sarah is giving good advice. If individuals want to do that directly by bypassing the workgroup then there's no power (ph).
MS. SHORTALL: ACCSH as a whole, both its charter as well as its recognition in the regulations, is a policy entity, in which case it does have as part of its charter informing the agency of issues it wishes the issue consider during its rulemaking process. But that has to be by vote of the ACCSH members themselves as a body as to what type of issues and/or position on those issues they would like to urge the agency to consider and/or adopt.
MS. WILLIAMS: Mr. Chairman, if I could ask you and Mr. Swanson then this question: would you feel that it be desirable that such questions be part of an agenda item for discussion by ACCSH if it was in fact received?
MR. KRUL: By the workgroup?
MS. WILLIAMS: Uh-huh.
MR. KRUL: I think that's the point of order is that anything that comes through the workgroup before it's sent out of the workgroup, even as questions for inclusion in case files back to the Directorate, have to be approved by this body. I mean even though we're an advisory body the charge comes from the full committee to the workgroups.
MS. WILLIAMS: Very good. If we have time then on the agenda at any point in time I could present the two questions and we would be totally legal at this point.
MR. KRUL: That would be fine. Well, Bruce wanted to respond.
MR. SWANSON: There perhaps is another way of purging Jane of sin. I wasn't in the room when she sinned yesterday either, and I'm not sure --
MS. SHORTALL: She didn't sin.
MR. SWANSON: I'm not sure exactly what you did do. But I agree with Sarah and Stu. But if what you did yesterday was not to forward something, but if you had simply referred someone to take their questions to ACCSH, or to DOC rather, then you -- there is no error in that. She can refer anybody to DOC. And if you'd like to rephrase -- Steve must have written this, right?
(Laughter) MR. SWANSON: If you'd like to rephrase in your report what you did, and rather than forward you referred, then...
MS. WILLIAMS: Jane sinned. Basically the staff liaison person I had I asked to make note of and that I would just word up these two issues and would provide it. And that's what I did say at the meeting thinking that it -- I was looking to eliminate a lot of additional discussion. Now I understand. If it comes into the workgroup I cannot do that. So, therefore, I will prepare those two questions so we can discuss them, should time permit, or we'll save it for the next meeting.
MR. KRUL: That's fine.
MS. SHORTALL: And part of the other reason for doing it this way is that referring something to the agency directly is, in essence, extra record. There is no documentation of the fact that there is an issue, that either a person or a group of persons wishes the agency to consider. They have someone give their, in writing to the agency, what issues they want to make sure the agency considers in any drawing up any rulemaking provides one way of record. And since the workers, as Chair Krul said, simply entities that exist to report back to ACCSH, the only way to make a record of that is through ACCSH.
MS. WILLIAMS: Very good.
MS. SWANSON: We are not in rulemaking, though, Sarah.
MS. SHORTALL: No. I just meant rulemaking in the broadest term: ANPR, request for information through anything.
MS. WILLIAMS: I will be prepared to call the Chairman.
MR. KRUL: Okay. Just a little editorial on the Sanitation Standard. I understand where it sits and I thank Jane and Steve for their work. This is something that Brother Cooper and I have talked about at the Safety and Health Committee a long time ago. And if there's an issue that exists today that labor and management should be joining hands on in light of the marketing and publications we're trying to do to allay the skilled worker shortages we have in this country, and will have for the next several years in construction, until something's found as a solution to it. And this, I feel would be a huge part of it. It was interesting in the construction labor report that I read yesterday, 85 percent of responding employers to a questionnaire said that their number one problem is getting skilled workers, getting people interested in coming in to the construction industry. And I couldn't think of a better way to make the, or at least one better way, to make the construction industry a little more attractive is to get rid of the third world mentality that we've had regarding something as simple and basic and decent as sanitation on job sites. The issues, I'm sure, have been addressed in Steve and Jane's workgroup, and I won't repeat them all here. But this chairman is glad to see that this Sanitation Standard move quickly. I think when the new Assistant Secretary comes in that it would behoove not only this committee but labor and management in general to get behind it. And I'm sure it's something that could be a workable standard for the construction industry and one that would greatly change young people's perception of it. Steven.
MR. COOPER: Just one comment. We should all keep in mind that there is a Sanitation Standard. This is not a new standard; we're just revising it and bringing it up to date. And I'm not too sure who cast the first stone here of Jane's sin, but her being an Irish woman and it this close to St. Patrick's Day--
MR. KRUL: We forgive her. We forgive her.
MR. COOPER: But back to Stu's comments. This draft Standard was approved by the group. And so we thought, and I agree with Mr. Swanson, that any comments that come later we will just hand over. But if those on the committee would like for us to call them on their cell phone at midnight with questions --
MR. COOPER: -- though it may offend one or two of you, just give us your number.
MR. KRUL: Now that you're retired, I'd never do that. Next on the agenda, and I'm assuming, Marie and Felipe, that this is an introduction to the -- I'm just looking at the -- is this an introduction into the after lunch presentation or is this your workgroup -- the workgroup report as an introduction? Felipe Devora, please.
MR. DEVORA: Can everyone hear me? It's always a good idea to ask that question before you start talking about hearing loss prevention. We have met. Our workgroup has met twice. And I was fortunate enough to meet with Marie last week in Cincinnati and we talked a little bit about this issue. In our workgroup yesterday we kind of recapped why we're even meeting. We were charged in the previous administration, we were told that there would be an ANPR out on hearing loss prevention in the construction industry. So having said that, I think Stu correctly formulated a workgroup on this issue. And our goal was that until the ANPR came out and we were charged with commenting on the rule, that in the meantime we would just identify the issues and educate the workgroup as well as ourselves. I like working with Marie because, I tell everyone, it's where contractor meets science. And that's an interesting discussion sometimes about how the scientific community perceives things. And then when a contractor tells her that, you know, well, that might be all fine and well but sometimes it doesn't translate that way. So we're trying to translate. So what we did do is we identified some of the issues and I'll just highlight a few of those and then talk a little bit about our next action for this workgroup and then kind of summarize that in terms of a more in-depth presentation that we're going to have after lunch from Carol Stephenson from NIOSH. Some of the issues we've identified is obviously what is noise -- what did I say? I can't read my own writing. Hearing loss.
DR. SWEENEY: Noise induced.
MR. DEVORA: Thank you. Noise induced hearing loss. I'll slow down. The second issue: and who in construction is affected by this. And another issue also is how it affects you in short term and also the long term with regards to the quality of life during construction and, quite frankly, your career after construction. We're also looking into and trying to identify some of the existing research and some of the new engineering controls in terms of manufacturing and tool making and these types of issues. Also we've tried to identify some of the barriers and why some of the hearing protection isn't used, both from an employer standpoint and from an employee standpoint. And then also the effects of training when we do change the culture and folks start using these hearing prevention devices, or these devices to prevent hearing loss, rather. The next action for the workgroup, or where we'll go from here until there is an ANPR, is first of all we'll continue the workgroup and we'll continue to educate ourselves as well as the agency and anyone else who wants to attend the workgroup and perhaps talk about some initiatives in the future for education and training and some partnerships that we could possibly form in this area. And also keep an eye out for stakeholder meetings and other conferences where this issue is going to be discussed and forward that all to the members. As well as kind of seek input from the unions and other associations and what their industry is doing or what their associations are doing with regard to this issue. This workgroup would be very interested in that information as well. So to kind of summarize where we're at with this workgroup is that for the following months we're going to continue to educate ourselves as well as anyone in the agency or any of the stakeholders that would like to participate in this and continue to accumulate information on this subject. So if there are any initiatives out there we'd be interested in hearing about it and keep us informed. And the more technical detail presentation that NIOSH is going to present after lunch is very interesting. We had a version of it yesterday. And, again, like I said, I was able to see that in Cincinnati as well. It's very interesting and it's very informative and I think it's an issue that we're going to have to address. And I think it's incumbent upon construction safety professionals to start addressing this issue. Marie, did you have something you wanted to add to the report?
DR. SWEENEY: One thing that is important to note is that there is a lot of research going on now on how to prevent hearing loss, both in general industry as well as construction. And what we'd like to is avail ourselves to the results of that research as well as perhaps help to focus some of that research into stuff that's practical for the construction industry. And we'd also like to take those results and bring it to you so that you might, in fact, integrate that, or at least take some of that information back to your constituents as well as yourself. We're also -- we're looking for a lot -- in this area practical application is very important. And I want to reiterate what Felipe said is that if you have any information, any organization, on what you're doing in terms of training, in terms of development of new hearing protection devices, engineering controls around equipment, tools, et cetera, please bring them forward to us. We're more than happy to integrate this information and, again, put it out to you all, until such time as we're given another charge.
MR. KRUL: Stu.
MR. BURKHAMMER: I guess I don't need this mike; I can just look over my left shoulder and say this to my esteemed colleagues. Just remember one thing on noise, engineer it out, engineer it out, engineer it out, engineer it out. I realize there's some areas that are very difficult to try and do that. Training is wonderful, but we're still, all of us, deaf. Deafsy Dam (ph), you remember that little thing that you put in your ear and then either you lost it or it got dirty and you got the contact dermatitis, and the muffs, the earmuffs and et cetera. But do not, please do not lose sight of making every attempt -- and I know NIOSH has been working on this longer than anybody I the country -- don't forget every effort to try and engineer the noise out to make our job sites safer. And, as Mr. Krul, pointed out, we have to entice people to come into this industry. And it's very difficult under some of these conditions that our industry exposes them to.
MR. KRUL: Thank you, Steve. Larry?
MR. EDGINTON: Thank you, Bob, Felipe, and Marie. And I know I've talked to Marie about this at least on one occasion in the past. Some of us in the building trade unions have come together on something that -- more of ad hoc group that's called the Noise Control Partnership. And what we are beginning to do, and to their credit, the laborers organization has really been spearheading this, is that we are bringing together a group of individuals who are -- around the industry have a concern about noise. We've met on at least three or four occasions in the past. At our meetings we've had representatives from OSHA, occasionally from NIOSH, contractors, construction equipment manufacturers, and many others. And it would seem to me that it might be very useful at some point in time to perhaps convene a meeting of both your workgroup and this group, or alternately one or the other of you invite the other to attend. Because I think you'll see that we're beginning to move down the road in some of these areas. We're taking a look at how we best understand noise within the industry in terms of what causes it, in terms of my own organization's interest. Is it the equipment or the work process that's the source of the noise as we begin to understand where noise comes from and what we might do to control it? We do have an interest that you've talked about in terms of getting information in the hands of frontline workers and contractors. And one of the areas we're working in is developing best practice guides either in terms of the selection of equipment and original equipment purchase and guidelines there on letting contractors know about what equipment is quiet equipment. And we're sort of -- I don't want to saying drawing a line in the sand to manufacturers, but we think there's value in purchasers knowing which equipment is quiet and which isn't. As we're beginning to move in those areas and it sounds to me like we all need to be talking some more about that.
MR. KRUL: Jane.
MR. WILLIAMS: Marie, when the issue first came to the committee there was a lot of discussion from us regarding the statistics that were being referred to of older people who had been in the trades and they're 60 years old and deaf versus the -- and a lot of that was in all the reporting that we had received. I didn't mean that that way, but that's what was said -- versus NIOSH looking at current, and that is the things that we have already changed, new, improved equipment and the effects that's having on our younger workforce. Has NIOSH taken an avenue of doing that at this point, because they hadn't as of our initial discussions?
DR. SWEENEY: Mr. Chairman?
MR. KRUL: Yes, ma'am.
DR. SWEENEY: Jane, Carol will talk about some of the new research that's being done. Actually it has just been funded as of last week in terms of identifying -- looking at younger workers and also taking more current data on hearing loss, or hearing -- what do you call it -- declamation, degradation in older as well as younger workers. But the data that we currently have is mostly from a study of about 800 carpenters where they -- yeah. And those data show that younger workers who've been in the field even -- been in the industry even five years have hearing that is equivalent to a 50 year old person who's life has been in a non-noisy environment in terms of their occupation. So, yeah, we really -- because that degradation is very significant. So that's -- we're trying to see whether or not the new stuff can help to prevent that.
MS. WILLIAMS: Will she also address the reports that supposedly are existing showing that our younger society of people entering are coming in to our industry deaf anyway from Sony Walkman and other issues?
DR. SWEENEY: There's actually -- she reported this yesterday, I'm not sure if she's going to talk about it today. There's a study being done by the military where they're looking at young people, 16, 17, 18, and some of their newer recruits and looking at hearing -- the baseline hearing of those individuals. And I think it's the military that's doing it. But there is a new study that's coming up. No data are available yet. So I thought that would help.
MS. WILLIAMS: Thank you.
MR. KRUL: Have there been any of the other unions, either through the building trades or department or the Center to Protect Rights that have provided the hearing -- and has somebody done that? Because I know there's, you know, our organization did that. Three hundred fifty eight delegates were all given hearing tests. And a lot of them reflected the results that you were talking about.
DR. SWEENEY: I'm not sure. You can ask her about that. But the data that they have explicitly -- they've had a study with carpenters for about five years now. But I know Larry has some work going on too. Yeah.
MR. KRUL: Larry?
MR. EDGINTON: Thank you, Bob. You know the thought just occurred to me and I supposed in my past work with this noise control partnership that I was talking about, we keep talking about equipment and work processes. And as some of you know, about 30 years ago I worked in the printing industry, and we spent a lot of time around noisy equipment. But we also learned something very important there about that industry and hearing loss. And that is, there are certain types of chemical exposures that we can attribute hearing to. And I'm wondering if we're looking at that in the industry in terms of what impact certain chemical exposures may have on hearing loss as well as just the noise itself.
DR. SWEENEY: Mr. Chairman, there are actually a number of studies that have shown the relationship between exposure and toluing (ph) and noise. It's very high levels, higher than the OSHA Pell and the NIOSH Rell. So I'm not sure that the NIOSH research is actually addressing those pieces of data right now, but we can ask Carol.
MR. KRUL: Felipe, do you have a question?
MR. DEVORA: No, Bob.
MR. KRUL: Anyone else?
DR. SWEENEY: Just as a prelim, Mr. Chairman.
MR. KRUL: Yes.
DR. SWEENEY: As I said, there are five new projects that have just been funded by NIOSH under the National Occupational Research Agenda, and Carol will talk about that. She will also -- and I'm saying this by way of giving you a heads up -- will be asking you for assistance in identifying worksites and worker populations to participate in some of these, one or more of these five studies. So if you have any thoughts about it, after she speaks you might want to get back with her. Thank you, Mr. Chair.
MR. KRUL: That's it, 1:30. Right after lunch I'm looking forward to that presentation very much. Just as a reminder, when we break for lunch now, new committee members are going to meet with Jim Boone right over here and go get our photo IDs taken. And we'll reconvene at 1:30 p.m. Thank you.
(Whereupon, at 11:48, the meeting was in recess.)
A F T E R N O O N S E S S I O N
MR. KRUL: I hope everybody enjoyed their lunch. We have with us Carol Merry Stephenson from the National Institute of Occupational Safety and Health who's going to give us a presentation on noise hazards in construction. And I'm going to call on Mary Herring Sweeney to give a brief introduction.
DR. SWEENEY: Thank you, Mr. Chairman. Carol is one of a group of very talented researchers at NIOSH who have been, oh I'd say over the last five years -- more? -- trying to understand the issues related to noise induced hearing loss and also trying to find practical interventions and ways of reducing noise and reducing noise induced hearing loss. Carol's going to be talking about some of the NIOSH research, some of the results, some of the new research. And I'm really thankful that she took the time yesterday to speak for two hours to the workgroup. Actually, this is one workgroup who told us they didn't want to break and they wanted Carol to keep going, she mesmerized them that much, and they wanted the information. And based on our conversation this morning, it is an area of interest to a lot of people. And I have the pleasure of introducing Carol. Dr. Carol Merry Stephenson.
DR. STEPHENSON: Thank you. I appreciate the invitation to come and speak to you. I'm going to try to get organized here, so I'm not sure if that's visible enough. Is that acceptable or do we need to dim the lights? We could, perhaps, dim that one light behind Marie and see if that works better for everyone. Does that help? Well, we may turn the lights back on. I'd like to just clarify that my area of expertise, I'm a research social psychologist. My area of expertise is in assisting people with education and training programs, and that's my role in the noise and hearing loss prevention projects at NIOSH. My husband, Mark Stephenson, is an audiologist biochristician (ph), and he is probably my better half in this project. Much of the data that I will show you is data that he and I have collected together. I have also included data from some of our colleagues at other institutions, both government and academic around the country, that I thought would be of interest to you.
(A showing of slides)
DR. STEPHENSON: What I'd like to do today is just briefly in our short period of time we have available review some of the key elements of the problem as it relates specifically to construction, provide you with some highlights and recent and ongoing research, and then give you some idea about what's new and exciting in technology and at NIOSH.
(Change of slides)
DR. STEPHENSON: So let's start with just how big is this problem for the construction industry. The National Institute for Deafness and Communication Disorders tells us that noise induced hearing loss is probably the second most self reported occupational illness for American workers. Also, the American Academy of Audiology suggests that one out of five severe hearing losses in the United States are probably due to noise.
(Change of slides)
DR. STEPHENSON: So what are the issues with construction noise? We have many sources of noise, variable hours of work for the employees, the levels go up and down, the worksites are dynamic and changing at all times. That just makes it difficult to get a handle on the situation.
(Change of slides)
DR. STEPHENSON: Now which construction workers are at risk? What I'm presenting to you here is a summary of some information by Rick Nitsel, who is a researcher in the State of Washington. He has specifically done a number of research projects to try to figure out which construction workers are at risk. And he suggests that some of the worst project type construction areas are road construction, anyone involved in carpentry, and anyone involved in concrete work. Also, you can see some of the specific trades there that Rick and some of the other researchers around the country have been looking at. Basically the bottom line that I can tell you from all of us involved in this research at this time is that the studies that have been done to date have been relatively small, and much more comprehensive assessments are needed to really get a handle on who's at risk.
(Change of slides)
DR. STEPHENSON: What I can show you are some of the information. This is some of the data that Mark and I collected looking at noise levels for common tools. And I think what you can notice here, if we look at the yellow line at 85 -- oops, let me see if I can get the laser pointer to do this -- this yellow line right here, at approximately 85 anything greater than that would be considered potentially hazardous to noise. So I think what you can see here is for every one of the tools that we measured the noise levels were hazardous. And so a rule of thumb that we can share with the construction industry is, if you plug it in and turn it on most likely it produces hazardous noise.
(Change of slides)
DR. STEPHENSON: This is some more information specifically from Rick Nitsel in Washington. And he was concerned with a type of noise called "impulsive noise." This could be thought of as hammering, noise that pile driving would make, pneumatic tools. And he specially looked at the number of peaks greater than 14 dba for different crafts. And what you can see here is that for each of these, carpenters, laborers, iron workers, even operating engineers, and surprising to us, electricians, they're receiving a significant amount of impulsive noise. Now electricians were surveyed because we hoped they would serve as sort of a low noise level control population. That is not true. They are receiving a significant amount of noise exposure.
(Change of slides)
DR. STEPHENSON: Just as an example, a lot of our work has been done in the last two years with carpenters. And so let me share this for you. But I suspect that these same types of data would hold through for many of the trades. This is a typical example of some hearing test evaluation audiometry. And up here at zero is what would be considered perfect hearing. And as you go down this way this is hearing loss in decibels. Across the bottom we have the low frequencies, starting at 500, going up to the high frequencies, at 600. Now what noise typically does is initially destroy hearing in the higher frequencies, and that's what you see here. These data reflect approximately 800 carpenters that were surveyed across the country. Hearing tests were given to these individuals. And what we find is that beginning at a very young age, as early as age 25, in the new carpenters hearing loss begins to appear. And by the time the carpenters are 55 years old they are certainly candidates for hearing aids.
(Change of slides)
DR. STEPHENSON: Well, so what? People just lose their hearing as they age. Is that the truth? And the fact is, that's not necessarily the case. And that's what I hope to illustrate with this slide. Again, this is hearing audiometry type schedule -- graph. Up here at zero would be perfect hearing. Going down it gets worse and worse as it goes down. What I'd like you to notice here is this blue dotted line. That blue dotted line indicates a 50-year-old non-noise exposed individual. And what you can see is yes, indeed, there is a gradual loss of hearing due to aging, but certainly by age 50 you have not yet crossed that line, that 20-db line that signifies the range of normal hearing. So the take home message from this might be that the average 20-year-old carpenter already has 50-year-old ears.
(Change of slides)
DR. STEPHENSON: Now we know that OSHA does have a standard for construction, not everyone is aware of that. It does suggest that there should be action taken when workers are exposed to a permissible exposure limit of 90 dba or greater. And they suggest an action level of 85 decibels where a person should be put into a hearing conservation program. But the wording for the standard is a little bit vague and doesn't really explain what constitutes an effective hearing conservation program. And in 1992 OSHA put out a compliance letter where it said yes, indeed, a hearing conservation program involves all of these elements. And these are the typical elements that are accepted pretty much around the world as important to a hearing conservation program.
(Change of slides)
DR. STEPHENSON: So what is the challenge for construction? From our point of view the challenge is that the construction industry has some very specific barriers that confront that industry that make it difficult to implement hearing conservation programs.
(Change of slides)
DR. STEPHENSON: Obviously we subscribe to what's been called in the past the NIOSH hierarchy of controls. Whenever possible remove the hazard. In this case that would mean engineer out the noise. And I'll talk about some new efforts that NIOSH and other places are taking to help do that. Secondarily, if you can, you remove the worker. Well that is, at this point, not very feasible in the construction industry. And the third element is to protect the worker. And we have put somewhat of our emphasis in that area up to this point.
(Change of slides)
DR. STEPHENSON: Part of the problem that is apparent in the construction industry is when you assess several different factors that have to do with hearing conservation programs. And this graph just simply shows that for small, medium, and large size companies different important elements of a hearing conservation program receive different emphasis. In particular let me note to you here that even hearing protector use, which are these three bars right here, large companies do fairly well with that; medium size companies less well; and small companies, of which construction is perhaps most composed of small companies, do very little, even with hearing protector use. And monitoring and audiometry, or hearing tests, are almost non-existent.
(Change of slides)
DR. STEPHENSON: This data is from Michigan from the Sensor Program last year in 1999. And, again, you can see that the construction industry as a group lags behind other industries in being able to provide elements of a hearing conservation program, specifically even just monitoring hearing tests to let people know how their hearing's doing.
(Change of slides)
DR. STEPHENSON: Now this graph talks about the percentage of time hearing protectors are worn most of the time when working in loud noise. What's important from my point of view is that this attempts to show that even for hearing conservation professionals, and these are the folks that make their living preaching and helping people with hearing conservation, even only 80 percent of them do what they should do when and where they should. And when you look at carpenter safety trainers -- and this particular group, this data represents very motivated trainers who travel the country to different apprentice training centers and are really champions of the message but truly admit that less than 50 percent of the time do they do what they do. And if you survey carpenters, it's even worse.
(Change of slides)
DR. STEPHENSON: So why is that? Well, lots of reasons. But one of the big reasons is I think that we need to emphasize education and training in the construction industry for some of the things that we've discovered over the last couple of years that are important to those groups.
(Change of slides)
DR. STEPHENSON: Now this is sort of a busy slide, and I don't want to go through each one of these elements. But I just want to emphasize that we're looking at this from a research-based approach both at NIOSH and at colleges around the country are doing that as well. We're interested in both individual level factors effecting individual workers or foremen or supervisors, but also organizational level factors. What is the safety culture of a particular worksite? How do the management priorities at that worksite? And I emphasize, for example, "time" after that word "management priorities." And productivity, as you all know, is an important element on a construction site. And how do we work hearing conservation practices into that.
(Change of slides)
DR. STEPHENSON: So what has been happening is that a number of independent and collaborating research studies have been occurring across the country. Many of these studies are utilizing health communication, health promotion approaches for education and training. The bottom line is that everything seems to boil down to two basic factors: 1) identify and remove the barriers; 2) develop self efficacy, which means skills or a person or a groups feeling that they actually can do something about the problem.
(Change of slides)
DR. STEPHENSON: Here's an example of some survey data that was provided by the United Brotherhood of Carpenters. They surveyed approximately 2,000 of their members nationwide. And what this illustrates is that we are not dealing with a lack of knowledge that noise causes hearing loss. One hundred percent of those individuals agreed. And this even hits a little closer to home. In this question we said, "Do you think your hearing, you, yourself are being hurt by exposure to loud noise at work?" And as you can see, the majority strongly agreed or agreed that that was true.
(Change of slides)
DR. STEPHENSON: So knowing that its not lack of knowledge that noise causes hearing loss, we had to look at the barriers. If you know that it's a problem why don't you do something about it? And so I'd like to present in the next couple of slides some of the barriers that we have discovered. I'll begin here with this one, looking at what we've come to call the four Cs. This deals specifically with use of hearing protectors. Why don't you use hearing protectors? Comfort, cost, convenience, communication problems. The bottom line message is there is an educational need to inform people that there are a huge number of different devices available on the market and nearly everyone can find a protector that will meet their needs.
(Change of slides)
DR. STEPHENSON: Another thing that we have discovered through the results of focus groups -- and this was not something we were looking for, this cropped up. And this is that many workers and managers are much more concerned about developing tinitus, or it's sometimes pronounced tinitus, or ringing in the ears than they are about hearing loss. And as we began to go around and talk to different groups we discovered that this, indeed, is one of the primary concerns.
(Change of slides)
DR. STEPHENSON: And in fact, looking further, this graph illustrates -- and this is from the American Tinitus Association -- that for a non-noise exposed worker it might be expected that about six percent of individuals could develop ringing in the ears because of antibiotic treatment, aspirin use, other medications, other medical problems. But for noise-exposed workers the difference is dramatic: 79 percent of noise-exposed workers will suffer ringing in the ears.
(Change of slides)
DR. STEPHENSON: So all of this research effort that's been going on, based on health communication, has this been working? I would like to say yes, it can work. And I'd like to share with you just a couple of slides about some pre and post training data. This is an example where workers were asked to understand that they can still hear important warning signals, like backup beeps or other alarms, while they're wearing their hearing protectors. And what you can notice from this slide is that there is a significant difference in those that agree and disagree, pre and post. For example, if we look just at "strongly agree" and "agree," before training 27 percent of the individuals agreed that it is hard to hear those signals. After training only 7 percent. In other words, we were able to show, through a combination of discussion and demonstration, that you can, indeed, hear what you need to hear when you're using hearing protection.
(Change of slides)
DR. STEPHENSON: Another barrier that was cited, of course, was the comfort and annoyance issue. Similarly, before training you can notice -- I think that's a 9 -- about 49 percent of the individuals agreed that wearing hearing protectors is annoying. And what they told is because it's annoying they're not going to do it. But after training you can see that that level drops to approximately 23 percent.
(Change of slides)
DR. STEPHENSON: Now what training approaches and messages have made sense to construction workers? It is not the same as what we have always found in heavy industry, and so I'd like to share with you a little bit about that. And these are our primary goals. We want to get their attention, raise their consciousness, and provide them information that enables them to do the right thing.
(Change of slides)
DR. STEPHENSON: First of all, we immediately learned, and this should be common sense, a no brainer, you need to engage all persons involved, management, labor, owners of companies; everyone needs to be involved.
(Change of slides)
DR. STEPHENSON: Second, it's important to agree up front on the expected effects of the training. We have discovered that for different worksites or different companies or different trades there are potentially different goals that they seek. Overall, though, most are interested in increasing the use of engineering controls wherever appropriate, increasing the use of hearing protectors when necessary, and, obviously, decreasing the incidents of new hearing loss.
(Change of slides)
DR. STEPHENSON: We've also found that it is extremely important in these sectors to use credible data that is as site specific as possible. So if we cannot go into your site ahead of time, what we can at least do is to make sure that training materials address your crafts and the situations that you have for your type of work.
(Change of slides)
DR. STEPHENSON: This is also something that would seem to be a no brainer, but it's very important to make a great effort to share and apply whatever lessons are learned. In other words, just because a training class has been held doesn't mean that's going to translate into some action. The most important element we have found on follow up is to have a champion of the program or the information that continues to provide on site follow up. That can be a worker, it can be a supervisor, it can be the owner of the company. Thank you. I'd be happy to entertain questions. Oh, wait. I just realized, I'm not done. What I wanted to show you now -- I forgot how I reordered these, I apologize. What I'd like to show you now are some of the specific materials that have been tested with construction, the construction industry.
(Change of slides)
DR. STEPHENSON: So this is an example of a training piece that could be used to raise awareness.
(Change of slides)
DR. STEPHENSON: Here is an example of one that we use to get their attention. There is an important message here. The message is many people have the mistaken impression that a hearing aid will restore hearing in the same way that glasses restore vision, and that is simply not true. An important message we need to get out to the construction industry is that hearing aids only made fuzzy sounds louder, but they don't clarify the sounds once damage has been done to your hearing because of noise.
(Change of slides)
DR. STEPHENSON: Another point that we can make is if you object to wearing this 4 to hours a day, how are you going to feel about wearing this 16 to 18 hours a day?
(Change of slides)
DR. STEPHENSON: Another point that we need to make, and it is very important to understand, is the difference between hearing protectors. It's the American way to say, "bigger is better." And so in the past, and what we often find on construction sites, are hearing protectors provided that are super duper, really strong, highest noise reduction rating products. For lots of reasons, sometimes those devices are not appropriate in the construction sector. Now what this graph shows is that the values of how much protection you can get from a hearing protector, here in green, as labeled on the product are very different from what real people get out on a worksite. So these orange bars at the bottom reflect what people actually get. And these data reflect about, I believe about 15 to 18 studies nationwide.
(Change of slides)
DR. STEPHENSON: Another important message that we found for the construction industry is we need to explain to them the effect of not wearing their hearing protection all of the time that they are in hazardous noise, now this is not intuitively obvious, but because of the way the ear integrates noise. Let me use this example to explain. Let's assume that you are using a hearing protector that actually gives you 30 decibels of protection. But lets assume that during an eight-hour workday, for whatever reason, you remove that hearing protector a few minutes here, a few minutes there. And over the course of an eight-hour day it adds up to 30 minutes that you have not worn your protector. What you have done, because of that, is cut your hearing protection for your ear approximately in half, to about 12 decibels.
(Change of slides)
DR. STEPHENSON: Another important message that we need to take to the construction industry, perhaps the most important message, is that because of the nature of the work, being intermittent, on and off, the impulsive character of the noise, we need to guard against over protecting workers' hearing. Because when you overprotect an individuals hearing with too strong of a hearing protector, that interferes with their ability to communicate with other people on the job, it interferes with their ability to feel involved in the workplace, they feel socially isolated. And so we need to encourage them to use the hearing protection that they need, but not too much hearing protection.
(Change of slides)
DR. STEPHENSON: Perhaps best of all what I would suggest is that an emphasis on education and training can help enable you to take advantage of new and exciting technologies. And I'd like to mention just a little bit about some of the really exciting things that have been coming about probably in the last year. Let me start with hearing protector rating methods.
(Change of slides)
DR. STEPHENSON: What this slide indicates is different hearing protector rating methods to tell you how well a device works. Here along the bottom of the screen happen to be four different devices that are commonly found. And what this indicates is from the package you would expect the device to work as the red bars indicate. OSHA, realizing that people do not get exactly what the package says, has sort of a generic 50 percent de-rating mechanism, and that's what's indicated by the yellow bars. But because of new testing methods that really do indicate how well these things work for workers in the world, you can see these middle bars that are green represent what's called a subject fit. This is a much more realistic indication of how these devices work in the real world. More and more manufacturers are testing their products according to the subject fit and providing that data.
(Change of slides)
DR. STEPHENSON: Another thing I'd like to mention is that there are a number of new devices on the market that provide what's called "flat" or "level" attenuation. This is important. Because one of the big barriers that construction workers mention is that using hearing protection makes their voice sound tinny and makes it extremely difficult to communicate with their coworkers. And these flat devices are devices that instead of attenuating very large amounts of noise in the high frequency have a more level rating. I have a couple devices here that I'll just pass around the table. One in particular shows a custom molded device that has microphone built into it so that the worker would wear this in the ears and, hands free, with no boom coming around to the mouth -- because the noise of their voice will be picked up in their ear canal and can be transmitted to anyone else wearing something like a Motorola FM receiver. So these are potential devices that can really help in the construction industry get past the barrier of communication and coordination with coworkers.
(Change of slides)
DR. STEPHENSON: Now the second device that will come around is a new product that is very simply being marketed at this time. It has a more level attenuation, so workers report that they can, again, communicate better, hear the sounds of their machinery better, and just are able to function better on the job.
(Change of slides)
DR. STEPHENSON: While those are going around, the next thing I'd like to mention is new technology called "fit test technology." This has been developed by a researcher named Kevin Michael. Kevin Michael is at State College, Pennsylvania, and he has developed a little system that is essentially a black box with headphones that plugs into a laptop computer. You can take this out into the field, find a worker anywhere who is wearing some earplugs, put these special headphones over his earplugs, and be able to tell him right there on the spot how well that device is working for him. Now the advantage of this from my point of view is that you can use it in an education and training program to help a person select a device that works well for them and provides as much protection as they need but not too much protection for their particular noise environment.
(Change of slides)
DR. STEPHENSON: Another new device that's currently under development. And this is being developed by Dr. Dan Johnson. And he is creating what's called a "temporary threshold shift monitor." It's a small little device; the prototype I've seen is smaller than a cigarette pack. It can hang on your shirt. What it does is allow you, the individual, to give yourself a quick mini-hearing test. It takes about five seconds, at the beginning of your work shift and again at the end of your work shift. And then it gives you a very simple indication as to whether or not you have suffered some hearing loss, temporarily, that day because of your noise exposure. This is, again, a great education and motivation tool. It allows an individual to monitor their hearing potentially on a day-to-day basis.
(Change of slides)
DR. STEPHENSON: Another new device under development is called the "personal noise monitoring system." This is being developed also by Dr. Kevin Michael and an associate with him. What this device does is it allows you to actually monitor the amount of noise entering a person's ear underneath their hearing protector. I have seen prototypes for it, as you see here, with the earmuff, so that underneath this earmuff is a special microphone keeping track of how much noise that worker is getting as he goes through the day. And here's an example of what the printout that would come from that. And as you can see, the dark spots, going up and down at the top of the page, are the background noise that this worker is working in. The relatively stable lighter purple squares down at the bottom indicate how much noise is getting to that person's ear. And yesterday we pointed out this little thing right here where you can see that all of a sudden a whole bunch of noise got into that person's ear. Well that's a typical example of when someone lifts up their earmuff to say something or communicate with somebody else and then puts it back down.
(Change of slides)
DR. STEPHENSON: The other new development that's going to be very helpful has to do with "information and records management systems." And if this looks complicated, it is. But what I can say is new software is being developed that will make it much easier to track workers. New technologies such as credit card size record keeping systems, little credit card size devices that can be read in a CD-ROM drive are going to make it a lot easier for people to keep track of their hearing health information and their training information. And those are all technologies being developed and pilot tested at this time.
(Change of slides)
DR. STEPHENSON: Finally, I'd like to close by telling you about some of the new NIOSH noise efforts that are specifically relevant to construction. These have been developed in the past year with input from what's called the NORA Hearing Loss Team. NORA is NIOSH's National Occupational Research Agenda. It covers 21 different research topics, including hearing loss. We also have cross-divisional collaboration with NIOSH staff from several of our centers, Pittsburgh, Cincinnati, and Spokane.
(Change of slides)
DR. STEPHENSON: In this new effort we are also seeking possible external partners. Some of these individuals have been contacted or will be contacted. And we are definitely seeking other organizations who would be interested in participating in this work. So I would love to speak with anyone who represents a group who would be interested in participating.
(Change of slides)
DR. STEPHENSON: The overall emphasis of this new program is first to assess the workplace factors and existing knowledge in construction, conduct and evaluate some intervention efforts. On that I'd like to say there are a lot of small projects going on. But in some cases no evaluation is done as to what works and doesn't work. And so we want to encourage that. And then, of course, disseminate the information to those who need it.
(Change of slides)
DR. STEPHENSON: This is a very wordy slide of long-term objectives. And I don't know that we should take the time to go through every one. Perhaps it would be more useful if I talk about each of the five primary projects.
(Change of slides)
DR. STEPHENSON: And also we will be, of course, convening workshops, meetings, and symposia. Here are the five new NORA projects. We just received word last week that these five projects would be funded. It's my understanding that on March 19th the lead team who is in charge of this effort will be determining the final budget amount. So I don't have that information for you today. But we have been told these five will be funded. The names after each of the five are the project officers specifically in charge of that effort.
(Change of slides)
DR. STEPHENSON: The first project is a national surveillance effort. In this project we wish to develop some noise surveillance protocols, hearing protocols. Most importantly of all, perhaps, establish a national repository of noise and hearing data. That is a great lack in our country that we hope to be able to begin improving through this project.
(Change of slides)
DR. STEPHENSON: The second project is concerned with definition and assessment of engineering noise controls. This project will garner many of the resources for the NORA research program. We feel that there could be great emphasis on engineering controls in the construction industry. A product of this will be one or more handbooks detailing successful best practices and case studies.
(Change of slides)
DR. STEPHENSON: The third project, for which I am responsible, is the web-based outreach to small construction and mining. Construction and mining have many parallels. And so we will attempt to look at both of those venues. But in particular we want to be sure and address the needs of the small business owner and to make sure that we coordinate and gather all of the information from all of the other research efforts and make it available in a quick and timely manner in a way that can be readily used.
(Change of slides)
DR. STEPHENSON: The next project is a combination of noise exposed hearing impaired workers. I probably do not have to tell anyone around this table that the construction industry has a huge number of individuals suffering hearing loss at this time. And so one of the research projects is to look at what is necessary to accommodate those people's needs wherever possible to make them productive and effective on the job. What do we need to provide in the way of training. What can we provide for them in the way of new communication headset devices that will make it possible for them to work safely and productively?
(Change of slides)
DR. STEPHENSON: And, finally, a project is involved in noise sampling strategies and new exposure response modeling. The reason this is so important to the construction industry is that much of the noise is not just simple continuous noise at a stable level. It's intermittent noise. It has impulsive or impact character to it. And it's necessary to get a better handle on how that impacts hearing. The one thing that we have noticed is that at least within the carpenter population where we have done a lot of audiometry and a lot of noise sampling, the carpenters are experiencing much more hearing loss than would be predicted based on their typical noise exposures, measured by dosemetry. What I mean by that is, if I hang a dosemeter on a carpenter and he goes through his work day, at the end of the day the machine will say he has a time weighted average of somewhere around 85 dba. But the noise, the hearing loss that these carpenters are experiencing would indicate that their noise exposure is something like 90 to 92 dba, 8 hours a day, for a 40 year working lifetime. So one of the reasons they may be experiencing more hearing loss is this impulsive character of the noise on construction sites.
(Change of slides)
DR. STEPHENSON: Finally, this is a brief summary of the program, what we'll be hoping to do. The strength of it is that it is using existing facilities and expertise throughout NIOSH at all of the centers. We have strong linkages to academia, labor, and industry. And we are looking for more linkages. Our data collection activities will support multiple projects, which will minimize the burden to those who work with us to provide site access. We are also looking at some of the historic barriers and specifically attacking them. And we hope to satisfy both long and short-term goals for hearing loss prevention.
(Change of slides)
DR. STEPHENSON: And this is, indeed, my last slide. Thank you. I'd be happy to entertain any questions.
MR. KRUL: Anyone on the committee? Yes, Felipe.
MR. DEVORA: One of the things that we talked about yesterday and discussions this morning is this culture. Despite all the signs and all the technology what efforts, or I guess strategies, do you think the industry needs to, in your opinion, embrace in terms of changing this culture that hearing loss is just something that comes along with working in construction? I know also in terms of insurance, I think we mentioned yesterday, it's a compensable injury but it's also chronic. And the awareness of, you know, it's usually too late by the time we realize that. And from a cultural point of view I don't know how we change that behavioral based juggernaut there.
DR. STEPHENSON: And I think that is true. One of the problems with hearing loss universally, even in heavy industry or other sectors, is that because you don't bleed and because it doesn't kill you it sometimes has a lower priority. And we do have construction workers and managers say, you know, hey, I'm worried about a cave in, I'm worried about a fall, I'm worried about cutting myself, but this is something that you're telling me will happen 40 years down the road and I'm just not too worried about it right now. The thing that we have used successfully and that we discovered, as I said, by accident is this idea of developing a severe ringing in the ears. And I would like to emphasize, if I can, how debilitating this can be to an individual. And there are a number of people who have provided testimonials from the construction sector about how this has affected the quality of their lives. There are individuals who cannot have another moment's peace, quite honestly, because of the ringing that they hear in their ears. It interferes with their sleep. It interferes with every moment of their waking day. And this is something that can develop relatively early in an individual's life. And by using or adding to education programs demonstrations about this, testimonials about this, we have found that it does have a significant impact on people's willingness to consider protecting their hearing. And it may be sad to say that they're more worried about ringing than hearing loss, but both can be significant problems and both are important to prevent if we can.
MR. DEVORA: Thank you for your presentation.
MR. KRUL: Tom.
MR. BRODERICK: And Rick Nitsel's study with the impulse levels, how did he isolate the various trades from the ambient noise that other trades might have been presenting? Or are we to presume that those levels were created by noise that would be inherent in that particular trade?
DR. STEPHENSON: My understanding is that that was an in the field study of what was going on on the worksites that he participated in. Unfortunately, I would have to refer you to him for exact details of how they did that. He was kind enough to provide me with those slides for you. But as far as exact details or how they isolated out the different trades my understanding is that he conducted personal dosemetry and several other methodologies with approximately 400 workers. But he would be happy to provide you with those details. And I can provide you with contact information with him if you'd like that.
MR. BRODERICK: Okay. I'm just surprised with the relative amount of exposure with electricians versus hiring workers and laborers that are working with tools that traditionally are associated with high impulse --
DR. STEPHENSON: And I can speak to that a little bit. His comment to me on the electricians -- because, as I mentioned, he hoped that they would be sort of low noise level control almost. And he feels that much of their noise exposure occurs from work going on around them. But also that they are using in some cases pneumatic tools and some other things. But he agrees that much of the electrician exposure comes from other people working around them.
MR. BRODERICK: Well that kind of answers my first question.
MR. KRUL: Larry.
MR. EDGINTON: Thank you, Bob. I guess a couple thoughts. One, let's not lose sight of perhaps the most important thing to do, and that's how to make the construction worksite quieter. And I get nervous every time I see lots of time and effort being focused on the use of hearing protection devices. I mean while it's important, I think what really has to drive all of this is how we make the construction site quieter. Now, having said all that, I live and work in a world of work that I understand that's not always possible. But the question I had, I had seen one of your graphs where you talked about beliefs or personal behaviors before and after training and how that modified views about the use of it. I was wondering if you knew of anything where -- I was talking to one of our contractors one day and we were sort of talking in frustration about how we get our members to keep their muffs on, so to speak. And he said, "Well, I used to have that trouble with that, but we don't have trouble with that anymore." I said, "Well, help me understand that." And he said, "Well, it's very simple. We give everybody annual hearing tests. And once people began to realize that it was an asset that they had an ability to manage all of a sudden they had a much, much, you know, increased interest in using hearing protection devices." And my notion is that -- I guess the point is that it's not just enough, this training. Because what we're dealing with, at least in terms of most of the members, my organization, and I think it's generally true of construction, and I think you made the same point yourself, is people who work in construction view noise as something that doesn't kill them or cut them or otherwise hurt them. Those are the things that they really worry about. But the notion that really sent to me when I'm talking to a contractor who provides annual hearing tests is to clearly demonstrate that it does hurt them in ways that are very meaningful to them down the road. And I'm just wondering, do you have any data on that or how effective that is?
DR. STEPHENSON: We're about to go into the field with a study at two different carpenter apprentice training centers looking -- following about 400 apprentices in years two and three, and hopefully year four of their training. And what we're going to be doing is fielding three different types of education and training efforts. One is sort of what we would call a minimal effort, which is providing them with yearly hearing tests and a very basic training once a year. The second is a little bit more of an approach where there will be some classroom exercises, demonstrations, and things highlighting some of the things I've presented you today that we found are barriers. And then the third type of training would be what we would consider probably the gold plated, which is in addition to the hearing test and the classroom that there's an element of one on one interaction with that individual specific to their needs, their work, their craft, and their exposure. And so in the end of a couple of years perhaps they'll have a better handle on how cost effective is it or how necessary is it to use the gold plated approach versus would it be enough just to provide them with yearly hearing tests and a good variety of devices from which to choose. And what I'm very pleased to be able to do is to combine not just the education and training but also some behavioral observation in the worksite in the worksite of these apprentices. And so part of that observation will keep track of what sorts of jobs they're doing, what tasks they're doing, what tools they're using, and what sorts of safety behaviors, including hearing loss prevention behaviors, they're engaging in on the worksite. One of the concerns, of course, is that in the apprentice center they may behave one way because of the safety culture of the apprentice center, and on the worksite that may not translate. It's a good question and we want to know. So we will be collecting that sort of data.
MR. KRUL: Marie.
DR. SWEENEY: Carol, just a follow up on Jane's question. Are you going to be doing dosemetry as well?
DR. STEPHENSON: Yes. There will be a combination of dosemetry and task based exposure analysis to try to look at that.
DR. SWEENEY: And one more question. One other thing that you talked about yesterday was the amount of protection that they found that is effective in protecting workers. And you did that mention that today. There was something like 12 db, but I--
DR. STEPHENSON: Right. Based on the noise data that we've analyzed over the last couple of years, most construction workers, not all but most would probably be adequately protected with a device that provides between 10 and 12 decibels of protection. That means 10 and 12 decibels that they actually get. Not looking at the labeling on the package but using fit testing or other educational techniques to get them that.The critical element there is, again, this idea of overprotection. Overprotection is as much our enemy as under protection. Because overprotection leads to problems and barriers and that leads to people not wearing the hearing protectors when they need to.
DR. SWEENEY: One other thing.
MR. KRUL: Go ahead, Marie.
DR. SWEENEY: There's a request for your slides.
DR. STEPHENSON: I would be happy to provide these slides. I have -- let's see. I can work that out afterwards. I have them on a super store drive right now, and if anyone can read those I can leave it here. Otherwise, I'm happy to e-mail the program to people or -- just let me know what you need and how you need it.
MR. KRUL: I think if we leave your e-mail addresses that would be acceptable.
DR. STEPHENSON: I'd be very happy to e-mail them to you.
MR. KRUL: Especially for those of us who are technologically --
DR. STEPHENSON: Just let me know what you need and we'll take care of it.
MR. KRUL: Jane.
MS. WILLIAMS: Would it be possible for you to maybe just e-mail it to the Directorate and then you get it out to our committee, Bruce?
MR. SWANSON: We'd be happy to do that.
MR. KRUL: Yes, Dan.
MR. MURPHY: One quick question. As you do these surveys, I'm very curious as to what, if anything is done once the person leaves the hall and goes out about their personal business in the evenings. Because I've noticed quite obviously in our country today a lot of noise induced hearing loss happens maybe after they leave the job.
DR. STEPHENSON: Leisure noise is an issue that people are looking at and are interested in. I can share one study that I'm aware of that was conducted by Jay Wilkens at Ohio State University.And he was looking at the farming communities specifically. Because the idea was that farmers and youth of farms would probably be pretty noise exposed both on and off the job, lots of noisy farm equipment but they also engage in activities that are very noisy, particularly hunting, shooting, motorcycles, snowmobiles, whatever. What he found was, looking at his populations, that the contribution of leisure noise for this group, and they did, indeed, engage in many noisy leisure activities, was minimal compared to the contribution of their on the job daily noise exposure. So I wouldn't say that it's a non-issue, but I just don't think that it's a major contributor at this point, at least I have not yet seen any data that would tend to suggest that. At the most recent National Hearing Conservation Association meeting that was held in February of this year, there was a researcher, a guest researcher from Sweden who presented data from Europe about individuals who had been tracked for several years who either attend concerts -- I think that's what they do, that they attend concerts frequently. And so he has a cohort and has been monitoring the hearing of these young people who are frequent attendees of amplified music. And he too reported at that meeting that he found relatively little contribution to noise induced hearing loss in that group, at least so far. The only other thing that I can suggest, and I think we discussed this yesterday, is that the military has been attempting to build a data base of recruits, getting baseline testing of 18, 19 year olds coming in. And as that data becomes available and as the new NHANES -- National Hearing --
DR. SWEENEY: National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey.
DR. STEPHENSON: Thank you. As that survey becomes completed, my understanding is that they are surveying 16, 17, 18 year olds doing hearing tests for them. That will be very useful new data to help us know what the character is of hearing in our country today.
MR. KRUL: Thank you.
DR. STEPHENSON: Thank you.
MR. KRUL: Jane.
MS. WILLIAMS: One of the training elements that we've been focusing on came from a report that I had read; I wish I could remember the report. But it inferred that the exposure time from the hearing of concert attendance or a big game or something was the very next morning, especially with the work hours that was beginning early in the morning where they'd not had recovery time. And that the workers that had been involved stated that they were not responsive to warnings or the ringing sensation and something of that nature. Has anyone ever looked -- are you aware of that or --
DR. STEPHENSON: I'm not familiar with exactly the report you're mentioning but I have looked at some of the -- they call it "temporary threshold shift studies." And certainly if you measure young people, or anyone for that matter, coming out of a concert within the first, you know, one to six hours after the concert, it's not uncommon to find a temporary hearing loss. My understanding from the data, particularly the military and long term noise exposure studies, is that most people recover in those situations within 12 hours. But I'm not fully aware of all of that literature. And there may be studies that show for some individuals it takes longer to recover from that kind of noise exposure.
MR. KRUL: I'm one of the 79 percent that suffer from tinitus. And it was very compelling evidence in your presentation. You would have about as much difficulty convincing me that we have to do something on noise as telling me that I need to buy a new set of golf clubs. Now all you've got to do is convince my wife to spend the money.
MR. KRUL: In all seriousness, and I hear the comment regarding eliminating sources. And it seems to me this is a step at a time, domino effect, and that education and training is the first thing that ought to be focused on. And that's education of employees, education of employers, and then necessarily from that would come the recognition by equipment manufacturers and with pressure from employers who buy that, and employees, who buy those pieces of equipment would come the recognition that reduction in those decibels is of utmost importance. And then we could get away of just using hearing protection as the primary defense. I think it's, like many things in safety and health and construction, it's a case of machismo. It's a case of ignorance. I confess to going to some Grateful Dead concerts and not being able to hear too well for the next several hours myself. That was another time and another place. But I do think, and I asked Bruce if, you know, with the standard that's currently in place in OSHA, is that really all this committee needs to do. And he said, "No. We can push OSHA towards a focus on education and training about the breadth and depth of this problem in the construction industry." So on behalf of the committee I'd like to thank you for that presentation. And I'm sure our workgroup will continue its work in this regard.
DR. STEPHENSON: Thank you.
MR. KRUL: And you want to say something that I said something wrong?
MR. SWANSON: I just want to clarify, Mr. Chairman, that I don't recall using the words, "You can push OSHA."
MR. KRUL: My poor choice of words.
MR. SWANSON: We'd be happy to have input from this committee on any of several topics, including this.
MR. KRUL: Thank you. And he wasn't sleeping. Carol, thank you. Thank you very much for coming and thank you for that presentation. We have on the agenda to proceed until the break time with a couple of workgroup reports. And, Brother Rhoten, would you like to give a brief report on the 10 Hour. And Owen can also interject if he so cares.
MR. RHOTEN: Owen said I could speak for him this afternoon.
MR. KRUL: Okay. He said you have his project.
MR. RHOTEN: Yes. I'll be very brief with this. And maybe just for the benefit of the new members give a little recap on this issue. Probably three or four years ago the idea surfaced here that some members of this committee thought it would be appropriate that if every construction worker in the United States had as a minimum a 10 hour safety and health OSHA card in that safety and health course before he went on a job site and worked. And that idea survived about three or three and a half years of debate, long discussions. And, finally, at the May meeting last year this committee did vote that every construction worker have a 10-hour OSHA card or equivalent. And that was not unanimous. I think there was probably one vote against it, I don't know for sure. But in any case, the committee at that May meeting then charged the workgroup to go back and determine what they thought the equivalent was. And at the September meeting the workgroup came back and suggested that the people -- overall -- the people -- the only people that could determine what's equivalent to their course would be OSHA. And it did propose that the equivalent course would have an instructor that had taken the OSHA 500 course and was authorized to teach the 10-hour course, and that the proposed curriculum or material or any changes be reviewed by OSHA. And then in that case then OSHA should go ahead and issue them 10-hour OSHA cards because it was appropriate. Then that was submitted as a concept for consideration by -- from this committee to OSHA. And then OSHA was to come back and explain to us how this might be implemented. At the workgroup meeting yesterday there were approximately 18 people there, including representatives from OSHA. And I think the understanding that came out of there that the only way that this could come about would be by a standard process. I think that everybody is aware -- I mean I would like to have that started tomorrow morning, personally, but I know that there's not enough basis and not enough information for us even as a committee to recommend to the full committee that we move off in that direction right now. I have got information, and I think we have that in New Jersey. There's some legislation there that was passed that suggested if a contractor bid on any public works job that was over $100,000 that they had to have the OSHA 10 hour cards for their employees. I know that industry around the country, we're aware of owners at facilities that have made it a requirement to their contractors that before they can come on their worksite their employees have to have gone through this 10 hour OSHA course. And I think there's some information that Jane had yesterday out of the west with the same or similar type of program has been explored. So what I'm suggesting is that I don't think our committee can make a recommendation here that we suggest to OSHA they go forward with any kind of rulemaking. I'm happy that this full committee endorse this in concept and I think now we're charged with just monitoring and gathering information in the next -- hopefully the next year; maybe finding out what's going to happen in New Jersey; maybe get some information back from the industry that has required this training and so that we can make the case that it has been beneficial. And then from there we examined the recommendation downstream that we might make to OSHA. And that's basically the report.
MR. KRUL: Owen.
MR. RHOTEN: I know Owen agrees with everything I just said.
MR. SMITH: You know, I imagine it always capitulates.
MR. RHOTEN: No.
MR. SMITH: I'm accustomed to these guys telling me what to do. There's no doubt that the 10-hour course, or at least something like that is needed. And certainly I don't disagree. My problem is providing it for a person before they get to a job. From the sector from which I come it's not a problem because we have control over who gets on our jobs and when they get the training because we call the hall, it's all done. But for the other segment, you know, and as a contractor, I have some big feelings about spending money for somebody before I know they can do the job. And, you know, you hire someone and you don't know what they can do, and all of a sudden you've paid some money for some training and they may not make it. Now Brother Rhoten there says, "Well, they can get it out of a community college or someplace else." And that may be true. But I personally cannot see how it's going to work. I think his idea of us kind of waiting for a while and then try to figure it all out is probably a good one.
MR. RHOTEN: Well I would suggest to you my intent is for the contractor's not to pay for it. And beyond that I think if we did present some kind of formula to OSHA for rulemaking you couldn't have those provisions in there anyway. My understanding is OSHA doesn't address the issue of whether or not the person's on the payroll or he's getting trained. I think that's a wage and hour decision. And my understanding also is that if it's a condition of pre-employment that the employer doesn't have to pay the employee. And I'm not suggesting that if we head in this direction that the worker be on the clock when he's taking that training. And that's not generally -- it's what's happening now. And the places now where the industry is requesting that, generally those workers are going to school on their own time. So I think those problems can be addressed downstream. If we can get to the point that we can make the case that it's going to save lives, save money for the contractors and the owners, and knock down the injury rate, then I think all those other problems are ones that could really be worked out.
MR. KRUL: Larry.
MR. EDGINTON: Thank you, Bob. You know, listening to Bill and talking about the need for training, we've had that conversation, went there many times, and listening to the concerns that Owen has expressed, you know, the thought occurs to me that I've been down this road before. We represent people who are employed in the metal-nonmetal mining industries. And IPSHA (ph) now has a requirement for new miner training. And when it was first being discussed I can tell you that there were many, many small employers from the rock, sand, and gravel industry who said, you know, we can never do this. And they expressed some of the same concerns about new hires, et cetera. But I think what pushes the argument is when you begin to look at injury, death, and illness rates in relationship to time on the job. And what I know to be true in metal-nonmetal mining, and I believe to be similarly true in construction, is the people who tend to get hurt first, and sometimes the most serious, are people that are either new to the craft or new to that job or new to that work location. And I think it's that notion that we have to keep in mind and why it makes sense to invest up front at some levels. I know in the metal-nonmetal side the say we approached it, with 24 hours of training, is we talked about certain core requirements that people had to have before they got on the job. And then additional training that they would have to get within a future period of time, which sort of took into consideration some of the concerns that you're raising: maybe this person isn't going to work out or whatever. But in any event, by the time we have that person on the job for about 90 days or so they were going to have all the requisite training that they needed. So that may be something to think about as we think about implementing these kinds of things, this notion of do you have to have it all at once or can we take some kind of an incremental approach.
MR. KRUL: Bill.
MR. RHOTEN: Well, just to say, I think in the next year or so if we can gather the information and accumulate it here that makes the case that it's a worthwhile endeavor to go forward with it. Then again, I think all those other problems will work out. And you'll find out in the long run the cost is going to be cheaper to go ahead and head off in this direction for the whole industry.
MR. KRUL: And I think that's a fair and logical approach. And just a little commentary on the whole notion of a 10 hour basic safety and health hazard awareness for construction workers, whether it be mandated one way or the other. Again, going to my opening remarks, when you look at the -- just to back up what Larry just said -- when you look at the numbers of fatalities and the number of serious injuries that occur in this industry, and if you graph that and lay that graph over the people who are coming out of the job for the first six months of their exposure on a site and look at where those accidents are happening, I'm sure there's going to be a relationship there. And for anybody who's worked in this industry in whatever trade, I think it just boggles the mind to think of a young man or a woman going out on a multi-craft construction site without having the slightest idea of what the hazards are is almost incomprehensible. But that's just a commentary. It's a notion that raises a lot of questions about how implementation can go, how costs are going to be borne. But I think Bill's got the right idea. I think if we do the research on this and if we can get a demonstration state to show how effective this was in getting it implemented, I think it will guide this committee likewise. Yes, Jim.
MR. AHERN: I'd just be curious for the people that have been on the committee in years past, has there been any discussion about pre-employment drug testing dovetailed into this 10 hour training?
MR. KRUL: Mr. Former Chairman, would you like to field that one?
MR. BURKHAMMER: I'll defer to my good friend, Mr. Cooper.
MR. COOPER: Yes and no. There's been a lot of discussion in that area. I don't recall it all at the moment.
MR. AHERN: It would seem a lot of the arguments that we're seeing about the training go ahead and go up with whether the person is under the influence of any type of illegal drug or not.
MR. RHOTEN: I can't speak for the whole building trades. I can say this. The building trades some time back, a few years ago, had a model drug policy and agreement that was to be used as a guideline around the United States. Our International just got a new one last year that we sent out to all the local unions and worked with the NCAA to develop jointly. That, in fact, included random testing and all those things that you have to have to make sure it's the right test. But the reality of it is, and we've got to encourage local unions around the country to all negotiate those agreements. But because the state law are all different, in a lot of cases, that they've got to use local attorneys to implement those agreement locally. And I don't know how OSHA could get involved in it anyway. I don't know the answer to that. But I do know that if our locals negotiate those agreements they have to be real cognizant of the local laws -- state laws that are different. I understand West Virginia is dramatically different than some others, for instance, a lie detector test even. In some states I think they can give lie detector tests to kids, high school kids working in stores in West Virginia. There are no days you're going to do that.
MR. KRUL: Just out of curiosity, are you receiving some opposition to pre-employment testing somewhere, to raise a question. It seems to me that that's an issue today that is a non-issue. When it was first raised there was certain quarters that raised the rights of the individual not to go through those things, but I think that has since gone. With the development of -- the sample being broken into three and on a mid-test and a gas chromatographs mass spectrometry being used and the individual having the right to take the third sample and have it tested at the laboratory of his or her choice, that the whole issue of unfairness of drug testing has gone by the wayside and that the screening process is like 99.9 percent effective now. And why would you object to a drug test if you've got nothing to hide. I'm trying to determine where the genesis of your question is coming from.
MR. AHERN: Well, I was kind of following up on Owen's comment. And two issues that are brought up in drug testing, as you go around the country bidding on work and try to reach agreements with different organizations, is a) does the potential employee actually become an employee prior to going and having the test.
MR. KRUL: Uh-huh.
MR. AHERN: And then, during the process of being tested, is that compensable hour? And who pays for the testing. To me it follows up with Owen's comments about training and the 10-hour course. Is the person on the payroll during the 10 hours and who is paying for the training? In my case I think both of those are absolutely critical to having a good workforce. And we ought to be able to solve the expense issues some way. But I find if you had solved, in a prior time, or at least investigated the drug testing, maybe some of those solutions were applicable to the 10-hour training.
MR. KRUL: Stu.
MR. BURKHAMMER: I think, Jim, depending on the sector you work in or the environment you work in. for example, on non-union projects drug tests is pretty much mandatory prior to employment. They are not an employee yet. They have to pass the drug test and pass the medical screening, basically, to be employed. So the compensability part doesn't apply there. Nuclear facilities you have to be hired first, that's a requirement in every nuclear facility that you be drug tested. You are an employee, in that case, prior to being drug tested. If you fail the drug test you're terminated at the time you fail. Other industries -- some refineries now are requiring drug testing prior to working in refineries. Exxon Mobil is one. EP Amoco is another. A lot of the joint ventures where they've merged these big oil companies together now have come out and said prior to a contractor working in our refinery you shall have -- you have to drug test your employees. There's still an issue out there, I think, today -- and Mr. Chairman you referred to it by the chain of custody of the drug test. There's not that many signatory labs where you can actually send your drug test and have it certified in a certified lab. A lot of people are sending it to non-certified labs. Non-certified labs are a lot cheaper, of course, than going to the certified lab. So depending on what kind of employer you are and whether you want people to pass or not pass you send them to either a certified or non-certified. So chain of custody has a lot, still today, of not being quite right yet. But I think the industry, as Mr. Rhoten said a little bit ago, years ago the unions were absolutely adamant against drug testing. And I think it's been 10 years now when you first started in the UA. And in most now you have little to no objection from the labor unions on drug testing.
MR. RHOTEN: I don't know that anybody's really ever been in favor of it totally. As a practical matter it's just a fact of life. If you go into an owner's facility and he tells the contractor you're going to have to be tested, then you're going to be tested. The other side, the good side of being tested is if you find out that you have members that actually have problems then you can fix the problems. And that's what we made a big effort on doing too. That's part of this whole program if you negotiate it. It's not just so much negotiating the agreement to find the bad guys; you've also got to have an agreement that's got provisions for funds for rehabilitation and all those kind of things. It's a total package I think. I think it's a little different of sorts, and maybe what Owen is suggesting on the training. You know, I always had the idea that the employer was responsible for the safety and health training of the employees. Okay. As a practical matter, I don't believe that's been done completely.
MR. KRUL: The reason you raised that issue was the compensability issue?
MR. AHERN: I wanted to see if there had been efforts made to solve those two issues that might be parallel solutions to the 10 hour training.
MR. KRUL: All right. And I think you see by the discussion that trying to wrap 10 hour training up with pre-employment drug testing as a hooked up coupling would be fraught with danger. Okay. Mr. Edginton, can you give us a report on your workgroup on cranings.
MR. EDGINTON: I will try. If I reflect back and -- and what I want to do for the new members is talk to you about how we got this charge and some of the activities that we've been involved in in the last year or so and update you on what occurred this week and where intend to go from here. If I think about this conversation I'm reminded some years ago I either read or heard a statement, something to the effect that if you have a respect for the laws or if you enjoy sausage you shouldn't watch either of them being made.
MR. EDGINTON: And I think that has some applicability to our workgroup activities. It hasn't always been the prettiest thing, but I think we're beginning to make some progress. Over the course of roughly four or five meetings I think there's only been one time that we met for a half-day, the rest of the time we've been having all day meetings. The workgroup was established by ACCSH and charged with the responsibility of taking a look at Subpart N for a couple reasons. One, recognizing that it was the same language that was within the standards when the standards were adopted. Two, that there were increasing concerns about the safe operation of cranes and as it related to that both in terms of new technologies amongst the crane themselves and new types of cranes and new craning or work processes that simply did not exist when the standard was adopted. So it was sort of all of those events that sort of reached a critical mass, if you will, and people said it's time to take a look at things. And so that's what we have begun to do. Early on we discovered that, much to our surprise, people had much different understandings about what the current subpart provided. And people had much different understandings about what the 1968 B30.5, which is referenced in the standard provided. So we found ourselves having to spend some amount of time getting everybody in the group on the same page. And first let me talk about the group a little bit. I think it's something that makes me feel very good. This week we had, I think, 28 people at our meeting when we started Tuesday morning. Our workgroup list that we work from is about 40 people now. We have a good cross section of the industry, everything from crane manufacturers, attachment manufacturers, insurers, contractors, crane users, you name it, and a couple of associations are represented there as well. So we really think we have the right people in the room. We have a couple gaps still missing, which I'll make mention of, but we think we've got the right people in the room to do the work. Our work activities over the past year have been as follows: One: We tried to get the sort of the nucleus of the workgroup at least on board and on the same page in terms of what the current subpart provides, really what's in that. Our notion was that it's really crazy, you know, forging ahead for the future if you don't first completely understand where you're at. So we did that. We took a look at the B30.5 for 1968, which is referenced in this, and got everybody on the same page with that. And there have been considerable discussion in the group about wanting to simply update the B30 references to the most current version, for example, today 2000. We spent some amount of time talking about the differences between '68 and 2000 within that as well. That has been a long, drawn out process. As a part of that, early on the workgroup recognized that this was going to be a significant undertaking in terms of time. And to that end I think it was after about our third meeting a recommendation from the workgroup came to ACCSH with respect to how best to proceed with this. At that time it was the feeling of the workgroup that perhaps a most beneficial way that could be used would be negotiate a rulemaking. And that was a recommendation from the workgroup to ACCSH. ACCSH discussed that recommendation and recommended to the Directorate that it consider it, using negotiated rulemaking. Now even though that motion was made and approved ACCSH felt very strongly that the way these things sometimes tend to work in terms of figuring out whether or not that's a request that the agency could accommodate. But there was a strong feeling that the workgroup should continue until such time either that we had a work product or the agency decided that negotiated rulemaking was a good fit for this. And if that decision were made we would put the work -- or the workgroup itself in advance take the work product that had been developed to date, perhaps as a starting point for the negotiated rulemaking. So for our past several meetings that's sort of what we've been laboring under. I must tell you that early on there were many people within the group, and even today I want to talk about something relative to this a little bit later. They said, "What's the problem. Just update some of the references and we're off to the races." I said, "Some of our work had to do with representatives of the agency and some other Directorate staff and other solicitor's officers coming in and spending time with us talking about the regulatory process, or processes and how they may or may not fit with some of our needs so that we recognize that while a quick fix was everybody's first reference that a quick fix may be problematic." So with that we have continued to work on, we thought, through the subpart thinking about not so much at this point in time, although we're spending some time with words, not a major amount of time with words, recognizing that what was most important -- we thought about what's important to crane safety -- is simply those concepts and elements that should exist within a rule. And it's really that focus that we have begun to bring to our efforts. For example, the bulk of this weeks meeting had to do with the concept of operator qualification. And rather than write words about all of this -- and certainly I'm not saying that this is a final agreement on this but sort of a tentative working process conversation -- it was the consensus of the workgroup that, yes, crane operators need to be qualified. Apprentices and trainees need to have had some level of qualification. Mechanics and repairers who work around cranes should have some level of qualifications. The operators of cranes on barges, and we'd like to get some expertise in that area. So if anybody either on ACCSH itself or in the audience has the interest or knows of others who may have those interests and expertise in those areas, we'll be looking for that. We have an e-mail network in place; it's working fairly well. About 90 percent of the workgroup has e-mail. That's our primary method of communication with each other. We have tentatively scheduled our next meeting for May the 15th. I'll be serving out workgroup members on that, again, along with a meeting summary and an update of things that have happened this week. I can't tell you that we're going to have this done by the end of this year. I hope that we do. I can tell you that the group has a strong interest in negotiated rulemaking. One of the issues that came up this week, because we have a new administration do we have to make that request again. And our feeling was no. The Directorate knows what ACCSH has said about that in the past. We found no need to revisit that. One area that we did revisit this week, at the request of the Power Crane and Shovel Association was the notion of direct rulemaking. They had made that request to Mr. Swanson both in terms of putting it on the workgroup agenda as well as putting it on the agenda for this committee's meeting. I felt the best way to approach that was to, one, discuss it at the workgroup thing. What do you want to do about that? Noah Connell came in. We, again, heard a presentation from Noah on what you can't do with that process. There were some people within the workgroup who still have a very strong view that they believe that perhaps that's the way that it could be done. What we have done is charged a subcommittee who has that interest to develop that recommendation for consideration at our next meeting. I've told them with respect to the association requesting that that be put on this committee's agenda, I thought that the reporting out of that activity from the workgroup should suffice. I'm not in a position to, nor is the workgroup in a position to direct what, if anything, Mr. Swanson should do in responding to their letter. I'll leave that to the discretion of the Directorate. That's sort of a quick summary of where we've been, where we are, and where we hope to go.
MR. KRUL: Okay. Thank you, Larry. We were scheduled for a break but I'm going five minutes because it's an interesting subject.
MR. BURKHAMMER: I do have a question, Larry. This letter that I am going to receive or DOC is going to receive, I should not see this letter as coming from ACCSH or an ACCSH workgroup. This is an individual or a company that's out there writing with a request?
MR. EDGINTON: The Power Crane and Shovel Association letter was directed to yourself (unclear) to myself requesting and recognizing that some members of the Power Crane and Shovel Association are also represented in the workgroup. I felt it would be appropriate to discuss that at the workgroup level, which we did. And the outcome, again, of that was the workgroup felt that if there were folks that had the interest in pursuing how direct rulemaking might be used, have at it, come back to us, and address the workgroup as to how you might want to talk about that. Because I think the prevailing consensus of the group that however attractive that may sound we thought that there were specific things about what we had been talking about, for example, in very simple terms they do feel obligations placed on employers that were new and different between the '68 version of B30.5 and the 2000 version. And it was our understanding that any time we were talking about a new regulation that would place new or additional burdens on employers it was probably not a good fit for direct rulemaking. But we didn't want to say out of hand no.
MR. BURKHAMMER: You know, as a long-term bureaucrat I am continually awed by the way the private sector works. But as we've been talking here I've received my letter.
MR. BURKHAMMER: This was fast work. Thank you.
MR. KRUL: Let me quickly go over these ACCSH workshops. Workshops? Workgroups. I feel like I'm at a convention. Workgroups. With the new members on the committee Stu had reminded me that we need to make some appointments to these workgroups to sort of balance them out and spread the pain around the folks who are at these workshops. So rather than ask for volunteers, the Chair's going to exercise the privilege of making appointments. And unless you have papal dispensation to excuse yourself from these appointments --
MR. RHOTEN: Mr. Chairman, Stu was never that heavy handed.
MR. KRUL: He's not as Catholic as I am.
MR. RHOTEN: I mean I don't want to say the guy was better or anything.
MR. KRUL: On Larry's Subpart N Crane's workgroup, it's currently himself and Steve Cooper. We'd like to balance that out with a management representative. And, Joan, I think you'd be a good fit there. Okay. And the e-mail addresses are on the OSHA website. So your group could be in there. On Data Collection Targeting, Marie Sweeney and Tom Broderick, if you would. I'd like to see you assist Marie in that endeavor. Diversified Construction Workforce Initiatives will stay the same with James and Larry Edginton. Fall Protection, Felipe Devora. Manny, if you would serve with Felipe on that. 170 will stay Steve and Jane. Hex Chromium will still be Bill and Owen. MSD, musculo-skeletal disorders. Dan Murphy, would you serve with Marie on that?
MR. MURPHY: Yes.
MR. KRUL: Noise will stay the same with Felipe and Marie. Process Safety Management. Kevin, would you work with Owen on that?
MR. BEAUREGARD: Yes.
MR. KRUL: Safety and Health Program Standard will stay Owen and Bill. Question to the Directorate: since the website for the Salt Lake City Construction Advisory Workgroup is up, is there a need to continue this workgroup or should it be dissolved? Or do you want to think about that?
MR. BURKHAMMER: Yes. I want to think about what else is on there and I believe we, unfortunately, might still need that.
MR. KRUL: Okay.
MR. BURKHAMMER: But we'll talk about it tomorrow.
MR. KRUL: Let's hold that till tomorrow. Sanitation will stay Jane and Steve Cooper. Silica. Same question to Marie, is there a need to continue this --
MR. BURKHAMMER: There may be.
MR. KRUL: There may be? All right. Well we'll leave you two as still in there and you can --
MR. BURKHAMMER: We're not scheduling anything formally but --
MR. KRUL: Okay. Training will remain Owen and Bill. And a suggestion has been made and there doesn't seem to be, for the purposes of establishing a workgroup for English as a second language as it relates to safety and health training, doing the research and data gathering to find out how folks are coping not only with the Spanish language but other languages as well. And being able to incorporate English as a second language into their companies, their unions, whatever. And I'd like Felipe and Jim Ahern, again if you would. I'll be very interested in following the data that comes out of that workgroup because, as we had said, I think it's an extremely important issue. Marie.
DR. SWEENEY: Mr. Chairman, can I make a correction?
MR. KRUL: Yes.
DR. SWEENEY: You have two management folks on there. And I would respectfully request --
MR. KRUL: Yes, you do.
MS. SWEENEY: I would respectfully request to be on that workgroup.
MR. KRUL: You may certainly be there. And as participants of course I think, like all the workgroups, everyone's invited to come participate, give your input to them. I think everybody who's in charge of those workgroups would take as much help as they can get in order to get their mission accomplished. Mr. Cooper.
MR. COOPER: Where did you place Stu Burkhammer?
MR. BURKHAMMER: The retired care and parliamentarian does not serve on workgroups.
MR. KRUL: Stu conveniently advised the new chairman as to who should go on these committees. Given his work over the years and knowing how well people work together on committees. He was very astute in removing himself from that obligation.
MR. DEVORA: Do you care if I -- Marie's co-chair position on the Multilanguage --
MR. KRUL: Yes, you, Jim Ahern, and Marie. She requested that it be the three of you that work in a co-chair position. That's fine.
MR. SMITH: Mr. Chairman, would you make a list of -- have a list made of that and pass it out tomorrow?
MR. KRUL: Well I don't know if it will be tomorrow, Owen, because we're going to get some input -- well, I'll tell you what. It will be -- yes, we'll do that. And if there needs to be a question mark still on the Salt Lake City Construction Advisory Workgroup we'll leave a question mark.
MR. SMITH: We can just write it in.
MR. KRUL: That's fine. No. I'm sure we can do that between now and--Okay. Time for a break.
(Whereupon, at 3:11 p.m., the meetings was in recess.)
A F T E R R E C E S S
MR. KRUL: I want to make this announcement for the record. There was one individual who had submitted a request to make a public comment. That was Keith Goddard who is with Mr. O'Connor's office. And he wanted to give us a brief update on the Occupational Safety and Health's State Plan Association. But he had to go back to Baltimore. So we're going to make room form him tomorrow and I just want that to be on the record in case anybody asks why he's being allowed to speak possibly out of order. But he had to go back and we will entertain, in fact, a 10-minute presentation tomorrow.
VOICE: I understood he had pressing government business. But I also know Marilyn had a 3:00 jump off.
MR. KRUL: Yes. I had the same thought.
MR. BURKHAMMER: The clock is ticking.
MR. KRUL: The clock is ticking, that's right. We'll continue with the workgroup reports and Bill Rhoten and Owen Smith on hexavalent chromium. And if one or both of you would, again, just give us a brief, for the new members of the committee, what hex chromium's all about.
MR. RHOTEN: Okay. Yesterday was the third meeting of the workgroup. Last year the first meeting of the workgroup, OSHA Health Services, Caroline Friedman, attended that meeting and outlined the intentions of OSHA to go forward with a new regulation to lower the permissible exposure limits to that particular product in the general industry and agriculture and the shipyards and then as it would or might apply to construction. I think they recognize that there are different conditions in construction. And at that first meeting they laid out very specifically what the problems were. And it was a very good meeting. The second meeting some people came there with some additional questions about why they were going to go in that direction. And I think they probably didn't get the answers at that meeting. Although yesterday, at our third meeting, Marthe Kent came by and was there to enlighten everybody that had the questions, and they weren't there. So that's where we're basically at. I think we recognize, at least in the building trades and our specific industry, that our welders are exposed to it, that weld on stainless steel, and we think that's probably 10 percent of our welders. I think the painters, Owen Smith, the person he works with, are exposed to it in that fashion. And so what we're doing as a workgroup is trying to set up a program that we can basically gather information to give to OSHA so that they might use. We've offered to set up some welding demonstrations with the help of Bechtel on the different types of stainless steel welding material. And that's basically where we're at. Except the problem is now, I don't think we know for sure whether or not this is going to be on the agenda. So right now I think our position is that we're just going to be on a holding pattern to find out if OSHA is going to go ahead with this proposed rulemaking. And then if they do we'll be prepared to gather whatever information we can in the system any way we can to get the proper information.
MS. KENT: The (unclear) question is part of the overall review of all our known pending regs. And this, like all other regs, is on hold. We don't know whether it will move or (unclear).
MR. KRUL: Next on the agenda is our friend, Berrien Zettler. Good to see you again. And I'm going to leave the introduction to Bruce Swanson. But Berrien's here to speak to us about OSHA's organizational structure.
MR. SWANSON: Yeah. What we thought we would do, and Berrien volunteered to do it, is spend a couple minutes for the new folks. I don't know how well appointed everybody is with OSHA as an organization and exactly how we're structured. We'll try and make it quick in case this is and old and redundant for everybody. But give me a feel for how we are organized nationally as OSHA and then even more briefly tell you about the Directorate of Construction and how we're organized so you know who we're dealing with -- you're dealing with.
MR. ZETTLER: Thank you, Mr. Chairman. I appreciate this opportunity to talk to the new folks in particular on ACCSH. What I'd like to do is just run briefly -- I don't expect it'll take more than a few minutes -- run briefly through the organizational structure in OSHA, both the national office structure and the field structure. And then, as Bruce said, spend a little bit of time talking about how the Directorate of Construction, as one of the Directorates, is organized. And then I'll be happy to talk about any questions that anybody might want to ask. First of all, of course, OSHA, as you all know, is a division or a section of the Department of Labor headed by an Assistant Secretary. The Assistant Secretary in a general way has two major divisions of the agency, one the national office division and one the field division. The national office is divided into several different what we call directorates, each of which is headed by a director. There are also a few ancillary offices that report directly to the Assistant Secretary. Now I'm not going to go through all of those, but I'll be happy to talk about just a few examples should anybody wish to talk about that any further. But the national office is made up of directorates, which report to the Assistant Secretary. The field structure is made up of 10 regions, each of which is headed by a regional administrator. And within those regions there are area offices, which are headed up by area directors. And it's the area office that is the direct employer of the compliance officers who actually conduct the inspections. OSHA has recently started a new job in the area offices. And each one of the area offices will gradually be assigned an outreach person whose sole job will be to deal with the stakeholders in various ways. Many of the larger area offices already have that position in place. Some of the smaller area offices don't have it in place yet but they will in due time. So that's basically the structure. Now each one of the directorates is organized into offices, which is headed by an office director. And the offices are the ones who oversee the various staff functions that are carried out by the different directorates. Turning to DOC for the moment, the DOC is just our familiar term for the Directorate of Construction. The Directorate of Construction is a later redefinition, if you will, of an office that was established in, I believe it was 1989 -- 1988, '89 something like that -- which was called the Office of Construction and Engineering. That office reported directly to the Assistant Secretary. But in 1995, the end of '95 actually, was the Directorate of Construction was created with Bruce Swanson as its first director. And that Directorate was intended to be a one-stop shop for the construction industry. We have three offices. One of the offices is our Office of Construction Standards and Compliance Assistance. Their job is to write any construction standards, any safety construction standards that are identified by the Assistant Secretary as standards to be worked on. They also are responsible for issuing interpretations and for answering letters having to do with the application or meaning of a standard. A second office that we have is called the Office of Construction Standards -- excuse me, the Office of Construction Services. The Office of Construction Services deals with -- mostly with stakeholders, with outreach, with partnerships, with training. And we also do work with the field so that when, for example, a construction significant case or egregious case, the larger cases come up, then they are sent to the national office, the Office of Construction Services, for review. And we do a review of those cases and present that to the executive staff of OSHA, which made up of all of the heads of the directorates and of the freestanding offices. Our third office is our Office of Engineering Services, which basically does engineering studies and in particular, most particularly, does construction analysis when we have major catastrophes that happen in the construction field: crane collapses, building collapses, bridge collapses, that sort of thing. They are asked by the area office to come out and do an engineering survey of the site and to do various engineering analysis of what might have gone wrong. And they issue reports on those cases which are then presented to the Assistant Secretary. So that's basically the outline of the way DOC is set up. One thing I will point out to you is that for health standards that are applicable to construction, the agency decided in 1995, when the construction directorate was set up, that it would be a too expensive duplication of resources to have all of the health aspects, if you will, of writing a standard duplicated in the construction field. So we did not take over the -- we did not have resided within the Directorate of Construction the responsibility for writing health standards that are applicable to construction. But we do have persons on any construction related standard team, even though it's being written by the Directorate of Health Standards, we do have people who are part of the team and who work together with the health standards people to make sure that those standards have appropriate application to construction. So that's basically the presentation. If anybody wants to ask any questions, Mr. Chairman, I'll be happy to entertain those.
MR. KRUL: Yes, Tom.
MR. BRODERICK: I'm recalling back to the early '90s when there were some notable catastrophes, where the Office of Construction and Engineering, I believe, went in and really took the leadership role in doing the total investigation, not just the forensic engineering study. I'm wondering if that still is the role of the Office of Engineering Services or if now the area office or the regional office is controlling the fatality or the catastrophe investigation and you're supporting them with engineering backup.
MR. ZETTLER: Right. It's primarily the latter. It is -- if -- the L'Ambiance Project, for example, was a good example of when the engineering people didn't exactly take over the inspection but they were very, very important because that was such an intricate engineering study. But for the most part the area -- our engineers don't go on site unless they're invited by the area office. They are invited to do the engineering part of it. They, of course, most of them have pretty broad experience in doing these kinds of things and can be of great assistance, I think, to the area office. But the inspection is the area office's inspection, the region's interception, and our people are there to support. The engineering people are there to support that.
MR. BRODERICK: Well one of the reasons I asked the question is there were some very good publications or studies after some of these catastrophes that I thought were helpful for those of us who work in intervention work. And I've not seen any of those for some time, and I'm just wondering if that source is dried up.
MR. ZETTLER: It has not dried up in the sense that there is a report issued on every inspection that the engineers go on. There is an engineering report developed. We have been tinkering with the notion of somehow being able to get that on the ACCSH -- or on the OSHA web page, the construction web page. Unfortunately, one of the problems that comes up, and it's not just in construction, it's in general industry as well. One of the problems that comes up is that there is a trade secret objection, which we often run into on these things. And that causes a significant delay in getting thee things published. One of the things, though, that we have talked about is making those documents available on our intra-net page. That is, the page that is available only to people internal to OSHA. That has not yet been done. We've not worked out all of the kinks. There are, as I say, some legal questions that revolve around that. There are privacy concerns that also have to be dealt with. But in general -- I mean the reports are there. And hopefully in time we'll be able to publish those. It is a difficulty we have to deal with though, at the moment.
MR. BRODERICK: Thank you.
MR. KRUL: Berrien, is there an organizational chart, maybe, that's available with what you talked about in the beginning of the report that new committee members can have?
MR. ZETTLER: Yes. I will run that off. On the web page, the construction web page, there is an organizational chart for DOC. There is also an organizational chart on the OSHA web page that goes through all of the various directorates. I'll print those off and make those available to you all later this afternoon or this morning.
MR. KRUL: Thank you.
MR. SWANSON: Mr. Goddard from Maryland, who chairs the OSHPA (sp), was going to explain a bit what the State Plan Association is and have the two dozen state plans dovetail with our organization, and he'll fill that blank in tomorrow morning, of course.
MR. ZETTLER: Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
MR. KRUL: Thank you, Brian. Thank you for coming.
MR. SWANSON: I also, in my introduction, very cleverly skipped the fact that Berrien Zettler is my deputy, for people that don't know exactly why he was sitting there talking to us. Next item, and should be brief, I would guess, Noah, is -- Noah Connell heads one of the three shops in DOC that you just heard about on construction standards. And Noah will give you an update on where we are since last we met. Thank you.
MR. KRUL: Welcome, Noah.
MR. CONNELL: Thank you, Mr. Chairman. First of all, the new Steel Erection Standard was issued January 18th. And an immediate question that we have to deal with is the effective date. The effective date stated in the standard is July 18th. And when the new Administration came in a memorandum was issued from the White House, which generally delays the effective date of standards by 60 days. That would move the effective date for the Steel Standard to September 16th. And we are anticipating that that is, in fact, going to be the case but we are still trying to get -- we're in the process of getting confirmation on that. So I don't have a final answer for you on when we'll begin enforcing the new standard, but we do hope to have that soon. In the meantime, we are working on developing a compliance directive for the new standard, and outreach materials. So we're moving forward with that, anticipating that we will be issuing that. I want to give you the status of projects that we have been working on. Of course where we go from here on all these projects is going to be up to the new Administrating. And so this is just where we are as of now. With the Subpart N, Advanced Notice of Proposed Rulemaking, we're in the final stages at the staff level of analyzing those comments. We had about 2,500 comments. The Confined Space Standard, that is really an amendment, a large-scale amendment to our existing confined space requirements, we did three public stakeholder meetings in the fall. The next step, if we take the next step, will be to complete the draft text and convene what is called a SBREFA Panel. SBREFA stands for the Small Business Regulatory Enforcement Fairness Act. And under that Act we are required to convene a panel that will address small business concerns, specifically, before issuing a proposed new rule. So that would be the next major step on that. On Sanitation, the Advanced Notice of Proposed Rulemaking, we're in the final stages of the concurrence process with that draft. Signs, signals, and barricades, the MUTCD Manual for Highway Traffic Safety, that is the still in the concurrence process. Subpart L, that concurrence process is nearly complete. When I say "concurrence process" that, for the new members, that means after -- it's not just the Directorate of Construction that completes a project and then it goes out the door of the Department of Labor. A lot of other things happen before that happens. There are a number of other offices within the Department of Labor who have to sign off on whatever it is that we do. So that's what I mean by concurrence process. For Subpart L also, we are preparing a handbook. Our standard requires -- the Scaffold Standard requires that the lumber that you use for scaffold platform meet whatever the strength requirements are that are designed into the scaffold. We have minimum strength requirements I the standard itself, but we don't specific what kind of wood you have to use or anything like that. And as you're well aware, there are many different species of wood, different dimensions, et cetera, that are commonly available. So we want to try to make it easier for employers to select lumber, to figure out what the dimensions they need or what strength of the lumber that they're using is. So we're preparing a handbook that will serve as an aid to making all those calculations and figuring that out. So that projects going on pretty well and we look forward to completing that. And I'll be happy to entertain any questions.
MR. KRUL: Questions? Comments? Felipe?
MR. DEVORA: Noise.
MR. CONNELL: I don't have any further update on it, the noise ANPR.
MR. KRUL: Yes, Stu.
MR. BURKHAMMER: Record keeping.
MR. CONNELL: What about record keeping?
MR. BURKHAMMER: Is it still in never never land on hold in the stay?
MR. CONNELL: Yeah. I don't have anything further on what the status is.
MR. KRUL: Marthe?
MS. KENT: Record keeping was published and it will be --
MR. KRUL: Microphone, please.
MS. KENT: Sorry, I'm terribly sorry. Record keeping was published as a final rule. It will be effective the 1st of January, 2002. And there will not be an extension of the effective data since it's already so far out.
MR. KRUL: Anyone else? Manny?
MR. MEDERES: Two things. PPE, where's that at?
MR. KRUL: Marthe?
MS. KENT: Not all of these are mine. I want to give them to Noah. I'm really loath to talk about where any of the standards are while they're under review. I mean I can tell you that absent a review process PPE payment would be within three months of final, let's say.
MR. MEDERES: Okay.
MS. KENT: But, you know, I'm just behind the lines. I don't even know what you're talking about.
MR. MEDERES: Okay. Noah probably knows the answer to this one if it came down.
MS. KENT: The noise ANPR was in the very, very final stages of departmental clearance. So if the noise ANPR gets a nod, it's ready to go.
MR. KRUL: Manny, you had a second question?
MR. MEDERES: Yes. There's been some stakeholder meetings on 1926 Subpart B and 1910 269. Has anything been forwarded to or come to ACCSH at this time?
MS. KENT: That's also ours. We have a complete draft and preamble for Subpart B. We've had two stakeholder meetings. We're going to have another one shortly. That's a package that could move if it gets the nod. And when it does --
MR. KRUL: Marthe, can I come to your rescue a little bit?
MS. KENT: Please.
MR. KRUL: Would it be fair to say that by the next meeting, perhaps, when an Assistant Secretary has been installed and a review process has been at least initiated that you'd have a better -- I mean right now things are sort of in limbo.
MS. KENT: I mean this is normal for transition. But it really is a transition and the new team needs to look at everything, as I would want to do if I were part of the new team. Bruce, help me.
MR. KRUL: Right. I tried that before, he yelled at me.
MR. SWANSON: In all seriousness, I think there is no reason to believe that Marthe is able to give you an assurance she's going to know anymore next time than this time. This time she recognizes the question. She might not even recognize the question next time.
MR. KRUL: Any further questions or comments for Noah? Thank you, Noah. Thank you for coming and giving that presentation. Okay. We've reached that part of the agenda that everybody's looking for. And before I adjourn this group all I want to say is that this room never changes. There's still no energy crisis in this part of the DOL building. We stand adjourned. Thank you. Thank you, committee. And we'll see you tomorrow morning.
(Whereupon, at 3:480 p.m., the meeting was recessed to reconvene at 9:00 a.m. on Friday, March 16, 2001.)
This is to certify that the foregoing proceedings of a meeting for the Advisory Committee on Construction Safety and Health, held on March 15, 2001, were transcribed as herein appears and that this is the original transcript thereof.
Susan Renee Hopkins