March 30-31, 1999

The eleventh meeting of the OSHA Maritime Advisory Committee for Occupational Safety and Health (MACOSH) was called to order at 9:00 a.m. on March 30, 1999, in Baltimore, Maryland. An electronic transcript of the full meeting (March 30-31, 1999) was sent separately to you for your review in April 1999. A record of the MACOSH members in attendance is noted on this transcript.

The Executive Summary and the transcript of the January 12-13, 1999, meeting were approved unanimously. After the call to order and taking of attendance, members of the audience were asked to introduce themselves and to identify their organizations. Larry Liberatore began the meeting with opening comments and a brief overview of OSHA maritime activities. Chap Pierce then gave an overview of OSHA Safety Standards activities. He discussed OSHA’s development of a plain language version of the dip tank standard and the soon-to-be-published (March 31, 1999) PPE payment standard. He mentioned that the occupational safety and health program standard was still a very high priority for OSHA rulemaking. Chap recognized MACOSH’s effort in developing a draft standard for the maritime industry. Committee members strongly encouraged OSHA to publish a separate OS&H standard for the maritime industry. He also discussed the recordkeeping standard which should be finalized in early CY 2000 and the process safety management standard which should be published as an ANPR in late FY 1999. Finally, Chap summarized the status of the negotiated rulemaking for shipyard fire protection which he thought would be finalized in early FY 2000.

Paul Bolon then gave a summary of OSHA Health Standards activities. He mentioned that the silica standard was being revised with an ongoing technical/economic feasibility analysis and health effects risk assessment. Paul also mentioned that the ergonomics standard was moving forward aggressively and that OSHA was planning to publish a draft standard in Fall 1999. He summarized the status of the following standards: PEL update, indoor air quality, hexavalent chromium update, metalworking fluids, and respirator-assigned protection factors. Finally, Paul mentioned that OSHA standards process was now focused on sever "super teams" which were charged with finalizing specific standards (e.g., the maritime super team is responsible for the fire protection standards, vertical tandem lifts, and general working conditions). Several MACOSH committee members encouraged OSHA to use the committee to see feedback on relevant maritime standards – this would foster important 2-way communication.

After a short break, Herb Washington gave an update of the OSHA compliance program. He summarized OSHA’s new 4-point program for enhancing compliance outreach: (1) strong enforcement presence; (2) creative partnerships; (3) improved rulemaking; and (4) outreach and training. Because of the importance of this activity in the maritime industry, MACOSH members encouraged OSHA to provide a compliance update at every MACOSH meeting.

After lunch on the first day, the committee split into breakout groups for the remainder of the day to discuss items on the agenda. For the shipyard breakout group, Jim Thornton summarized the draft focused training program and Kathie Chumley summarized the draft OSHA mentoring program – the breakout group recommended that the full committee vote for their approval and submit them to Mr. Jeffress as completed MACOSH products for implementation by OSHA. Kathie also presented an overview of the Maritech ASE strategic plan. This plan consists of six initiatives to help stimulate the domestic ship building industry: (1) shipyard production process technologies; (2) business process technologies; (3) product design and material technologies; (4) system technologies; (5) facilities and tooling; and (6) cross-cutting issues. Next, Ken Hunt from OSHA’s Technical Support Directorate summarized a draft document on hazard abatement for the shipyard industry. Also, Doug Howard (alternate to Chico McGill on the committee) presented a plan used at Ingalls that employs ground fault interrupters to prevent electrocutions. In the longshoring breakout group, Mr. Joe DeBois summarized the data initiative project for marine cargo handling issues. Then, Chet Matthews and Larry Reed presented a brief overview of the shipyard ergonomics study – the longshoring group agreed to have the NIOSH/SP-5 study team visit two longshoring facilities and to report back to the breakout group at the next meeting. Next, the longshoring group spent much time discussing the vertical tandem lift issue. Finally, Chuck Gordon from the DOL solicitors office gave an overview of the recently finalized powered industrial truck standard.

The full committee reconvened on March 31 at 8:30 a.m. to vote on acceptance of the mentoring and focused training programs for the maritime industry. The votes were unanimous in favor of acceptance. At 9:00 a.m., Charles Jeffress, Assistant Secretary of Labor for Occupational Safety and Health, presented an update of important OSHA programs. He summarized the following important OSHA priorities: (1) OSHA focused enforcement; (2) partnerships; (3) education and outreach; and (4) improved rulemaking. He then discussed the top priorities for OSHA rulemaking, including ergonomics, safety and health program, and recordkeeping. Mr. Jeffress also discussed important Congressional and personnel issues. Of particular importance to MACOSH was his decision to implement a 3-pronged approach for leadership in maritime safety and health. This leadership includes Larry Liberatore as the continued Designed Federal Official for MACOSH, Chap Pierce representing Maritime Safety Standards, and Tom Pope representing Maritime Compliance. Although this fell short of MACOSH’s wish for one maritime facilitator, the committee showed its appreciation for his decision on this issue. Committee members reminded Mr. Jeffress that MACOSH had finalized a maritime-specific OS&H program standard and the shipyard group had endorsed the ergonomics study that was in process. Mr. Jeffress agreed to give special maritime consideration to both standards. The committee requested that it be briefed on relevant regulatory and compliance issues so as not to be blind-sided in the future. The committee agreed to send a small team to DC to present an overview to Mr. Jeffress of the recently MACOSH-approved focused training and mentoring programs – this meeting was subsequently held in Mary 1999. Finally, Iona agreed to prepare a letter requesting that, although appreciative of Mr. Jeffress’ decision on maritime leadership, MACOSH would still prefer one facilitator for maritime safety and health.

After lunch, the full committee reconvened to discuss future MACOSH products and to plan for the next meeting to be held in San Francisco on June 29-30, 1999. Subsequent to the March meeting, the committee held two conference calls to prepare for the May meeting with Mr. Jeffress and to finalize the agenda for the June meeting.