National Advisory Committee on Occupational Safety & Health


Minutes of August 18, 2004 Meeting



U.S. Department of Labor
200 Constitution Avenue NW
Washington, D.C. 20210



Chair Pete DeLuca opened the meeting of the National Advisory Committee on Occupational Safety and Health (NACOSH) at 9:13 a.m. on Wednesday, August 18, 2004. Approximately 45 members of the public were in attendance. The following NACOSH members were present:


Peter DeLuca, JD Public Administrator, Oregon Occupational Safety and Health Division
Alan C. McMillan Public President and CEO, National Safety Council
Vickie Wells, MS Public Director Occupational Safety and Health San Francisco Department of Public Health
Catherine L. Thomsen , MPH Public Oregon Dept. of Human Services, Health Services
Jim Swartz Mgmt. Director, Corporate Safety and Compliance Delta Airlines
Susan Eckerly Mgmt. Vice President, Federal Public Policy, National Federation of Independent Business
Emory Knowles, III, CSP,CIH Safety Manager, Industrial Hygiene and Safety Northrop Grumman
James Stanley Safety President, F.D.R. Safety
Donald Carson Labor Center Director, Hazmat Program International Union of Operating Engineers
James Blessman, MD, MPH Health Assistant Professor, Wayne State University
Julia Faucett, RN, Ph.D. Health

Professor and Director, Occupational and Environmental Health Nursing Program University of California


Mr. DeLuca, NACOSH Chair, called the meeting to order and welcomed everyone. Mr. Henshaw, Assistant Secretary for Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), and Dr. Howard, Director, National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH), welcomed the Committee as well as the entire Committee for coming to the meeting.


Mr. DeLuca asked the Committee to introduce themselves and tell people about their backgrounds. All Committee members and the Committee contacts introduced themselves.


Mr. Henshaw gave a special thanks to the new members of the Committee. Mr. Henshaw introduced his new staff member, Dr. Keith Goddard, Director, Directorate of Evaluation and Analysis, and indicated that Mr. Goddard will provide guidance in helping the agency with its mission.

Mr. Henshaw mentioned progress on OSHA’s triple bottom line, which is to reduce injuries, illnesses, and deaths that occur in this country. He indicated that BLS estimated that there were 4.7 million workplace injuries and illnesses in 2002, at a rate of 5.3 per 100 full-time employees. Mr. Henshaw indicated that this represented a new reporting system, which began in 2002; the numbers are not directly comparable to the BLS statistics from 2001. He indicated that they are lower than the 5.3 million injuries and illnesses estimated in 2001, which represented a rate of 5.7 cases per 100 full-time workers. Mr. Henshaw indicated that since the goal was zero; there is still plenty of room for improvement. He indicated that OSHA is doing everything it can to drive down the numbers, and needed the help of the Committee to be more effective in that effort.

Mr. Henshaw indicated that the President proposed a fiscal year 2005 budget of $661.6 million for OSHA, an increase of $4.1 million over this year’s proposal. He mentioned that the President’s request would also allocate funds to expand outreach, increased consultation, investigate whistleblower complaints, and redirect training grants to focus on developing materials rather than actually holding training classes.

Mr. Henshaw discussed the issue exchange group, which has OSHA and NIOSH moving forward in a formal process of cooperation to ensure effective interaction between the two agencies. Mr. Henshaw indicated that the two agencies have conducted three of four meetings. He indicated that the strategic and emerging issues group were focusing on specific areas, such as; homeland security, worker protection against avian flu, standards and guidance in examining control banding, global harmonization of hazard communication, and specific health issues such as TB, chromium, beryllium, and other compounds. Mr. Henshaw mentioned that other groups were focusing on the steps for a healthier U.S. Workforce initiative. He indicated that the groups also addressing cooperative efforts around data quality, training and education programs, and identifying better ways to market safety and health.

Mr. Henshaw mentioned that OSHA is working on many fronts internationally. He indicated that the agency has had the fourth conference with the European Union. He indicated that the agency will have its fourth conference in Orlando coming up in 2005 in conjunction with the National Safety Congress as a secretariat of the World Congress, which will be held in Orlando in the fall of 2005. Mr. Henshaw mentioned that the agency assisted safety authorities in Dublin to create a VPP program in Ireland. He also indicated that documents were recently signed with Mexico to reinforce cooperation with the 45 consulates in the U.S. to assure safe and healthful working conditions for Mexican workers. Mr. Henshaw further indicated that the agency will be meeting with safety and health leaders in both Mexico and Canada in New Orleans during the National Safety Congress to continue the tri-national cooperation. Mr. Henshaw thanked Jim Swartz and Don Carson for volunteering to be part of the delegation as we proceed on this tri-national occupational safety and health group advancing safety and health in all three countries, Canada, the U.S., and Mexico. He also mentioned that the agency signed an agreement with China in June. He indicated that OSHA will work with the Chinese State Administration of Work Safety on issues of enforcement, emergency response, the role of private insurers on worker safety and health, raising public awareness on worker safety and health, data collection and analysis, and hazardous chemical regulation and enforcement.

Mr. Henshaw mentioned that in the area of enforcement, with three quarters remaining in fiscal year 2004 completed, the agency was on target to meet the goal of 37,300 inspections this year, and will exceed that goal. He indicated that fatality investigations were down by more than 10 percent. Mr. Henshaw indicated that the agency was continuing the site-specific targeting program. He mentioned that about 13,000 employers received letters again this past spring advising them that they had high injury and illness rates. Mr. Henshaw commented briefly on the New York Times article that the agency had refused a FOIA, on releasing the data. Mr. Henshaw mentioned that the court ruled against the agency in that case and that the agency is now contemplating the next move as a result of that court action. He also indicated that the agency has issued a Federal Register notice asking for comments on the site-specific targeting process. 

Mr. Henshaw mentioned that there was some specific progress to report on with respect to the enhanced enforcement program. He indicated that of the 30,134 inspections conducted by mid-July of this year, 197 are classified as an enhanced enforcement case, with 166, or 84 percent, of those involving fatalities. He indicated that more than half of the cases were in construction. Mr. Henshaw further indicated that when circumstances warrant, cases will be referred to the Justice Department for consideration for criminal prosecution.

Mr. Henshaw indicated that OSHA was moving forward on developing standards and is currently working on more than 25 rules.

Mr. Henshaw told the Committee that outreach, education, and compliance assistance is the critical component of our effort to drive down injuries, illnesses and fatalities to zero. He indicated that the agency expects to have more than 50 million visitors to the OSHA web site this fiscal year. Mr. Henshaw mentioned that OSHA has posted three new e-tools, a new Hispanic compliance assistance page offering educational and training resources to employers and workers, and many other things. Mr. Henshaw commented that the agency has an increased number of partnerships and alliances. He indicated that today there are 1,115 VPP sites, and the agency has added 101 SHARP sites to the 699 that was reported to the Committee last December. Mr. Henshaw further added that OSHA has doubled the number of alliance partners, from 100 when the Committee last met, to 200. Mr. Henshaw told the Committee that OSHA also has 209 strategic partnerships active currently.

Mr. Henshaw mentioned that the agency has completed the final guidelines for retail groceries. He also indicated that OSHA is very close in finishing the poultry guidelines, and continuing the work on guidelines for shipyards. Mr. Henshaw reported that on January 27, in conjunction with the National Advisory Committee on Ergonomics meeting, OSHA held a symposium for published researchers to discuss current and projected research needs.

Mr. Henshaw commented that hazard communication is another area that the agency is emphasizing. He indicated that OSHA has studied the compliance problems with the standard and has put in place a process to achieve greater compliance with the existing requirements. Mr. Henshaw indicated that the agency launched the hazard communication initiative on a new portal page of OSHA’s web site. He further mentioned that the new web page includes a draft model training program that can be adapted to work sites that use chemicals and draft hazard determination guidance for chemical manufacturers and employers. Mr. Henshaw also indicated that the agency is developing a guide to the globally harmonized system of classification and labeling of chemicals to increase public awareness. Mr. Henshaw indicated that all of the attention to hazard communication and the quality of MSDS will improve the quality of Material Safety Data Sheets as we go forward.

Mr. Henshaw mentioned that another critical issue the OSHA has been focusing on is emergency response, of getting this country prepared to deal with the aftermath of either natural disaster or a man-made disaster. He indicated that OSHA’s goal is to be ready for an incident, if it occurs, to support our nation’s efforts to minimize the impact of an incident and assure that those folks involved, those workers involved, are properly protected.

Mr. Henshaw mentioned that the agency is continuing to increase its outreach on the Hispanic employers and workers. He mentioned that there was a meeting held in Orlando last month. He indicated it was the first ever DOL/OSHA Hispanic Safety and Health Summit. Mr. Henshaw expressed his gratitude for NACOSH members Emory Knowles and Don Carson, who represented NACOSH at the summit. Mr. Henshaw indicated that more than 500 workers, employers, community organizations, and trade group representatives joined us to hear about best practices and exchange ideas on ways to bridge the cultural and language gaps, and other issues that impact safety and health among non-English speaking, or in particular, Spanish-speaking, workers.

Mr. Henshaw indicated that the agency is working on motor vehicle safety. He mentioned a presidential motor vehicle seat belt initiative which calls for seat belt use in all stations of a moving motor vehicle. Mr. Henshaw indicated that this initiative will be announced at the National Safety Congress in Orlando.

Mr. Henshaw closed the overview by mentioning that he was looking forward to even further advancements with the help and guidance of the Committee to make a greater impact on worker safety and health in this country.


Dr. Howard opened the overview by mentioning he wanted to concentrate on activities related to the OSHA-NIOSH Issues Exchange Group, Research to Practice Initiative, emergency response activities, motor vehicle safety, and nanotechnology. Dr. Howard indicated that creating a formal Issues Exchange Group was extremely important because it sent a very strong message to everyone at NIOSH and OSHA that we were committed to working together. He further added that there has been a distinct improvement in communication and collaborations between the two agencies. Regarding the Research to Practice Initiative, Dr. Howard indicated that its goal would be to shift the research paradigm from having as end point the publication of scientific papers. Through the initiative, the infrastructure will be provided for research findings, technologies, and information to be transferred and translated into highly effective prevention practices and products which are adopted in the workplace. Dr. Howard provided a brief update on a few partnership issues. He indicated that collaboration with manufacturers, labor, and industry, NIOSH developed a personal dust monitor for assessing coal miners’ exposure to dust in underground coal mines. Dr. Howard mentioned that the Institute recently signed an alliance with OSHA and the National Wood Pallet Container Association. He also mentioned that NIOSH was developing a partnership with the American Academy of Clinical Toxicology. Regarding emergency preparedness activities, Dr. Howard mentioned that Herb Linn from NIOSH and Brian Jackson from the Rand Corporation would give an exciting presentation during the meeting. Dr. Howard mentioned that NIOSH has recently initiated a large NORA program to further understand the potential occupational health concerns related to nanotechnologies. He indicated that related research essentially involves groups of scientific activities in technologies of devices or materials at a scale of less than 100 nanometers. He further indicated that the Department of Labor estimated that currently, about one million workers are regularly exposed to nano particles and that this may grow to two to four million within the decade. In closing, Dr. Howard mentioned that he believed that the Committee was extremely valuable for NIOSH, and indicated that his agency has received tremendous ideas from Committee members. He also thanked Mr. Henshaw for getting the Issues Exchange Group moving.


Mr. McMillan commended OSHA on its upcoming initiative to focus on motor vehicle safety of workers as a leading cause of death to workers, and the focus on the federal sector. Mr. McMillan indicated that he would like to see the motor vehicle safety programming and activities filter out into the private sector workforce as best practices, and also try to filter back to families of workers. Dr. Howard indicated that the Committee would need the National Safety Council to facilitate progress on this issue. Mr. Henshaw agreed with Dr. Howard and commended the National Safety Council for working in that area because of the lost productivity that comes from injuries off the job, as well as injuries on the job.

With regard to the CDC Center for Health Marketing, R2P focus, Dr. Faucett asked Dr. Howard if the researchers were going to be asked to develop ideas in this area. Dr. Howard responded that NIOSH wanted researchers to go back to the lab and do research. Dr. Faucett also asked to what extent does this overlap what might happen in the natural world of enterprise should they discover wonderful products that could be developed and sold. Dr. Howard indicated that he had not seen that happen yet. Dr. Howard further indicated that certain products seem to be developed by the government because there have been market failures that prevent their development by private industry.

Ms. Wells expressed concern that the Committee didn’t have a chance to comment on the CDC reorganization effort before it was finalized. Dr. Howard indicated that the changes were a work in progress. Dr. Howard indicated that he did not want to comment on the organizational issue, but mentioned that the intent of the reorganization was to provide a mechanism to better coordinate activities across an organization that had for many years hosted, in a corporate sense, a number of different centers.

Ms. Thomsen asked if appropriations will be going to the broader group, to the coordinating center, and not be directly assigned to one of the individual centers within. Dr. Howard gave an affirmative response, but indicated that he did not have specific information about this issue.

Mr. Swartz commented that he encouraged the use of partnerships because there was a lot to gain from the various organizations that were mentioned.

Mr. Carson asked if there was anything on Site Disaster Worker Training Program that addresses these utilities in Florida because when you get in a rescue or a recovery scenario, people start taking chances. Mr. Henshaw indicated that OSHA met with the power companies in Florida on Saturday before they sent their crews out, and are meeting regularly with the crews to make sure they understand what the issues are and they’re protected.

Dr. Blessman commented that as chair of the Information Dissemination Workgroup, he wanted to state that the agencies have been very responsive to the recommendations of the Committee.

Chair DeLuca congratulated Dr. Howard on the Personal Dust Monitor Award that NIOSH received.



Mr. Frank Frodyma indicated that one of the things that OSHA is trying to do is measure its performance against the strategic plan. He went on to mention that OSHA has two major goals in its strategic plan and that we try to keep track of how we’re doing against accomplishing those goals. Mr. Frodyma indicated that BLS reported 5,524 workplace fatalities through 2002. He further indicated that of the 5,524 fatalities, OSHA actually investigated 1,789. Mr. Frodyma mentioned that OSHA does not have jurisdiction over the bulk of fatalities such as over-the-road motor vehicles, homicides or suicides. Mr. Frodyma indicated that between the federal and OSHA states, we conducted some 95,000 inspections through 2003, and it looks like we’re on track through 2004 to do as many as last year. Mr. Frodyma indicated that the agency was projected to do 3,100 consultation visits, and it appears that we are on track to do a little more than that this year. Mr. Frodyma indicated that it looks like the agency is increasing the number of Voluntary Protection Programs each year. Mr. Frodyma indicated that all of the Agency’s performance indicators and all of our measures look like the Agency is getting where it wants to go.


Mr. Stanley asked if you have a multiple-fatality, does that count as one inspection. Mr. Frodyma responded that the chart doesn’t count fatality investigations as much as it counts total number of fatalities.

Mr. McMillan asked if it counted for a delivery truck driver, a traveling salesman, or whatever, in a motor vehicle has a crash and the person that is killed is a non-worker. Mr. Frodyma responded that the deaths that BLS counts would have to be workers.


Mr. Bill Perry discussed the regulatory agenda. Mr. Perry indicated that some projects are in the early stages of development, such as hearing conservation in construction, Beryllium, Crystalline silica. He mentioned that Consensus standards update, hexavalent chromium, which is a health standard that is being prepared under a court mandated schedule, Subpart B – Electric Power Transmission, explosives, and general working conditions in shipyards. Mr. Perry indicated that the Agency is currently working on finalizing Employer payment for PPE, and vertical tandem lifts. He further indicated that the controlled negative fit test protocol was just published earlier this month, and Fire Protection in Shipyards is anticipated to be published as final rule later this month. Mr. Perry concluded his presentation by indicating that the U.S. is considering implementation of the Globally Harmonized System for hazard communication.


Mr. Knowles asked if the papers that were published on the control banding workshop were available on the web site. Mr. Perry indicated that he did not know, but he would check and let him know.


Mr. Richard Fairfax began his presentation by indicating that the Agency has identified 217 establishments for participation in the Enhanced Enforcement Initiative. He further indicated that of those 217, 183, or 84 percent, was related to fatalities and of the 183 fatalities, 94, or 51 percent of those, and was in construction. Mr. Fairfax indicated that in the spring, a Federal Register was published for comments regarding site-specific targeting. Mr. Fairfax mentioned that for the first 30 years of OSHA, we generally did more unprogrammed inspections versus programmed inspections. Mr. Fairfax further mentioned that for the last three years, we are running more programmed inspections than unprogrammed. He indicated that this was a good thing because it gives the Agency more opportunity to do some directed targeting. Mr. Fairfax indicated that the Agency is finding more violations on inspections. Specifically, he mentioned that OSHA is finding less “other-than-serious” violations and significantly more “serious” violations on inspections.


Dr. Faucett asked Mr. Fairfax if he could explain why the nursing homes are not of interest to OSHA. Mr. Fairfax indicated that nursing homes are an interest to the Agency. He further indicated that OSHA ran a national emphasis program in that area and it is identified in the Strategic Management Plan. Mr. Fairfax mentioned that the national emphasis program was canceled, but just rolled nursing homes into the site-specific targeting program.

Mr. Knowles asked does OSHA plan, relative to the MSDSs, to require the enhancement or the expansion of reactive chemical hazard data on Material Safety Data Sheets as an alternative to a standard. Mr. Fairfax indicated that OSHA is running a program over five years where we would identify 10 separate chemicals in each of the five years to evaluate the accuracy of the Material Safety Data Sheets. Mr. Fairfax further stated that some of that may involve PSM or reactive chemicals identified under the PSM standard, but we’re still selecting chemicals and trying to develop the program, but that will not be launched until that guidance document is finalized.

Mr. Stanley commented that of the 217 establishments being inspected under the enhanced enforcement inspection procedures was he correct in assuming they weren’t targeted because of data that OSHA had because of a fatality or complaints and decided to expand the inspections. Mr. Fairfax indicated that was correct.

Mr. McMillan mentioned that OSHA has seen a change in the balance of programmed versus unprogrammed inspections and more activities are being directed to where the Agency wants to direct them. Mr. McMillan asked if OSHA was doing some measurement of those results in those industries, in those companies to see what you’re getting from that. Mr. Fairfax indicated that the Agency has done quite a bit more local emphasis programming, targeting industries or hazards, and we do an annual evaluation of those local emphasis programs at the regional level.


Ms. Ruth McCully began her presentation by discussing the National Emergency Management Plan, which is OSHA’s first Homeland Security directive which was signed and issued last December. Ms. McCully indicated that one of the cornerstones of the National Emergency Management Plan is regional Emergency Management Plans which are under development right now. Ms. McCully added that the Agency has developed four specialized response teams which are coordinated out of the Health Response Team in Salt Lake City. She further added that OSHA has specialized teams in collapsed structure, chemical hazards, biological and radiological hazards, and these are made up of staff not only from Salt Lake City, but a field staff so that there is staff throughout the country. Ms. McCully indicated that OSHA has established an Emergency Preparedness Executive Steering Committee which is made up of the executives across the Agency, as well as representatives from state plans and state consultation projects. McCully mentioned that OSHA has been involved with the Department of Homeland Security in development of the National Response Plan and the National Incident Management System. Ms. McCully indicated that the Agency’s role in a nationally significant event is one of technical assistance rather than enforcement.


Ms. Thomsen expressed interest in young worker health and safety projects. Ms. McCully indicated this was another area of emphasis in the Directorate and indicated that OSHA and NIOSH have worked together and developed several projects in response to several young worker fatalities last year.


Mr. Bob Pitulej started his presentation by indicating that the web site contains a lot of information relating to outreach activities. Mr. Pitulej discussed the Safety and Health Achievement Recognition Program (SHARP) and mentioned that it was focused on small businesses. He further mentioned that the Agency had recently launched a Hispanic compliance assistance page on the public web site. Mr. Pitulej indicated that the current number involved in Voluntary Protection Programs is Alliances, 222, Partnerships, 209, and SHARPs, 800.



Dr. Greg Wagner discussed a new initiative that NIOSH hoped to launch with an October symposium called Steps to a Healthier U.S. Workforce. Dr. Wagner went on to explain that work and health are inextricably intertwined and that people who work tend to be healthier than people who do not work. Dr. Wagner further indicated that currently, the protection of the health of working populations and the promotion of health in individuals tend to be disconnected. Dr. Wagner commented that NIOSH was trying to bridge the gaps between the health promotion community on the one hand, and the occupational health and safety community on the other.


Dr. Faucett asked is the potential dilution, if you will, of the NIOSH efforts for truly work-related injuries and illnesses. Dr. Wagner gave an affirmative response.

Mr. McMillan asked if the Injury Prevention Center also fully vested in working with NIOSH on this initiative. Dr. Wagner responded that it is, and indicated that several other CDC centers are working with NIOSH.

Dr. Blessman commented that one thing the Agency may want to consider is efforts that look at the impact of primary health care on kind of worker occupational safety and health. Dr. Wagner indicated that this integrated approach understands health risks within and outside of work is critically important.


Mr. Herb Linn from NIOSH and Mr. Brian Jackson from the Rand Corporation gave a brief overview of the contents of the recent Rand report. Mr. Jackson provided an overview of the joint RAND/NIOSH research project that focused on safety management during disaster and terrorism responses. Mr. Jackson indicated that the recommendations grew from the experience of 9/11 at the World Trade Center, and Pentagon sites, and the lessons learned about protecting emergency responders as they responded to large-scale incidents, and focused on how to better prepare to respond to any future events.


Mr. Stanley commented that the group did a great job on the report and wondered if the responders were wearing the appropriate personal protective equipment. Mr. Jackson responded that not at all times, after a team of industrial hygienists was brought in, its use was greatly improved.

Ms. Thomsen indicated that she would like to encourage the group to make sure that this information gets out to the people in public health.

Chairman DeLuca commented that establishing the relationship you need to establish prior to the time that you ever need to put the plan into action is critical, and the Rand report has included that information.

Mr. Swartz was curious if any references to the NTSB were included. Mr. Jackson indicated that they focused on looking at things just from the responder.


Mr. Emory Knowles indicated that the summit was quite an interesting conference and provided a tremendous opportunity for labor, industry, the agencies, community groups, and even vendors to get together and exchange ideas. Mr. Knowles mentioned that many of the speakers were leaders in the Hispanic community, Hispanic leaders within the agencies, and other recognized experts. Mr. Knowles added that the initial portion of the conference focused on the cultural and societal issues that have been impacted, or potentially impacted, the increase in Hispanic worker fatalities in this country. Mr. Knowles indicated that there were a series of presentations on best practices during the summit.

Mr. Don Carson added that he wanted to commend the Department of Labor and Assistant Secretary Henshaw for going forward with the summit. Mr. Carson commented that there was a need for more summits and conferences regarding this issue and that we need to move forward.

Ms. Kim Lazor indicated that she was charged with coordinating the summit. She further indicated that the OSHA web site has been updated with Mr. Henshaw’s speech and Dr. Howard’s speech. Ms. Lazor indicated that the summit general session proceedings were video taped, and the agency was in the process of putting together a short video that highlights the events.


Ms. Veneta Chatmon gave a presentation regarding travel issues for the committee members.

Mr. Alan McMillan gave a brief presentation regarding the World Safety Conference. Mr. McMillan indicated that there will be an opening session of the World Safety Congress in Orlando, Florida starting September 18. Mr. McMillan indicated that the event was sponsored by the U.S. Department of Labor, ILAB, OSHA, MSHA, and a number of partners.


Chairman DeLuca opened the discussion by asking the Committee their areas of interest. The Committee and Dr. Howard and Mr. Henshaw discussed the roles of the Committee and all parties agreed that the Committee would be of great help to OSHA and NIOSH with Hispanic Outreach, Motor Vehicle Safety, and Emergency Response. Consequently, NACOSH members formed three workgroups to address those three issues.


Mr. Henshaw, Dr. Howard, and the Committee discussed some possible dates for the next meeting and subsequently decided to allow the Committee support folks to assist in coordinating a date for the next meeting.


Mr. Henshaw and Dr. Howard thanked the Committee for their time and indicated that all of their efforts were appreciated. Chairman DeLuca adjourned the meeting.