Advisory Committee on Construction Safety and Health (ACCSH)
Action Items/Significant Events
Minutes of the October 7-8, 1998, Meeting
U.S. Department of Labor
Frances Perkins Building
Rooms N-3427 AB&C
The meeting of the Advisory Committee on Construction Safety and Health (ACCSH) was called to order by the Acting Chair, Stewart Burkhammer, at 9:00 a.m. on Wednesday, October 7, 1998. The following members were present for all or part of the meeting:
- Stewart Burkhammer Acting Chair Mgt. VP & Mgr. Of Safety and Health Services, Bechtel Corporation
- Felipe Devora Mgt. Safety Dir.,Fretz Construction
- Robert Masterson Mgt. Manager, Safety and Loss Control The Ryland Group
- Owen Smith Mgt. President, Anzalone & Associates
- Stephen D. Cooper Labor Exec. Dir.,Intl. Assoc. of Bridge, Struct. & Orn. Iron Worker
- Larry A. Edginton Labor Dir. of Safety and Health Intl. Union of Op. Engineers
- Harry Payne, Jr. State Commissioner, N. C. Dept. of Labor
- Marie Haring Sweeney Fed. Chief, Doc. Dev. Branch Ed. and Info. Div., NIOSH
- Stephen Cloutier Mgt. VP,Safety/Loss Prev. Mgr. J.A. Jones Construction
- Danny Evans State Chief Admin. Off. OSH Enforcement Div. of Indust. Rel., Nevada
- Jane F. Williams Public Safety and Health Consultant
- Michael Buchet Public Construction Division Manager
Labor Representatives Gladys Harrington and William C. Rhoten were unable to attend. Approximately 65 members of the public were in attendance at various times. Acting Chair Stewart Burkhammer introduced himself and welcomed the public. Mr. Swanson, the OSHA Directorate of Construction (DOC) representative briefed the attendees on exit procedure in case of fire or other emergency evacuation situation. Burkhammer discussed the issue of Work Groups prior to the scheduled briefings. His primary concern was the sparse turnout for several recent Work Group meetings and he requested that everyone who desired to attend Work Groups sign up on the sheets provided at the welcome table outside the meeting rooms. He pointed out that there was a sign-up sheet for each Work Group and that people should sign up for each one they wanted to attend, including full mailing address, phone number, fax number, and e-mail address where available. A discussion ensued concerning whether it was possible to announce Work Group meetings via the Federal Register or via OSHA's web page with phone/fax/e-mail notification by the assigned DOC liaisons as the back-up method. Burkhammer requested that Sarah Shortall from the Office of Solicitor brief the group on the legal standing of Work Groups and how the Charter describes their function. Her remarks revealed that other than the right of ACCSH to have Work Groups, very little is covered in the statutes. They must be open to the public, and notice must be given. Shortall did state that a blanket statement in the Federal Register that schedules and information for all Work Groups would be posted on the OSHA web page would satisfy the statutory notice requirement. Swanson indicated that this was feasible, but that he also wanted to caucus with the Work Group chairs and the assigned DOC liaisons to attempt to determine the cause of the poor attendance. Burkhammer recognized Ms. Jane Williams, who made a motion for the formation of a Work Group Guidelines Task Force to establish guidelines to facilitate ACCSH Work Groups. She suggested that such guidelines be in two parts: Part 1, to establish the functions and responsibilities of OSHA to facilitate ACCSH Work Groups; and Part 2, to establish the function and responsibility of ACCSH Work Group chairs and members. The motion was seconded and approved unanimously by the committee. Williams volunteered to chair the Work Group, Steve Cooper volunteered to Co-Chair, and Burkhammer said he would attend this Work Group which will be entitled ACCSH Task Force. Williams agreed to discuss the Work Group attendance problems with Cloutier and Swanson in an attempt to track down the cause. In addition, Williams volunteered to submit a draft of the recommended guidelines at the next ACCSH. The minutes of the previous meeting were accepted with no change.
Michael Buchet and Owen Smith gave a briefing on the work product of the Scaffolding Work Group. Buchet reported that the work group had voted unanimously the day before to forward to ACCSH a recommended draft Appendix B to Subpart L. The draft was made available to attendees, and Buchet pointed out the highlights of what they were recommending, emphasizing that they used the last Work Group's work product and worked from a set of notes and comments that had been previously submitted. He explained the rationale behind many of the minor changes made, for instance, the additional language about bracing at scaffolding access points, and the clarification of types of ladders specified. The intent was to produce a document that would serve as a one-stop guide. Buchet explained that this was why they recommend replacing many footnotes which referred to other documents which the user might not have access to and inserting explanatory text. Buchet pointed out that this philosophy caused certain text blocks of very important information to be repeated in other sections, making the document larger. However, the group considered this to be an advantage to the user. Buchet announced the fact that the NIOSH Scaffolding test database will take approximately four years to complete. After the test protocols are developed, test drops will commence in October 1999 and take approximately three years to complete. When the database is available it will be a resource for everyone involved in designing, planning, and erecting scaffolding to use in enhancing worker safety. As Buchet and Smith went over the recommended draft, numerous questions were raised by committee members about the rationale for specific wording. There main issues revolved around the man-lift dangers and tie-off methods during the scaffolding erecting and dismantling phases, as well as the use of certain terms like "should" and "when feasible" and "adequately" in a non-mandatory appendix. After much discussion, Buchet made a motion that the work group report be submitted to OSHA for consideration; the motion was seconded and approved unanimously. The issue of whether to dissolve the Scaffolding Work Group was deferred until Thursday. In addition, it was decided that an edited version of OSHA 3150 (A Guide to Scaffold Use in the Construction Industry) would be provided to Swanson in accordance with the Work Group's request to consider re-publishing the document.
Marie Haring Sweeney was asked to brief the committee on the recent deliberations of the Data Collection Work Group. She discussed a set of recommendations that Dr. Ana Maria Osorio had made in July and suggested to OSHA that many of the recommendations be implemented, particularly how data is presented in terms of inspections, rates of inspections, and rates of fatalities. It was decided that Haring Sweeney would include these in her next report. She also discussed a phone meeting in September, where Berrien Zettler went over the strategic plan, and the Group reviewed it in terms of the data collection needs of OSHA as it pertains to construction. Although three key areas are amputation, silicosis, and lead, other areas, such as heat stress, were discussed. The main theme was that data, as currently compiled, is inadequate for use in developing strategies for accident and illness prevention. Haring Sweeney announced that the Work Group is going to try to gain assistance from BLS to work with the data and determine whether they can better quantify and qualify some of the information. She indicated that some good data on lead blood levels will be available in the near future. However, she had concerns about silicosis, because the majority of the data on this is from death certificates. This data is not particularly helpful in developing strategies for morbidity reduction. In addition, she discussed some promising sources of data on amputations, and how the data might be utilized. Burkhammer referred to the minutes from the July ACCSH meeting, and requested that the issues referred to the Data Collection Work Group be addressed in a report at the next meeting. In response to some further discussions about accident reporting data, Burkhammer requested that comments from committee members on improving the SF-170 be forwarded to Cooper to allow a consolidated submission to OSHA. Buchet requested OSHA's assistance in helping the Work Group identify some of the report coding, and BLS support in explaining what data they've captured and how the data is coded. Since contractors with fewer than 10 employees are not required to keep injuries and illness data, a way needs to be found to ascertain what the injury and illness rates are in this sector. Haring Sweeney suggested that since BLS does include them in their annual surveys, perhaps a way could be negotiated to capture more of the data. Burkhammer suggested including some representatives from small businesses in the Data Collection Work Group.
Jimmy Roberts gave a presentation on Interactive Training for the Construction Industry. He gave some background information on what his group in Salt Lake City has done in the past in the areas of data collection and dissemination. He also discussed their recent work developing on-line interactive advisors covering silica, respiratory protection, and the logging industry. He emphasized the logging industry advisor, using a live demonstration, because its complexity and content are similar to what he envisions for the construction advisor, which they are in the process of developing. Roberts solicited assistance from ACCSH in the form of a Work Group, which could provide his development team with review and content on a periodic basis as they are going through the development of the product. He said that conceptually he assumed they would begin by focusing on the four hazards that caused the most injuries and fatalities in line with OSHA's focus over the past few years. The board members were very impressed with the presentation, and an in-depth discussion took place exploring the many uses this kind of interactive tool could serve, especially in the training, safety awareness, and accident/illness prevention areas. Concerns were expressed as to how authoritative the information in the advisor might be, especially in light of the fact that some of the state plans have different enforcement policies, different interpretations, or in some cases different standards than the uniform federal standard. Roberts replied that this situation can be accommodated in the software by having the user indicate what state they are working in, and tailoring the information supplied to the user if necessary. Haring Sweeney suggested including information on a variety of common construction injuries including: musculoskeletal disorders, particularly back injuries; noise-induced hearing loss and how one might protect one's self from such a preventable disorder; and eye injuries (one of the five most frequently treated problems among construction workers). The board agreed to form a Work Group to support the Construction Industry Advisor project.
Edith Nash and Brad Hammock from the Solicitor's Office briefed the committee on the Silica PEL. They requested an ACCSH Work Group be formed to advise them on problems that participants in the Construction Industry have in complying with the current PEL for silica. They were particularly interested in Construction Industry concerns about: methods of measuring silica; the availability of laboratories to do the analytical work; and whether the methods are reliable enough. In addition they desired to know what suggestions they (the Work Group) had for the future. Nash and Hammock indicated that they aim to produce a proposal by late spring of 2000. Edginton moved that a Silica-In-Construction Work Group be formed. The motion was seconded, and unanimously approved. Haring Sweeney agreed to chair the Work Group and Edginton agreed to co-chair.
Buchet moved that a Work Group be created to assist Salt Lake City in creating the Construction Advisor, the motion was seconded, and unanimously approved. Buchet agreed to chair and Masterson to co-chair the Salt Lake City Construction Advisor Work Group.
Adam Finkel, Director of Health Standards, made some introductory remarks and introduced Tom Galassi who gave a very detailed overview on the Respirator Final Rule that was promulgated in January 1998. Finkel reported that four law suits were filed against the standard soon after it was promulgated, but two of these were quickly withdrawn. The two remaining lawsuits involve the liberalization of the medical surveillance provision that allows some non-physician practitioners more access to the program than they had under some standards in the past. Secretary voicing concerns about the standard's implications for the Construction Industry, but he requested that they allow the presentation to proceed and discuss these issues afterwards. Finkel gave a very complete briefing on the subject. Finkel announced that the following respirator rule reference documents are now available on the web: a compliance directive; a very lengthy question and answer document; and the small entity compliance guide. Galassi noted that the compliance date for this rule was 5 October 1998, and that it applies to all industries except agriculture. He also re-stated OSHA's long standing position that, where feasible, engineering controls should be used to eliminate hazards and that respirators are to be used to supplement engineering controls and in situations where engineering controls are not feasible.
Burkhammer stated that the respirator speakers be back at 2:00pm in order to allow questions. Burkhammer also stated that his company had estimated that the changes to the respirator rule may have doubled the cost of implementing the standard. In addition, he mentioned that Noah Connell would brief the Multi-employer work site policy later in the afternoon, thus requiring some Work Group reports to be moved to Thursday.
Marie Haring Sweeney reported on the Musculoskeletal Disorders Work Group. She reported that an update on ergonomic standard preparations was briefed to the group and that current plans do not call for a standard applicable to the Construction Industry. In spite of this, Haring Sweeney stated that, at the next meeting, the Work Group would discuss the proposal that was drafted in 1995 for an ergonomic standard in construction.
Larry Edginton made a brief report on the Subpart N - Cranes - Work Group which has met once formally. Edginton indicated that deliberation thus far has led them to think that they should consider not just modifications to the existing standard, but there might be a need for a special emphasis program within the construction directorate focusing on cranes. He also stated that they are looking into a pilot program now under way in Region 1. In addition, the Work Group had discussed whether specific portions of ANSI B-30 should be included in the standard. It was decided that they would continue to pursue this issue. Edginton concluding by stating that he anticipated presenting a more detailed work plan and time lines at the next ACCSH.
Stephen Cloutier reported on the activities of the Safety and Health Program Standard and Training Work Group. He reported that the Work Group met the week before and had discussed what frequent and regular inspections on a construction site means the consensus was that every contractor should inspect its work areas daily, and that the controlling employer should monitor the safety performance of each contractor on a weekly basis. Cloutier emphasized that the Group wanted to go on record once again requesting that compliance officers receive training in construction methods and industry practices prior to going to construction sites. They also recommended that the Training Institute offer courses on steel erection, blasting, and demolition. In addition they recommended changing the structure of the OSHA 10 and 30 hour courses by taking 2 hours out of the 10 hour course, and adding these to the 30 hour course, resulting in an 8 hour course and a 32 hour course. Cloutier also reported that the Group had several recommendations concerning the OSHA 500course. Cloutier stated that the Work Group would submit a report at the next ACCSH meeting.
Burkhammer then introduced the Assistant Secretary of Labor, Charles Jeffress. Jeffress gave a status of budget legislation, saying that it appears that enforcement funding will be reduced, if the House version prevails. He assessed the impact as the loss of approximately 140 positions. If the Senate version prevails, it will result in an increase slightly more than inflation, but in any event he did not expect any major growth in OSHA. Jeffress also reported that Congress has passed legislation making OSHA responsible for enforcement activities at Post Office facilities, including citations, abatement dates, penalties, 11C discrimination investigations, etc. Unfortunately, although this will require significant additional OSHA resources, no additional funding has been provided. Jeffress also discussed the possibility that OSHA will take over safety enforcement on DOE sites. It now appears that this may not take place until fiscal year 2000, although there is still some transfer funding in the current bill, from DOE to DOL, for more planning and pilot studies for the time when OSHA does take responsibility for DOE sites. Jeffress announced a 13 November conference where six of the OSHA partnership operations will make public presentations on their programs and how business, labor and OSHA are cooperating in these partnerships. He indicated that ACCSH members would be receiving a formal invitation to the event. He went on to brief the committee on the upcoming regulations schedule. The record keeping regulation schedule will allow significant education during the second half of 1999 with enforcement of the new regulations commencing 1 January 2000. In reference to the respiratory protection rule, Jeffress stated that OSHA had been promised publication of a guide for small businesses on how to comply with the revised standard. In light of the fact that the compliance guide has not been published, Jeffress announced that OSHA's intent is to enforce the new rule, but employers who are in compliance with the hold rule will be given additional 90 days to come into compliance. This is not an administrative stay of the standard -where violations are found in the next 90 days, OSHA will note them, and there will be a citation with no penalty, provided the employer is in compliance with the old standard. Employers who are not in compliance with the old rule will be issued citations and appropriate penalties. In terms of abatement, if an employer is found to be in compliance with the old rule, and is waiting on the OSHA information, they will be given a six month abatement date to get into compliance with the new standards. In response to a question from Cloutier on whether there was a requirement for respiratory program administrators to be Certified Industrial Hygienists (CIH), Jeffress replied no. Smith asked questions about why the medical questionnaire had questions about hobbies, color blindness etc. It was explained that in order to use the questionnaire in lieu of a medical exam, it must have enough information to alert the employer to potential problems if that person wears a respirator. Ellen Roznowski explained that when using the questionnaire, the physician or licensed healthcare practitioner makes an evaluation. The employer considers the evaluation before making the final decision. She further explained that the color blindness question is there because many respirator cartridges are color coded by type, and it is necessary to know if an employee can detect differences in color. Burkhammer added that on some new cartridges the timeline is color coded - it changes color when it needs to be replaced. Burkhammer asked whether Jeffress still desired in put from the ACCSH Musculoskeletal Work Group in light of the fact that the ergonomic standard will cover manufacturing and manual handling. Jeffress said yes, adding that the Work Group might want to consider developing appropriate guidelines and recommendations for construction industry employers to follow. Application of these guidelines by the industry could provide good information as before OSHA actually moves to the regulatory phase. Devora asked whether any program similar to VPP had been developed for small contractors. Jeffress replied that there is a demonstration program for mobile work sites - not specifically construction. In response to a question about a worker who was suing OSHA over an 11C complaint, Mr. Jeffress gave a thorough explanation of the recent history of this process, revealing that one significant problem is the lack of enforcement resources in general, which causes the resources allocated to 11C to be insufficient. He also mentioned that changing the law to allow the use of administrative law judges to adjudicate these cases vice having to go to U.S. District Court would be a big improvement. Jeffress stated that he is addressing both there source and statutory issues. Williams asked Jeffress whether he would consider adjusting the hours between the OSHA 10 hour course and the OSHA 30 hour course, as had been recommended during the Training Work Group review. He said he understood the problem and would be happy to look at this solution. In response to a series of questions concerning the possible transition of DOE safety and health enforcement to OSHA, he discussed several issues including: the pilot program at Oak Ridge and its implications that a considerable amount of DOE enforcement will be construction related; radioactive, chemical, and metal hazards concerns in which OSHA does not currently have rules in place to be effective; NRC guidelines; and the health physics knowledge which must be transferred from DOE to OSHA. Cloutier asked Jeffress to address inconsistencies between Subpart M, Subpart L, and Subpart R, in regards to the 6 foot, 10 foot, and 30 foot rules. He stated that workers die in 30 foot falls. Mr. Jeffress replied that negotiated rule making was used for the rule on steel erection, and representatives from employers, employees, trade associations, and other constituencies interested in steel erection which could be identified participated in the process. Jeffress continued that OSHA had a commitment to the negotiated rule making body to propose what they presented, but it is still a proposal, and all people who have comments should make them. Mr. Jeffress assured Cloutier that he would not defer or delegate his responsibility to make a determination as to what is the best safety and health practice, and that he will look seriously at the comments provided. Burkhammer asked Mark Freedman to step up and repeat an idea he had voiced at a Work Group the day before. His idea is to develop a one page public service announcement reinforcing the idea of construction safety, specifically highlighting the four most prevalent hazards and the idea that there are very simple direct things that can be done to prevent them. The one page announcement would say "here is what employers should be doing, call this toll free number and get a simple, easy-to-read guide on how to fix the problem." The power of the announcement could be enhanced by having it carry logos and endorsements from all the available unions and associations. It would also be effective on web sites. Jeffress said he liked the idea, and that it was a partnership he would like to pursue. Evans brought up the fact that in Nevada they publish the 10 most cited violations in the state, along with the dollar amounts of the fines. It generates a large number of requests for help from the Safety, Consultation & Training Section. Jeffress thanked the committee and departed.
Adam Finkel and Tom Galassi returned to participate in discussions with the committee members about the Respirator Final Rule. Many questions which had been asked previously were asked again to see if Finkel and Galassi had more to add on the subject. In response to the color blindness question Smith had asked earlier, a "yes" answer is not an automatic rule-out, but just to put the person into more personal contact with the health care provider. They also stated that an employer may prohibit voluntary respirator use in the workplace. In addition, they indicated that the number of people a program administrator could supervise is flexible. Questions were raised and answered about how long the medical screening documents had to be maintained (30 years); how often medical screenings needed to be completed (once until something changes), as opposed to how often the fit test and training need to be completed (annually). They also estimated that the annual cost to run the program should be less than $100 per year per employee in the program. Concerns were raised about the fact that workers might lose their jobs because employers might take a "take no chances" approach to implementation. The impact of this might fall most heavily on older workers. This, in turn brought forth concerns about unintended ADA entanglements. Finkel also responded that it will still be some time before Assigned Protection Factors (APF's) for respirators are generated and published. Blanket medical evaluations for use in a wide range of circumstances were also discussed, and comments reflected concern that both employers and employees have with how the new standard will affect them. The OSHA representatives stated that they intend to be fair and reasonable in the compliance end, and that as time goes on, the Q&A's will be revised to answer new questions and the compliance directive will continue to be revised. Evans worked in a chemical plant for 25 years, where everyone had to be tested yearly to wear various types of respirators, and he could only remember three people who were medically excused from wearing a respirator. Finkel and Galassi said that they would get back with the committee to answer a few of the questions to which they did not have exact answers. They thanked the committee for their new issues.
Elise Handelman, from the Directorate of Occupational Health Nursing, gave a briefing on Heat Stress, mainly discussing anew handout on the subject produced by her office in conjunction with the Office of Public Affairs. The committee was very enthusiastic about this product, which they felt was very informative and useful, and should be widely disseminated to workers. They were informed that the product is free, and that both Spanish and English versions will be available very soon from the Office of Publications at 202-219-4667. There is no copyright, so employers can make as many copies of it as they wish. There were also discussions about putting it on the web, and also making a heat stress hard hat decal like the one that was done for silica. Handelman was asked if she would pursue developing a cold weather hand out, and she said she would take that under advisement. A variety of board members had suggestions about where to find the cold weather data that would be the starting point.
Noah Connell from the Directorate of Construction, Construction Standards and Compliance Assistance office briefed the group on Multi-Employer Citation Policy (MECP) Clarifications. He handed out a draft revision to the current multi-employer policy which was the basis for discussion. The draft is an attempt to develop a clearer articulation of OSHA policy, and Connell stated that he was soliciting input to make the document as useful as possible. In going over the draft he explained that determining whether an employer should be cited is a two step process. The first step is to determine whether the employer has enough authority at the site to oversee and exert control over the contractor that has been cited. If the answer is yes, the next question is whether the employer exercised reasonable care in overseeing the other contractor. He stressed that the standard of reasonable care for the controlling contractor with respect to someone else's employee is not as high as for that employee's employer. The intent of the examples is to clarify these somewhat abstract issues using concrete examples. Several of the board members are still asking for more explicit guidance. One brought up an anecdotal incident where a subcontractor was cited, thereby causing the controlling contractor to be cited. The controlling contractor did not fight the citation, and paid the fine, but the causing contractor appealed the citation, and the citation was withdrawn. Further discussion ensued concerning situations where there are several primes dealing with an owner, and no single on-site entity that has overall site safety responsibility. Cloutier suggesting changing the Act and citing the owner, whether it is the Federal government, the Army Corps of Engineers or a developer. Another fear expressed was that the way this draft is written, it might cause larger contractors to delete all references to safety from their contracts, and this would be going backwards from a safety and health stand point. Several of the MECP Work Group agreed to meet with Connell after adjournment on Thursday to work on editing the draft.
Stephen Cloutier presented the latest work product of the Confined Space Workgroup, which is a revised OSHA draft version of Subpart C, 1926.36,the latest draft of the proposed Confined Space in Construction standard. He reviewed the history of interaction consultations between the Work Group and OSHA over the last two years, and the fact that the current document reflects the combined work of both. Cloutier emphasized that this standard is for confined space entry in construction, and gave a brief overview of the document. He made a motion, which was seconded, that the committee accept the proposal and forward it to OSHA. Upon a request from a member to allow the committee to review the document overnight, it was agreed that a vote would be taken the next day, when the motion would be treated as a standing motion.
Jane Williams briefed the committee on Sanitation Workgroup progress. She reiterated the importance of providing sanitary, adequate water closet facilities for all workers. The Work Group is also in the process of obtaining more technical input, including cost/availability data. It was agreed that the Work Group will submit a report at the next Committee meeting which would provide a rough draft of a new standard to address these concerns. However, on the advice of OSHA staff, and in the interest of having this matter placed on OSHA's regulatory agenda expeditiously, Williams made a motion, which was seconded, that "ACCSH recommend to OSHA that revision of 29 CFR 1926.51 be placed on the Agency's regulatory agenda for rule making in 1999." After some discussion and further explanation, the motion was unanimously accepted. Williams added that the Work Group would meet briefly the next day in Room N 3437 B at 1:30 p.m., to receive the additional data they have been waiting for.
Burkhammer asked if there was anyone from the public who wished to make comments. When no response was received, he recessed the meeting at 4:20 p.m. to reconvene at 9:00 a.m. the next morning.
Burkhammer reconvened at 9:00 a.m. Thursday morning, and introduced Bruce Swanson who gave a report on Directorate of Construction issues which included the following topics: a recent worsening in fatality statistics; the impact on the construction industry of the newly authorized $317B in highway and transportation capital investment over the next five year period; enforcement; outreach/partnership programs; the increased need to use ACCSH; alternatives to new standard generation (e.g. best practices and guidelines); the need to improve OSHA's targeting system; and the need to bring about a cultural change on work sites, such that unsafe practices are not tolerated. Burkhammer and other members discussed the fact that he has noticed a positive change in the utilization of and support given to ACCSH in recent years, but that the heavy load currently being leveled on ACCSH dictates that better scheduling is required. Burkhammer emphasized the need to get more stakeholders to attend Work Group sessions, and the need to more fully schedule the week per quarter when ACCSH meets at DOL with Work Group meetings. Cloutier remarked that one of the most important "best practices" is to conduct a pre-task plan, every day, every shift, for every crew, to ensure that everybody has the right tools, the right equipment, and right protective devices, and understands what is to be done, and whether any special conditions exist which impact the job. He suggested that local area directors are in an excellent position to know which sites are adhering to the spirit and intent of safety programs, and that they should be given more autonomy in how to structure inspection regimes. In addition, in reference to the $317B to be spent on highway capital investment, he suggested making sure that the entities actually doing the contracting be strongly encouraged to make sure that there are line items addressing environmental safety and health issues structured into the contracts. Edington mentioned that he believed that NIOSH is sponsoring a two day conference in Washington D.C. in December addressing working at night, and issues relating to work-zone safety, and that this could be a resource in preparing for all the new highway work which will be commencing across the country. He also mentioned that in many localities a contractor can lose a contract by bidding more for health and safety line items than a competitor. He featured that this might happen with this new funding because so much of it will be disbursed by non-federal entities. Smith brought up the case of the Los Angeles Metro Rail construction project where there were actually incentive clauses in the contract for maintaining an excellent safety record, and Burkhammer explained that this was negotiated between the municipality and the prime contractor. Payne asked Swanson whether he had any more analysis of the raw fatality numbers, and was told that there is a desire to conduct further analysis, but that it has not yet been done. Payne indicated that it was his impression that the very small contractor operations doing very short jobs were a large source of fatalities, and there seemed to be a problem with high fatality rates for non-English speakers on job sites. Swanson discussed this saying that the language angle was very anecdotal, but that there is a strong correlation between the size of the contractor and the fatality rate - the smaller the size, the higher the rate - and that this raises the question about what other tools besides enforcement must be brought to bear on the problem. Cloutier mentioned that the American Trucking Association should be involved in any overall program to reduce highway fatalities in highway construction zones. He also suggested that compliance officers play a more proactive training role when they visit job sites. Several committee members discussed the relationship between workers and OSHA, and how that might be improved. Haring Sweeney discussed a variety of health and safety training modules being developed by NIOSH for vocation technical, and other post-secondary training programs. Some of these modules deal with construction, with one specifically on electrocution. These modules have the opportunity to impact almost 11 million young people about to enter the job market. These modules could be introduced into the public school system to teach the issue of health and safety in the workplace. She also suggested that OSHA might find it beneficial to work with personnel involved in the Pair-T public/private partnership on transportation.
Burkhammer called for discussion on the Confined Space document which had been presented to the committee Wednesday. Connell agreed with board members that there were a few areas where minor changes should be explored such as: including the Secretary as one of the people for whom records were kept (page 11); adding "exhaust" in places where forced air ventilation was specified; clarifying the use of the term "host" versus "controlling authority"; and clarifying the use of the term "non-controlling contractor". The motion to submit the draft procedures for the revised confined space standard was passed unanimously, with Connell committing to take into consideration the questions raised by the board.
Shirley Marshall conducted a tour of the Technical Data Center for the board members. Not only were all the facilities explained, but a very thorough demonstration was conducted of the computer system operation as OSHA's central repository and dissemination center for safety and health rule making information, including the agency's docket files.
Noah Connell gave the board a brief update on the status of various standards. In reference to the confined space standard he first discussed the use of explanatory phrases in the text in the form of a note, and explained that he would have to do some research to determine whether it was appropriate to call these explanations "notes". He went on to clarify some remarks he had made previously, promising the draft of the safety and health program standard for construction to the Work Group this fall. He corrected that, stating that he hoped to make a draft available to them by the first quarter 1999. Connell went on to discuss Subpart R - Steel Erection, saying that, having published a proposal resulting from the negotiated rulemaking process, they are now entering the next phase, which includes a hearing and comments from the public. In the near future they will be issuing some compliance guidance to allow employers to follow the current rules, or they can use the SENRAC proposal with an exception and a half. This requires deckers to continue at 25 and 30 feet, and for deckers to be tied off as the current rule requires. In addition there will be guidance on what will be considered within the scope of the proposal. Formal notice with respect to this compliance policy is imminent. Burkhammer asked Cloutier to repeat his previous comments concerning inconsistency between Subparts M, L, and R, in order to get Connell's response on there cord. Connell essentially echoed Jeffress response to this complaint, saying that they are continuing rule making on Subpart R, and welcome comments, which will be very helpful to the agency. On the subject of Subpart M, Fall Protection, Connell reported that they are preparing for an advanced notice of proposed rule making on a number of issues that have arisen since promulgation of the rule. The public is being asked to comment on a number of these issues, and he encouraged everyone to forward comments and information in as much detail as possible. Buchet requested that the Work Group be briefed on the progress of the rule at its next meeting, and Connell agreed to this. Connell then covered Subpart L - Scaffolding, where again they are in the process of preparing an advanced notice of proposed rule making to raise issues that had arisen since the rule was promulgated. The issues that have come in have been collated, and a preliminary analysis has been conducted. They are almost ready to present this analysis to senior staff, and then will decide what actions to take. Connell agreed to brief the Scaffolding Work Group on the status at the next meeting.
Burkhammer asked each Work Group chair whether the work was still ongoing or should be dissolved, and whether the composition of the Work Group was satisfactory. The following Work Groups were deemed to be ongoing and to have satisfactory membership: Safety and Health Standard Program; Training; Sanitation; Scaffolding; Subpart N; Musculoskeletal Disorders; Multi-Employer; Silica in Construction; and the Task Force on ACCSH Structure and Responsibilities. The following were deemed ongoing, but required adjustment in membership: Safety Excellence Recognition - Edginton stated that there is a reason for the membership problem which would be the subject for further discussions; Enforcement Priorities - needs more public participation, and Burkhammer requested support from the audience in signing up; Fall Protection - needs more public participation, and a labor representative - Burkhammer asked Edington to lobby the other labor representatives for a volunteer; Data Collection and Targeting - Haring Sweeney requested Swanson to assist in arranging BLS participation, and he agreed to try to arrange that; Salt Lake City Construction Advisory - needs more help from people with construction expertise, and Burkhammer requested assistance from the public in signing up. Upon a motion from Cloutier to dissolve the Confined Space Work Group, the committee unanimously voted in the affirmative. Burkhammer stated that after Cooper's report on the Form 170 revision, that Work Group would be dissolved. Williams pointed out that Cooper is Co-chair of the Task force on ACCSH Work Group vice Devora as appeared in the listing handed out. Edington requested clarification of Silica in Construction charge in the form of a restatement of the questions posed by Edith Nash and Brad Hammock from the Solicitor's Office. [For convenience, these points are restated from page 5 of these minutes: Construction Industry concerns about: methods of measuring silica; the availability of laboratories to do the analytical work; whether the methods are reliable enough. In addition they wanted to know what suggestions they (the Work Group) had for the future]. In addition, Devora pointed out an error in the July ACCSH minutes, whereas Evans was incorrectly reported to be assigned Co-Chair of the Multi-Employer Work Group -Jane Williams is Co-Chair. Evans asked to be assigned to the Fall Protection Work Group, and Masterson made a note of that. Buchet requested that DOC continue to update and consolidate the list of people who call DOC and ask to be informed about Work Group meetings, and forward that to the Co-chairs. Jim Boom agreed to take this for action.
The committee agreed to convene the next ACCSH on Thursday, 28 January, 1999, with 29 January scheduled for a half day. Work Groups will be held Tuesday and Wednesday of that week (26 and 27 January). Haring Sweeney requested that materials for all meetings be provided to board members two weeks prior to the meetings (ACCSH and Work Groups). In addition, she reported that Ellen Roznowski had made copies for the board of some information on: the Pair-T program; the Partnership for Advancing Technology and Housing (PATH); intervention strategies for preventing road construction worker fatalities and injuries due to motor vehicles. Roznowksi's great assistance to ACCSH was recognized by Burkhammer. Cloutier raised the question of stipends for board members in light of the very much increased work load they have been asked to carry. Burkhammer requested that Williams place this issue on the agenda of the Task Force on ACCSH Structure and Responsibilities Work Group. Haring Sweeney requested that a presentation by the chair of Construction and Building Committee on the Pair-T program and on PATH be requested for the next ACCSH. She stated that Richard Wright was a point of contact. In addition she acknowledged the expert assistance given by Camille Villanova to the Data Collection Work Group. In response to a question about procedures concerning Work Group reports, Swanson directed that assigned DOC staff would take the reports and ensure proper routing. Swanson announced that it was his understanding that a fifth labor participant for ACCSH would be appointed prior to the next meeting.
Burkhammer requested comment from the public.
Charlie Maresca, from Associated Builders and Contractors, stated that having Co-chairs inform Work Group members of meetings was only suitable as a back-up, and that the primary responsibility should remain with OSHA. He reported that the had experienced difficulty recently attempting to get a list of Working Groups, and when the groups were to meet. He recommended that Work Group meeting schedules be posted on the web site at least thirty days in advance, and that all Work Group members should receive required materials well in advance. In addition he requested that the next Work Group meetings be announced that day, and inquired how public members would be able to participate in teleconferenced Work Groups. Williams was asked to add teleconferencing to her Task Group agenda. Burkhammer noted that Co-chair notification was meant to be a back-up, not primary.
Mike Hayslip, representing Lithko Contracting in Ohio, suggested making documents coming out of OSHA more user friendly and shorter. He also made the point that all regulations should be in the best interest of the workers in the field.
Rich Pfau, the Safety Officer from Donohue Construction stated that he was surprised at the heavy volume of questions by board members on some issues that he would have thought they would have involved a lot of prior consultation, e.g. the respirator, and multi-employer issues. Burkhammer replied that in the case of the multi-employer issue, this committee has been working on it for fifteen years, and all board members have had some sort of input. He said that this issue is something that can be worked out. The respirator issue he said was much tougher.
The meeting was adjourned at 12:10 p.m. on Thursday 8 October 1998.Back to Top