Frances Perkins Building
200 Constitution Avenue, N.W.
P R E S E N T
Advisory Committee Members Present:
Larry A. Edginton
Director of Safety and Health
International Union of Operating Engineers
William C. Rhoten
Director of Safety & Health Department
United Association of Journeymen &
Apprentices of the Plumbing &
Pipe Fitting Industry of the United States & Canada
Vice President & Manager of Safety and Health Services
Fretz Construction Company
Anzalone & Associates
Harry Payne, Jr.
North Carolina Department of Labor
Chief Administrative Officer
OSH Enforcement Division of Industrial Relations
Nevada Department of Business and Industry
Jane F. Williams
Safety & Health Consultant
Construction Division Manager
National Safety Council
Marie Haring Sweeney, Ph.D.
Chief, Document Development Branch
Education and Information Division
National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health
Advisory Committee Members Not Present:
Stephen D. Cooper
International Association of Bridge, Structural
& Ornamental Iron Workers
Director of Construction and Maintenance Dept.
International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers
Safety/Loss Prevention Manager
J.A. Jones Construction
Manager, Safety and Loss Control
The Ryland Group
A G E N D A
P R O C E E D I N G S
BURKHAMMER: Good morning. Welcome to the ACCSH meeting. I hope everybody signed in. There is a sign-in sheet out front. I think some copies of the agendas are out front. So if you don't have one, please go and pick one up.
I want the public to recognize how much ACCSH thinks of the public and how pleased we are to have you here by the chair differential between the public chairs and the committee chairs.
CHAIRPERSON BURKHAMMER: Some of us may be adjourning early. Hopefully, the Department of Labor finds little more comfortable chairs for some of us old folks with bad backs.
With that, I'd like the committee starting from Harry to introduce themselves and their affiliation please.
MR. PAYNE: I'm Harry Payne. I'm the State Commissioner of Labor in North Carolina. We are a state plan, OSHA state.
MR. SMITH: I'm Owen Smith from Los Angeles, a painting contractor.
MR. BUCHET: Michael Buchet from the National Safety Council.
DR. SWEENEY: Marie Haring Sweeney from NIOSH.
MR. DEVORA: Felipe Devora, Fretz Construction Company, Houston, Texas.
CHAIRPERSON BURKHAMMER: Stew Burkhammer, Bechtel.
MR. SWANSON: I am Bruce Swanson. I am the designated federal official for ACCSH.
MS. WILLIAMS: Jane Williams, public representative, A To Z Safety Resources.
MR. RHOTEN: Bill Rhoten, United Association of Plumbers and Pipe Fitters.
MR. EVANS: Danny Evans with the OSHA enforcement program, the state of Nevada.
MR. EDGINTON: Larry Edginton, International Union of Operating Engineers.
CHAIRPERSON BURKHAMMER: Thank you. Would the ACCSH members when they want to talk, please grab a microphone and speak into the microphone so that the Recorders can hear it? It's kind of difficult to hear some of us. All right.
I would like for the public to start with the introductions, please.
(Whereupon, the public introductions took place.)
CHAIRPERSON BURKHAMMER: All right. If you would take the minutes out of your packet, the minutes of the June 10th and 11th meeting.
Is there any discussion on that?
CHAIRPERSON BURKHAMMER: I'll entertain a motion to approve?
VOICE: So moved.
CHAIRPERSON BURKHAMMER: Second?
CHAIRPERSON BURKHAMMER: Motion approved and seconded.
CHAIRPERSON BURKHAMMER: All in favor of approving the minutes from the June 10th and 11th meeting, signify by saying aye?
CHAIRPERSON BURKHAMMER: Opposed?
CHAIRPERSON BURKHAMMER: The minutes are approved.
CHAIRPERSON BURKHAMMER: The first item on the agenda is a special presentation from Suzanne Kisner on Building Safer Highway Work Zones.
A lot of us in construction have had experience with highway work one way or the other. And for most of us, it has been good.
There is a tremendous amount of injuries that take place when you are working around the vehicular traffic. In foreign countries, it is probably the number one killer of construction workers internationally in vehicle accidents, bus accidents, head-on collisions.
Most third-world countries that we work in anyway, to drive a vehicle, it's taking your life in your hands. I know in North America and Canada, this is a big issue. And we appreciate them taking time to come and share with us.
So please proceed.
MS. KISNER: First, let me apologize to the committee for --
CHAIRPERSON BURKHAMMER: Wait a minute.
CHAIRPERSON BURKHAMMER: Oh, why don't we go and sit in the comfortable chairs and watch the presentation?
MS. KISNER: Okay.
CHAIRPERSON BURKHAMMER: Let the minutes reflect --
Building Safer Highway Work Zones:
Measures to Prevent Worker Injuries
from Vehicles and Equipment
MS. KISNER: Good morning. I would like to thank the Directorate of Construction for giving me an opportunity to speak to you for a few moments this morning.
In January, my colleague, Stephanie Pratt, presented details on a workshop that we conducted in December of last year through the Work and Safety Guidelines Project.
And Ms. Pratt presented the topic areas that were covered and some preliminary information on a document that was to come out of this workshop.
I would like to spend a few minutes this morning bringing you up to date on this project and giving you an idea of what kinds of recommendations are likely to be included as we move towards finalizing this NIOSH document that addresses prevention of equipment and vehicle-related injuries to workers in highway work zones.
Before I continue, I would like to acknowledge and recognize my co-authors on this project, Stephanie Pratt and David Fosbroke.
As Ms. Pratt discussed in January, the workshop focused on four broad topic areas: safety of all workers on foot around traffic vehicles, safe operation of construction vehicles and equipment in highway work zones, planning for safe operations within work zones, and special safety issues associated with night work.
We really tried to balance traffic and non-traffic issues, considering worker safety inside the work zone which we truly believe has had insufficient attention, along with the obvious concerns about worker exposures to traffic vehicles.
Through the next few slides, I will provide you with an idea of what kinds of recommendations we are likely to make in several areas as we move towards finalizing this document.
The material you will see is organized topically. The actual document goes one step further and directs recommendations to those we believe would be in the best position to implement them, in other words, to the employers, manufacturers or the policymakers.
One thing I should note before going on is that the following items are just a few representative points pulled from draft. What will ultimately appear in the final document will be guided by the comments that we receive during the review of this document.
These are some preliminary recommendations related specifically to traffic control. Consider using a different color for signs and devices approaching exit ramps. Use truck-mounted attenuators more widely.
TMAs can be placed on the upstream, lateral, or downstream sides of traffic flow to physically isolate the work area.
One particular application suggested by workshop participants was to use them in moving work zones where TMAs can move forward as the work progresses to protect workers from intrusion of traffic vehicles approaching from the rear.
Adopt flagger devices, such as the flashing, slow paddle which is a standard paddle with a strobe light mounted on its face.
Revise OSHA regulations for the construction industry to require adherence to the current MUTCD not the 1971 version that is now referenced.
This set of measures is specific to night work. Increase the length of tapers for night work. Reduce the spacing between channelizing devices.
Install low-level, transitional lighting in advance warning areas and termination areas to ease motorists' adjustments to changing light conditions.
Inside the work zone, determine the optimal levels of lighting that is needed around specific types of equipment.
This recommendation would also encompass the evaluation of lighting needs for particular work tasks.
The following measures relate to separation of workers and motorists and to minimizing the inconvenience to motorists.
Isolate the work area where possible. On interstate highways, this might mean routing traffic moving in both directions to the other side of the road away from the workers.
Avoid reduced speed zoning as much as practical. This is essentially reemphasizing what is already recommended by the MUTCD, but it was a strong message from participants at our workshop.
Provide concise, real time information about delays and closures.
Our draft document specifies a number of measures that addresses the importance of minimizing the impact of construction on the public.
These include advance media campaigns to prepare the public. Covering or removing signs when no work is taking place. And keeping messages on signs simple and brief.
A recommendation to employers in general, not just construction contractors is to provide more opportunities for flexible work schedules and telecommuting during times of construction.
These measures relate to equipment operation. Keep operator and repair manuals with equipment.
Participants at our workshop emphasized that repair manuals are particularly difficult to replace and are often not at the scene when repairs are needed.
We have made this recommendation a number of times through our Fatality Assessment and Control Evaluation Program.
Several times, they have investigated crane fatalities where the load chart was not in the equipment.
Allow only trained and authorized persons to operate or move equipment. The reason we include moving of equipment here is that we have seen a number of instances where a worker was under a piece of equipment, repairing it, and was injured when a co-worker moved it with the worker underneath.
Provide all operators on-site with information about traffic control within the work zones. This extends to anyone coming on the site. For example, independent truckers bringing in materials, state inspectors, utility company representatives.
Train operators to stay belted in equipment during rollover. Here again, through our FACE Program, we have investigated a number of fatalities that illustrates the importance of this.
These recommendations address safety of workers on foot, primarily those who work near construction vehicles and equipment inside the work zones.
Separate equipment and workers on foot wherever possible. This recommendation covers scheduling of work tasks so that workers on foot do not need to be in the area of equipment.
We also expect to make a specific recommendation that dump trucks entering and leave the work area move within specified channels that are closed to workers on foot.
Decrease the need for backing by planning the flow of construction vehicles and equipment. An analysis of BLS' Census of Fatal Occupational Injury or C-4 data reemphasizes this by showing that backing vehicles play a major role in fatalities inside the work zone.
Train all workers on the importance of establishing and maintaining visual contact. This addresses a range of work practices, from the equipment operator ensuring that he has established positive, visual contact with any worker on foot before moving equipment to using spotters to having all workers on-site trained in hand signaling.
This final group of recommendations relates to strategies for making workers visible to motorists and to equipment operators.
Develop apparel that is visible 24 hours a day. At the workshop, we recognize that many of us talk about the need for visibility for day work versus night work.
We don't always recognize that day work can become night work if the shift is extended or if day shift workers are exposed to low visibility conditions that are not all that different from the conditions night workers work under.
The workshop participants recommended that manufacturers develop apparel that will night or work and at varying levels of lighting.
Consider using high visibility apparel that has different designs front and back. The rationale for this is that it would allow the equipment operator to distinguish from a greater distance that the worker's back is to him.
And lastly, develop apparel that covers moving parts of the body. The gist of this recommendation is to place high visibility material on the hands, arms, and legs, not just the torso. Motorists and equipment operators would then recognize the worker as a person.
In January, Ms. Pratt indicated that our public comment period would be from about March 1st to May 1st. As many things go, we were maybe a little too optimistic.
We actually are in the public comment period for this document. The comment period should extend to about October 15th.
Ms. Villanova was kind enough to have copies of the draft document made. And I think she disseminated those. We have about 40 copies. And if we need additional copies, I am sure we can have those made. We would welcome your comments.
She also passed out an additional handout that explains how you can send us comments. I should note that there is a web address that is noted in the Federal Register.
We were not able to put this document out on the web. So please, disregard that.
Thank you again for your time.
DR. SWEENEY: Suzanne.
CHAIRPERSON BURKHAMMER: Marie.
DR. SWEENEY: Suzanne, you might also remind the attendees that the comments can be received to the docket office at NIOSH. So you don't have to mail it in. We can accept it through the Internet, the home page.
MS. KISNER: Right. I think the Federal Register has the docket officer's e-mail address in it I believe.
DR. SWEENEY: It should.
MS. KISNER: Yes.
CHAIRPERSON BURKHAMMER: One comment on the slide you had there when you talked about seat belts and rollover, you ought to put a bracket in there that says secure the equipment with ropes. Some of the vehicles still in use for highway work are grandfather vehicles.
MS. KISNER: That is very true.
CHAIRPERSON BURKHAMMER: Comments from the committee?
MR. BUCHET: I am not sure I saw the slide correctly, but there is one point that operators are supposed to be trained on traffic patterns. And then, for some reason, it suggests that workers should be kept out of the dump truck way.
And I think the workers should be trained on the traffic patterns as much as the operators.
MS. KISNER: Exactly. The idea behind that would be to pretty much train everybody on-site.
CHAIRPERSON BURKHAMMER: I did notice that you did not talk about striping or monitoring, monitors for traffic. Is there a reason you left striping or monitors out of your recommendations?
MS. KISNER: They probably are in the document. These were just --
CHAIRPERSON BURKHAMMER: You just highlighted some of them. Okay.
MS. KISNER: Yes, yes. These are just highlights. This is nowhere near all of the recommendations that were included in the document.
CHAIRPERSON BURKHAMMER: Any other comments from the committee?
MR. EDGINTON: I took particular interest in your recommendations regarding equipment operators.
I guess my reaction, being somebody who represents the equipment operators is that there is a big gap between how you think the world should be able to operate and what is practical.
For example, when you talk about keeping operation and maintenance manuals in the equipment, I am not sure that you understand what you are talking about keeping in the equipment because if you are truly talking about keeping operations and maintenance manuals in the equipment, in some instances, you are literally talking about thousands pages of paper in equipment which is, one, no proper place to keep it start with. Two, it is constantly exposed to elements.
And as a practical matter, it probably it will not last a week in the field. And that is why you don't see them there now.
Your point with respect to load charts not being there, there is already requirement that load charts should be there. You are right that sometimes they are not.
MS. KISNER: Right.
MR. EDGINTON: But I think you really need to look at the practicality of what you are saying both for owners or renters of this equipment.
I think what you really need to be honing in on is ensuring the qualifications and trainings of individuals that are either operating or repairing the equipment. I really think that needs to be the focus.
MS. KISNER: Okay.
MR. EDGINTON: Because as a practical matter, if you are not qualified or trained, those manuals are not going to help you.
MS. KISNER: Very true.
CHAIRPERSON BURKHAMMER: Thank you, Larry.
MR. EDGINTON: Yes.
CHAIRPERSON BURKHAMMER: Comments?
CHAIRPERSON BURKHAMMER: It is very hard for the chairman to see the committee. So make sure you stick your hand out forward so I can recognize it.
VOICE: Or throw something.
CHAIRPERSON BURKHAMMER: Thank you very much. We appreciate the presentation.
And if any of the committee or any of the public want to send in comments, as she indicated the public comment period is still open. So please feel free to do so.
MS. KISNER: Thank you.
CHAIRPERSON BURKHAMMER: For those of you standing in the back, there is plenty of seats up front here if you want to come up.
VOICE: And very comfortable seats.
CHAIRPERSON BURKHAMMER: Very soft.
CHAIRPERSON BURKHAMMER: Nice, flush seats.
CHAIRPERSON BURKHAMMER: Okay. We are now going to get into the workgroup reports. The first report is on musculoskeletal disorders in construction.
Mike or Marie.
DR. SWEENEY: Mr. Chair, while we assemble things, I wanted to make one note. In the handout for it is labeled ACCSH MSD Workgroup. We have a change to make. Under the name Tammy Zisland. She is actually not from NOWFAC, but from NAVFAC. And it should be NAVFAC. And then, on the e-mail address should be NAVFAC.
ACCSH Workgroup Reports:
DR. SWEENEY: The first thing I want to do is to express our appreciation to all the people that attended the workgroup meeting on Tuesday. We had quite a large number of folks who gave us some really great recommendations. And in our presentation -- and these are the people that were there.
The general discussion of our meeting was a draft that is called "Preventing Musculoskeletal Disorders in Construction". It is dated 9-1-99. It is the packets of all of the individuals on the committee.
This document was prepared in response to a request from Mr. Jeffress about a year or so ago to put together information on musculoskeletal disorders in construction.
And he wanted us to prepare a document that described the disorders to identify the best practices or what we all solutions or interventions and to describe -- what was it? And describe a --
DR. SWEENEY: A program.
DR. SWEENEY: So over the past year, we have developed an outline in conversation and in consultation with all the folks who have come to the workgroup meetings over the last year.
And then, put together this document. The document includes text on definitions, on factors associated with musculoskeletal disorders, a checklist owners, operators. contractors, workers to look at a work site in terms of factors related to musculoskeletal disorders and then at the very back a list of issues and activities that happened on the construction and solutions for perhaps preventing or reducing musculoskeletal disorders among workers or operators.
This is merely a draft. We ask that the committee take a look at it. Look at the contents. Don't look at the typing. We know there are plenty of typos because we had two expert typists working on it.
And to give us your comments, if we have a chance tomorrow, Mr. Chairman, because we have recommendations that we would like to propose relative to this document.
CHAIRPERSON BURKHAMMER: All right. The document is accepted. But what I would like to have the committee do tonight is take a look at the document.
At the last meeting, we took a look at the multi-employer document on the first night, make some comments, mark it up. And then, tomorrow, we will have some discussion time at which time we will open the Musculoskeletal Disorders Workgroup report.
We will discuss the report. And then, any recommendations that the co-chairs wish to make to the committee can be made at that time.
DR. SWEENEY: Okay. I wanted just one other thing to bring to light before we -- thank you, Mr. Chairman.
Is that OSHA has produced a number of documents, brochures, activities that do relate to ergonomics and musculoskeletal disorders, none of which are specifically related to construction.
There are -- there is one on DDTs. There is a safety and health guide for the meat packing industry. And also, I saw a very nicely done video, but it only deals with musculoskeletal disorders in manufacturing.
And as we well know that the risk factors or the factors associated with musculoskeletal disorders are the same in all people, but the conditions under which a construction worker may be exposed to those factors may be different.
And so what we ware providing here is the focus on construction. We will bring our recommendations tomorrow.
CHAIRPERSON BURKHAMMER: Have you we got a second on the highlights?
Yes, go ahead.
MR. BUCHET: Okay.
CHAIRPERSON BURKHAMMER: You have plenty of time.
MR. BUCHET: Take my time?
CHAIRPERSON BURKHAMMER: Take your time.
MR. BUCHET: Somebody is in the back of the room giving me the stretch.
MR. BUCHET: Being a new co-chair in ACCSH, it took awhile. The Musculoskeletal Disorders Workgroup took awhile to catch up to where they were. There is an incredible amount of information that is provided in the documents that you get to go over and consider tonight.
In the meeting notes from yesterday, there are some key points that I would like to bring out. There was discussion.
There was fairly heated discussion at some points, but ultimately the workgroup agreed on a great many things. And I would like you to keep that in mind as you go through this.
Some of the considerations that were brought out is the fact that this brochure is to be a brochure. It is to be informational, not a blueprint for enforcement activities. And the workgroup agreed that that concern should be passed onto OSHA.
Another consideration was that any suggestions for useful practices or best practices or successful practices, keep in mind that they should be financial doable. And that consideration is also covered in the report of the meeting.
There were simple examples of things that can be done. I think we have an example from steel erectors in the western part of the country, saying that they are now ordering 50-pound kegs instead of 100-pound kegs.
And you can see that that would make it easier move 47-pound sacks of cement instead of 90-plus pounds of cement.
We had a suggestion that we might be able to copy what some European countries are doing. And that is making sheet rock smaller.
And realize that this one might be stretching the envelope on what is possible. It might require completely redesigning the studs in building. So that one is probably on the less-likely-to-be-done.
But getting things repackaged so that they could be handled, reducing the weight, reducing the size, reducing the bulkiness of them are simple things that can be done.
We talked about hooking suspenders on tool belts and then combining suspenders, tool belts, and fall protection, simple, simple little things that are being done.
These ideas are from the industry. And what we will recommend tomorrow and what I am going to highlight right now is that this is an ongoing process and that the workgroup will continue to solicit input from the industry on these simple little ideas that are being implemented by individual organizations, contractors.
In some cases, we had examples of workers developing shoulder pads that allowed them to carry things more comfortably with less strain and potential damage to the shoulder.
We would like to continue to get that information and bring it to OSHA's attention.
DR. SWEENEY: One other thing that you might consider while you are reading this document is to think about what kind of audience this should be focused on.
And if you think that there is a number of different types of audiences, whether you talk about folks who are working on the job or foremen versus even the general contractor, there might be recommendations to actually do several levels, several reading levels, informational levels, different types of booklets that can be developed and handed out to individuals.
We are also thinking about different kinds of media. As I said, there was a video. And we were thinking there is the advisors on the web that OSHA has.
So you can put it on a web site and have different screens and other things like that. So it does not necessarily only have to be a written document. One might think about putting it on CD-Rom or on a tape of some kind.
So we would really enjoy hearing your comments and getting your ideas about what can be done.
That's it, Mr. Chair.
CHAIRPERSON BURKHAMMER: Thank you very much.
There has been a lot of years spent on this subject by this committee. And I think when we receive the new charge from the current Assistant Secretary of taking it out of the standardization text and putting it into an informational brochure text, it made the workgroup's job somewhat easier.
For the committee members, I want to make a couple of comments. If you turn back to the page 1 of the draft entitled "9-1-99 Preventing Musculoskeletal Disorders Instruction" where the actual body of the text is, this introduction was a conglomerate of ideas from about everybody in the room that attended the workgroup.
And Michael drafted this from all those comments.
And I would like you to look down to line 18 which I think Marie talked about and Michael talked about, but I think it is very important that we all understand why at 18 and it says OSHA recognizes this information brochure as not to provide an enforcement blueprint, but for the Agency, but the purpose of the brochure is provide industry-tried practices that will its contractors and its workers to reduce musculoskeletal disorders.
And if the outcome of this document was the committee reviews it and we talk about it tomorrow during discussion and depending on the motions from the co-chairs, that I think is the main object of this document: information, to provide information, assist people.
There is a lot of good things in there, a lot of good definitions. A lot of work went into doing this.
So with the committee's perspective, I would like you to look at this not from an enforcement or a standardization text, but from an information dissemination text.
Thank you very much.
We will hold any discussion on this until tomorrow.
The next workgroup is Data Collection. Michael and Marie.
ACCSH Workgroup Reports: (Continued)
DR. SWEENEY: Good morning. We had a very active two days here. The Data Collection group has kind of been over the past year looking at various aspects of what the Directorate of Construction and OSHA has at their fingertips for looking at construction-related problems.
And one of the items that came up -- and we decided that there were so many things that we really need to take things in little steps because there are just so many things. There are a lot of issues and a lot of things to uncover and to perhaps change.
So we have been working with the Directorate of Construction on the OSHA 170 supplemental data form.
And the 170 form is used throughout OSHA, but there is a supplemental data form that is used for specifically construction and for maritime. This form is specifically for recording construction fatalities.
There is another group. It is the 170 Workgroup that is talking about reformatting the form. We are talking about the 170 in terms of the data collection elements and also how one might use the data once in fact it is collected.
We have a number of epidemiologists, statisticians, and other folks on the committee.
As we are going through the 170 form, we are making some recommendations to OSHA as we see it because we think the form needs some changing.
We also think that the process for, one, training people how to input the data needs to be changed.
The focus of the form needs to be changed. And also the program itself needs to be updated and revised to facilitate data quality, data consistency, and data entry.
In your packets, you have a list of recommendations from the Data Collection Workgroup that we came up with over the past -- from our discussions over the past I'd say a year.
The overall recommendation is to improve the qualify of the OSHA 170 supplemental data form for construction by the compliance officer and OSHA through training and better data entry programs and data analysis.
Our first item was that the 170 form needs to be upgraded and reprogrammed to allow for easier input of data.
It needs drop-down screens, mandatory fields, data validation for data validation input, range checks, air field validation, and links with the various other OSHA forms that are used for recording fatalities and injuries. And these are the OSHA 1, the OSHA 36.
They also need to pre-fill automatically-filled key fields. Right now, the form is totally blank. And whoever is filling in the data has to fill it in from scratch. And that does not really need to be done as far as we understand.
There needs to be consultation with the Department of Energy regarding the programs that they are using for field input of data.
They have an accident-incident reporting system that they have been working on. And the DOE has an iterative process to get information and input from people in the field who are actually collecting the data and inputting it into their system.
And Janet Macon from the DOE has been extremely helpful in describing what their program is. So I would encourage the Directorate of Construction and the other folks at OSHA who are dealing with this program to talk to the DOE.
We think that once the new program if one is developed needs to be piloted in at least two or three willing states, for example, the state plan states and in area offices.
Some folks like to do computer work more than others. So maybe, they would not mind fooling with it.
You really cannot just write a program at least from my experience. You cannot just write a program and expect people to use it because there are always going to be glitches. There is always a disconnect between the programmer and the people in the field who are using it.
We also recommend that OSHA consider expanding the use of the 170 form to include fatal injuries to one or more employees any serious injury or illness and a serious exposure, an inpatient hospitalization regardless of duration of three or more employees.
The state of California has expanded their 170 form to include this kind of information and have found it extremely helpful in tracking the kinds of injuries and illnesses that are occurring on construction sites, particularly the serious ones and identifying those factors that might be prevented in future types -- on future sites.
We also encourage OSHA to discuss if in fact that they are going to redevelop this program or revise this program to encourage OSHA to discuss the user requirements with field staff to obtain their input and buy-in at all phases of the revision process which again is what DOE is doing. And it seems to have been working quite well with them.
OSHA needs to institute processes to ensure uniform use throughout the federal OSHA region so that they get consistent data.
OSHA needs to institute uniform training on entry of data for all individuals responsible for data entry and coding.
And we understand that this program that the compliance officer is actually responsible for entering data as well as data entry clerks.
So there is also a difference in the kind of knowledge about an accident or an incident between a compliance officer who has been investigating that incident versus the data entry clerk. So there needs to be some training.
There needs to be a quality control program that is instituted for data entry and for data analysis.
There needs to be instituted a regular data analysis of the data to ensure data quality, consistency of the information, and timeliness of the data reporting.
There needs to be a consistent update of the 170 forms even when an even-related fatality occurs after the event.
And what we mean by that is that if an individual gets injured on a work site, but then dies some time after that incident related to that accident or instant, it really needs to go back in the 170 form because it is not -- right now, the 170 forms are not being consistently updated with that information.
We recommend to OSHA to assist the workgroup, the Data Collection Workgroup and the 170 Workgroup to conduct information gathering activities to collect information from the trades and construction workers to expand the task on page 34 of the document.
And unfortunately, they do not have a copy of that in there, in the packet.
But anyway, we have developed a document. The workgroup has developed a document that explains some of the -- a lot of the codes and a lot of the information that goes into the 170 form. And this, recommendation specifically deals with that.
And also, we need to get information from the contractors on the kinds of tasks that are being because the information right now is very spotty.
And finally, the workgroup recommends to OSHA to assist the workgroup members to conduct field trips to field offices. These are OSHA field offices to talk to compliance officers and other appropriate field staff about 170 use.
We have thought a lot about this form. And it could be extremely useful given the kind of data that is in it.
CHAIRPERSON BURKHAMMER: Do you have anything you want to do with these recommendations?
DR. SWEENEY: I would like to put them before the committee and recommend them.
CHAIRPERSON BURKHAMMER: Do I hear a motion of such?
MR. BUCHET: I so move.
CHAIRPERSON BURKHAMMER: Well, what do you move?
MR. BUCHET: I thought you covered that.
DR. SWEENEY: We move that the recommendation --
MR. BUCHET: We move that the recommendations be adopted by ACCSH and forwarded to OSHA, the recommendations included in this listing, 1 through 12.
CHAIRPERSON BURKHAMMER: Do I hear a second?
CHAIRPERSON BURKHAMMER: Second. And the motion is seconded.
Discussion on the form?
CHAIRPERSON BURKHAMMER: Felipe.
MR. DEVORA: Marie and Michael, do you all have -- yesterday, at the Diversity Workgroup, there were some agenda issues that came up.
Is that addressed in the 170 as far as types of injuries? Or is there any kind of bio-ethnicity or any kind of boxes for those that we're tracking? This just came to light in our discussion.
DR. SWEENEY: Let me look at it at the form.
MR. BUCHET: There should be. I'm not sure. We have to look it.
As Marie was saying, the 170 form is a computer screen that has a series of questions on it. I don't know that it identifies --
DR. SWEENEY: Sex. Right.
MR. BUCHET: Ethnicity, I don't know. And the supplemental data is about the causes and the event that took place that created the injury. So we can certainly recommend that the 170 form includes it.
DR. SWEENEY: It includes --
MR. BUCHET: Sex, age, and part of body source of injury, human factor. It does not include ethnicity.
CHAIRPERSON BURKHAMMER: Age was not --
DR. SWEENEY: Age is in there.
MR. BUCHET: Age is in there already.
CHAIRPERSON BURKHAMMER: Jane.
MS. WILLIAMS: In the 170 Workgroup, and we are talking having a combined workgroup for these two at some point in the future, those issues were particularly discussed and are going to be in the next working draft, maybe not the one that you are going to be getting in a few moments.
But all these facts are being worked on now by the 170 Workgroup in conjunction with staff, at least most of them. There is two that are not. But they will -- this document will be worked on with the 170 workgroup.
MR. SMITH: Mr. Chair.
CHAIRPERSON BURKHAMMER: Owen Smith. Owen, go ahead.
MR. SMITH: Could I ask what the benefit of this ethnicity and sex thing would give to the form?
CHAIRPERSON BURKHAMMER: You can answer.
VOICE: Maybe, that is he probably did not read the sign or something like that.
MR. DEVORA: Exactly, that was on the questions when we were talking about diversity in the construction work force was the type of problems that we run into and the type of problems we may need to address.
And questions like you just mentioned signage, cultural differences and, yes, as that relates to construction and particularly construction safety, those were issues that we were wondering statistically had ever been tracked.
Ethnicity, type of injuries, is it more to a certain type of worker than it is another type of worker?
These are informational areas that we thought would be important as to where we could focus our information and training efforts and better pinpoint that segment of the construction industry that was having these problems.
MR. SMITH: Mr. Chairman, Owen Smith again.
Wouldn't language then be more appropriate?
MR. BUCHET: There are two workgroups that are looking at this slightly non-parallel tracks, the 170 Workgroup and the Data Collection Workgroup. And I know it has come up in the Data Collection, the question of language.
What is the primary language on the job site? The signage, the language of supervision. And what language is the worker fluid in? That may get at that particular issue.
One of the other reasons for including the age and ethnicity that it allows this data to be compared with nationally correct data.
And if we do not capture the data, we do not capture as much as we can, then this becomes an isolated pocket of information that we will have a hard time comparing against other nationally accepted data sets.
DR. SWEENEY: Mr. Chairman, I have one other comment.
CHAIRPERSON BURKHAMMER: Okay.
DR. SWEENEY: I would suggest that the workgroup is going to be meeting probably before the next ACCSH meeting. And there will be a joint meeting. And then, in addition to that, there will probably be another meeting right before the ACCSH meeting.
We would really like your input on this. And anything that you might think of in terms of, I'm not sure ethnicity is the right word, but I think language skills and other kinds of things.
And in fact, if one thinks about in terms of ergonomics, that the whole term ergonomics, perhaps body size might be something that we want to consider in terms of ability to reach whatever height or something like that.
So there are other things that we might want to consider.
So please do not hesitate to send us a note, an e-mail of those issues.
CHAIRPERSON BURKHAMMER: Any other comments from the committee?
CHAIRPERSON BURKHAMMER: Based on the fact that there is three workgroups that are intertwined in a sense, Data Collection and 170 and in some parts the Diversity, I might suggest to the motioner and the seconder that they withdraw their motion and second and return this to the workgroup.
We let the workgroup share information with the other two workgroups. And maybe, at the December meeting, we can come back with a more complete set of recommendations that might include some of the concerns that the meeting has discussed today.
MR. BUCHET: I will have to give my second is withdrawn.
CHAIRPERSON BURKHAMMER: Mr. Smith.
MR. SMITH: That is --
MR. BUCHET: I would have to think about it.
MR. BUCHET: I'll withdraw. I'll withdraw the motion, Mr. Chairman.
CHAIRPERSON BURKHAMMER: Thank you. We will return the document to the workgroup and not discuss it any further at this time. Thank you.
For those of you that came in late, make sure you sign in outside there on the table. There is a sign-in sheet. And please make sure everybody signs in so she has a record of your being here. We appreciate it. Okay.
Cranes, Mr. Edginton.
ACCSH Workgroup Reports: (Continued)
Subpart N - Cranes
MR. EDGINTON: Thank you, Mr. Chairman. Yesterday, the Subpart N Workgroup for the second follow-up meeting.
As with the first meeting, I was impressed by the attendance. We had representatives from manufacturers, owners, users, regulators. It was really a good group. I think we had 15 or 16 people there.
In spite of the fact that we had a major meeting conflict, the ANSI authority was meeting in Dallas yesterday. So many of the people that we have otherwise had in addition to those that weren't here yesterday were in Dallas.
What we did yesterday was, one, reviewed the results of a survey that we had conducted amongst ourselves in terms of taking a look at the subpart or subject matter that would be appropriate under the subpart and sort of looking at it in three ways, three sets of criteria.
We looked at it as, one, what was the importance of the subject? How great a hazard did the subject represent? And thirdly, how easily could we bring about the change?
From that review, we then flowed into a discussion about how to give some better shape to our work for the future. And our work for the future at least for now is structured as follows.
One, all members of the group are going to be submitting to me their notion of what the scope of the subpart should be.
We had considerable discussion yesterday with respect to the changes that have occurred in technology over the last 20 or 25 years in terms of what is a crane.
And we think it is very important that we clearly identify what is and what is not a crane. So scoping ideas will be coming into me by the 15th of October. And I will be getting that back out to people.
Secondly, as we begin to work through this, we think definitions are going to be crucial. And so an additional task for all of the workgroup members are to again develop a list of terms which we think we may need to include in the definition section.
And then, thirdly, we do not believe that we are going to have reinvent the wheel on a lot of this. There are awfully lot of good ideas out there, industry practice that is already in place.
And we are doing -- or going to be conducting a search of relevant reference materials which could be useful. And again, all of that information is going to be back into myself by the 15th of October.
I have committed to the workgroup to give it a quick turnaround time to get it back out to everyone by mid-November so that we are going to be well prepared for a meeting in December.
Now having said that, I think what the workgroup understands now after we have had a couple of good meetings on this is this really is a large undertaking.
And in the context of that, we think it is very important that OSHA make sure that there is a rapid of re chartering of ACCSH this next year so we can continue to move quickly with this.
Because even if the workgroup is moving as quickly as we can, again we think this is going to be a very lengthy project.
And as a matter of fact, there was some conversation yesterday afternoon with respect to perhaps we may be recommending not just modifications to Subpart N, but in fact there may be some subject material under the subpart that warrants their own subparts.
So we really got our hands full we think. And again, we think that there is all the more reason to make sure that we do not have a lengthy lapse in the chartering.
CHAIRPERSON BURKHAMMER: Thank you, Larry.
CHAIRPERSON BURKHAMMER: I don't know whether it is the seats that is limiting the discussion or what.
Thank you, Larry.
CHAIRPERSON BURKHAMMER: I think that it is worth noting that the turnout workgroup sessions this week has been exceptional. And the participation from the people who came, the diversity and ideas and the sharing of information was excellent.
Hopefully, we will continue to have that and continue to develop good products from the attendance of the workgroups.
If you have not attended a workgroup meeting, you ought to come. They are doing some good things. Okay.
We are 30 minutes ahead of schedule. Why don't we go to Jane and Construction Certificate and Paperwork Reduction Workgroup.
ACCSH Workgroup Reports: (Continued)
Construction Certification and
MS. WILLIAMS: Mr. Chairman, this workgroup met on the 31st. And I will start with just a brief background as to what our charge was.
Basically, at the last ACCSH meeting, Mr. Jeffress asked ACCSH to evaluate and respond with opinions or recommendations to delete OSHA requirements for certain selected certificate documents that are presently called for in various standards.
The issues that were presented basically encompassed the fact that when the compliance officers on site witnesses what he believes to be an unsafe act by an employee, that it is presumed the employee has not had adequate training or any training or if either he has been provided -- he has forgotten his training basically.
It would result in the fact that they issue citations to the employer of the employee. And then, it is up to someone to demonstrate what really occurred, the effectiveness of training or whatever.
Because the documents are not maintained on site --
CHAIRPERSON BURKHAMMER: Wait a minute.
You know, if you do close the door to cut the noise down, please. Thank you.
MS. WILLIAMS: Because the documents were not readily available on site, this automatically -- automatically is not correct.
It resulted in most times in a certificate at which time the employer had to demonstrate at a pre-hearing, informal hearing as to whether or not he was in compliance, that he had in fact accomplished his task and so forth which hopefully would result in negating the citation.
The point was that are then these useless documents? And that was one of the issues that we had to be responsive to in our deliberations.
Our first task was to try to determine which standards this affected. And we requested the assistance of DOC to help us identify those issues.
In the meantime, we were provided a document. We the co-chairs which is Mark Ayers and myself were provided a document that had in fact been developed a policy who was in the process of identifying these items for consideration for deletion in response to paperwork reduction.
And they had accounted for the items that we needed to be responding to and the hours that they would possibly reduce by their elimination.
It was also requested of the co-chairs to meet with the policy in an informal meeting which we did respond to and attended on August 4th. And we had some very significant discussions as to these documents.
And as a result of that and also our discussions in this workgroup meeting, the conclusion of the ACCSH co-chairs are that the certification documents do represent best practices and employer proactive compliance.
They help establish workers' mind set. We believe that training is a vital part for their safety awareness.
And we questioned that if they were eliminated, would this send a message to workers or employers that OSHA was not paying that much attention to these issues.
We questioned would their elimination deter the employer's opportunity to demonstrate proof of training. You go into various levels of response.
That is the document typically that is presented by the employer to show in fact that he did affect training, that it was conducted at an appropriate time, that the subject matter was delivered by a competent person qualified to do so.
The most significant concern though throughout the entire discussions came back to the worker.
We truly believe that without this level of documentation or proof, that there is a good possibility that maybe some training exposures would not occur and therefore would possibly expose the worker to some -- or to the lack of knowledge and awareness of the situations that he was going to be or she was going to be exposed to.
We did acknowledge that are very much aware that employers in many cases are over responding with this type of document.
And we attributed that primarily to the legal system. There is the feeling that they have to dot every I.
And they really truly add more than three specific areas that OSHA is asking to be identified in the training certification record: date, who did it, and primarily what was covered.
But we did not feel that that warranted at all any elimination process. So we came up with the following recommendations.
OSHA develop an issue in acknowledgement form to be consistent with all standards. We are not recommending reduction. We are recommending an increase.
We see this as a very good idea in that one document that could be used throughout various standards would certainly give a guideline to am employer as to what is expected so he would not have to be choosing his own type of document content and overkill and therefore burdening him own self with the paper that he is creating maybe unnecessarily.
We would like to have OSHA to its compliance personnel to every employees and employers when unsafe acts are observed if in fact they are permitted to do so by agreements or by other conditions that might be on the job site, not to continually presume that the observance of an unsafe act was a lack of training or education process by the employer, that the ACCSH chairs refer to the crane Subpart N Workgroup, the referred crane certification documents that are being proposed to be eliminated.
I spoke with the co-chair yesterday on that issue. He was very receptive to receiving that. And that is going to be part of his task in the overall review of all of those type of documents contained in that Subpart N. And I will be doing that within one week.
That the proposed certification of record reduction for explosive and cadmium which are two issues in that report continue if the elimination process involves rulemaking and a notification process to stakeholders for comment.
Those two items are felt to be covered by other agencies and other standard requirements. But we really did not have the detail at that point in time of our meeting yesterday to have that as a total opinion.
So I feel that with it being referred to the stakeholder for additional comment that these comments certainly could be picked up in that manner.
That OSHA require in the future revised or new standards, training acknowledgement forms to demonstrate worker awareness and employee compliance with minimum paper burden.
The Certification Workgroup chairs continue to work with policy and offer our input. In our discussions, it was very evident that we felt that some construction logic into their decision making process could be very beneficial and save a great deal of time both on their efforts and ours when it comes to comment period.
That the designated federal official respond to ACCSH at the next ACCSH meeting with OSHA's acceptance of our actions and these recommendations.
And I will have those in a prepared typed format very quickly. I did not have access to equipment after 5 o'clock last night.
The ACCSH members of the workgroup do not support the elimination of the certification of records as proposed, except for the two areas that I mentioned which was the cadmium and the explosive issues as long as there are additional considerations regarding those two issues.
Mr. Chairman, that ends this report.
CHAIRPERSON BURKHAMMER: Thank you, Jane.
MR. SMITH: Mr. Chairman.
CHAIRPERSON BURKHAMMER: Owen.
MR. SMITH: Yes. The problem that I have with some of these certifications, especially the lead one has to do with the cost.
In southern California where I'm from and the union with which I work takes in that area from about halfway between Bakersfield and Fresno, south to the Mexican border and from Nevada at New Mexico over to the OSHA.
And we had as a matter of practice required that all of our guys on the out-of-work list take lead training. And there is a certificate.
The problem is that the states, and I understand a lot of them done it, in order to get that certificate, there is a $100 fee.
And we were picking that up out of our promotional funds. But, you know, after I ruled a few of those $17,000 checks, it became a problem.
So now, you have a guy that has the training. And he does not have a certificate unless he pays for it because we don't want to pay for it.
It is not that we are opposed to the training, but we are opposed to the fees. And we would like to find some kind of way so that we still deliver the training. And we do not mind to require a take it.
But in order to get that certificate, the states issue them. And in California, it costs $100.
Now, with respect to the first-aid training, I don't think there is a cost on that. But when I was with the Commission of Industrial -- for Industrialization With Apprenticeship, we put in a requirement that every apprenticeship that graduates has to have the first-aid training. And I think we renew it on a yearly basis.
That was not a big deal, but this other one is really a problem. And I understand in Illinois, about $100 for that lead certificate also.
If you guys could find a way around the fee, it would be a good deal.
MS. WILLIAMS: Stew.
CHAIRPERSON BURKHAMMER: Jane.
MS. WILLIAMS: The documents -- and I think this is where we get into one of the concerns. There is a misrepresentation of what OSHA is requiring versus interpretations of training and versus employers assuming they have to substantiate information.
The list of items that was being proposed by policy in fact, I do not -- I am looking at it very briefly here. It does not reference lead or these other issues.
And I can provide copies of this as an attachment to my report which you will be getting hopefully tomorrow.
It goes into crane barracks, underground construction, air quality construction, posting requirements, concrete and masonry, construction crane and derrick annual inspection, construction crane rating limitations, electrical standards, design of cave-in protection systems, crane and derrick suspension personal platform, cadmium training certificate record, construction of fall protection record certification, modification of area listing construction blasting, transport of explosives, construction records test for personal hoists, crawler, truck, locomotives, rigging, steel erection, R 750 through 761, and roofing.
So these additional requirements, like Owen is referring to with lead, are not really specific certification records that are proposed to be eliminated and the attributed man hours according to those issues.
From the list I just read, you can see Larry is getting a bunch of them into his consideration.
So again, on the ones that we were specifically charged to address, we felt they were too important a stimuli to employers to mandate the training and have a follow-up and an accountability for it.
MR. SMITH: Well, let me ask you this. With respect to the organized sector and the idea that we may provide the training and keep the records in a centralized place, and certainly this would allow the employer not have to deal with a lot of paper work because we can pay other people to do that, do you see it somewhere that there could be a centralized place where all those records could be kept and the employer himself would not have to have them in his files and he can just get a copy of whatever might be required from this other place?
MS. WILLIAMS: It would be great. I do not know that that could be accomplished.
We also were leaning towards issues like the OTI, the 10 hour. We know that there exists records of everybody who has accomplished.
And that can be certainly accessible to all employers or at least to the employee who has accomplished the 10-hour training.
And we got into some of those levels of discussion, but we vacated those discussions because they were not part of our task for this process.
However, those issues are going to be referred to. Other workgroups are looking at those issues.
MR. SMITH: I would continue at the next meeting.
MS. WILLIAMS: Mr. Chairman, being as I do have to type this report, I will try to do so with Mr. Swanson's assistance today for equipment.
Would it be appropriate that my recommendations be discussed tomorrow when the committee has an opportunity to have them in front of them?
CHAIRPERSON BURKHAMMER: Yes. We will defer any motions or recommendations from the workgroup until tomorrow.
MR. EDGINTON: Mr. Chairman.
CHAIRPERSON BURKHAMMER: Larry.
MR. EDGINTON: Jane, could you tell me some more about what your thinking is on this training, training acknowledgment form I think you mentioned.
MS. WILLIAMS: Yes. It will be a recommendation. We truly did recognize the burden and the employers receiving this burden of paper being a requirement of OSHA. And that is who he will discuss these issues with.
When in fact it is typically demonstrated that a lot of these additional requirements are employer generated to assure he is covering every base he needs to because he does not truly know what is being required and what often exists.
Our thought that we were kicking around was that if the agency would come out with an appropriate example forum that could be consistent throughout all the standards and contain the actual information that would demonstrate that that might save other employees a lot of time in reinventing wheels and adding unnecessary burden hours to paper, help clear understanding.
So that is a recommendation to be pursued if in fact it has merit or considerations by the committee.
MR. EDGINTON: I am not -- and bear with me because I am slow with this stuff sometimes.
MS. WILLIAMS: Sure.
MR. EDGINTON: But I am still not sure what we are talking about there. Are we talking about an employer acknowledging a training obligation that they have?
Or are we talking about workers acknowledging that they have received training?
I mean, I am not clear what we are talking about there.
MS. WILLIAMS: We are talking or what has been suggested -- and again, it needs an individual process, a thought process to go into it.
But the initial concept was that we were looking at a simplified document that the employer would use to demonstrate that he has met his obligations for appropriate training to protect the worker prior to his exposure.
MR. EDGINTON: Thank you.
CHAIRPERSON BURKHAMMER: Any other discussion?
CHAIRPERSON BURKHAMMER: If not, Jane will move your report until tomorrow.
MS. WILLIAMS: Thank you.
CHAIRPERSON BURKHAMMER: And your motions until tomorrow.
It's 10:15. Why don't we take a 15-minute break and come back at 10:30 to continue?
(Whereupon, at 10:15 a.m., the meeting was recessed.)
CHAIRPERSON BURKHAMMER: For the record, Mr. Cloutier's proxy is myself. Mr. Masterson's proxy vote is Felipe Devora. And Mr. Cooper's proxy vote is Larry Edginton. Mr. Ayers vote is not here and will not vote.
For those of you who have this document here with you, if you will get it out. Hopefully, you all brought it and are studying it and learning what we are going to be doing from now on.
Page 2, it talks about, about two-thirds of the way down the page, about workgroup reports.
And I'll read this paragraph so that everybody understands how the document shuffle works up here. "A workgroup report is a draft report at the time of its presentation to the ACCSH Committee. It is not distributed to the public. The workgroup chair will incorporate if the ACCSH Committee adopts the workgroup report any amendments or revisions except that at the time the report's review and the final document forwarded to the DFO" which is Bruce. "The committee chair will at that time announce the distribution method for the report or the documentation once it has been approved by ACCSH and forwarded onto OSHA."
So hopefully, that clears up some of the questions that are being asked.
MS. WILLIAMS: Stew, do we know that -- Mr. Swanson I am sure can respond to this. Has the final document that included all the other comments from the adoption process been distributed to the members?
MR. SWANSON: No, it has not been distributed to my knowledge.
CHAIRPERSON BURKHAMMER: We are still working from the draft amended report. And based on the amended report, we are implementing it today. And once we get it all typed up and pretty, we will pass it out.
You all will have a copy. So please refer to your copy at the last meeting.
MS. WILLIAMS: Stew, I requested of Mr. Swanson to see if that document could be distributed at this meeting by its conclusion of the meeting.
CHAIRPERSON BURKHAMMER: Oh, fine.
MS. WILLIAMS: If possible.
CHAIRPERSON BURKHAMMER: Super.
Bruce, do you want my mark-up?
MS. WILLIAMS: He has the one with changes.
CHAIRPERSON BURKHAMMER: All right. That's fine. Okay.
Let's start with OSHA Form 170, Jane.
ACCSH Workgroup Reports: (Continued)
OSHA Form 170
MS. WILLIAMS: The meeting was conducted by myself. Mr. Cooper was unable to attend. Workgroup participants included Stew, Ken Hoffner, Gerald Reidy, OSHA Directorate of Construction staff, John Franklin and Camille Villanova.
And I would like to extend my appreciation to Camille for all the superb support that she has given me in this meeting that we had.
Mr. Cooper's summary of the 170 Workgroup of June 6th was in fact reviewed with the participants so that we would know where in fact we were at this point in time.
The documents that were given to us by Data Collection prior to has been provided to the ACCSH members.
This is a working document, a continual document which is why it is not being made available.
All the comments that we had received to date from the operating engineers as well as data collection as well as multiple other sources were incorporated in the draft document that has been circulated to the members and was our working document for the next phase of our discussions that we had yesterday.
The OSHA 170 and the construction 170 would be a useful tool for the construction community if the data collected on the form was adequate and accurate.
The workgroup recognized that OSHA cannot target areas for inspection, develop special emphasis programs nor develop standards without additional information collected about the construction projects.
The current 170 in construction, the 170 forms in use do need modification. The modifications are OSHA must use from this form to collect information about all construction fatalities, catastrophes, serious injuries, and other hazards.
The form must be user friendly and designed in a manner so that the picture of the construction site is created by the order of information collected on the form.
OSHA must install computer edits so that there will be an automatic by the computer to ensure that the information is correct.
The title of the Construction Accident Information 170 form must be changed to Construction Investigation Summary Form 170 for a broader application.
The fields and all categories must be expanded and construction categories representing the 13 construction trades established.
For instance, more information about the project and contract cost, type of construction, type of work being done at the time has to be collected.
And I might add a note, the subsequent conversations regarding the 13 construction trades, we may have to look at adding additional language or making that more work product oriented to pick up other persons who are in the construction areas that may be responsive to these particular 13 categories.
The annotated OSHA 170 Construction Accident Information document was evaluated. The annotations were in response to Mr. Cooper's request to place the information or codes below the data line and to include all comments from the June 170 and Data Collection which in fact we did.
This document again that was passed out is the paper format, 37 pages long. And that is our working document.
The OSHA 170 Construction Accident Information codes were addressed first. Several modifications, changes, additions were made to the existing data collection points and will appear on the ACCSH 170 Workgroup working document that is going to be entitled Number 2.
This document will be available prior to the next workgroup meeting. I do want to ensure that Mr. Cooper can review this document before it is issued at that workgroup meeting.
A summary of what we were doing to date, the addition of the scope section was reviewed. And the group agreed to continue the discussions with the construction SIC and the North American Industry Classification System Codes where available.
And input was received from the Data Collection Workgroup on that. And as you already heard, they have additional comments that we will work together with.
The workgroup agreed that the combination of the type of construction and end use of construction site would provide information about the type of the project being affected.
The recommendation is that when an end-use type of construction site is selected that a drop-down screen with a type of construction would appear.
The workgroup recommends that these fields appear one after another. If a building site, number of stories would be if a building structure height, distance to fall, height above ground or floor of the worker when the fall occurred.
We are trying to find out cause and affect and exactly to lead more of a picture as to what was truly happening that was involved with the injury.
The workgroup recommends the expansion of the project cost field and the addition of contract cost field with the same dollar values.
The workgroup recommends the addition of the following information to collect employment and training information that we felt would be vital to contribute the whole fixture as to the cause of the injury at that time.
The workgroup would like a joint meeting with the Data Collection Workgroup to discuss commonly used codes of the data fields, causes of accidents, operation being performed by the victim, and contributing factors.
The workgroup would like this joint meeting to occur prior to the December, 1999 ACCSH meeting.
Mr. Chairman, there is several recommendations in here, but I feel that these are recommendations for the working activities of the committee more so than the approval of the ACCSH Committee at this point in time.
So I would suggest that this remain a working document of the workgroup.
And as far as the meetings, I think that I would feel most comfortable in passing that by Mr. Cooper to be sure he is in agreement with that approach and the work of the committee to date. And we could come up with a date that he would be accessible for that meeting and then serve notice accordingly.
That concludes that report, sir.
CHAIRPERSON BURKHAMMER: I am in agreement. We will leave it as a workgroup document.
MS. WILLIAMS: Thank you.
CHAIRPERSON BURKHAMMER: Discussion by the committee on the report?
MR. EDGINTON: Mr. Chairman.
CHAIRPERSON BURKHAMMER: Larry.
MR. EDGINTON: Thank you, Mr. Chairman. I guess this thought first crossed my mind as I was listening to the Data Collection report. And I find myself revisiting this thought as I listened to your's, Jane, is that the amount of information that we are proposing to capture is a significant amount of information.
And of course, what is paramount to the information being of value is that it is true and accurate information.
So I'm wondering if your group and Steve's group have thought about this is we talk about the formatting on the screen and pull-down screens and one thing or another, but I am also wondering if we are thinking about somewhere that has some level of intelligence to it where it can begin to recognize whether or not there are human errors occurring in the data input.
For example, if you have someone classified as a painter and the injury occurred as a result of operating a backhoe, you know, just hypothetically, the question might be, when you enter that operating a backhoe, you are sure they are a painter.
I mean, I don't know. But my thought is that there could be value to doing that.
MS. WILLIAMS: Yes, we did discuss that, Larry. And we are trying to attempt to achieve compatible data entry to be able to present that level of a fixture because we are concerned as with falls that it is not the work activity.
It could be as a result of some other activity causing that condition that is really making a misrepresentation of the actual cause of the injury versus the correction actions that would be needed to do that.
As far as the computer software system, we are going to be at the mercy of what would be available to accomplish all of this.
So we are assuming from our discussions and what we have available that it would be able to support the information levels that we are going to recommend for the form to reflect.
CHAIRPERSON BURKHAMMER: Owen is first up.
MR. SMITH: I just had a question about the occupational codes and the categories.
MS. WILLIAMS: Yes.
MR. SMITH: And I notice it says for state use only, was that for the federal, state, or is it the 50 states?
And I was also wondering if it is possible to find out whether or not these are the same categories that are being used maybe the insurance companies?
MS. WILLIAMS: I want --
DR. SWEENEY: Excuse me. I have a response for that.
CHAIRPERSON BURKHAMMER: Marie.
DR. SWEENEY: The codes that you are looking at right now which are on page -- it is on the top, on top.
CHAIRPERSON BURKHAMMER: Let me get it here.
MS. WILLIAMS: Yes. What page is that because there is lots of codes?
These are occupational codes.
CHAIRPERSON BURKHAMMER: Page 7.
MS. WILLIAMS: These come from the census, from the Bureau of Census and the 1980 census, actually they are from. And they were adopted by the OWPC which is the Office of Worker's Compensation for the federal government. These are old codes.
We did talk about insurance companies trying hard to get that information out from them. But whet we have been talking about in the Data Collection Group is having a consistent set of codes between if Census is using it or BLS is using it or some other, the negs.
We would like to have something that is compatible and comparable among the groups. This is just being used right now.
CHAIRPERSON BURKHAMMER: Michael.
MR. BUCHET: This cross-talk is going to be confusing.
But going back to what Larry Edginton was asking about the integrity of the data, in the Data Collection Workgroup we suggested to OSHA -- or we will suggest it, that OSHA talk to the Department of Energy because they have been doing coding with logic.
We had a BLS representative attend a number of meetings. And they coding with logic. So that if you put information in one field in the form, there is an internal logic in the computer that says you cannot put some other piece of information in there.
In the particular example. that was given, a painter operating a backhoe, there would be an ability to override the logic if in fact the painter was temporarily assigned to operate a backhoe and then an accident resulted in not being trained to operate that.
And one of the things about construction is the assignment of a variety of people to a variety of types of jobs which will make some of these logic processes difficult.
And there may have to be overrides for any number of them if something that appears to be illogical has taken place, like the painter operating a backhoe.
But that is being worked on. And we hope to bring this all more closely together when we have our compliant workgroup meetings.
CHAIRPERSON BURKHAMMER: Jane.
MS. WILLIAMS: Stew, I have made notes of the DOC conversations to pass that on to Mr. Cooper. And I do think that that next meeting would solve a lot of these issues.
In regards also to those codes, it is my understanding they are basically not existent now unless someone has that old book and was able to scan these in which I think was done by a lot of tedious effort.
And lastly, I did not and wish to acknowledge Alan Hoskin of the National Safety Council for his support not only to Data Collection, but to the 170 by providing us the ANSI 162 and 165 which has very beneficial for us to have in these deliberations.
CHAIRPERSON BURKHAMMER: I have a question on page 33 of 37.
MS. WILLIAMS: Okay.
CHAIRPERSON BURKHAMMER: If you read the bold print up at the top, it says workers recommended that this field be changed to task of affected employee.
MS. WILLIAMS: Yes.
CHAIRPERSON BURKHAMMER: And if you look down there, basically you have drafted this or structured this in the closed shop format. And you have to remember that when OSHA goes and do the 170 form, they do both open and closed shops.
So in an open shop format, you have a mixture of capabilities and people who go in and out of one task to another task. And they are not specifically assigned.
And I think Larry's example of the painter and the forklift operator may be a -- or a backhoe operator may be more true than a lot of people realize.
So I think we need to look at this from more of a generic perspective than a secular perspective.
MR. BUCHET: Mr. Chairman, again, in Data Collection, we will have to combine these two groups. They brought up the same top that in whatever coding system we eventually recommend there has to be the ability to cover the open shop as well as the closed shop or to find something that describes a task, not particularly a jurisdiction.
CHAIRPERSON BURKHAMMER: Yes, yes, task oriented.
MS. WILLIAMS: That was discussed. And definitely, it is going to be passed on as a consideration.
And I might add, being as Mr. Cooper is not here, he is responsible for everything I have said on this.
CHAIRPERSON BURKHAMMER: That is duly noted in my report.
MS. WILLIAMS: I am learning.
DR. SWEENEY: Mr. Chairman.
CHAIRPERSON BURKHAMMER: Marie.
DR. SWEENEY: One other thing about these codes and the tasks, that was one of the I guess working recommendation for the Data Collection Workgroup is that there needs to be some facilitation with OSHA so that the ACCSH members can go out and either use focus groups or other forms of survey methods to make sure that we in fact have most of the tasks that are done on site.
And there are going to be a lot of them, but I think that there are some general tasks that are not included in on page 33 or on page 22 that need to be captured.
And so maybe if we -- we are going to have to do some field work and some ground work to get the information that we think is appropriate for the 170 form.
CHAIRPERSON BURKHAMMER: Okay.
DR. SWEENEY: Yes.
CHAIRPERSON BURKHAMMER: Anybody else?
CHAIRPERSON BURKHAMMER: Thank you, Jane.
A couple of things for the committee. Bruce had sent out to us prior to the meeting this document talks about revisions for certain construction standards. And he wanted us to comment and mark it up.
Has everybody on the committee brought theirs with them and have all marked it up and are ready to discuss it? All right.
This will be discussed in the 1:30 time slot on your agenda which is Technical Changes to Existing Standards. I just wanted to make sure that we are all prepared for that.
Secondly, at the last meeting, we discussed taking ACCSH out to the field and to where the work is rather than having all of our meetings inside the beltway.
And Assistant Secretary Jeffress approved us having the February meeting in conjunction with the Chicago Land Safety Council conference, so to speak or seminar in Chicago.
Michael, would you like to say a few words about that so we all plan that properly on our calendar?
MR. BUCHET: Yes, I would like to.
ACCSH Committee February Field Meeting
MR. BUCHET: Just to preface this, the Construction Safety Council, the Chicago Construction Safety Council, and the National Safety Council are not the same organization.
So I am plugging the Construction Safety Council because they are members of the National Safety Council's Construction Division. Crystal clear now.
Tom Broderick of the Construction Safety Council has been doing a regional construction safety conference annually for 10 years.
It has grown substantially. And last year, they moved out the Holiday Inn hotel close to O'Hare Airport into the Rosemont Convention Center.
They drew 1,000 people. It is no longer regional. We have people coming from Europe. We have people coming from Hawaii and all over the United States.
They have 100 and some plus exhibitors. And it is a super, condensed, 3-day conference and expo. The exhibit is two days and the conference goes three days.
The sessions that are presented at the conference are drawn from people in the industry. You will meet contractors.
You will meet the insurers. You will meet the risk people. You will meet the trainers who are actually on the job doing the work of making construction safer.
And we extended an invitation to ACCSH. And I am glad to hear that it has been accepted. The conference runs the 15th, 16th, and 17th of February. It will be at the Rosemont Convention Center.
Rosemont, for those of you who do not know, is the town that surrounds part of O'Hare Airport. It makes it easy to get to once you get to O'Hare. And in February, that can be a problem.
MR. BUCHET: Bruce Swanson's staff is working with Tom Broderick's staff to figure out what days the workgroups will meet and what day the ACCSH meeting will meet. And I do not know how far that has gotten.
Is Bruce here?
CHAIRPERSON BURKHAMMER: Yes.
MR. BUCHET: I think he just walked out.
So can we defer to them to add any information that they can?
CHAIRPERSON BURKHAMMER: Yes.
MR. BUCHET: I encourage everybody to come. Loosely, we talked about doing a carbon copy of what we do here. So we will have workgroup meetings. And then, we will have the ACCSH meeting, a similar format.
And then, we hope that you will attend the conference and take advantage of the exhibits and listen to those sessions.
CHAIRPERSON BURKHAMMER: I think this is an excellent opportunity to draw upon the construction industry who are gathering in one place where we can get some feedback from things we are doing and some of the workgroup items that they are doing.
And so mark that on your calendar, committee. That is the February meeting.
Also, at the last meeting, if you all remember we preplanned the December meeting. And the dates are 7, 8, 9, 10 December just in case any of you forgot. All right.
We will now go to Diversified Workforce Initiatives, Jane and Larry.
MS. WILLIAMS: That is why I did not get anything typed yesterday.
ACCSH Workgroup Reports: (Continued)
Diversified Workforce Initiatives
MS. WILLIAMS: This workgroup met on September 1st and consisted of co-chairs Larry Edginton and myself.
The DOC liaisons were Jill Jones and Nancy Livesay, ACCSH Felipe Devora, NIOSH representative Linda Goldenhar, and several interested stakeholders were there to help with these discussions.
The initial public workgroup conducted primarily to develop a focus, we were not sure where this committee and where this workgroup had to go. It came as a result of several items which I have tried to summarize for you to give you an idea of what we are doing here.
The open items are the health and safety for women in construction report which was presented to ACCSH in March of 1997. It was reviewed.
And this group will respond to any open item that was contained in that report. We reviewed each of those items. And they were captured.
The updated final HAZWIC report will be available by a link on the ACCSH web site when in fact that web site is operational which should be any time.
The work of this group will concentrate on the issues of a diverse work force, not specifically women's issues that was the focus of the HAZWIC report.
We are very much aware that there will be gender items that certainly will come into the conversations when we discuss these issues.
Basically, the work force has drastically changed from its original makeup. Multi-language, size, shape, race, background, color, perceptions were all discussed. And all of these prominent in the industry today.
So the focus of this workgroup is truly to demonstrate how all workers of today can be safely protected in their work environments.
The topics at this time include, but certainly will not be limited to communications, effective language and training issues, PVE appropriate and physical fit, training, selection, age, the diversity of youth, displaced mature workers who are entering the work force because we have so many jobs available to those persons at this time, complacency of some workers.
Health, sanitation, and accessibility will be a key focus to assure that we push. As you well know, the sanitation issue was a result of another workgroup. And we would intend to keep attentions to the process of that.
Interface with the Musculoskeletal Workgroup to produce worker size and physique, recommended practices for activity such as lifting.
Reproductive hazards that need to be identified that could result from construction activities.
Data collection and analysis.
Recommendations and follow-up on existing data availability on request to facilitate new data. So again, you can see this workgroup working with Data Collection.
Intervention strategies targeting employees, associations to deliver the product of the workgroup.
Recommendations to OSHA for more effective enforcement of existing standards.
And participation in safe and environmental awareness activities that may not be captured in specific regulatory language at this time. And needless to say, public work forums are being projected.
The work of the HAZWIC Workgroup is acknowledged as a major stepping stone for this issue.
Its resulting publications, such as this brochure that will be soon be available to you, is excellent. It is entitled "Providing Safety and Health for Protection of a Diverse Construction Workforce: Ideas" was totally targeted for the women's issues. And it is very excellent. And I am sure there is much use that can be derived from it.
The co-chairs at this time cannot offer a timeline for the achievement of what we are trying to endeavor to do. A meeting will be held prior to the December ACCSH meeting.
Possibly one and another meeting, but that all needs to be confirmed at this point in time. And, of course, we would observe the appropriate notification criteria that has been established for such workgroups.
Larry, do you have any comments you would like to add?
MR. EDGINTON: Perhaps, just in summary form.
MR. EDGINTON: Jane gave us a whole lot of detail of what was discussed yesterday, but I think it was the consensus of the group yesterday that our activities might sort of fall into three broad areas.
One, there may be activities associated with regulatory actions. There may be activities associated with what I would characterize as providing assistance and information perhaps much akin to what the MSDS Workgroup has been doing.
And then, lastly, one of the things we talked about a great deal yesterday is there is much to be learned, so given that you may see a range of recommendations coming out with respect to additional research which is needed.
MS. WILLIAMS: Mr. Chairman, at this point, I think it is a working process. And I do not have any specific recommendations for the committee to act upon at this time.
CHAIRPERSON BURKHAMMER: Very good. Thank you very much.
MR. BUCHET: Sometimes, I get the impression that we think that diversity in the work force is a new issue in this country.
A short stroll down our history of construction will tell us that the Erie Canal was dug by people who probably behaved differently and spoke slightly than the supervisors on the job.
The big dams in the west and the railroads were built by people who looked, acted, sounded entirely differently than the employers who were hiring them to do the jobs.
And somehow, we managed to struggle through and get it done with incalculable loss of life and harm to the workers.
And I think it would be instructive for the workgroup and OSHA maybe to look back on how some of these ideas were handled in those days and try not to repeat the same mistakes.
CHAIRPERSON BURKHAMMER: Thank you, Michael.
CHAIRPERSON BURKHAMMER: Thank you, Jane.
The next workgroup presentation is Fall Protection, Felipe.
ACCSH Workgroup Reports: (Continued)
MR. DEVORA: Thank you, Mr. Chairman. I am co-chairing the Fall Protection Workgroup along with Bob Masterson. And Bob has been key in chairing this as I was working on some other issues.
But yesterday, I chaired the workgroup as Bob was not able to be here. And one thing I did notice, I was very pleased as to the participation that we had.
We had about 15 or 16 folks in there and diverse groups of the construction industry which I would like to comment here is invaluable to this committee and also to the workgroups, especially with an issue like fall protection and the 10 issues that OSHA has asked us to respond to.
In this workgroup, what we are trying to do is we are responding to OSHA's -- or trying to assimilate some information to help OSHA in their request for the notice of the proposed rulemaking that came out in July in the Federal Register, July 14th on fall protection.
This notice kind of begins, OSHA's evaluation of the fall protection practices and also evaluation of the STD 3.01(a) as it is now.
And with regards to 3.1 is the feasibility issues about the rule raised by the residential construction industry on December 8th, 1995. OSHA issued the interim fall protection procedures for residential construction.
OSHA's instruction in STD 3.1 that differ from those in the rule on June 18th, 1999, OSHA issued a plain language rewrite of a STD 3.1 and the bottom line is now known as STD 3-0.1(a). So they are all sort of the same animal.
This permits employers in residential construction to use specific work practices instead of conventional fall protection systems for foundation work, some insulation work on roofs and in attics, and some residential roofing work.
That is only one of the 10 issues. The other 10 issues that came in a request for information, and I will just review briefly with you.
That is number one is whether or not there is a need for alternative procedures for residential construction.
The second issue, whether there is a need for alternative procedures for pre-cast concrete erection.
Number three is whether there is a need for alternative procedures for post-frame construction.
Number four, whether there is a need for alternative procedures for vendors delivering construction materials.
Number five, whether there is alternative methods for fall protection while climbing reinforcing steel.
And number six, what criteria should be used for restraint systems.
Number seven, whether the strength requirements for anchorage points for fall protection arrest systems, position device systems, and restraint systems should be changed.
Number eight, whether the standard's prompt rescue requirements should be raised -- revised. I'm sorry.
And number nine, whether there is a need for alternative procedures for drilling shafts.
And number 10, whether body belts incorporated into the full body harness provide appropriate employee protection for a fall.
As you can see, there is 10 very diverse issues. And as I said earlier, in this workgroup there was a good variety of folks that are familiar with different parts of these issues and obviously more expertise than others in these areas.
What we are encouraging you to do is respond to any of these 10 issues. Whether through the Federal Register, the information is there on how to do it.
One of the things that our workgroup did do and some of you -- well, the folks that there were at the group yesterday have this.
We extrapolated the issues on a one-page questionnaire format. And I think I still have a few copies of it.
But what we have done -- the reason we have done that is basically we have extrapolated the -- we put the issue and then the questions below it.
So if there is an area of expertise that you are really interested in one of those issues, you know, you do not necessarily have to wade through all of it. You can just take the one page that concentrates on that issue. And we will solicit your comment.
The goal of this workgroup, as I see it, is to just provide another vehicle for comment to OSHA.
And then, we will bring these consensus type, whatever you call it comments or instructions from hopefully folks in the areas that are affected by the 10 issues.
And we can come up with some sort of recommendation for ACCSH on how ACCSH can tell OSHA, you know, based on the information that we received, this is what we think you should do or where we can go with this.
So there again, it is a workgroup in progress. We encourage you to review these areas that they are asking for comments on.
This is your chance to talk about some of these issues in this form. And as I understand it, it is the first road, the first step in reviewing or revising any of these issues under the fall protection standard.
The one that jumped out the most to me yesterday and some of the questions are sort of superfluous, you know, that we should we define prompt? Well, those questions, I do not know how to answer.
But there are some thought provoking questions like, would it be appropriate for OSHA to allow the use of alternative fall protection procedures on portions of a commercial structure that meet the definition of residential construction?
I think those are the kind of questions that we are wrestling with.
The residential folks, we talked about the perception that residential folks are exempt. There was even some comments that, you know, inspectors have gone on job sites and the residential folks have told them, well, we thought we were exempt from all the fall protection standards.
It is not an exemption, but it is -- they like it. So it is a good thing for them.
So having said that, the 90-day comment period I think will be addressed tomorrow by Mr. Jeffress.
There was a letter sent to Mr. Jeffress requesting an extension. And I think he will speak to that tomorrow.
We have no action at this time on the committee, other than keep everyone posted and get the information out.
CHAIRPERSON BURKHAMMER: Thank you, Felipe.
MR. SWANSON: Yes. Just a quick comment. And I heard Felipe already say this. I would like to underline it. The work of the ACCSH workgroups and this committee is great, is being welcomed by OSHA.
In no way, shape or form is it a substitute for that official record. Those of you with feelings or anything to add on any of these items, please respond as outlined in the Federal Register and get your opinions on the official record so you can weigh in. This is an addendum to that system.
CHAIRPERSON BURKHAMMER: Felipe, as he indicated, has some extra copies of the questionnaire. And the Chair will be happy to distribute those to any of you who want them, other than the committee that got them yesterday. So see Felipe at lunch or at the break. He will share them with you until they run out.
MR. SWANSON: Felipe also should not pick on the residential housing industry. They are general contractors in Texas that also think they are exempt from OSHA.
CHAIRPERSON BURKHAMMER: Thank you, Felipe. The workgroup is still continuing. And basically, the questionnaire is a research gathering tool.
So any of you that want to weigh in on this, please do so.
Also, if any of the public would like to address ACCSH at the end of today or at the end of tomorrow, please give me your name and what you would like to talk about. And I will call you at the appropriate time.
Next is Silica. Marie.
ACCSH Workgroup Reports: (Continued)
DR. SWEENEY: Thank you, Mr. Chairman, I am trying to close out this workgroup.
Larry Edginton and I were asked to chair a workgroup to provide information information to the Solicitor regarding five questions that they had.
Most of these questions dealt with the issue of assessment of exposure to silica on construction sites, specifically sample collection, when they were collected, and how they were collected, the sample analysis and methods and who was contracted to do the analysis or actually who the construction company did use by analysis.
Larry and I put our heads together. We queried all the members of the committee. We in fact asked anybody who participated in any of the meetings to send us information.
Larry queried his labor and other organizations. And I went to NIOSH and asked our folks who as dealing with the silica issue, if they had additional information from their contacts.
We also talked to folks from the trade association and asked for their input as well.
In May, we assembled all the responses that we had received, developed a memo, a letter, and sent it to the acting chair.
We request that the memo be forwarded to OSHA. I don't have a copy of that memo with me. Sorry.
Given that we have fulfilled the request and hopefully it has been forwarded to OSHA, we would like to formally recommend that the workgroup be disbanded.
CHAIRPERSON BURKHAMMER: The motion to disband the Silica Workgroup, is there a second?
MR. BUCHET: Second.
CHAIRPERSON BURKHAMMER: Second.
CHAIRPERSON BURKHAMMER: Hold on a minute so I can see if I have the document.
MS. NASH: Can I speak?
CHAIRPERSON BURKHAMMER: Sure. Go ahead. The Solicitor's Office is always welcome. The Solicitor's Office is able. And speak away.
MS. NASH: I understand that this particular workgroup was limited to issues concerning sample analysis of silica on construction work sites.
As you probably are aware, I believe this afternoon, you are going to be getting a presentation from Paul Bolon on the work that OSHA is doing right now in developing a silica proposal, a proposal for a comprehensive standard for silica.
And I am sure that at some time in the near future you will want to convene another workgroup that will consider issues relating to the development of a comprehensive silica standard.
So I just wanted to clarify.
CHAIRPERSON BURKHAMMER: Thank you.
Based on that input -- just a second.
MR. BUCHET: Are you asking us to withdraw the motion?
CHAIRPERSON BURKHAMMER: I would hope you would be forthcoming to do that, yes.
MR. BUCHET: Mr. Chairman, with great pleasure, I withdraw my second.
CHAIRPERSON BURKHAMMER: Marie.
DR. SWEENEY: I withdraw my motion, Mr. Chairman.
CHAIRPERSON BURKHAMMER: Then, we will remain the Silica Workgroup to be open. And when the new issues on silica come out that the Solicitor's Office just told us about, we will be ready to go.
MR. BUCHET: Do we need to reconstitute or make a motion to change it or silica is enough at the top?
CHAIRPERSON BURKHAMMER: That's fine. Let's leave it the way it is. That is good.
Thank you, Marie.
DR. SWEENEY: You are welcome.
CHAIRPERSON BURKHAMMER: Now, we have a very special honor of having a guest speaker, one of the hardest workers in OSHA. Camille is going to talk to us about the construction advisor.
For those of you who are standing in the back, we have lots of soft, comfortable, plush chairs in the front, unlike those that the committee is sitting in.
CHAIRPERSON BURKHAMMER: While Camille is getting ready, I think that the ACCSH Committee could maybe stand up and flex their sore, tired aching muscles.
CHAIRPERSON BURKHAMMER: All right. The ACCSH members have returned to their hard, non-ergonomic seats.
CHAIRPERSON BURKHAMMER: I think Camille has some extra copies that she is putting in the back there if any of you would like one. Okay.
Again, those of you standing in the back, there is soft, plush, comfortable chairs up front.
Special Presentations: (Continued)
MS. VILLANOVA: I am Camille Villanova, Directorate of Construction, Office of Construction Services. And there is a workgroup. This is a kind of prequel to the workgroup report which I am sure will be ready for the next meeting once we get everything going.
This is called the OSHA Construction Advisory Workgroup. Mr. Mike Buchet and Mr. Robert Masterson are the co-chairs. And this is a project to develop an electronic advisor on the OSHA web page available to everybody to walk them through hazards, safety programs, abatement methods for construction.
The current advisor that is up on the OSHA web page that is the closest to the construction advisor is the logging advisor.
And I wish to thank Federal/State Operations, Paul White, for funding the advisor and the office -- the OSHA Training and Education Institute in Chicago for providing the bulk of the expertise to develop and work with our Salt Lake City technical staff to compile the advisor.
Right now, we are attempting to put the advisor on a place where the ACCSH Workgroup and the ACCSH can view it.
We have to overcome a couple of security fire walls. And we are hoping that by the time the ACCSH Committee returns home you will find your password and your identifier on your computers when you log into your e-mail.
I cannot guarantee that, but that is what I was promised. Okay. I will keep you all posted.
For the general public, this should be up for public review shortly. Right now, we are hoping that the ACCSH page that the ACCSH has asked for in the past will also appear shortly.
For now, the reason I handed out the front page of the OSHA -- it says VPP up in the one corner. The reason I handed this out is that for now, it looks like the ACCSH page will appear in the subject index.
I just checked. I checked last night before I left. It was not there yet, but I was told that it should appear within the next few days.
So if you go into the subject index, it should appear as Advisory Committee Construction Safety and Health or it should appear as Construction Advisory Committee.
Again, there is a couple of minor technicalities that we are working with.
The ACCSH page will list the ACCSH members. At the ACCSH page, we are hoping to have access to the construction advisor.
But again, let me reiterate, because it is still an ACCSH workgroup product, the advisor for now will be available to the ACCSH members only.
And in a few weeks after comments, etcetera, we will -- the Directorate of the Federal/State Operations and the OSHA Training Institute will then decide to make it public.
It will be on the Net for public comment. And one of the ways to find it will be through the ACCSH page.
The reason that there is no URL on the top of the larger handout that I gave you that starts with 1 of 33 is because, again, for security reasons, was requested by Salt Lake City to eliminate the URL until they can get a space for you to see it.
As you can see on the first page and if you flip through it, you will see on the rest of the pages, there are no graphics. On the 31st, 40 pictures were added into this advisor.
And again, let me say, this is a work in progress. They are actual photographs. And the front page will have a graphic.
It will not be as detailed as the logging graphic because for now as you can see if you look at the page 1 of 1 in the left-hand column, you will see that the concept of this advisor was to address the major hazards on a construction site.
And you will see that it is the electrical falls struck by entrenching. So it will be a less complicated graphic.
And where it is going to differ from the logging advisor will be when you go to any of these pages, for instance, if you go to page 8 of 33 which is electrical incidence, contact with power lines, there are the plans are to insert where it says contact with power lines in the upper right-hand corner of the small little blocks, there will be a correct and incorrect picture.
And the concept of this advisor was instead of making it a graphic was to make a real-life picture. Okay.
They have solicited from our compliance officers. And they have actually solicited from some organizations for photographs of right and wrong.
And if you do have any correct pictures, those are the pictures that we are sorely in need of because OSHA -- well, you know what OSHA takes photographs of.
So any correct pictures, we would prefer an original. If you do have a digital picture, please send it. And we will see if our Salt Lake City people can actually use the digital picture. Okay.
The concept of these pages, if you turn back just to page 7 of 33, if you selected electrical, it will take you to a kind of a front page for electrical where a couple of the major hazards then appear, for instance, an electrical has contact with power lines, lack of GFCI. You can see the other ones there.
And then, each of those will then take you into a more detailed explanation. Well, if you turn to the next page which is 9 of 33, actually what I did here was -- this is the danger.
But as you can see, as you go deeper into the program, you get into more explanation, more detail.
And again, this is kind of the internal training program, a general overview of what the standards are. There is a link to the standards.
Then, there is another page that kind of discusses, oh, what could be a tool box talk, things to look for, things to do.
And then, there will be a page of kind of like a case study. And the case studies are taken from the OSHA 170 that you, that the group has discussed so finely this morning. Okay. So then, there will be some case law.
And I guess each one is a little different, but you can see it is still the basic concept. And we will provide other links. For instance, we will provide the links to the OSHA standards.
And right now, our programmers are trying to work with the web design to take you directly to that standard. Right now, the way the page is designed, it only takes you to the subpart.
But for instance, in the case law where it is talking about a direct contact with a crane, with an overhead line, we are attempting to see if we can establish links that would take you right into the 1926.550 specific rule that says, you know, the distances to stay away from overhead lines. That may take some time, but for now the linkages just go to the subpart.
This is a quick overview of this. If there are any questions -- and again, you guys should be able to review this. I have not been able to review it with the report that I got that all the pictures are now in there.
We probably will be adding a glossary where it says definitions. The definitions are not ready yet.
If you flip through this and you find the blank pages, it is because those pages were not ready to go up into an electronic format.
We are attempting to get approval to provide other links. And there is an internal review as to what kind of links we can provide from our home page.
Right now, if there is a link some place else, say, to a university, we will provide that link. Providing links to organizations or providing links to any web site that has a .com has to go through a lot of internal approval.
We have received requests from some organizations to provide those links. That is just going to take a little extra time.
The advisor will probably go up, but it is not going to be a stationary document. It will change.
We will probably -- the people at Salt Lake City have been working very hard with the OSHA Training and Education Division to have more and more cases, examples in there that can also be used as tool box talks.
You will actually see some of the pages look like they can be tool box talks so that they could be useful. That was developed especially for that way.
And that is a -- a Mr. Bill Wheatley at the OSHA Training Institute has worked very hard. And Mr. Bob Curtis in Salt Lake City has coordinated the work of all of our programmers and all the contractor programmers to work very hard to develop this.
And hopefully, we will get it to your committee, your workgroups and the full committee to review shortly.
CHAIRPERSON BURKHAMMER: Thank you, Camille.
Mr. Cooper and you were dancing on top of the table because he has been preaching for years or talking for years about getting something like this out to the public so that they have access to facts and the different types of things.
And this is some good stuff. This is some really good stuff.
MR. BUCHET: Could you go over how members of the public and the industry and construction workers, anybody can submit ideas and photographs for inclusion in this or if you -- for potential inclusion in this?
MS. VILLANOVA: Okay.
MR. BUCHET: Do we e-mail this stuff? And if so, where do we e-mail it?
MS. VILLANOVA: You can e-mail it to me. And right now, I don't think I appear on the ACCSH sheet in the back, right?
So if you e-mail to Mr. Boom. I don't think his e-mail is on there either.
CHAIRPERSON BURKHAMMER: Yes.
MS. VILLANOVA: You can e-mail it to me. The best thing I can do is I can promise to put a sheet on the back table. There is 35 characters in e-mail address. So I am not going to suffer -- have you guys go through that. I will put my e-mail address on the back table.
And otherwise, if you pick up the ACCSH member sheet that is on the sign-in table in the back, it has the address for the Directorate of Construction. If you send it to the address of the Directorate of Construction, attention to me, I will get it.
CHAIRPERSON BURKHAMMER: Great.
MR. EDGINTON: Thank you, Mr. Chairman. I think what I would like to do is simply express to you my appreciation for yourself and Bob and others apparently taking to heart some of the suggestions that were made by ACCSH, particularly with respect to an interest that is near and dear to my heart.
And that is developing a product that is worker friendly. The thing that really strikes me about this is, for example, when you talk about how am I danger, how do I avoid hazards, I mean, that is speaking to workers in the first person.
I mean, that is something that really is of great value to them. And I commend you for it because I have to tell you, I was a little skeptical when I had heard some of the first presentations in terms of whether or not this was really going to address worker's needs.
But clearly, it is moving in that direction. And you are really doing the right thing. And it looks good so far.
CHAIRPERSON BURKHAMMER: Thank you, Larry.
Other comments from the committee?
CHAIRPERSON BURKHAMMER: Hearing none, Camille, thank you very much.
If you get out your agendas, we will break for lunch shortly, come back at -- if we get out of here at a quarter to 12, we will come back at a quarter to 1 and hear the presentation from Paul on silica.
After that, the agenda will flow as is.
Tomorrow, this meeting will convene at 8:00 a.m. instead of 9:00 a.m. It will start out with discussions on Jane's and any motions Jane will have on the Paperwork Reduction Act that she has deferred until tomorrow.
We will then go into the Michael and Marie's discussion on the MSDS document which was handed out to everybody today. Mr. Swanson has been kind enough to delete his talk and --
CHAIRPERSON BURKHAMMER: And we will go into Charles' remarks at 9:30 to 10:30.
Then, when we come back, we will finish any MSDS or paper work discussions that we did not get done in the 8:00 to 9:00 o'clock hour or 8:00 to 9:30 hour.
So that is the story for tomorrow. Everybody up early, end early. That limits the night life for tonight for those of you that like to stay up late. But us old guys that are always going to bed early don't have that problem.
VOICE: And read the report.
CHAIRPERSON BURKHAMMER: And you've got to stay up and read the report. That's right.
So with that, let's adjourn for lunch and be back at a quarter to 1.
(Whereupon, at 11:40 a.m., the meeting was recessed for lunch.)
CHAIRPERSON BURKHAMMER: For the record, the committee should have in front of them the final draft of the RRNAs for the committee. This will be the one that we will now be working off of in the future.
Jane as the co-chair will mail a copy to the four members that are not here today.
I would appreciate, the committee and Jane, if you would add to your mailing to carry this with us, bring it to the meetings. It is kind of part and parcel of what we bring to these meetings so we always have it here to reference and refer to.
MS. WILLIAMS: Yes.
CHAIRPERSON BURKHAMMER: All right. With that, welcome back from lunch. We are starting out with the 1:00 o'clock presentation 15 minutes early on Silica.
MR. BOLON: Thank you.
CHAIRPERSON BURKHAMMER: Are you going to ask us to move into a comfortable chair so you can show is something or --
MR. BOLON: No.
CHAIRPERSON BURKHAMMER: Sorry, guys. Okay.
MR. BOLON: Good afternoon. My name is Paul Bolon. I am an Economist in the Office of Regulatory Analysis here at OSHA. I am the current team leader on the team that is working on developing a silica standard.
With me is Bill Perry who is in the Health Standards Directorate and who I rotate with to the team leadership. And he is actually going to present where we are on the silica standard.
Special Presentations: (Continued)
MR. PERRY: Thank you, Paul.
It is a pleasure to be here today with you to talk about actually all of our silica activities. I did not want to confine our remarks to just what we have been doing on the regulatory front.
I understand it has been a year or so I guess since anyone from our group has addressed this committee regarding silica. And certainly, a lot has happened in that interval.
OSHA is serious about developing a comprehensive standard for crystal and silica. We have been extremely active this year to achieving that end.
The development of the standard was identified by a group of labor and industry representatives in OSHA's priority planning process a few years ago.
More recently, OSHA has set as one of its strategic goals to reduce silica exposures in the incidents of silicosis among workers in all industries.
This goal reflects our concern that there continue to be high rates of silicosis seen in several industry sectors, including construction.
One of the more recent studies of this is a NIOSH finding of 604 cases of silicosis across all industry sectors in just seven states in a two-year period between 1993 and 1995. Ten percent of those silicosis cases occurred among construction workers.
The CDC has also estimated that there are 300 deaths per year that occur due to silicosis and, again, about 10 percent of those are believed to occur among construction workers.
We have been addressing our strategic goal to reduce silicosis in the United States in a number of ways, including several outreach efforts at both the national and regional level.
We recognize there is a considerable degree of noncompliance with our current PEL for silica and partially for that reason initiated a special emphasis program in 1996 to increase enforcement of our limit.
Some regions have been particularly active and during that SEP in looking at construction operations.
In addition, we are part of an OSHA, NIOSH, and MSHA task force to address outreach issues. And while these outreach efforts continue, we view the development of a comprehensive standard as a critical element in the OSHA meeting our strategic goal.
We believe that a comprehensive silicosis prevention program is one of the most effective ways we could provide employees or ensure that employees have the necessary protection.
Such a program would include health screening, exposure assessment, increased level of training and education about the hazards of silica, I think education is particularly important here, as well as efforts to reduce exposures and maintain those reduced exposures.
We do have some information indicating that such programs where they have been implemented long enough ago have in fact had a real impact on silicosis rates.
At this time, our schedule calls for issuing a proposed standard by the end of the next calendar or some time in the fourth quarter of the next calendar year. That standard is being developed to apply to general industry, construction, and maritime.
We are looking at several issues that are unique to construction as part of our research efforts, including how to best approach exposure assessment for construction operations and how to best ensure that adequate controls provided during certain specific kinds of dusting operations that occur in construction, as well as in some other places.
Some of the operations in particular that we are focusing in our research include abrasive blasting, jack hammering, cutting and drilling of concrete, brick and block sawing, grinding operations, tug pointing, drilling and boring operations both underground and above the surface or above -- on the surface actually.
I must state that our enforcement exposure information indicates that right now, about 35 percent of the air samples taken by OSHA enforcement officers in the construction industry exceed a PEL of 100 micrograms per cubic meter.
Of course, we are doing much of the research in-house and with contractor help as we often do.
In addition, we are working very closely with NIOSH on several fronts in supporting some of their research that I think will provide us with good information on the control of silica in construction operations and the effectiveness of different control options.
Included in that research that we are sponsoring, NIOSH is conducting an extent of exposure analysis which includes they are conducting between five and 10 comprehensive site surveys, industrial hygiene surveys on construction sites this year.
They are also doing site surveys in connection with some other research that they are conducting. We are sponsoring some of their toxicity studies that they are looking at.
And in general, I think in this rulemaking in particular, we have probably as much coordination with NIOSH as certainly I have ever seen on a rulemaking before. And I think we are benefiting very greatly from that from their support.
We have, of course, involved the public already to quite an extent in getting information and exchanging information on our rulemaking process.
We have held a series of stakeholder meetings in Chicago and in San Francisco. Both of these meetings included representatives from the construction industry, both large firms as well as small, representing new construction as well as demolition firms.
We also are planning to hold an additional set of stakeholder meetings in about two weeks here in Washington.
Although we have not yet made a firm decision on to what extent the PEL should be lowered or whether it should be lowered, we do have information suggesting to us that the risks of silicosis and of lung cancer at our current PEL still remain quite high.
We believe that the current PEL deserves reexamination. And to that end, we are conducting risk analyses to better characterize the risk of silicosis and lung cancer.
Of course, we will also be looking closely at technologic and economic feasibility and the impacts of changing the PEL as we always do.
That is about all I have to say in terms of prepared remarks. I think at this point, Paul and I would be happy to entertain any questions or comments the committee may have.
CHAIRPERSON BURKHAMMER: Larry.
MR. EDGINTON: Thank you, Mr. Chairman. I guess the first question I have is with respect to one thing for clarification is that you are talking about having something out in the fourth quarter of the year 2000?
MR. PERRY: That's right.
MR. EDGINTON: Or the fourth quarter of fiscal year 2000?
MR. PERRY: I'm sorry. Calendar year 2000.
MR. EDGINTON: Calendar year.
MR. PERRY: Yes, proposed.
MR. EDGINTON: Then, I -- am I to assume then that when the semi-annual regulatory agenda comes out soon in the next couple of months that in fact there will be a time frame in that for this?
Because if my recollection is correct, the one that came out this spring is still listed standard development as being long term.
MR. PERRY: I believe there will be a day in the agenda.
MR. EDGINTON: Okay.
MR. PERRY: I am not the one responsible or have final sign-off, you understand, but that is my understanding.
MR. EDGINTON: I was just trying to match that with what I thought I was hearing.
MR. PERRY: Right.
MR. EDGINTON: And then, am I correct in understanding that you seem to be -- the context seems to be a single standard covering all industries?
MR. PERRY: We are not sure yet how the final form will be. We are looking very hard at how we might have to tailor the standard to address construction operations or exposures in construction operations.
If that leads us to a standard that looks I guess sufficiently different from one we might put out for general industry, that might be the decision that is made.
MR. EDGINTON: I mean, it strikes me that -- and, you know, I have just made some notes to myself as you were talking that the issues of exposure assessment and medical monitoring may be much more difficult in construction than in industries where there is a fixed work place and constant work force and that type of thing.
And any standard that you develop I think would have to take those differences into consideration.
MR. PERRY: I think our plan is to take those differences into consideration. We have been asking our stakeholders for input on those very issues in fact.
MR. EDGINTON: I am sure you will be hearing more from me in September.
MR. PERRY: Very good.
MR. EDGINTON: Thank you.
MR. PERRY: I look forward to it.
CHAIRPERSON BURKHAMMER: Any other comments?
DR. SWEENEY: Bill, thank you for your presentation. And correct me if I am wrong on these numbers, but I understand that the NIOSH number is what 35 milligrams per cubic meter. And is it --
MR. PERRY: Fifty.
DR. SWEENEY: Fifty milligrams. Okay.
MR. PERRY: Of silica.
DR. SWEENEY: Part of the problem that we have is that there is a problem with limited detection and sampling methods.
MR. PERRY: Yes.
DR. SWEENEY: Is there -- or analytic methods. Is there any move underfoot to resolve those issues of detection if in fact you plan to go that low or --
MR. PERRY: Yes. There are plans to resolve that. We have been pretty active on that front also.
There was a meeting at the AIAJ conference this past spring with NIST. It was developing the next series of primary silica standards for laboratories to use for calibration.
The latest word I have is that that primary standard should be available within a few weeks or so. I think I heard that from our Salt Lake City lab just yesterday. That will certainly help.
NIOSH is, of course, sharing with us a lot of their information from the last round of path testing. And we've got some good information from NIOSH on what kinds of things labs are doing that might interfere with getting more sensitivity out of the method. And we think our standard should address those things also.
DR. SWEENEY: Okay. Thank you.
CHAIRPERSON BURKHAMMER: Are you getting any data or have you looked at any of Susan Moir's data from Lowell?
MR. PERRY: No. I mean, I'm not -- our contractors have probably pulled that information. And so specifically, I don't know, but I'll certainly contact her now.
CHAIRPERSON BURKHAMMER: All right. Anything else?
MR. SWANSON: Yes, let me --
CHAIRPERSON BURKHAMMER: Bruce.
MR. SWANSON: Let me make the comment on the record here kind of following up on something you alluded to I think, Larry.
A couple of organizations have spoken to Assistant Secretary Jeffress about maybe a couple of things like powered industrial trucks and fiberglass and how OSHA handled them and how maybe all of the construction industry was not as in the loop as certain elements would liked to have been and help participate with OSHA in the formulation of those policies/standards.
I have been instructed to work as a liaison with the Directorate of Construction, with those elements in the community.
And in keeping with that, one of Connell's people have been assigned. As you recognized, this standard is not being developed in the Directorate of Construction. It is being done by the Health Standards Unit.
But we are going to share to the extent that we can share the time of Carol Saul's out of Noah's unit and hopefully keep not only ACCSH informed, but those other elements that are at the ACCSH table here this morning that have pushed the curiosity on how other things happened the way they did.
So thank you.
CHAIRPERSON BURKHAMMER: Thank you.
Any other questions?
CHAIRPERSON BURKHAMMER: Thank you very much. I appreciate it.
MS. SHORTALL: Thank you so much.
CHAIRPERSON BURKHAMMER: Our Solicitor is back.
MS. SHORTALL: One of them.
CHAIRPERSON BURKHAMMER: One of our many Solicitors.
I think we are now ready for our 1:30 presentation, the technical changes to the existing standards of which if the committee will take out those sheets that we brought with us to comment on. Hopefully, you all have them. You've made lots of comments and are ready to share those with Bob.
Special Presentations: (Continued)
Technical Changes in Existing Standards
MR. MANWARE: I'm Bob Manware. I am with the Directorate of Health Standards Programs. And I am working on this innocuous effort here which I do feel though is important in straightening out some existing standards that need to be straightened out.
It is basically a clean-up of these standards or provisions that are absolute and duplicative, unnecessary, contradictory.
This little effort is not new. It is a continuation of something that we started in 1996 and completed initially in 1998, initial clean-up project.
We have identified the additional provisions that we think need some treatment in the way of renovation, straightening out. And that is what this phase 2 is all about.
The construction standards that are affected are minimal. And they are described in the memo that you have, I think all of you have, but hopefully.
Again, they are more informing and corrective actions in nature. They are really not substantive.
So without going into detail, if you have read the memo, instead of taking your time, instead of me giving you an overview of something you have already know, unless you want me to go on with more detail, I would be glad to answer any questions.
CHAIRPERSON BURKHAMMER: Yes. Why don't we start with the change one, employee exposure notification.
And any members of the committee would like to comment on the first one?
MR. EDGINTON: Thank you, Mr. Chairman. In reading the document, it was unclear to me from this as to what you are considering doing there.
As I understand it what I thought I read is you are talking about an either/or situation where there would either be posting or individual employee notification.
Are you saying that an employer could elect to use either or are you saying that when you ultimately make the change, it will be one or the other but not both?
MR. MANWARE: Any option is available. I put this in there to suggest what kind of modification might take place.
We may not even propose necessary a specific written notification or posting or written notification only or written notification and posting.
We may just raise the issue in detail in the notice asking the regulated community what is most appropriate as far as this issue goes of notification.
Again, we might propose a specific written notice or posting. That is possible.
But certainly if the committee here has some suggestions on what is appropriate at this point.
MR. EDGINTON: You know, speaking for myself and my constituents and the interest that I represent, workers at least with respect to the construction industry in particular, but I think all industries in general, I think it is important that you keep both requirements.
It is particularly important in construction where you have a mobil work force. People do not work for long periods of time.
There is a value to providing individual notice. And at that the same time, there is also value to posting.
And I hope that we do not lose sight of that because one of the things that concern me here is we are talking about the burden that it is to employers.
But what we are talking about here is protecting workers. We ought not to be losing sight of that. And I think the one thing that both posting and individual notification does is ensure a much higher level of protection for workers.
MR. MANWARE: Certainly, the record that we are going to develop as a result of this will certainly be looked towards in deciding what the final is. We have not made our mind up.
Putting those two elements in there as a suggested modification at least goes beyond what we have in lead, for example, which only requires written notice.
MR. EDGINTON: Right.
MR. MANWARE: Not posting. So -- but the proposal will be crafted to clearly raise the issue and solicit for comments.
CHAIRPERSON BURKHAMMER: One thing I would like to comment on. Larry, I understand where you are coming from when you say both.
But the construction industry more and more now is a transient work force. And where years ago you could call your local union shop and the local was stocked with enough people to send them out from the local to work, well, now there are so many people working.
And a lot of the building trades are short-skilled crafts people. So you get a lot of travelers that come in and out of your projects.
And a lot of times when you get that, the traveler gives you his local address where he is staying in a trailer park or in an apartment or even in a motel in some cases.
So -- and when the employment is terminated or he finishes the job or he gets a reduction in force at completion and you are still monitoring for whatever reason, in a lot of cases it is very difficult to find that employee to give them some kind of personal ticket.
MR. EDGINTON: Yes.
CHAIRPERSON BURKHAMMER: Or personal letter or personal whatever to say here is your personal stuff.
So I -- when I read this, I thought having the option of either posting of what is left of the job or even if it is any part of the job posting so that everybody on the job can see and maybe even sending a copy to the local union to post or however they would wish to do it rather than putting the burden on the employer to track down an employee who may be clean across the country working somewhere else. It is extremely difficult for the employers.
So I, from an employer's standpoint, think that the four is the right way to go.
DR. SWEENEY: I just have one follow-up. In terms of a transient work force, if you wait five, 10, 20 days after you get the information that there has been exposure or whatever, you are going to miss a lot of people on the construction site.
So just bear that in mind when you are thinking about how many days it takes to post a notice that has been gotten regarding an exposure.
And you are dealing here with some carcinogens, too. So it is important that people get that information as soon as possible.
MR. MANWARE: That is a good point. And it has not escaped us. And we will craft discussion in the preamble to this proposal, clearly focusing on those potential problems.
CHAIRPERSON BURKHAMMER: An example of that is a 24-hour, 48-hour turnaround in a refinery or a chemical plant where you dump 1,500 employees for two days and they are all gone the third day.
And if you wait even the five days which is your first one here, your lowest count is five days, they are all gone.
I think it is absolutely impossible to post the first day because you are sampling the first day. And the second day, even if you ask for a 24-hour turnaround from the labs, by the time you get the package back, they're gone.
So think about that when you're putting this thing together.
Any other comments anyone?
MR. RHOTEN: Maybe, just one.
CHAIRPERSON BURKHAMMER: Mr. Rhoten.
MR. RHOTEN: The employers have all the employee's home address material. And the suggestion that maybe that material should be sent to the union hall, I see problems with that.
CHAIRPERSON BURKHAMMER: My comment with the home address is usually when a traveler comes, he gives his local address that he is staying at while he is on your site.
MR. RHOTEN: Right.
CHAIRPERSON BURKHAMMER: And his home may be in some other state, somewhere clean across his permanent home.
MR. RHOTEN: Right.
CHAIRPERSON BURKHAMMER: But you are not getting the permanent home address, you are getting his local address where he is staying while he is working on your project. So you really do not have where he is.
MR. RHOTEN: The access.
CHAIRPERSON BURKHAMMER: Yes.
Any other comments from the committee?
MR. BUCHET: Yes.
CHAIRPERSON BURKHAMMER: Michael.
MR. BUCHET: A little bit on the discussion, is the ultimate aim to get the information to the exposed employee and to potentially future exposed employees?
Or is it simply crafted to create some kind of legal defense in case somebody says, well, maybe I got hurt on the job and I don't know?
Because if the job is to get the information to the person who has been exposed so that they can do something medical for their own benefit, then all the discussion about how difficult it is has to be weighed against the value of giving that personal information to the worker.
And I do not know how you answer the question. I am just saying which one of those issues are we dealing with?
MR. MANWARE: I think as far as OSHA is concerned, we are interested in ensuring access of exposure monitoring data for the employee.
Now, obviously there are perhaps some complications in a transient work force. And you get the results after the employee has left.
Nonetheless, under another standard, the access standard, that employee does have access to that exposure monitoring data, even if he is no longer an employee of that employer.
That does not solve all the problems. Just having a legal access for employees does not take some of the complications that you are raising. I recognize that.
MR. BUCHET: Well --
MR. MANWARE: I am just suggesting that there is some framework that we can work with to try to ensure that the employee does have reasonable access and can get that data given certain complicated situations.
MR. BUCHET: And more and more, the idea of a transient work force is not just construction with rental workers and temporary help and manpower and more and more people hiring from some other agency. The workers may disappear the next day.
OSHA how many contract employees coming in and out of this building who disappear?
MR. MANWARE: Well, that is -- I understand that in -- I do not think that any of these standards have addressed what you are raising. This issue is just ensuring that the results of the exposure monitoring are made available to the employee.
So we may be getting into an area beyond the issues, beyond which we are really attending to here.
What we are trying to do here is simply to conform the standards, the amount of time that the employer is given to notify employees, be it written notice or posting and the fact that it -- and how it is going to be notified, written notice or posting and in an amount of days. That is really what we are contemplating here as doing, just a conforming action.
Now, if it looks like we need to go beyond that to take care of some problems that you are bringing up about how is this in reality and practicality going to occur which has not been addressed in any of these standards, it gives kind of a new twist on this issue.
And it is not necessarily something that we are not going to attend to. We certainly can.
CHAIRPERSON BURKHAMMER: Any other comments on number one?
MR. DEVORA: The only comment and I think it is very important that we notice the consistency effort in the ways folks are notified.
I think that is the intent of these requirements is that they may be made consistent across the board. And I think that, if anything, would help some of the confusion.
Obviously, there is different ways or requirements on how you notify people for different issues.
So I think the consistency issue is very important in that. And I think this does address that.
CHAIRPERSON BURKHAMMER: All right. Let's go to number two, the PEL action.
Does anybody have any comments, the committee?
CHAIRPERSON BURKHAMMER: None.
Number three, the position signature, comments?
MS. WILLIAMS: Yes.
CHAIRPERSON BURKHAMMER: Jane.
MS. WILLIAMS: Has any consideration been given to confidentiality of employee data when you access electronic processes?
MR. MANWARE: That probably is not contemplated under this effort. I noted that there is others in the agency who are dealing with issues of confidentiality of medical records, but I do not think that we are going to get into that here, unless there is something that is raised that is a good issue that should be attended to here given this chance.
MS. WILLIAMS: Well, if I am reading this, it is intended to do the elimination of the physician's signature, that this could then become an electronic document, reduce the maintenance of the paper requirement where it can be accessible.
And as soon as you have that on a physician's facility transferring that electronic data to an employer, it just seemed to me there is more people going to be involved in that.
And it would be something that should be considered?
MR. MANWARE: Certainly, yes.
And on the issue of confidentiality would certainly be raised in the notice.
MS. WILLIAMS: Thank you.
CHAIRPERSON BURKHAMMER: Anything else on number three?
CHAIRPERSON BURKHAMMER: Number four, the technical corrections on the coke oven standard, coke ovens?
CHAIRPERSON BURKHAMMER: Okay. Thank you very much. You've heard from us and hopefully you will take some of our advice and --
MR. EDGINTON: Mr. Chairman.
CHAIRPERSON BURKHAMMER: Larry.
MR. EDGINTON: I have a question with regards to information that is contained in the standards improvement, the miscellaneous changes to general industry standards.
I mean, I know that is not our charge, but one of these things that caught my eye and maybe I ask this question out of ignorance, but -- and if I do so, bear with me.
But we talk about revising the x-ray rating procedures for inorganic arsenic. And it says reason for action, it says the provision should allow the use of board-certified radiologists or horologists, ILO, UC not necessary.
My question there, is why is that?
MR. MANWARE: Well, that was a suggestion that was provided to us by some members of the regulated community and agreed to by our Office of Occupational Medicine. So I have to yield to them. I do not believe they are here to explain that.
MR. EDGINTON: Yes, but I do not know if it is good or bad. But my question, I just looked at that. And I said I don't know why they would propose to change that.
MR. MANWARE: I cannot tell you in medical terms, but I do believe them. Again, the issue will be raised as to whether or not it is appropriate to make this change.
MR. EDGINTON: Right.
MR. MANWARE: And we will get comments. But I think it is appropriate to propose this change for substantive technical reasons which I --
MR. EDGINTON: Right. I was just trying to understand why it was being proposed.
Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
CHAIRPERSON BURKHAMMER: Does anyone from the committee have any comment on the attachments?
CHAIRPERSON BURKHAMMER: Okay. Thank you very much.
MR. MANWARE: Thank you.
CHAIRPERSON BURKHAMMER: The next item on your agenda, we are going to skip for the time being. We will ask Manny to, who is always prepared, go up and share with us Updates on the Construction Courses.
Special Presentations: (Continued)
OSHA Training Institute - Update on Construction Courses
MR. YPSILANTES: Good afternoon. My name is Many Ypsilantes with the OSHA Training Institute. And I am the Branch Manager for the Construction Branch.
Mr. Chairman, I would like to thank you and the committee members for inviting us to present an update to you regarding what we are doing at the Training Institute and to give us the opportunity to do that.
I have given you all a copy of our catalogue for this current fiscal year 2000. It is for the private sector.
It lists all the courses that are available to the private sector. And it addresses the construction courses. There are 13 construction courses.
If you turn to page 8, what I would like to do is probably introduce or Ed Centers. On page 8, it lists -- I will not read them because of the time constraints. But it lists our partners and who they are.
And in the next column, it shows what courses we have turned over and allowed them to teach in conjunction with us across the country.
They have done a good job I think. It has given the opportunities to people who could not get training. And I think it is working out very well.
As you get into it on page A-1 in the appendix, it starts with the 200 A and the courses that we are offering in construction.
The 200 which is not listed here and the reason why it is not listed here is because that course is full. And we pre-register. It is just like in college. We pre-register the states and the feds. They get first crack. And they have filled up the courses, the 200. So we did not make it available to them.
However, we are offering a 200 A, 209, 301, 302, 303, 311, 312, 326, 500, 502, and 510. In addition to that, we also teach the welding course which is the 322, but we don't get credit for it. The IHs get credit for it, but we teach it.
The instruction guys didn't know anything, right?
CHAIRPERSON BURKHAMMER: Manny, 209 is not here either. Is that --
MR. YPSILANTES: It's not.
CHAIRPERSON BURKHAMMER: Is that full, too?
MR. YPSILANTES: Yes. And that is one of the new courses that I wanted to talk about. That course was introduced. And it is for our federal and state compliance officers, but it is open to the public, but it is filled.
And we talk about strategies, special procedures. I will get into that a little bit as we get into the courses that have changed significantly and the new courses. That was probably our latest addition to 209.
Our courses are continuously being updated. Our course chairpersons are people that are assigned to courses.
They become chairpersons. And then, they are responsible for maintaining and updating and keeping the course in compliance with changes in the regulations.
And then, we always tweak it based upon our feedback from the students which we evaluate and assess every time a course is given.
And then, we look at what those allegations are, concerns, etcetera.
What I would like to discuss on changes is the 510. We are presently reworking the entire 510 course. That course was designed originally for workers. It was the first course that we had that was specifically designed for workers.
And there was a lot of confusion about this course and the 500. And when we made the prerequisites for 500 instructor, we said you had to do two things.
You had to -- and it is based upon the committee's recommendations that you had to have five years of construction experience in safety and health and that they have at least the equivalent to a 510 course which is a 40-hour course. Those were the prerequisites.
There was confusion for some reason. People thought, well, if I took the 510, then I can take the 500. And then, I would be a qualified, authorized instructor, but that is not true.
In addition, we turned the course over to the Ed Centers, the 510 and the 500. A lot of times an instructor who does an hour, for example, on fall protection, well, if they do an hour in the 500 and they are doing a good job at it, then guess what? They are going to teach the same thing in the 510 because they are comfortable with and they get good reviews, but that was not the intent.
So we are now modifying it so the course is strictly to do hazard identification. Teach the students standards. Teach the students about OSHA, how to understand a law and how to use the standards from a vertical and horizontal standpoint.
And do workshops, forcing them to demonstrate that they understand what the scope and application is, what the definition term for that subpart are, and then what are the important issues in that subpart and how that standard is laid out and the source of that standard. And that basically is what that course is about.
So we are going to eliminate this problem concerning the 510 and the 500 hopefully.
The 500 is the other course that has changed. Starting October 1st of this fiscal year coming up 2000, they will be testing.
And that also has been a concern for a lot of people, testing for the instructors. They are going to have to pass. There will be a pass/fail exam based upon hand golfing. I just found out what hand golfing is. It's very confusing. It's part of the academia world.
And apparently, that is what we will be looking at. It will be implementing it October 1st. There will be 50 test questions and the passing score based upon hand golfing will be 68 percent which means that is where that is presently.
This testing will be done uniformly across the country with our Ed Centers and ourselves. So that is going to restructure the course somewhat because everybody is going to have to teach pretty much the same materials based upon the hand golfing, the test questions, and the criteria that people will be required to know in order to pass the test.
The 209, we developed a 209 course which is not in here. I thought it was in here. This course was designed to help our CSHOs understand, our senior CSHOs deal with issues on policy and standardization and inspection procedures and also based upon issues that were complex, but there was confusion, such as multi-employer which a lot of people have problems with and the issues concerning it.
Hopefully, that course will work in conjunction with the Construction Directorate. Hopefully, whatever issues the field is having problems with, we can address those in that class and try to resolve compliance issues and concerns.
Stew had asked me during the lunch break if I would address the issue about paper reduction and certification, specifically about maintaining records concerning our 10 and 30-hour course. It came up earlier today.
And there are a couple of issues here. Yes, we do have that information, but -- there is always a but in the government, right?
The Privacy Act could be a problem about us releasing that information.
And then, secondly, if we ever retrieve the data that we have, it is based upon the instructor, okay, not on the student.
So we would have to know the instructor and then when that instructor gave the class to look up the student for your verification and certification.
So those would be the two issues.
The other thing is I would report out since we are here the 500 course. It has been very successful.
Starting in 1980 -- I mean, in 1990, I'm sorry, we started keeping count. And we trained 8,841 students. In 1991, we trained 12,954 students. In 1992, we trained 20,903 students, in 1993, 33,133 students, in 1994, 40,690 students. In 1995, there were 63,742 students. In 1996, there were 66,818 students. In 1997, there was 74,537 students.
And to date, it is -- when I say to date, it is from 10-1-98 to 8-27-99, 120,911 students. That is a combination of the 10 and 30-hour courses given.
So we have had a lot of success with outreach. It has become pretty much the standard in the industry. In a lot of states, the employer in construction either owners or the contractors are requiring as 10-hour in order for them to work for them.
They get calls all the time frantically asking how can I get 50 people trained in a 10-hour for next week? Well, number one, we do not do the 10-hour. We just train people so they can do the 10 and 30-hour.
The 10-hour has been the big course. This year, we trained 113,533 students. With the 10-hour and the 30-hour, there were 7,378 students taught.
The different trainers for this year, this fiscal year to date, there was 2,264 10-hour trainers who conducted classes. And for the 30-hour trainers, there was 270.
So you can see the thing driving is the 10-hour. For some reason, the 10-hour is the training that they are looking for. And the 30-hour is just way out for whatever reason.
The other issue that came up was what are we planning on doing in the future regarding learning.
We have Dr. Payne who is now in charge of the institute. He is all for it. He is essentially the training guru in this area, in this media. He is for it.
We have discussed the mix that we are going to be looking at. And one of the mixes you talked about today was the construction advisor, putting that on the computer and on the Net, cable, telephone.
We see telephone. We have a CDV set up where we talking directly with the construction director and his staff for our students in a class.
And they give the students update, a just-in-time version of whatever is going on in that curriculum and what is going on in construction.
And we turn over to the students. And then, they kind of quiz both us and construction director regarding issues of concern.
It helps us to keep up to date and helps the students who come from across the country to keep up with the various media. And it is very successful. And it helps the just-in-time issues.
In addition, we are looking telephone, satellite. As a matter of fact, we have done in the past, we have done some pilot projects with satellite.
We did confined space a couple of years ago. It worked out fine.
We are looking to do training for our entire fed and state people regarding safety and health programs here in the next fiscal year.
And we are looking at training all of them through satellites will be linking up and down and doing it across the country. We are looking at developing tapes and computer-based programs.
So we are looking at the mix of technologies here. There is no reason for us not to do it. Now, the issue becomes, will they give us the money and the people and resources to do it?
And hopefully, we are looking forward to the year 2000, 1 and 2 hopefully to allocate us people and monies to do those things.
Essentially, that is where we are at.
The other thing is we are looking at moving in the year 2001. And we are looking at moving to a larger facility so we can accomplish these changes and keep up with technology.
Hopefully, we will be moving to facility that will be larger, be able to accommodate us. And hopefully, it will accommodate our new staff, our new equipment. We are purchasing equipment this year for the new technology. So we are on our way.
With that, we are running out of time. I am going to turn it over because I know you have questions concerning the updates and what we are doing in the testing. So I will just turn it over to the committee. And I'll try to answer your questions.
CHAIRPERSON BURKHAMMER: I'm glad to see that you are hand golfing me.
CHAIRPERSON BURKHAMMER: Any questions?
MR. YPSILANTES: Right.
CHAIRPERSON BURKHAMMER: That is a complicated procedure.
MR. YPSILANTES: Yes, it is.
CHAIRPERSON BURKHAMMER: And if you have ever had an opportunity to be through a hand golf study, it is a pain in the butt.
MR. YPSILANTES: It is too frustrating. It is very hard to change a question.
CHAIRPERSON BURKHAMMER: It is because each question is weighted based on a criteria. And it is decided whether the questions fits the exam, whether the materials are covered in the exam. And there is a whole bunch of things.
But it does show when you pass or fail the exam, you have done so basically the certified exam.
MR. YPSILANTES: Right.
CHAIRPERSON BURKHAMMER: And there is no BS to it. You either pass it or fail it.
MR. YPSILANTES: Right.
CHAIRPERSON BURKHAMMER: And the percent rate is based on the weighted average.
So that's great.
MS. WILLIAMS: I only have two questions for you.
MR. YPSILANTES: Sure.
MS. WILLIAMS: On two separate occasions, ACCSH has discussed the 10-hour in particular. And on occasion with Mr. Jeffress, the question was also posed.
And it was a recommendation that was adopted by ACCSH to evaluate the 10-hour into an 8-hour to make it more user friendly, understanding the 8-hour work day versus having to pull our workers to 5-hour days.
That has always been a receptive idea. Has it ever made it back to you guys, you folks? And have you ever looked at that issue?
MR. YPSILANTES: Yes, we have looked at that issue. And I agree with you. Training should not be punishment, especially for workers because that's training in the job with workers.
And when you make them do 10 contact hours, it is very difficult if you do it in one day. And then, the issue about pay comes up. Who is paying for it?
Do you eat lunch out? If you eat lunch out, now it is not a 10-hour program, it is an 11 or 12-hour program because they have to go to lunch and come back.
It has been looked at. We want to do -- we at one time discussed turning it into an 8-hour, one day like you do for hazard training. That would include your breaks and lunch, and eight hours as opposed to contact hours.
The reason why we stayed with the 10-hour is because that is how it got its recognition, number one. So it was an established program that everyone in the country was using.
And then, the other issue was the contact hours. For you to get credit, you had to have the 10 contact hours for college or CSU for you to have to maintain your certification.
So those were some of the issues that came up as to why we didn't change it.
MS. WILLIAMS: The second item, it has come up at this committee several times since I have been a member.
What would be the appropriate vehicles to work with compliance officers so they understand the intent of a lot of our instructions?
And let's use multi-employer. Many, many issues have been misinterpreted in the citation process.
And one of the reasons behind the request to having you come was to how can the ACCSH members either by participating with you in some future meeting, a comment there I think was a suggestion by Stew and Mr. Cooper?
How can we work closer with you so that when you do do these classes with these folks who is locking up that class that we cannot get in to say, no, it will not work this way --
MR. YPSILANTES: Right.
MS. WILLIAMS: How can we work with you to get this information, this dialogue available to yourselves so it does get back to compliance so they can more realistically understand some of these issues in the field?
MR. YPSILANTES: I think that is a valid point that you are bringing up. Really, by us attending and participating, it is the pulse of the industry.
And the only way you can get it is in this room whenever you all meet. And there is nobody that I am aware that is more up to date and more informed about the issues concerning instruction than the body here.
And there is no way to do it unless you are participating in this. And we are open to even having you all come and teach in the classroom if -- regarding sensitive issues.
That is not a problem. We would love to have you as guest speakers, representing industry and your views.
Sometimes, the issues on policy when you talk about the multi-employer policy, the issue becomes very complex because you are talking about law and policy.
I am not sure how OSHA and depending on the administration, how it is administered. It changes. So there is a lot of confusion from one administration to the other regarding policy.
And then, there is the court decisions depending upon the courts. You can read as many as at one versus a lot.
So maybe, the issue on some of those things is maybe turning to a standard as opposed to a policy. That is way beyond me.
MS. WILLIAMS: Stew --
MR. YPSILANTES: But as far as work with you all, that is not a problem, communicating with you and keeping abreast of what is going on here.
I understand now you are on the Internet. So when we cannot attend, we can get that information off the Internet so I know what is going on and my staff knows what is going on.
But being here, talking with you all, and discussing the issues is probably the way to go.
CHAIRPERSON BURKHAMMER: We are not on the Internet yet.
MS. VILLANOVA: It's close.
CHAIRPERSON BURKHAMMER: We are not there yet.
MR. YPSILANTES: I pulled it off of my system. So you are on the Internet with OSHA.
CHAIRPERSON BURKHAMMER: But see, you are important. That's why.
MR. YPSILANTES: Well, maybe, that is it.
CHAIRPERSON BURKHAMMER: Jane.
MS. WILLIAMS: Is it inappropriate to request the OTIs participation at all ACCSH meetings?
MR. YPSILANTES: Yes. I think it is because, you know, depending on the schedule, depending on when we meet, you know, whether Manny has got all his people training, Manny has other meetings to go to.
So I think asking them or mandating them to come to every single meeting might be a little too much.
MS. WILLIAMS: Oh, I didn't mean mandate. I meant, to ask.
MR. RHOTEN: How about to extend an invitation?
MR. YPSILANTES: I like that.
MR. RHOTEN: So at least --
CHAIRPERSON BURKHAMMER: Probably as their schedule permits.
MS. WILLIAMS: Okay.
MR. YPSILANTES: We would love to participate when we can. We would like to.
CHAIRPERSON BURKHAMMER: Very good. We would love to have.
Any other questions or --
MR. RHOTEN: No. I just want to make a comment. I think that we have had a good relationship with your training facility that goes back for 20 years before I got here.
I think you guys have done an outstanding job at least in helping us put together that 10-hour program that we got floating around the country now.
And I think you probably do not get recognition for all the hard work you do over there. I think people have been at your facility to see how hard your whole crew works over there, but doesn't really realize.
I had the opportunity to go there when I came on board in 1992 to go through that 500 class. And I was impressed with the amount of work that you guys turn out.
MR. YPSILANTES: Thank you.
CHAIRPERSON BURKHAMMER: Thank you, Bill. Okay.
Thank you, Manny. We appreciate it.
MR. YPSILANTES: You're welcome.
CHAIRPERSON BURKHAMMER: Noah.
Special Presentations: (Continued)
Construction Standards Update
MR. CONNELL: Thank you, Mr. Chairman. It is a pleasure to be here. I will kind of go through our standards and let you know where we are, starting with the safety and health programs.
Originally, we had said that we would issue draft regulatory text this summer. That timetable is being reevaluated.
Right now, the general industry safety and health standard I believe is about six months time their original projected schedule. And that kind of puts us back as well since we are going to -- we are not going to go before them. They are going to go first.
Also, we are at a stage where we have to work with other OSHA offices before we can release our draft text.
And other OSHA standards projects outside of our directorate are ahead of this one. And the trains are getting a bit backed up behind those other projects.
On confined space, DOC has completed a plain language draft regulatory text, but we are very likely going to miss our December, 1999 target date by a very wide margin. And that is due to two factors.
The first factor is that there is a Department of Labor departmental policy for holding stakeholder meetings before issuing a proposed standard.
Now, when we originally come up with our schedule, we were anticipating that because we have worked so closely with ACCSH on developing the confined space standard for construction, that we were not going to be doing those stakeholder meetings.
That may not in fact be the case. And if we do have to do stakeholder meetings, if that is going to be decision, that is quite time consuming.
The second is the SBREFA review panel process. SBREFA is the Small Business Regulatory Fairness Enforcement Act.
It requires a review panel process to be done for certain standards that meet certain criteria before they are issued as a proposal.
When we came up with our target date, our initial look, the initial economic analysis, a very preliminary economic analysis, the indications were at the time that we would not have to do a SBREFA review panel process.
That economic look has been reexamined. I guess there has been somewhat of a closer look. And now, the indications are that we will be doing the review panel process. That is also a very lengthy process.
You put those two things together and that adds a tremendous amount of time to our schedule.
On steel erection at the Directorate of Construction staff level, we have completed analysis of the record.
We are now in a process of subjecting our analysis to the cross examination of both other OSHA offices and the OSHA decision makers.
To try and make this process go as fast as possible, we have been and are contemporaneously drafting a preamble and modifying a preamble as we go along as decisions are made. So it is a work-in-progress.
On the one hand, it is kind of more work for us because it means we keep redrafting or keep modifying a work.
On the other hand, our feeling is that in the end, it makes the process faster because it is always easier to modify something than to start from scratch.
Unfortunately and very regrettably, once again I have to say that we will miss our December, 1999 target date, although I am still hopeful that we are not going to miss this one by as a broad a margin as the others.
Other OSHA offices are, as I referred before, getting backed up with some of the other projects that are further down the track than this one. And more time may also be needed for the economic analysis than we had originally anticipated.
On Subpart N, as you know, we issued the advanced notice of proposed rulemaking on July 14th. The comment period is scheduled to close October 22nd.
We did receive some petitions for a 90-day extension of time on that. And I believe Mr. Jeffress will address that tomorrow.
On multi-employer, we are continuing to consider the ACCSH recommendations that we received from you. We are working on a final draft. I am still optimistic that we will be able to finalize that this year.
And I will be happy to take any questions.
CHAIRPERSON BURKHAMMER: Thank you, Noah.
We have our workgroup standing by with bated breath waiting for the safety and health standards. So if you can get that one, you are eager beavers to tackle that one.
The slippage of dates, I'm sure and I know is a concern to you and it certainly is to us. And as you said, there is certainly reasons beyond your control and your group's control and Bruce's control for that happening.
When the new agenda comes out -- and this is not a question. I'm just giving you some advice. You may not want it, but I will give it to you anyway.
Do you think the agency could take a look at realistic dates and then add six months to a year after they pick a date because that is usually where we fall out?
CHAIRPERSON BURKHAMMER: So if you printed that upfront, then you would not have to sit there all the time and say regrettably I am missing the date, regrettably because the date has already given you some cushion in there. So just a thought.
MS. WILLIAMS: I just had a question on the steel erection. Do you have any date projection at all, by spring, fall?
MR. CONNELL: Not at the present time, but my sense is that we are probably talking about months. We are not talking about, you know, years or anything, but I hesitate to be more specific than that.
MS. WILLIAMS: Okay. Thanks.
CHAIRPERSON BURKHAMMER: Bruce.
MR. SWANSON: Yes. If I may respond to the chair on adding the six or 12 months arbitrarily because it will be closer to the fact than our well-intentioned estimates.
At the last meeting or perhaps it was the meeting before, but Charles Jeffress sat here and indicated to you folks what these dates were going to be.
And he had only days before indicated to me that I was going to meet those deadlines and the price of our not meeting them.
Noah's shop has, unlike many of my earlier experiences as a federal manager, accomplished its portion of these assignments.
And he had some expectations that, you know, you get this thing done in rough form. You put it on the wagon. You send it off some place else to be painted. It comes back. And you have met your deadline.
We cannot send it off to be painted. The paint shop is not open, we are told. And that is true for several of our agenda items.
And then, we have had these other assignments added which I asked in good faith inquiries six months ago as to whether we would have to have SBREFA or whether or not we would have to have stakeholder hearings on confined space.
The answers were different. Things apparently changed. And we -- Noah has had some more assignments stacked on him.
And while there is a certain attraction of arbitrarily putting the butcher's thumb on the scale and saying something has got to go wrong, let's just add a year to it, you know, well-intentioned management made guess estimates with everything that we had in our possession six months ago and came up with credible dates.
The Assistant Secretary thought they were credible dates. He told us we would meet those. I am just burning incense, hoping that the fact that the paint shop is closed is going to get me off the hook for delivering these standards that, you know, you were going to have reg text for a safety and health standard by the end of the summer. And that is not going to come out.
We were going to have confined space. That is not going to work. Steel, we were going to have, you heard, by the end of the calendar year.
We are still going to, I think as Noah hinted. We are still probably going to have a steel done in -- a steel erection standard done in our shop by the end of the year, but there are some open-ended variables on steel erection that could keep this thing going for a long time.
But thank you for your suggestion, Mr. Chairman.
CHAIRPERSON BURKHAMMER: Any discussion with Noah from the committee?
MR. EDGINTON: Bruce may have answered at least part of my first question, but I want to make sure I am clear on this.
Noah, you had spoken about the delay in the general industry standard on a safety and health program standard, rule, whatever we want to call it.
And from what I have heard and read, it appears to me that much of that delay is associated with a change in thinking of issuing it as a regulation rather than a standard.
Is that predominantly what the delay is due to? Or are there other issues?
And then, sort of the second part of the related question is, even though the general industry has been slowed down, I am trying to figure out what that means for construction.
For example, have you already done your work, but you cannot move forward with it because there is nobody else to pay attention to it or paint it, as Bruce said?
Or have you stopped all work? Or are you continuing to work on construction even though the paint shop is closed?
And then, I have a question on something else.
MR. CONNELL: The firs question, I don't know the answer to. I have not been following closely the exact reasons for what is going on on the general industry side.
We have been following closely t heir work product internally, but not to the various reasons for the delay. So I just don't know.
MR. EDGINTON: Okay.
MR. CONNELL: In terms of how are we committing our resources, we got to a certain point pretty far along in getting ready for draft text.
And before we can go beyond that point, we have to work a lot more with other OSHA offices. And that is where we are running into a problem.
That being the case, you know, we have committed all of the people in the group are spending about 75 percent of their time on steel erection. We have been doing that since January.
And of course, we have had these other projects that we were trying to keep moving along also in the remaining 25 percent.
That does not leave much for continuing to do a lot of work from where we are now on safety and health programs if we are not going to be able to move it to the next step.
So, no, we are not doing a lot of work right now because I do not want to take away from steel erection in particular to put effort into something that is going to be sitting where it is sitting right now anyway for awhile.
So that is where we are right now.
MR. EDGINTON: Okay. And then, the last question I had to do with your statement regarding multi-employer and that you were working on that, what was moved by this body.
Are we talking about revisions to the firm that you are working on? Or what are we talking about there?
MR. CONNELL: Yes. It is the revisions to the firm.
MR. EDGINTON: The reason I ask is some of my constituents have been usually calling me, saying it was their understanding that we had made recommendations, and much I think the same confusion that we heard about with Felipe's committee's work on the firm is I was getting phone calls saying that you all were doing something with respect to regulation regarding multi-employer. And I'm saying, not that I know about. So I just want to make sure we are clear on that.
MR. CONNELL: No. There is no stand-alone, multi-employer regulation that we are working on. No. This is the project that we have been working on and you all have commented on.
CHAIRPERSON BURKHAMMER: Anybody else?
CHAIRPERSON BURKHAMMER: Thank you, Noah.
MR. CONNELL: Thanks.
CHAIRPERSON BURKHAMMER: Frank has joined us in the back of the room.
We would like to take a 10-minute break, Frank, if we could and then have you come on.
MR. FRODYMA: Okay.
CHAIRPERSON BURKHAMMER: Let's take a 10-minute break. And then, we will come back for Frank's presentation.
(Whereupon, at 2:55 p.m., the meeting was recessed.)
AFTER RECESS 3:05 p.m.
Special Presentations: (Continued)
OSHA Strategic Plan Update
MR. FRODYMA: Good afternoon. My name is Frank Frodyma. I am the Deputy Director of Policy for OSHA. And it is a pleasure to talk to these empty chairs.
MR. FRODYMA: Maybe, I should turn around, but then, I would not be able to see the slides.
What I would like to do today is spend about 20 or 30 minutes talking about OSHA's Strategic Plan and specifically talking about the revisions we made to the Strategic Plan as we are required to do.
The Strategic Plan that OSHA has is a fairly thick document. It has a number of different things in it. There is -- we list our strategic goals. We list the outcomes we want to see from those goals. And we list the performance measures that we are going to use to see if we have achieved the desired outcomes.
And so what we have done is -- a little more about background. A Strategic Plan is produced by OSHA as a result of the Government Performance Result Act which requires every federal agency to put together a five-year strategic plan.
The strategic plan is supposed to be geared toward addressing not just government activity, that is in case of OSHA inspections or citations or penalties, but it is supposed to address the kinds of results we hope to achieve and the mechanisms we expect to use to achieve those results.
We have had a Strategic Plan in place now since 1997. And the GPRA law requires that once every three years, at least once every three years, we are required to revise the Strategic Plan, update it to make sure it is current with changes in economy, etcetera.
So the Department of Labor, and, of course, OSHA is part of the Department of Labor, decided to do these revisions for fiscal year 2000.
And our Strategic Plan Workgroup which I am member of began work on these revisions in March of 1999. And I will try to share with you some of the results of that revision now.
We went through a lengthy process to look at how we are doing against our current performance goals. And the ones that really addressed the construction industry, I am going to address here in a little more detail in the next few slides.
Specifically, we wanted to make sure that some of the new Secretary of Labor and the Assistant Secretary of OSHA's Assistant Secretary's priorities got reflected in this Strategic Plan that were not reflected when we first put this document together back in 1997. And the specific examples I have are ergonomics and partnerships.
We also updated a lot of the text to reflect a lot of the current activities. And we did go out to a wide variety of stakeholders for their comments about what they thought we ought to be revising. And we included some of those comments and suggestions in this revised plan.
We did receive a number of comments from individual corporations. We got comments from the construction side from the homebuilders, from the AGC, from the National Federation of Independent Businesses which represent a lot of construction firms, as well as a lot of other groups.
So we got a lot of comments from all sectors of the economy. We also got a fair number from your particular industry.
The way we went about this, there was a number of ways we could approach making changes to this.
We could have waited -- we could have evaluated where we were with our current goals and then drop them and then start new goals, but we decided to do this on a rolling basis instead.
That is we really did not want to start a new plan in the middle of a five-year plan because it would really be a lot of confusion.
So what we did instead was decided to modify this plan. And as needed, we will continue to make changes to it.
This revision therefore is going to cover the period 1999 through 2004. But, of course, the original plan had things to be accomplished and finished by the year 2002. So there is a lot of different things going on in the Strategic Plan at once that it does get fairly complicated.
So what we want to do is put in a process to select new targets three years from now which is in fiscal 2002 which will be for the next revision.
So if we are looking ahead three more years, we really want to consider at least what new -- now or at least have a process in place for how we can identify new targets for our Strategic Plan so this process can continue on.
Let me just give you some specific revisions that we made to the plan. Our first strategic -- and before I do that, I think it might be useful just to go over the process of how the Strategic Plan is structured.
We have three strategic goals. Each of the goals has some outcome goals that we hope to achieve that support this. And each of the outcome goals have got a number of performance goals that we are going to try to measure ourselves against.
So for each strategic goal, there are some outcome goals and some performance goals. And we have modified.
We really do not do any modifications to the actual goal itself. In the next three years, we think that this particular goal, in fact all three goals, but this one especially is one that we can retain for the life of the Strategic Plan.
And it says that our first strategic goal is to improve work place safety and health for all workers as evidenced by fewer hazards, reduced exposures, and fewer injuries, illnesses, and fatalities.
So we are going to keep that goal in place for the length of the plan.
What we are going to revise is some language in the outcome goal itself. And some of the changes are pretty minor.
For example, we changed with four years. One of our measurements is to measure the effectiveness of a standard. And I will get into this in more detail.
But we just changed from four years of the effective date to within six years of promulgation. And I will explain why that is in a minute.
We also added a performance outcome goal on ergonomics. And I am going to show you that in a minute.
These are the performance goals. Remember, I said there is a strategic goal and outcome goals and performance goals. These are the actual measures we are going to use to measure how we are getting to goal number one which is to improve work place safety.
We said we have reduced three of the most significant types of work place injuries and causes of illnesses by 15 percent. That is over a five-year period.
The three work place, the three most significant types we identified were amputations, silica exposures, and lead exposures.
We said would reduce injuries and illnesses by 15 percent in five industries characterized by high hazard work places.
And those five, they are going to remain the same. Construction is one, nursing homes, shipyards, logging, and food processing. Those are the five industries we think there is the most high hazard work places in.
We added -- so the difference here on this strategic goal, performance measure, we added the language here in yellow which says reduce work-related ergonomic injuries and illnesses by 10 percent in selected industries.
So that is, we added that because when we first put this plan together, remember, we were under the ergonomics rider by the Congress that said we will not put a proposed or final rule out for a particular fiscal year. And then, the following year they changed it to say, until the National Academy of Sciences study is done.
So we did not want to highlight anything in ergonomics as a strategic plan because the Congress basically said do not get into this area.
In 1999 -- in fiscal year 99, the Congress took that rider off of our appropriations bill, in effect signaling that they were not opposed to us going forward in the ergonomics area.
So now, we are modifying our Strategic Plan to include ergonomics as part of our performance goal. We want to see reductions in injuries and illnesses in ergonomics by some significant amount in certain industries.
And then, the last one, decrease fatalities in the construction industry by 15 percent, focusing on the four leading causes of fatalities: falls, struck by, crushed by, and electrocutions.
That remains the same as is in our current Strategic Plan. So that will remain through the year 2004.
Oh, these. I'm sorry. There is two. There is some additional measures we have in strategic goal number one. And these, you can read them for yourself or I can read them out for you, but they are basically the same as they were in the Strategic Plan that started in 1997. So there is no change in this revision.
So I know you are all dying to know how we are doing our goals so far, how far along are we in accomplishing these performance measures towards our strategic goal.
And I did not put all the stuff up, but I did think that it was important to show where we were with the construction-related goals.
I remember the construction-related goals were to decrease the fatalities in the construction industry by 15 percent and reduce the rates of injury by 15 percent over five years.
And I do not know how easy it is to see. Maybe, if somebody could shut that first light off, the chart might be easier to read. Yes, there we go. I should have had that for the whole presentation.
But again, the goal was 15 percent over five years. Our 1999 goal was to reduce the rates by 3 percent. We broke it down by 3 percent each year.
As you can see, in 1995, the rate was -- this is the fatality rate now in the construction industry. And I am not sure that rate is right. It is 4.8. I'm sorry. This is lost work day injuries.
And lost work day injuries in the construction industry in 1995 were at 4.8. And the industry has done quite well. They are down to 4.4 in 1997. And that is an 8.3 percent decline in three years.
So as far as OSHA meeting its strategic plan of seeing that there is a 15-percent reduction in five years, we feel like the agency is on track to see that that goal is met.
I know it is not OSHA that actually gets these injury rates down. It is the employers, but what we want to do is make sure however it happens that the rates get down by 15 percent over five years.
And it seems like we are on track and the industry is on track to accomplish, to meet that performance measure.
The other measure that is important for industry is the fatality incidence rates. And that goal, again, was to reduce fatality rates by 15 percent over five years. The 1999 goal is to get the rates down by 3 percent.
Here, the change is not as dramatic. We have only gone from 15 per 100,000 workers here is the denominator down to 14.5.
So we thought there was a good trend here between 1995 and 1996. And then, we flipped back up between 1996 and 1998.
So while overall, we looked like we are still making progress, the goal is not quite as clear as to whether we will meet it or not at this point.
CHAIRPERSON BURKHAMMER: Frank, what is your baseline?
MR. FRODYMA: I think for this, 1995 is the base. For each of these performance measures, the agency had to identify to OMB and to the Congress what we were going to use as a baseline.
And I believe for this measure, the rate -- the baseline is the fatality rate in 1995. So that is the base we use to measure our progress.
MR. SWANSON: I see that that was a very clever selection.
MR. FRODYMA: Well, it happens to be consistent with a lot of our other baseline selections, but we did take a look at some of the baselines. And there are some areas that we did not use 1995, but when we didn't we tried to explain why.
But you are right, Bruce. We did not just arbitrarily pick 1995.
MR. SWANSON: Obviously, I am not trying to be morbid about fatalities, but we as an industry. From 1996 through 1998 and most of us feel that 1999 is not going to bring us any good news.
The fatality rate in the construction industry is going the wrong way. And there are many factors bringing pressure on that, all of them negative.
MR. FRODYMA: In the Strategic Plan, we do have -- we got a section. And remember, I said the plan is quite thick. There is a section in the plan that talks about externalities or external factors that might influence it.
And certainly, in the construction industry, it is true. As the industry grows, as the nature of technology changes, there is a lot of things that affect the fatality rates more than an employer can control and more than OSHA can influence.
And so we did list in the Strategic Plan that external factors certainly have a lot to do with whether or not these goals are achievable. So we did recognize that point.
CHAIRPERSON BURKHAMMER: One of the things we have all talked about is your term reportable because there is several of us, many of us feel that you are not getting all of the reported fatalities. The number is actually a bogus number.
So there are many more fatalities occurring in the construction industry. There is a trend. And in 1999, I fear that --
MR. FRODYMA: Okay. No, I agree. But on the fatalities, where these rates come from, unlike before 1992 when BLS used the survey to estimate fatalities, after 1992 they have done -- they do an actual now census, their census of fatal occupational injuries.
And they feel that they have captured every fatality that is related to the work place. And the way they do it is they get the medical death certificates from all 50 states. And they scan them to see if there is any reference in there to the fatality being caused by work relatedness.
They look at those. They look at the reports to OSHA. They look at NIOSH data. And they look at the fatalities that are reported to OSHA for investigation.
And they merge all those together, throw out the duplicates, and they feel pretty certain that they've got a very accurate census of the fatalities that are out there.
I do not know how the death certificates are coded, but they feel pretty certain that if on the death certificate there is mention that the cause of death had something to do with work, then they list it. And then, they go back and check it.
So they do a fairly extensive process on fatalities. So I think we are pretty comfortable with where the numbers come from.
If there is under reporting to OSHA, I do not think the medical examiner -- it will not be under reporting to the medical examiner or wherever the death certificates come from.
So I mean, we are aware that we do not get all the fatality stuff, but BLS is pretty confident that they are capturing the universe here.
Anyway, that is goal number one which for OSHA we feel like it is one of our most important goals.
As I said, we had three goals. The second strategic goal was to try to change the work place culture to increase the employer and worker awareness of and commitment to and involvement in safety and health.
And again, this is we thought that this goal was well written and would remain as one of our goals for the next three years.
We did make some revisions to it. And here is where we added some additional ergonomics stuff.
When we said the goal was to change the work place culture, we were really trying to encourage programmatic kinds of approaches. We wanted to see how much integration there could be between management and the safety community at the work site.
So it is not something that OSHA was going to do, but we wanted to change the way employers and workers view the safety. And so we wanted to emphasize programmatic approaches.
Being free of the ergonomic rider, we added an ergo program component. We added a goal on voluntary partnerships. And we eliminated some language talking about worker involvement.
And I will go through the ergo and voluntary partnerships in a minute.
In the original strategic plan for this goal, we had a performance requirement that says every OSHA regulation or OSHA initiative should have some component involved making sure that there was worker involvement.
The agency felt very strongly that worker involvement was very critical to improving safety. And we wanted that reflected somehow in the Strategic Plan.
Unfortunately, we could not find a good way to measure how much worker involvement there was or whether even some of the initiatives had requirements.
On the standards, it is pretty easy. The reg says you will have worker involvement. Then, at least the initiative shows OSHA said there should be worker involvement.
But even for some of the standards, if we are rewriting some of our regs into plain English, it is a new OSHA initiative that we are not really changing any of the requirements and there would not be necessarily be a worker involvement requirement in the rewrite.
Or for putting out an internal initiative to change our penalty structure or something like that, there would not be automatically be worker involvement.
So we could not find a way to come up with a number of initiatives or even define what initiatives were for this one. So we took the coward's way out and eliminated the whole performance measure.
These are the performance goals that are left in strategic goal number two. In the first one, the white language is the same as we had in the earlier strategic plan.
It is the 75 percent of employers who are targeted or request an OSHA intervention will implement an effective safety and health program.
The yellow is what we added here since -- on ergo including where appropriate an ergonomics program.
See, not knowing yet the precise scope of an ergonomic regulation or who it is going to cover, we could not put exactly what we mean here, but we wanted to make sure we emphasize that where it is appropriate, they do have ergonomic programs.
What we are hoping to do is after we do an intervention, whether it is an enforcement action or a consultation visit or just any other kind of intervention, that we would encourage employers and workers and everybody else to address any ergonomic problems they have. And we will try to measure this in a number of different ways.
We did add another performance goal for strategic goal number two. And it says reduce injuries and illnesses by 15 percent at work sites engaged in voluntary, cooperative relationships with OSHA.
This is a new initiative, a new performance goal, partly because when we solicited comments about the Strategic Plan, a number of employers emphasized that you really ought to emphasize cooperative relationships, strategic partnerships.
We got comments from the construction sector as well that we ought to emphasize more voluntary cooperative programs.
And so we think this is the place to do it. Adding a voluntary cooperative program does change the nature of the work place. It is voluntary. The work place has got to do things that they were not doing before. There is a new relationship with OSHA.
We think we can measure this in a number of ways. And we are going to put this in our goal from 1999 to 2004.
The last one down here is some measure of how well we are doing. It is we want to know. We want a goal of 90 percent of employers and workers rating OSHA's compliance assistance, all these different packages we have as useful in improving their safety and health in their work place.
That remains the same the previous year as do these two remaining items for strategic goal number two.
We want to have 100 percent of our OSHA on-site activities have some sort of worker involvement component. So this remains. We can define what on-site activities.
By that we mean that they will walk around with the OSHA inspector or will walk around with the consultant or they participate in a settlement agreement or in a pre- or post-conference.
And the next one is that 90 percent of all workers in establishments where there is an intervention rate their involvement as satisfactory. That is that they are satisfied at least that they got to say -- they got their voice heard in the safety and health process.
So that is strategic goal number two.
The last goal is to secure public confidence through excellence in the development and delivery of OSHA's programs and services.
When we put this goal down in the first place, what we wanted to do is just to make sure that not only were we doing the job of getting injury and illness rates down and that we were changing the -- helping to change the culture.
We did not think that those things were going to be enough unless the public had confidence that we, OSHA, were a first-rate agency, that we are professional at our delivery of services that the law requires us to deliver are done in a professional and excellent manner and that we know what we are doing.
So we made a goal to make sure that the public confidence in OSHA is high. And we have revised that a little bit. We have revised a little bit of the whistleblower goal.
We rewrote some of the performance goals on our internal financial operations so that we are current with our own spending.
And finally, we did eliminate one thing which I need to mention. We eliminated the goal related to reducing OSHA's paper work burden.
This is not -- but the reason that we could eliminate this is that in the first year, in the first measure of how we did on paper work burden which was to reduce the paper work by 25 percent, we met that goal.
The way we met it was a little bit the way government meets a lot of number goals by a little bit of creative accounting.
But the Paperwork Reduction Act requires that we have an inventory of the burden we place on industry. We list what the burden is for each regulation.
Process Safety and Management which principally affects the chemical industry had a very heavy paper work burden associated with it in the early years.
Well, those early years have now passed. So we no longer have to count that burden. So in effect, we have reduced our burden by 25 percent. So we feel we can drop this goal.
So it is a little bit of creative accounting, but in fact it is the real, the measures that OMB and the government uses are the ones we are using as well. And so we have dropped that as a measurement for this strategic goal.
The performance goals for number three here -- and I am not sure there is any yellow in these slides to show where the actual changes were. Let me see. No.
But on the whistleblower, we changed the whistleblower which is the third bullet down here to complete 80 percent all of our cases within 90 days because we also have to pick up whistleblowers, not just 11(c) that OSHA is responsible for now, we are responsible for all the whistleblowers for all labor laws.
And some of the Department of Transportation laws, the Surface Transportation Act requires or gave the truckers and other transportation workers the right to file complaints.
OSHA now has the responsibility for following up in those cases. So we have to change that goal a little bit.
And let's see. What was the other one we changed? And the other one was a financial operation which is more of an internal procedure.
So those are sort the -- and these performance goals give you some idea of how we are going to measure this public confidence.
We are going to actually end up doing employer and worker/employee surveys to find out how OSHA is rated. We did this about five or six years ago. And I have some baseline information.
OMB has agreed to allow us to do these surveys. They will be done. The design of them has to be done in the year 2000. We will actually carry them out in the year 2001.
Remember, this is a five-year Strategic Plan. So we hope we can show that we are achieving this goal through certain mechanisms.
MR. FRODYMA: A question of your analysis, the second one of going through the strategic goal two I think it was.
MR. FRODYMA: Back to two.
MR. FRODYMA: On ergonomics. Right there.
CHAIRPERSON BURKHAMMER: Felipe, you need to use the mike.
MR. DEVORA: Your analysis, you said that the appropriate -- the ad -- the appropriation bill was removed. Therefore, you added this as a strategic goal.
Are we assuming -- or I take it that you are assuming a regulation or an intervention as you called it to be forthcoming in this area. Is that right?
MR. FRODYMA: Right. Remember, we are doing these revisions because both the Secretaries and the Assistant Secretary for OSHA's priorities need to be emphasized.
And there is no question that the Secretary of Labor and the Assistant Secretary have ergonomics or a reduction of ergonomic injuries --
MR. DEVORA: But how can you list -- I'm sorry. I didn't mean to interrupt you.
MR. FRODYMA: Yes.
MR. DEVORA: But how can you list a strategic goal as with something that hasn't really happened yet?
MR. FRODYMA: Because this goes out to -- this goal is for a five-year plan. And I would think it is fair to say that both the Secretary of Labor and the Assistant Secretary expect that certainly within a five-year period, there will be an ergonomics regulation out.
The plan now is that the ergonomics reg is at OMB for review for general industry now.
MR. DEVORA: Right.
MR. FRODYMA: I cannot tell you the schedule precisely, but there is at this point at least the schedule.
The President's regulatory agenda will be published in November which OMB puts out every year. And I am pretty sure that in that regulatory agenda that is coming out there will be a schedule for what we plan for ergonomics.
So this November, there will be some specifics. Now, OMB may change some of the dates, but we have submitted to OMB an ergonomics plan for -- which includes regulatory action in ergo. Yes, the agency has been on the record with that for a number of months.
MR. SMITH: Does that mean that it is going to come whether or not there is a scientific study?
MR. FRODYMA: Now, there is a bill that's passed. We are getting into some other issues here. But there is a bill that's been passed in the House, the Blunt bill, H.R. 987. It says that OSHA should be prohibited from promulgating a final.
What that law says is passing a final ergonomics rule until such time as a National Academy of Sciences completes its study. That bill has passed the House, but has not passed the Senate.
And the President sent a letter to the Congress, saying if it reaches his desk, he proposes to veto it.
So the administration is on record as saying we want to go forward with an ergonomics standard.
And if there is a law passed to prohibit it, unless the Congress can override that law, the President plans not to implement it through his veto authority.
MR. DEVORA: I guess the analysis that I was questioning was --
MR. FRODYMA: Right.
MR. DEVORA: Was assuming, was putting an assumption in as a strategic plan.
MR. FRODYMA: Yes, it is a clear assumption by putting this in here that there will be some ergonomic requirements.
MR. DEVORA: And we are also assuming on the next one that the paper work reduction is not going to be affected by the ergonomics standard.
MR. FRODYMA: Well, I cannot tell you that or not because I do not know what the paper work burdens would be, but, yes, they --
MR. DEVORA: On reducing paper work, let's see what they assume.
MR. FRODYMA: There is a good point. There certainly would be probably a little bit of paper work associated with ergo.
MR. FRODYMA: And that might change our burden, your burden somewhat or the burden OSHA has to take.
Hopefully, that clears up the ergo stuff. But, yes, there is a bill passed the House. The administration is on record as opposing that bill. And therefore, we still have plans in place to take some regulatory action in the area of ergo.
And the Secretary is on record, the Assistant Secretary is on record, and the President is on record.
MR. SMITH: You had indicated that you were going to try to do something about the image with OSHA and the public. Is OSHA planning on hiring a PR firm or something?
MR. FRODYMA: No. We don't think that's necessary. No. What we want to do is the agency does want to be thought of as really a professional organization.
We are trying to make sure that everything we do in the field is professional even though -- and we understand that employers are not always going to agree with everything we do, but at least we want employers to think that when we do something, it is done in a professional and competent manner, that we know what we are talking about, that we hire professional people, that we treat people with respect.
And we understand as a regulatory agency, we are never going to be loved by employers, but we want the public to expect that OSHA is a competent agency and is competent at what it does.
MR. SMITH: Well, I think that everyone feels that you are professional. I think the question is whether or not you are user friendly. And it seems to me that you can certainly use some imagery in that respect.
MR. FRODYMA: Yes. Well, hopefully, if we do our job the way we are supposed to do it, then we will not need a PR firm. It will be self evident.
CHAIRPERSON BURKHAMMER: Does the committee want to come back up to the ergonomically unsound, hard chairs?
CHAIRPERSON BURKHAMMER: Frank, can you supply the committee copies of your slides?
VOICE: That would be great.
MR. FRODYMA: The ones I have here are somewhat incomplete, but I can do that.
CHAIRPERSON BURKHAMMER: Okay.
MR. FRODYMA: I can certainly get them to the committee.
CHAIRPERSON BURKHAMMER: One of the things that bothers me when I wrote my response to Paul White on this issue, I guess being an employer and looking at it from an employer's perspective, OSHA is using percentages.
And I assume they are understanding that they need the employer's buy-in to accomplish those goals because the employers establish the culture. The employer's reduce the injury and illness rates by implementing programs and policies and procedures to reduce worker's risks.
And one of my comments, you know, why do you even put percentage on it? I assume you have some kind of a metric to measure yourself.
But I would think OSHA would look more like the third one there where you had things that actually OSHA can accomplish and achieve internally without relying on an external partner like the employers to do the statistics for you because you still have a lot of employers.
And Bruce usually puts up some nice graphs for us to look at about how many inspections and that kind of stuff.
And 352,000 construction employers in America and you are inspecting 50,000, that is a quarter of a million you are not getting to who are not implementing any OSHA policies or procedures and waiting for somebody to show up on their job to tag them. And they may get there once in every five or 10 years.
So those employers are not going to help you get to the increased rates that you are asking to get to.
Where, if you put your focus on the third strategic plan of outreach and training and that kind of thing which the committee has been working in several areas, I think you would have a much better opportunity of achieving your metric than you are going to have based on reduction in fatalities, reduction in recordables, reduction in lost work day cases.
And OSHA cannot really go out and mandate that it be done.
MR. FRODYMA: Now, those are all valid points. Some of the -- the agency is working in a couple of different levels here. One is trying to comply with the GPRA law.
And in terms of your comment about percentages and using some metrics, our Strategic Plan is going to be rejected by the Department -- by OMB and by Congress if it doesn't have some metrics in it because the law was written specifically to -- the way it is written and the way it is being interpreted and forced on us, it is requiring us when we put our plan together to put specific numbers.
They want to see measurable results. And they want them linked to agency activities. And they do not want them to be internal to inside the beltway actions. They want them to be external to the community that we deal with.
So we had a lot of debate in putting this plan together about what to use. And we did come up with these and also whether these percentages are actual numbers and how -- and low rates or how they ought to be displayed. We went through a lot of agony about that.
But having said that, with regard to focusing on the third goal rather than some of the other ones, we are trying to emphasize that all three of these things have to work together, that one goal, for us at least, that the third goal is as important as the first two.
And, yes, I think you are right that the first one is not OSHA's to do per se because we are not the ones that are going to actually reduce rates.
It is the employer that has to put abatement practices into place and engineering controls. Or whatever interventions have to be made have to be done on the employer's part.
What we can do is make sure that the employers we do not get to understand their responsibilities as well.
And that is why we are trying to do more than just enforcement. We are trying to balance this with the three goals rather than one.
So but your point -- I mean, we did a lot of internal debate about how to do the Strategic Plan. And this is sort of what we came out with.
But you are not the only one that has made that comment about the employers' responsibilities rather than OSHA's.
CHAIRPERSON BURKHAMMER: Sarah.
MS. SHORTALL: This is just a quick comment. I just wanted to have something on the record that this afternoon is the Office of Policy's annual picnic.
MS. SHORTALL: And Frank is here to make sure that his report is given to you. Thank you.
MR. FRODYMA: I did have a hot dog.
CHAIRPERSON BURKHAMMER: Any other comments or questions for Frank on the Strategic Plan?
CHAIRPERSON BURKHAMMER: Good. Frank, thank you very much.
MR. FRODYMA: I also thank the committee for I know a lot of you submitted comments on the plan. We took a lot of them. We took many of the comments. Hopefully, the plan is better as a result of your efforts because it is not an easy document to wade through.
CHAIRPERSON BURKHAMMER: Thank you. We appreciate it.
Noah has kindly agreed to share with us through one of his people the -- where we are on the new revision to Subpart B, the electrical standard.
So Noah, your person is here that is going to do that?
MR. CONNELL: Joe Pipkin.
CHAIRPERSON BURKHAMMER: Good.
MR. PIPKIN: Yes.
Special Presentations: (Continued)
Subpart V - Electrical Standard
MR. PIPKIN: My name is Joe Pipkin. I am the Director for Electrical and Mechanical, that office. I am also participating in the new pilot program. So I am also a team member which is doing safety and health and the revision updating of Subpart V and also welding. That is quite a mix.
I have no slides. And my presentation, just a status report will be very brief.
As you are aware, we have gone through several drafts of the updating of Subpart V. As you know, Subpart V has been around almost forever in 1926.
And what triggered this was the work that was done in 1910. In 1910, of course, the 1910.269 deals with power generation distribution and transmission. But for construction, we do not do power generation. We just do distribution and transmission.
And our approach to this is that the mechanics of it was to use the update of Subpart V as a medium for making changes, as well as updating the standard, of course, but using it as a medium for making changes in 1910.269.
Since that standard has been promulgated, we have learned a lot. We made mistakes. And we are trying to correct those.
So therefore, we have a two-fold project going here. And if one looks, our latest draft was dated May, the end of May of this year. And it is in two parts.
Part one really indicates those changes that we are bringing up for public review that we will making to 1910.269.
Then, part two is where actually go into Subpart V and make the changes with that standard.
We hope to propose this possibly some time in the early part of next year. And in one sense, we had hoped to do this earlier, but we were preempted by our standard on safety and health.
What we have done so far is this, we have had a series of meetings with the Edison Electric Institute folks and their member utilities. We have reviewed the standard with them item by item.
We also met with IBEW, the principal union which is involved here and went through -- have gone through the standard item by item with them.
These are not to be considered shareholder meetings. They, the shareholder meetings will follow a slightly different format, a little more formal, but they are on the way. They are coming.
But this is early-on work. We feel that the people who will be working with the standard like the folks from IBEW and certainly EEI, the interchange of information has been give and take. And it has been very good. They have had comments. We have put in their comments. And that is where we stand in the standard right now.
As I recall, copies of the draft have been submitted to you folks. And we are moving along with that.
And again, as I said, we anticipate our proposed standard some time in the early part of next year.
And that is really all I have to say at this point.
CHAIRPERSON BURKHAMMER: Just for the record, this committee did not get a copy of the draft.
So maybe, through Jim, if you could get us a copy and supply it? Thank you.
MR. PIPKIN: Absolutely.
CHAIRPERSON BURKHAMMER: I appreciate it.
Any comments or questions?
MR. BUCHET: Michael with the National Safety Council.
One of my division members is the utility workers. Have you spoken with them at all?
MR. PIPKIN: We have not spoken with them on this. We did speak with them quite extensively on 269.
They are aware of what we are doing, but the meetings that we have just held last week was primarily IBEW and EEI. We spent one day at the IBEW headquarters and a subsequent day at the EEI headquarters, but we --
MR. BUCHET: Do you mind if I pass your name onto them?
MR. PIPKIN: No. Please do. Thank you.
CHAIRPERSON BURKHAMMER: Anybody else?
CHAIRPERSON BURKHAMMER: Thank you, Joe.
MR. PIPKIN: Okay.
CHAIRPERSON BURKHAMMER: It is five minutes to three. And we have completed our agenda for the day.
Based on the uncomfortness of the chairs we have been forced to sit on, it might be a good time to adjourn.
CHAIRPERSON BURKHAMMER: Or if the committee is -- did I hear no or's, Larry?
I was going to say we can continue to suffer, I mean, sit here and go through the Paperwork Reduction comments, but --
MS. WILLIAMS: They are not ready.
CHAIRPERSON BURKHAMMER: They are not ready. So with that, we will adjourn for the day.
8:00 o'clock tomorrow morning.
(Whereupon, at 3:55 p.m., the meeting was recessed to reconvene at 8:00 a.m., Friday, September 3, 1999.)
C E R T I F I C A T E
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