200 Constitution Avenue, NW
Washington, DC 20210
The meeting was convened, pursuant to notice, at 8:00 a.m., Mr. Robert Krul, Chairman, presiding.
Editor's notes for the December 6, transcript: The following phrases and words in this document should appear as follows:
A P P E A R A N C E S
Mr. Robert Krul
Mr. Manuel Mederos
Mr. Frank L. Migliaccio, JR.
Mr. Joseph Durst
Mr. James Ahern
Mr. Dan Murphy
Mr. Greg Strudwick
Mr. David M. Bush
Mr. Mike Sotelo
Mr. Kevin Beauregard
Mr. John P. O'connor
Mr. Thomas A. Broderick
Ms. Jane F. Williams
Marie Haring Sweeney, Ph.d.
Designated Federal Official
Mr. Bruce Swanson, Director
Directorate Of Construction
Mr. Stewart Burkhammer, Director
Office Of Construction Services
Mr. Jim Boom
Office Of Construction Services
Robert Biersner, Esq.
Brad Hammock, Esq.
By Mr. Robert Krul
By Mr. Stewart Burkhammer
Introduction To Construction Services
By Mr. Stewart Burkhammer
Partnerships, Alliances, Agreements
Associate Director, NIOSH
Introduction To The Office Of Engineering Services
By Mr. Mohammedayub
By Mr. John Henshaw
Negotiated Rulemaking - Subpart N - Cranes And Derricks
Through Prevention Work Group Report
Crane Workgroup Report
By James Ahern/Ms. Jane Williams
Diversity Work Group Report
Operator Training And Qualification
By Mr. Kevin Beauregard
MUTCD - Confined Space In Construction - Steel Erection Directive
By Mr. Noah Connell
By Mr. Bill Perry/Ms. Loretta Schuman
Proposed Assigned Protection Factor (APF) - Rulemaking
By Mr. John Steelnack
Compliance Officer Training
By Mr. Noah Connell
P R O C E E D I N G S
WELCOME and INTRODUCTIONS
CHAIRMAN KRUL: Good morning. Welcome to the slightly delayed March, 2002 ACCSH. Thank you all for coming. It's sort of a wintry wonderland. I'm glad everybody made it in safely.
My name is Bob Krul, with the Roofers International Union. I am the Chair of ACCSH. Before the meeting officially gets started, I just want to note for the record that counsel is not present at the opening of the meeting, but is expected to be here soon.
We have new members on the committee. And just for purposes of introduction for those who don't know who everybody is, again, I'm Bob Krul with the Roofers International. Stew?
MR. BURKHAMMER: I'm Stew Burkhammer. I'm acting for Bruce Swanson until Bruce Swanson gets here, then I'll be Stew Burkhammer who's not acting for Bruce Swanson when he gets here.
MS. WILLIAMS: Jane Williams, A-Z Safety, Public Representative.
MR. STRUDWICK: Greg Strudwick, Greg Strudwick & Associates, Employer Representative.
MR. BEAUREGARD: Kevin Beauregard, North Carolina Department of Labor, State Planning Representative.
MR. DURST: Joe Durst, United Brotherhood of Carpenters.
MR. SOTELO: Mike Sotelo, W.G. Clark Construction, Employer Representative.
DR. SWEENEY: Marie Haring Sweeney, from NIOSH. I'm the HHS representative.
MR. MEDEROS: Manny Mederos, IBEW.
MR. BUSH: David Bush, Adena Corporation, Employer Representative.
MR. AHERN: Jim Ahern, a highway contract from West Virginia, Employer Representative.
MR. MIGLIACCIO: Frank Migliaccio with the Iron Workers International, Employee Representative.
MR. MURPHY: Dan Murphy, St. Paul Company, Employer Representative.
MR. BRODERICK: Tom Broderick, Construction Safety Council, Public Representative.
CHAIRMAN KRUL: Thank you. Welcome.
Could we also have those who are sitting out in the audience identify themselves just so we know who everybody in the room is? Chris, would you start?
(Whereupon, the audience introduced themselves.)
CHAIRMAN KRUL: Thank you.
Let me ask Stew, before he goes into his remarks. Is the public comment period only reserved for Friday or are we going to have it on both days?
MR. BURKHAMMER: Your choice.
CHAIRMAN KRUL: Okay. Okay. Just, given the weather conditions, there may not be a meeting on Friday.
Just a little housekeeping note. I apologize to everyone in the room. I have got to leave here at 10:00 to go over to the Capitol Hilton. My boss has scheduled a labor management meeting and I have to be there for a presentation. So, in my absence, I will turn the chair over to Jane Williams, and I expect to be back here after lunch. I apologize for that, but it's unavoidable.
Russell "Bruce" Swanson/Stew Burkhammer's remarks.
By Mr. Stewart Burkhammer
MR. BURKHAMMER: Well, save Bruce's remarks for when he gets here. We want to welcome the committee on behalf of the Assistant Secretary, and also I'll welcome you on behalf of Bruce, and he can welcome you himself when he gets here.
We're finally pleased to have our annual ACCSH meeting. Some of us remember the last meeting, which was this exact day last year. So, it's kind of ironic that we had it the same day one year later.
For those of you not familiar with our area here, last year at this time it was 75 degrees and we were in tee shirts and short-sleeved golf shirts, and we had a nice comfortable meeting. Today we're freezing to death. So, sorry you had to endure that to come.
Other than that, Jim Boom is the good-looking gentleman there in the blue jeans, working hard, feverishly trying to get everything ready. Venetta is also there helping him. For those of you who need travel plans, see Venetta. I don't think there's much she can do today to help you, but other than that, if you decide to bail out when we get up to 10 inches, maybe she can give you some ideas. Other than that, welcome. We'll continue the meeting from here.
CHAIRMAN KRUL: I've already heard from one committee member. Those of you who are not familiar with this town, if you're taking a cab today, yes, fares are doubled because of the snow emergency, so you're not being taken to the cleaners.
It is not nice out there. It is not expected to stop until this evening, and they're talking about a six- to nine-inch accumulation. So if anybody was thinking about getting out of town, forget it. Just, welcome to Washington. We don't handle snow very well.
A couple of people have approached me, and because it's been so long between meetings, we're obviously going to have some subcommittee reports today. But I want to point out to the new members, if there's an issue--even if you don't see it on the agenda--that you think is important to raise, certainly under New Business, Old Business, or if something ties in to what you'd like to talk about during the discussion when things are on the agenda, please feel free to bring it up.
The agenda is there, obviously, to have a little route to go by, but we don't want to discourage anyone from bringing any issue up that they think is important.
Stew Burkhammer? We just keep going back and forth. Introduction to Construction Services.
INTRODUCTION TO CONSTRUCTION SERVICES
By Stewart Burkhammer
MR. BURKHAMMER: Yes. They put me on first because Bruce figured I'm an old construction guy.
CHAIRMAN KRUL: While they're bringing that up, I've been reminded that you have a copy of the minutes from last year, those of you who were here last year. If you wouldn't mind taking a look at those, a little later on this morning we'll ask for a motion for approval. But if you'll take a look at them, it will refresh your memory. It's been a year since we last met.
MR. BURKHAMMER: We're going to have to do this from up here.
(Showing of slides)
MR. BURKHAMMER: The first thing on the agenda for me, is each of the directors are going to come in today and explain to you a little bit about what each directorate within the Directorate of Construction does. My office is the Office of Construction Services. Currently, we have Jim Boom, who you saw this morning.
John Franklin is an economist and does all of the statistics, and he's basically our statistician and researcher. A lot of you that have been around a while know John. He's stuck in the snow at home. His two kids are out of school today, so he's kind of baby-sitting.
Ginger Henry is the newest addition to Construction Services. She was a district manager for CAL-OSHA and wanted to try something different and move back to the East Coast, so we were real fortunate to be able to pick her up. You'll hopefully meet her today.
Doug Ray is our industrial hygienist. A lot of you know Doug. He's been around a long time. He's also at home. His sports car doesn't run in snow, so he's not here.
And Camille Villanova, who I think all of you know--or certainly most all of you know--is also a occupational safety and health specialist. She's currently in Florida, lucky person, at the ARTPA conference and she is presenting on Bruce's, Barry's, and my behalf down there in several sessions.
We have three current open positions. We have posted them. Two of the three are closed and we're reviewing those candidates now. The other position should be posted within the next 5 or 10 days.
The DOC's mission is kind of broad, in a sense. Noah Connell explained to you he does all the standards, and construction standards, and interpretation of the construction standards, Mohammed does engineering, and I get everything else, which is, whatever anybody decides to have construction do, it ends up somewhat in our shop.
We do ACCSH oversight and coordination. Jim is the facilitator and the coordinator between DOC and ACCSH. Industry outreach comes out of our shop. We do a lot of presentations in 10 various meetings with industry associations and other types of groups, labor.
PARTNERSHIPS, ALLIANCES AND AGREEMENTS
By Stewart Burkhammer
MR. BURKHAMMER: Partnerships, Alliances, and Agreements. When I got here, that was one of the things that the Assistant Secretary and Bruce asked me to come down here and do, was to get contractors, labor, and management more involved in partnerships, alliances, and agreements. We've been pretty successful in the six months that I've been here so far of getting several partnerships and alliances, which I'll talk about in my next presentation.
Best work practices. One of the things we do, is we share best work practices back and forth with the various companies and agencies, and labor and management. When we find one, we try to get it out. We've been a little slow at that because we haven't had the staff to really do that the right way. But that's one of the priorities for next year when we get our staff together. We're going to publish a newsletter.
The DOC used to have a newsletter and it kind of died in the vein when the staff ran out, so we're going to start that again. I've asked Ginger Henry to lead that effort. So when we get some more staff in, which hopefully will be by the first of the year, most of the first of the year, we'll be able to do a lot of the things that you'll see up here that we've kind of been lax on.
We service on boards, commissions and committees whenever there is a need for construction to do that. We do not serve on negotiated rulemaking committees. That comes out of Noah's shop.
Relationships with labor and industry associations. We nurture those, and build those, and work with those. I've had an opportunity since I've been here to work with several members on this committee to improve the relationship with DOC.
We coordinate construction training and education with OTI, the OSHA Training Institute. We're currently sponsoring and actually teaching, part of the teaching, of the steel erection class, the 316 class where we're teaching compliance officers. The Ironworkers International, Frank, has been a big, big part of that and helping us with that. The NEA, Wayne Rice and Eric Waterman, OTI, and ABC has been participating.
We take that show on the road. We've had five classes and we've trained over 100 compliance officers. It's kind of neat to see compliance officers putting on harnesses and climbing steel and actually erecting steel, laying decking.
They're getting a real feel for what ironworkers have to go through in a work environment and it's changed a lot of the thinking. It's not so easy to do this task as they thought it was from standing on the ground watching people 80 feet in the air.
So one of the things we want to do is expand that training and we're now talking to the carpenters about some opportunities to maybe do some scaffold training and education in the same vein. We're talking about the labors and the operating engineers about work zone safety, a highway work zone safety training.
One of my thoughts, was take some compliance officers out on a highway and let them stand by a cone or an orange barrel and watch cars go by them at 80 miles an hour and they'll get a real feel for that. But, somehow, the Solicitor's Office doesn't think that's a real good idea for me to do that.
We provide technical expertise on construction issues. People call in, e-mail in, write in questions on construction issues. It's our shop's responsibility to expound and send the stuff back on that to answer their questions.
We do all construction significant and egregious case reviews and screenings. Any time a region wants to issue a case over $100,000, it comes to us for review. We have to completely review it and make sure that everything is supposed to fit, and all the molds, and all that, and has all the answers to any possible questions. Jim and Doug Ray basically do that part of our work.
Construction statistical database. John Franklin handles that. We supply a lot of data to industry associations, labor, The Center to Protect Workers Rights. We do a lot of work with them on statistics.
We do various surveys for industry input and government input. Rick Reinhardt, who I think some of you have met, Dr. Rick Reinhardt, works in our group. He's an epidemiologist out of Harvard. He's currently working with John Franklin on a study on construction targeting that he will be sharing with you sometime, hopefully at the next meeting.
Safety and health program development. We help contractors who don't have programs and would like to have programs, and call up and say, what do I do, or how do I get one. We help them do that and show them how to put one together, and kind of the basics of that.
That kind of sums up the Office of Construction Services does. There's a lot of minutiae that goes through our office, unfortunately, a lot of paperwork, a lot of writing. We do a lot of congressionals. Any letters from Senators or Congressmen, we respond to those that aren't in the vein of interpretation of a standard. We don't do any interpretation of the standards. Noah does all that.
But most of their letters are from their constituents about, they got a raw deal on a citation, or this compliance officer doesn't like me, or, gee, the region treated me bad. So, we work with the regions and the region drafts a response and we review it, and most of the time re-write it and send it down to the Assistant Secretary to sign, or in some cases Bruce signs, depending on the magnitude of the letter, who it's from and what it involves.
The next item on the agenda is strategic partnerships and alliances. That's one of the main purposes that I came to OSHA for, was to expand this program in construction. We don't own this program. It's owned by Paula White's shop, which has just got a name change. They used to be Federal and State Programs, and now they're Compliance Assistance and State Programs.
So, VPP, for example, the Merit and Star, strategic partnerships, the Alliance, are all housed in her shop. We worked very closely with her team to get the construction portion of all these partnerships and all these alliances up off the ground.
What is an alliance? An alliance is basically a broadly-written agreement established in a national region or area office. Most of the ones to date have generated out of the national office. They enable organizations committed to workplace safety and health to collaborate with OSHA to prevent injuries and illnesses in the workplace.
That's one of John Henshaw's drivers, is to reduce accidents, fatalities, injuries, and illnesses in all sectors of employment, but specifically construction because, as you'll hear later, most of you know now, the construction fatalities went up by 70 from 2000 to 2001, which is not good.
We are currently looking at some ways to help get that back down and help contractors working with labor and management to drive some of those numbers down. This is one way I think alliances and partnerships can help us do that.
The initial alliance was signed March 5, 2001. It was with Hispanic Contractors of America. The focus of an alliance is training and education, outreach and communication, and promotion of the national dialogue.
Now, the thing that's neat about an alliance, is you can do all three, you can do one, you can do two, you can do any combination of those three. You don't have to have all three in your alliance.
Right now, we're working with the Washington Group and the Bechtel group on training and education, outreach and communication, with the Washington Group also adding in promotion of the national dialogue.
The promotion of the national dialogue is somewhat broad and basically encompasses the things that the Assistant Secretary is promoting and pushing on the regulation agenda. It means we can go to conferences and do joint things together like that, do promotional material. It's kind of a neat deal and it's loosened up that it really can be tailored to anybody that wants to have one of these.
Tailored implementation teams. When an alliance is signed, there's a joint team put together, some from Paula's shop, from our shop if it's a construction one. If it's general industry, it's from another group. But for construction, we have one or two people from Paula's shop.
Lee Anne Jillings, who a lot of you may remember from VPP, is now the Director of Alliances. Her and I work closely together to get as many construction ones going as we can, and we've done pretty well. So, the holder of the alliance supplies some people for the team, OSHA supplies some people for the team.
There's an opportunity for a consultation person on the team. If the alliance is in a federal area or region, we offer an opportunity for the region or the area office to participate also on the team.
We have quarterly progress reviews to see how the alliance is going. One of the Assistant Secretaries goes to make sure that we see progress in these alliances and they're not just stagnant, and they're not just dead. We do see improvement.
Renewable on a yearly basis, either renewable by the alliance holder, by OSHA, or jointly. We haven't gotten to a year yet, so we haven't had to do this one.
Very few formal program requirements. There's nothing on inspections, there's nothing on limiting the type of inspections, there's nothing on, what do you have to supply back to us. Usually, though, we ask you to give us some written stuff to see how it's going and to make sure the program is functioning correctly.
No enforcement component which the partnership has, which I'll show you in a moment. And they're very less structured than strategic partnerships. Strategic partnerships are a very structured format. This is less structured. We really played with a lot to develop it, to tailor it to a specific person we're having the alliance with.
It's open to all, business, labor, trade, or professional organizations, universities, or even other governmental agencies. It's low risk. It's designed to initiate dialogue with OSHA, and vice versa, and to serve as a stepping stone toward a more structured partnership.
So, if you're not sure and you want to come into an alliance and see what it's like, and look around and see if it really fits you, you have an opportunity from there to move up to a strategic partnership and have a little more structured format.
Now, the benefits of an alliance. It builds relationships with OSHA and it builds relationships for OSHA with the alliance holder, so it works both ways. It encourages networking with others committed to workplace safety and health.
It's changing the dialogue, talking about issues, getting issues out on the table, coming up with ideas to fix some of these issues. It leverages resources to maximize worker safety and health protection, and it gets everybody working together to achieve a common goal.
As I said, Lee Anne Jillings is the Director of the Office of Outreach Services and Alliance. Two of the people that work with her are Lisa Rimbler and Nilgun Tolek, and we work very closely with all three of those people on the construction alliances. Ginger Henry is our point person in OCS and in DOC for working with them on the alliances.
Some of the working alliances we currently have. I picked out some to kind of give you a flavor. We have one with the American Textile Manufacturers Institute, which is not a construction one.
The Construction Management Association of America is a group that has a lot of the large and medium-large contractors. They came in about two months ago and talked to us about getting one with their group. They are basically concerned about outreach and promoting the national dialogue. We hope to get a little more involvement with them in training and education, but right now we're basically concentrating on the other two issues.
Hispanic Contractors of America, as I said, was the first alliance signed. This is kind of a unique situation. When we signed the alliance with them, there was only one group and they had about 40,000 members. Since this was signed the group has split off from that, which is now the National Hispanic Contractors Association, and they took about two-thirds of the membership.
So this one now has about 10,000, 12,000 contractors left in it and the new group has the balance. We're working with them to get an alliance with them, and that should be completed, I hope, by the first of the year.
So then we'll have two alliances, one with each association that covers the majority of the Hispanic contractors that are working in the United States. So, we're real proud of that one. The Independent Electrical Contractors of the Midwest. We have one with them that we signed here about a month ago.
Alliances under development. The American Board of Industrial Hygiene and the Board of Certified Safety Professionals, a joint venture to do training and education and promote certification, which is one of John Henshaw's big pushes now for OSHA. Currently, we have about 500 OSHA employees in the BCSP pipeline to get their CSP, which I think is really neat. Several are also in the ABIH, the hygiene certification pipeline.
The American Society of Civil Engineers. We met with them three weeks ago. Four other people from their board came in and they're really excited about an alliance, again, to promote the dialogue and to do some training and education.
American Society of Safety Engineers was signed yesterday. Mark Hanson was in and we had a signing ceremony down in John's office. That was a really neat deal. We're excited about that one.
There's the one I told you about, the National Hispanic Contractors, that we're working on. The Washington Group will be signed next week. Again, it's to promote the dialogue. We're kind of trying a unique thing with this one, and that's to maybe do some internships with some compliance officers.
When you get a new compliance officer in and we want to train him up a little bit on construction, the Washington Group has offered some of their projects so we can send the CSHO out to it and he can get a little week- or two-week everyday view of what a construction job site is like, and see some changes, and see what goes on.
The only drawback to this, is if they're in a civil stage you get one snapshot view of civil, if they're in the mechanic or the electrical -- so you may not get a broad range. But on some of their jobs they kind of do all three stages at once now. Maybe we can get some of the new CSHO's out there to train them up, and that's also one of the things that we're working on with the Bechtel alliance to do.
Also one that I didn't have listed there, is Clarke Construction here in the DC/Virginia/Maryland area. We're working with Harry Yellin--it's just about done and they should be signing first of the year--on ergonomics.
Harry has a unique ergonomics program that he's currently working on with Dr. Steve and some of the stuff that they're doing. We're going to use this one basically to train and educate the other stakeholders that ergonomics can be done in construction, and it can be done cheaply, and it can protect workers from severe musculoskeletal strains.
Those of you that remember my leading effort here in ACCSH years ago when I was kind of the only one waving the flag for ergonomics, I got beat up pretty bad. But that's okay. We're back and we're going to try again another way. John is really excited about this one, as is Bruce. I think we've got some real neat opportunity here.
The partnership program. It's voluntary, cooperative agreements between OSHA and groups, employees, employers, labor, and other stakeholders. It was adopted in 1998 as kind of a stepping stone to Merit and VPP, to give them something else to help people. They couldn't quite achieve those goals to get in, and there may be work to get to there.
Partnerships identify common goals. They develop plans for achieving the goals. And that's important, because without metrics or something to see how you're doing toward those goals, it's not really a structured partnership.
Cooperating in partnership implementation between OSHA and who we have the partnership with. They have priority for consultations. If a contractor has a partnership or is involved in an AGC or an ABC chapter partnership, when they need a consultation, they move to the top of the list. They get precedence for technical assistance the same way. They call up, they move up the list.
Focused inspections. Part of the partnership is that they get focused inspections, not general scheduling inspections. The only way they'd get general scheduling inspections is if the focused inspection found other things when they were doing the four things that they were looking at, and then they can open it up to a broader-type inspection. But, initially, they're going out and doing focused inspections. They get the maximum penalty reduction that's allowed.
Part of the partnership focuses to eliminate specific hazards, like maybe we're talking yesterday to the Ready-Mix Concrete Association on a partnership for silica. So, things like that we're looking at. If an association wants to narrow that partnership down rather than have a little broader one, they can narrow it down to specifics.
Specialized safety and health training. Share training back and forth. If they have some good training programs they can help OSHA train, and vice versa, with that. Like, with the one we're doing on steel erection, ABC is providing trainers to help us in the steel erection class. We're talking to AGC about the possibility of some training classes.
Enhance safety and health management programs and help the contractor improve their program. That's another focus of the partnerships. Implement selective elements of OSHA's strategic plan. Silica, lead. Like I said on the one yesterday, we talked about silica.
But the whole goal of the thing of all these, even the alliance and the partnerships and the agreements, is to reduce the number of injuries, illnesses, and fatalities. That's the bottom line. That's Assistant Secretary Henshaw's bottom line. That's what he wants. That's what we want to do here.
That's one of the things I came here to help do, and hopefully we can achieve that. We're not off to a good start with the 70 increase, but maybe that will be the only increase we have for a while and we can start turning that number around and driving it down.
Cut worker compensation costs. I will show you an example of how that happened in the back. Decrease OSHA citations and penalties. Enforcement is still a big tool of OSHA and they're going to continue to use that, but then we have other things now. We have compliance assistance, we have consultation, we have other things that we don't have to keep hammering people. But, if they don't want to get it, we'll go out and hammer them.
Promote associations with partners. That's a key point. Share stuff back and forth, make presentations, do speeches, participate in seminars.
Currently, we have 123 construction partnerships. Most of those sit in the AGC Chase partnership and the ABC Platinum partnership when their chapters that participate in those two types of partnerships have contractors in the various chapters and they're counted in the 123. So, a high number of the 123s is participating in the AGC or the ABC.
Those 123 partnerships cover 2,840 employers and 113,879 employees. So, while that's a very, very small number compared to the 370,000 construction employers in the United States currently and the number of employees and the number of employers, it's tough.
I think you're going to see, every time you come back to these meetings, that these numbers are going to continue to go up. Hopefully, by increasing this number, we're going to be decreasing the accidents and the injuries for the contractors.
Partnerships, again, resides in Paula's shop. Kathy Oliver is the director of that group, and Laura Seeman is the point person for her for partnerships, so we work very closely with her. Again, Ginger is our point person for partnerships, as well as alliances and agreements.
Two examples of success stories. The Idaho Region 8 partnership has reduced construction fatalities to contractors in Idaho. It's saved them money, and you'll see a slide that shows you that. It's improved OSHA's relationship with their stakeholders. It's a team out there now. It's not them and us. They've fostered additional partnerships because of this.
You can see the drop in the fatality rate from the 1991-1995 time to 2001-2002, a tremendous drop.
I think this one kind of tells the story. You can see the cost savings. This is what it's all about, reducing injuries. When you reduce injuries, you save the contractors money. The contractors are always looking to save money. They're realizing now that one of the ways for them to save money, is keeping people from getting hurt.
The next one is kind of a personal one for me. Pat Clarke and I think this is a great success story. It's a Region 2 partnership that started out informally between Pat and I. Then when Bechtel left, Pat had a formal partnership with Liberty Mutual and the contractors on the site.
We had 10,000-plus. We used the term "employees." A lot of them were employees, a lot of them weren't, so maybe we ought to use the term "10,000-plus people" exposed and were covered by the partnerships. Eight-month project. No occupational fatalities, which I think is absolutely remarkable for that job and for what we had to go through there, and the hazards, and the conditions, and the fire, and the shifting pile, and all that.
Thirty-five serious injuries is all that they had. To some that may seem high, but to that environment that's pretty remarkable. Pretty remarkable. A lost work-day case rate of 2.3, I think, is phenomenal for what we did there. So, I like to use this one as a success story. They threw a picture in to let you know we really were there working together.
One of the things that OSHA is now doing, we're balancing the needs of the construction industry, the demands of regulations, while adapting to ongoing social changes. You look at the work environment today and you have a big mix of social changes going on.
You have Asian employees, Hispanic employees, American employees, and all other walks of life employees out there. You've got to manage them differently, you've got to train them differently, you've got to work them differently. That's one of the things we're working on, is trying to be a leader in that.
One of John Henshaw's goals is that OSHA become the premier safety and health organization in the world, and I like that idea. That's another reason I came down here, to help him achieve that. So, hopefully we can do some good things. With your help, we'll be looking forward to doing those good things. If you have any questions or comments, I'd be happy to answer them.
MS. WILLIAMS: Stew, you mentioned Clarke and Bechtel being talked to at this point in time for alliances. Do you have an employee number that the business must have to qualify to develop an alliance? They're big companies.
MR. BURKHAMMER: There's no number. There's nothing.
MS. WILLIAMS: Okay.
MR. BURKHAMMER: An alliance will take anybody, anytime, anyplace in the world.
MS. WILLIAMS: Okay.
MR. BURKHAMMER: And we're not greedy. One people, 5 people, 5,000 people.
MS. WILLIAMS: Okay. So it is available to small business.
MR. BURKHAMMER: It's available to anybody. In fact, it's better. An alliance is probably better tailored to small business. A partnership, there's a slight reduction in accidents and injuries. You have focused inspections. There's certain criteria that's mandated in a partnership. In an alliance, we'd create -- and we can do special things depending on what we want to achieve out of the alliance.
MR. STRUDWICK: Stew, are we going to get a copy of these slides or the notes?
MR. BURKHAMMER: Yes. But you don't have a copy of the slides. I just finished them last night about 7:00.
DR. SWEENEY: Actually, instead of a copy, how about if I e-mail them?
CHAIRMAN KRUL: Yes. Get the e-mail address. That would be easier.
MR. BURKHAMMER: Make sure there isn't one being passed around. Take one of these sheets. I'll get you one. Make sure you check your names, addresses, phone numbers, mailing address, e-mail address. We will not circulate a sheet with e-mail addresses on them, only among the committee and among ourselves. But we will circulate to the public all the other information, other than e-mail addresses.
CHAIRMAN KRUL: Anybody else on the committee with questions for Stew?
CHAIRMAN KRUL: I'd like to ask, certainly you bring a unique perspective. For those of you who don't know, Stew was the former long-time director of Safety and Health for Bechtel before he came to work for the Directorate of Construction. A couple of things in there struck me, and a couple of things just struck me really hard.
The increase in fatalities, but more importantly, something that we talked about last time was what this committee could do to help OSHA, and especially the Directorate of Construction, lose that Hatfields versus McCoy image that exists for not only construction contractors, but the workers themselves on job sites that always viewed OSHA as just an intrusion, coming in, looking to site people and do "got you" inspections.
Obviously with these partnerships, you can see all the quid pro quos, drops in fatalities, drops in injuries, drops in worker compensation rates, which are extremely important to contractors today in the competitiveness of the world.
Having said all that, I guess my question to you is, what type of marketing will the Directorate be doing. I mean, clearly, when contractors can give you positive feedback about the good things working in consultation with OSHA can do, can that spread through the industry to stop the adversarial relationship that normally exists out there?
MR. BURKHAMMER: I certainly hope so. Right now, with the staff shortage that we have in DOC, we're really pressed to market this like we want to market it. You're looking at the marketeer. I've talked to all of the regional administrators and to a lot of the area directors.
We're going to start using them to help market this program and push this program. Part of the partnership with AGC and ABC, is that they get out and get the message out, and they're doing a real good job of that.
Some of the other partnerships and alliances that we're just now getting and developing -- I've talked to the Hispanic group. We've got some unique ideas to market to the Hispanic community through both those associations in Spanish.
So it's not a real good answer to your question because there really isn't one yet, but I would think, by the first of the year when we get a little more stable here and I learn a little more -- I mean, that's another drawback.
I've been six months of education here, trying to get up to speed on how to be political. But I think, once we get to the first of the year, you're going to see us doing more and getting more things out in that regard.
MR. BRODERICK: Stew, what are the dynamics of working these relationships with state plan states?
MR. BURKHAMMER: In the construction portion, which is all I can speak for, right now we're not overly involved in getting state plan states. I gave a presentation to Carolina's AGC Safety and Health Committee here about a month and a half ago, two months ago, I guess, and they're interested in alliance or a partnership. I'm working with Chip Murray on getting that done.
But as far as getting out in each state that has a state plan and promoting this through the state plans, we haven't really done that yet. We're trying to get it off the ground in the federal states, get some success stories, then eventually when we go to the states we can show them something that we've accomplished rather than just saying, we've got this neat deal here. But does it work? Well, we don't know yet. When we go, we want to show them some things that have happened that are good.
DR. SWEENEY: To follow up on that, have you talked to the building trades and been working with them as well as a unit? Because you said this is government, labor, and management.
MR. BURKHAMMER: We have not, to date, done well there. We've worked with Frank on the partnership with the Ironworkers, the NEA, ABC, OTI, and OSHA on the steel erection class. We're also working with Scott Synder and the labors, the operating engineers, on the asphalt paving and milling things that we're doing with them with NIOSH.
So other than that, those two examples that I could give you because I know firsthand about those. In a conversation we've had with Dudley and Joe at the Carpenters about the potential of doing something with them in scaffolding, we haven't done as much as we can.
CHAIRMAN KRUL: I'm the chairman of the Safety and Health Committee at the Building Trades. Why haven't we had you over there? Is it a departmental thing?
MR. BURKHAMMER: No, no. You didn't invite me for lunch.
CHAIRMAN KRUL: What, you need an invitation to the Christmas party before you come to the safety and health thing?
MR. BURKHAMMER: No. We've been so swamped over here. It's just something that, I haven't gotten around to calling you yet and asking about.
CHAIRMAN KRUL: Can we invite you to a future meeting?
MR. BURKHAMMER: Absolutely. Yes.
CHAIRMAN KRUL: Greg, you have a question?
MR. STRUDWICK: Yes. Stew, do you have any sample programs that we rely on for partnerships?
MR. BURKHAMMER: We have an alliance template which I can send each of you electronically. It's a very skeletal outline of what an alliance is. You'll see in there a lot of blanks and a lot of openings where you can fill in, and we sit down and we meet with the people and we kind of draft this thing in a forum between who we're having the alliance with, one of Lee Anne's people, and one of our people.
We kind of work this thing together. The structured partnership has a very structured outline of exactly what a partnership is and what goes into them, what makes it up. We did the AGC Case partnership and the ABC Platinum one. That was the structured format that Ralph Riley at ABC and Justin at AGC were doing.
MR. STRUDWICK: Well, I'm a member of AGC and sit on the
-- board, and I also -- and the committee. I notice in some of the board meetings it's always the toe in the water, kind of testing the waters. You are familiar with the Agency red, white and blue plans, aren't you?
MR. BURKHAMMER: Yes.
MR. STRUDWICK: To classify the contractor by size. But NUCA, I know, is looking very closely. We are going to invite you.
MR. BURKHAMMER: Charlie has. I'm coming to your meeting and I'm going to make the partnership and alliance presentation at the meeting --
MR. STRUDWICK: Oh, he's already done it?
MR. BURKHAMMER: -- in April, or March, or whatever.
MR. STRUDWICK: Excellent. That's good.
MR. BEAUREGARD: Stew, on the Idaho success, do you know what the major elements were for that success? I'm sorry. I was talking about the Idaho partnership. You put some statistics on there on the screen. You said that they had a -- do you know the major elements of that partnership?
MR. BURKHAMMER: I've got them. I can send them to you.
MR. BEAUREGARD: Yes. I'd like to see them.
MR. BURKHAMMER: Okay.
MR. MURPHY: Stew, I have a question. I noticed in your material that you do alliances with universities. We do a lot of work with different universities. Could you just give me a brief overview of what an alliance with a university would do for the university?
MR. BURKHAMMER: We're currently working on one with the North Dakota School of Mining and Technology. There's two parts to that. One, is the training and education part, for sure. That's one of the core concepts of the university ones. This will be the first university one.
The second part, is the national dialogue. One of the thoughts I had, was a lot of the schools that have safety and health programs, for example, have a local AFCC student chapter. That would be one way to do that, through the student chapter, do some things with them, get them involved.
Another thing is, with the university, is to promote safety and health at the university. I've talked to a lot of professors who say a lot of colleges aren't real safe places to work. They would like to see better conditions at the colleges and universities.
So one of the things in promoting this--and Carter Kirk is the guy we're working with at the North Dakota School of Mining and Technology--that we hope to share back with them, is how to build a safer educational environment, not only for the students, but for the faculty that work in the university.
MR. MURPHY: Thank you.
DR. SWEENEY: One more comment. Stew, I know you have lots of people that you could potentially partner with, but the Associated Schools of Construction get all the construction management programs, or they at least, I think, incorporate them in an overall group.
It would seem to me that a partnership with OSHA or some sort of alliance would help in terms of future prevention of construction injuries and illnesses. By making sure that the students understand what OSHA can and cannot do, they integrate safety and health into their project management programs. A lot of them have very little safety and health management.
I think it would be very helpful to have OSHA stand in there and say, hey, we can be the good guys and we can help you with your problems when you get out in the real world and have to face the safety and health problems of the construction site.
MR. BURKHAMMER: That's certainly something that I'm interested in. I know that others here would be interested in that, too. You mentioned about the students. I sat in on a meeting the other day and there was a presentation about youth.
There were some surveys done of youth. It was stunning to me that the survey revealed that the majority of the youth that go out and work, high school-aged students that work, or college students that go and work, never heard of OSHA. They also don't understand why them working, say, would help their employer. They just don't get it.
I think one of the things that OSHA wants to do, hopefully wants to do, and I know John has talked about doing this, is focusing on getting more and more information, if you will, out to the youth of America that work in high school and beginning in college so they can understand what OSHA is, number one, and that they have an alternative to turn to if they get hurt, that if something happens to them they've got someplace to go.
CHAIRMAN KRUL: Anyone else?
CHAIRMAN KRUL: Well, thank you, Stew. That was a very good presentation.
CHAIRMAN KRUL: While Michael is setting up for the next presentation, I would like, for the record, to note that Counsel Biersner is here. I'd also like to note for the record that Larry Edginton from the Operating Engineers, for whom this should have been his last meeting, could not be with us. Larry has taken a job back in his home area in Sacramento, California, happier than a clam to be there. He sends his best to the committee members and his apologies for not being able to be here.
Again, for the record, Bruce Swanson will not be able to make it in, so Stew Burkhammer will be the designated federal official for this meeting.
It's not listed on the agenda, but is there anybody sitting out in the public sector who would like to make comments at the end of the meeting today?
(A showing of hands)
CHAIRMAN KRUL: One. Okay. Just so we know. It's not listed in the agenda. We don't know what the weather is going to do. So if there are people who would like to make comments, we'll make some time available at the end of the meeting for that to happen.
APPROVAL OF THE MINUTES FROM PREVIOUS MEETING
CHAIRMAN KRUL: You have the minutes from the last meeting in front of you. I'd just like to take the privilege of the chair to go over a couple of things. We're going to certainly need a motion, but there are a couple things on there that I'd like to
ask a couple questions, and if someone else would like to, that's fine as well. But we're going to hear
from the Crane Workgroup Subcommittee report from Jim later.
I want to ask Jane, given what Stew reported on with the unfortunate increase in fatalities, is there anything that -- and I know the workgroup -- was all done. Does any of that tie in with looking at how we -- is there anything in the database or anything with 170 that would be helpful in data gathering?
MS. WILLIAMS: My answer is, absolutely, yes. Stew's going to explain to you why.
MR. BURKHAMMER: Oh, good. 170 is still alive. The Construction Task Force Workgroup that I mentioned earlier that Dr. Reinhardt is leading the effort for us in the construction group, we've taken the 170 and combined it in there with that task force. So they're looking at Form 170.
Davis Layne has agreed that the 170 form does not revised. All the work that Jane, Steve, Marie, and Michael did when they were chairs of the various two groups that touched 170 is not going to go away. It's going to be used. Rick has got all that data. He's going to be using it. Hopefully, sometime in 2003 we will have some results back from that study and we will be able to fix the Form 170.
CHAIRMAN KRUL: Going along with that, Felipe Devora, a former member on this committee who worked with Marie Haring Sweeney on this multilingual issue in construction, which is a huge problem, I don't think anybody has a silver bullet that they can address the problems with safety and health, and especially in the Hispanic community alone.
They're just using one group, but the studies were done about the enormous increase in Hispanic fatalities amongst the construction workforce. I mean, I know that we've experienced this in our apprentice programs. I'll let Marie comment on it. But this is a huge problem in communicating safety and health issues to folks who do not have English as a second language.
DR. SWEENEY: Thank you, Mr. Chairman. One of the issues I wanted to bring up, is that the Hispanic Task Force is meeting today and tomorrow in Dallas, and I actually do sit on it as the NIOSH representative.
A couple of other things. I'm hoping that you will maintain the multilingual group as we go on, and that more people will be assigned to that group. It's not only the Hispanic population. I think there are a large number of other foreign-born, non-English speaking groups that we probably need to address as well. The Bureau of Labor Statistics only takes into account whether it's an Hispanic surname or not.
So, yes, it is a huge problem. I think a lot of people are beginning to realize that and put more efforts into training individuals in their mother tongue, as well as providing signage and other things, although we are dealing largely with an immigrant population, some of whom are not literate at all.
So, I do encourage that we move forward on this workgroup and continue. I know Tom is interested in keeping it moving as well. And the minutes do reflect accurately what we talked about last time.
CHAIRMAN KRUL: Stew?
MR. BURKHAMMER: Dr. Reinhardt also sits on the Hispanic Task Force, along with Marie, and John Miles from Riedonsix, chairs the task force.
At the OSHA executive board meeting last week, one of the issues that was discussed was this very issue of getting out information and reaching the Hispanic worker. There's a lot of ideas currently ongoing on how to do that. I think shortly there will be an Hispanic public service announcement out. We took a look at that.
Also, as I indicated, the alliances with the Hispanic Contractors Association of America and the National Hispanic Contractors are going to be a big, big plus, I think, in helping us reach those types of workers.
So, Felipe's effort and Marie's effort was not in vain. We have a Spanish web site now in OSHA. We have an Hispanic hotline phone number, a 1-800 number to call in. It is being used. People are calling in. People are hitting the web site, so it's having some effect. We just need to continue to do our best to try to expand these programs in construction.
DR. SWEENEY: Mr. Chairman, I would suggest that, if at some point in the future, John Miles could talk to us. John Miles is the head of the Hispanic Task Force and could talk to us about what they're doing, how they're proceeding to outreach to Hispanic construction workers, if not just their total program.
CHAIRMAN KRUL: I think the Directorate could give assistance.
DR. SWEENEY: There's a lot of things going on.
MR. STRUDWICK: Marie, I'm from Dallas, so I'm very close to John Miles. I also do Hispanic training. One thing that everybody needs to make sure that they at least tweak or are aware of in their head, is the culture as well as the illiteracy. What we're dealing with there, after many years of direct training in the Hispanic tongue, and signing, and that kind of stuff, is the tabloid mentality of the Hispanics in the field.
DR. SWEENEY: Sure.
MR. STRUDWICK: So I just want to make a point. I look forward to working with John and seeing what we can do, because we're taking advantage of the, I guess it is, Susan Heywood grant. Through NUCA, we've probably trained now in the neighborhood of 10,000 in their native tongue. Tu habla español?
DR. SWEENEY: Un poquito.
CHAIRMAN KRUL: I was just given all the work groups that were supposedly in place. Obviously, with the turnover, don't make the chairman stare in your eyes when we go over this later on. If there's something of interest to you, please volunteer for these workgroups and we'll do that a little bit later.
Just to finish up with the minutes. Kevin, this was something that was raised by me and by you on the initiatives in the communication tower erection and the fatalities that were happening. Can you update us on that?
MR. BEAUREGARD: Well, in North Carolina we're still proceeding with a rulemaking on the towers. Because of some legislative sessions and the, long and short, North Carolina budget situations, we weren't able to proceed forward with this session. So, it's going to be delayed a little bit.
But we are very close to having a final rule and we want to move forward with it. I know there are several other states that are moving forward with rulemaking on the towers. They continue to be a problem. I think I read just a few days ago, I think it was in Texas, there were a couple more fatalities related to towers.
I was hoping to have our draft to distribute to the ACCSH committee today, but I don't have that because it's still in process. But if and when I do get it, I will submit it to the ACCSH committee.
CHAIRMAN KRUL: We had two individuals, and I can't remember their names, come to one of our Building Trades Safety and Health Committee meetings. In fact, as I think about it now, I screwed up. I was supposed to invite them to come to the next ACCSH meeting and I never called them.
But there were two individuals who worked in communication tower erection who gave a really compelling, firsthand experience about how bad it is, how terribly bad it is, the safety training. As we discussed last time, when you read what some of these folks are doing when it comes to hoisting people up to the tops of these things, it's truly amazing. I mean, ropes in the backs of pick-up trucks, and pulleys, and just terrible, terrible accidents.
DR. SWEENEY: We've actually just taken our alert on the tower construction and translated it into Spanish, so it will be up on the web very shortly. You can use that, and that would be great. I think we're actually going to print the Spanish version.
CHAIRMAN KRUL: Stew?
MR. BURKHAMMER: I've been in contact with Rob Matlock, who's the area director in the Cleveland area office. They have a pilot partnership with NATE, which is the National Association of Tower Erectors. We have been in discussions over the past four months on a national partnership with NATE to cover all of the tower erectors working all over the United States, and 90-plus percent are members of NATE. They're really excited about the partnership. The reason we don't have it yet is my fault, because we just haven't had the people or the time to pursue this one. But it is in the process. We're working on it.
They're having a huge conference coming up here in the next year. I will be presenting alliances and partnerships at that conference. Hopefully, Laura Seeman will be going with me to do that. I'm hopeful that, shortly thereafter, we will have an alliance anyway, or maybe even a partnership with NATE to really start pushing this tower erection safety, because, as Kevin said, it's not good.
CHAIRMAN KRUL: Okay. Having looked at the minutes, hopefully, any additions, corrections, deletions?
CHAIRMAN KRUL: If not, the Chair would entertain a motion for adoption.
MS. WILLIAMS: Mr. Chairman, as having been in attendance at the meeting, I so move.
CHAIRMAN KRUL: Is there a second?
DR. SWEENEY: I second the motion.
CHAIRMAN KRUL: Having been regularly moved and seconded to adopt the December 6, 2001 meeting minutes, all those in favor, signify by the sign "aye."
(A chorus of ayes)
CHAIRMAN KRUL: In the opposition?
CHAIRMAN KRUL: So moved. Okay.
MR. AYUB: Yes.
CHAIRMAN KRUL: Oh. I said it right. I thought I'd have to apologize. Mohammed is here to make a presentation on an introduction to the Office of Engineering Services.
INTRODUCTION TO THE OFFICE OF ENGINEERING SERVICES
By Dr. Mohammed Ayuh
DR. AYUB: Today I am going to briefly present to you the functions of the Office of Engineering here. As you know, the direct trade is composed of three parts, the OCSG, the Office of Construction Standards and Guidance; OCS, Office of Construction Services; and last, but not least, Office of Engineering Services.
Today I'm going to present to you briefly about the last office that you see here. My name is Mohammed Ayub and I'm the director, or at times also called manager, of the Office of Engineering. I have only two staff members, Dr. Scott Jin and Mr. Dinesh Shah. There was a time when we used to have six people, but right now we have only two.
What is our mission here? As I have stated in the slide here, number one, we are a resource for structural engineering for the entire of OSHA in this office here. If there is any issue that needs technical engineering or structural engineering, this office provides that assistance to all the Agency components here.
Number two, our task is to plan and to manage a program under which we can conduct investigations of major construction incidents, those construction incidents that need engineering help. As you know, there are a large number of construction incidents that take place every year which don't need engineering help, but those complex incidents, like the building failures, tower failures, frame collapse, bridge failure that needs some engineering analysis, then we provide the help.
Also, we like to work with industry in order to enhance their safety and to reduce their fatalities. For example, we work closely with the ACI, American Concrete Institute, AISC, American Institute of Steel Construction, and we are also on a few committees on the ANSI standard as well.
As I said earlier, we are a resource for structural engineering in the OSHA office here. We provide direct assistance to field enforcement. Any type of issue, including incidents which need engineering assistance, we are on call and we are asked to provide information to them. In the case of an accident at a site, we are at the construction site within 24 hours so that we can proceed with our mission.
The assistance to the field office help consists of three parts. The first part, I like to call phase one, in which we like to provide help through the area offices immediately after an accident. For example, we can tell them which are safe areas, which are the unsafe areas, which are the areas that need to be demolished, or if the contractor has already made up a plan as to how he wants to attempt to demolish those areas which are unsafe. Then we would like to review the plan and we would like to advise the area office if their plan is okay or not.
We will also advise the area offices what parts of the structural failures have to be saved for future examination, also an area where some lab work needs to be done. For example, in most of the incidents we find that there is a need for lab work in order to examine the -- to test the steel, to test the bolts, and make sure that the steel or concrete conforms to the contract drawings and contract specifications.
After the phase one, then we're down to phase two. In phase two, we come back to our offices and we conduct the analysis and try to determine the cause of the accident. Lastly, we also provide expert witnesses in case the case goes before the ALJs, administrative law judges, and our office provides the expert witnesses also.
I would also like to say at this time that we also provide engineering help to those states which have their own state OSHA plan, depending upon our resources. For example, we have been able to provide assistance to the Portland, Oregon International Airport accident, Nevada, North Carolina, and a major accident at Dulles International Airport here. But it depends upon our resources. If we have the resources, then we will do that.
Why do we conduct the investigation? There are three purposes here. Number one, is to find the cause of the incident, as to why did this incident occur. Number two, is to find out whether or not any OSHA standard has been violated or whether or not any generally accepted industry practice has been violated by the contractor. Thirdly, we need to determine what was the impact of these violations on the cause of the accident.
After we do that, then we write a report. That report is then becomes a part of the OSHA case file. After all the litigation is done and it's all over, then at times we also publish our report in some of the technical magazines.
I would also like to say at this junction that for a large number of accidents we are able to find the cause of the accident, but not in all. I would say that in about 25 or 30 percent of incidents, we are not able to find the cause of the accident for sure.
We might say that the most likely cause of the accident was so and so, or the most probable cause. It is because of the fact that we don't have all of the evidence, all of the information, there's not lab work done. Also, evidence has been destroyed. So in about one-fourth of the cases, we are not able to conclusively say the cause of the accident.
Our findings must be completed well within six months. As you know, OSHA has a statute that citations must be issued within six months, or by six months. That means that our findings have to be completed in about four to five months.
At times we are finding that, unlike the private investigations who have a blank check and they've got the timeframe, we are always working under big constraints here to complete the investigation within four to five months.
By the time we get all of the information, and all the drawings, and all the lab work, and all the evidence, it is already about two months, so we are only given about 8 to 10 weeks into order to complete our findings.
I have, now, compiled for you, just to give a flavor of some of the major investigations that we have done recently in the last five years, six years or so. You might find one or two here that were done much earlier.
For example, recently we have done the Pittsburgh Convention Center, the scaffold tower collapse; in New York, for Times Square, a scaffold tower collapsed; the billboard tower collapse in Atlanta which happened about two months ago; and a Nebraska TV tower collapse. It was a 1,900-foot high TV tower.
Due to the HD-TV approval by the Congress, each broadcasting company is, in a way, under the gun to have this HD-TV broadcast soon. Therefore, they are going to have the new HD-TV antennas on top of the tower. So, there is a great amount of movement in the tower industry to come up with new TV antennas. Due to the new guys and cables and conduits, and due to the much higher weight of the new HD-TV antennas, some of the members of the towers have to be replaced.
Diagonals have to be replaced. Some of the horizontal members have to be replaced. We are finding that in such cases, accidents are taking place. For example, in Nebraska, the TV tower collapse, they were trying to replace the diagonal of the tower. During that replacement, the entire tower collapsed and two people got killed here.
There was a tunnel incident at the Dulles International Airport. Again, a 2000-foot TV tower in Jackson, Mississippi. The causes are the same: the workers are not trained. They are replacing the diagonal members without taking extra care. They are removing the end bolt of the diagonal, they are removing the end bolt of the strut members, such that the entire tower becomes weak and it fails.
The third item here, is the Altanta Stadium, the tower collapsed. During the time there were Olympic Games coming up in Atlanta, there was a rush of accidents in those projects. We did at least three or four accident investigations there. This is one of them here.
We also did the Pittsburgh Airport, the framing collapse. I think it might have -- flight here. The first item here was done way back. It was done, I believe, in 1989. This was the first bi investigation that we did in OSHA here when there was an office called Office of Construction and Engineering. Five people got killed.
Then again, you see yet another TV tower collapse in Texas. I believe two or three people got killed. We did the Convention Center in Florida, and also the incident at the Convention Center here in DC.
Hopefully, the idea is that once we will publish our reports of our findings, the construction industry will make note of it and hopefully it will not happen in the future. Also, the code-writing bodies like ACI, AISC, ASCE, they will also make note of it. In their building codes or in their design codes, you'll have certain frameworks there which are going to enhance safety here.
This is all that I have. If you have any questions to ask me, I will be glad to answer it.
CHAIRMAN KRUL: Go ahead.
DR. SWEENEY: Mohammed, thank you very much for your presentation. In the collapse of the towers, especially when they're taking members off and replacing the members, what are the size of the companies? Are we talking about mom-and-pop or are we talking about the big, AT&T?
DR. AYUB: No. You are talking about, generally speaking, a smaller company which has four or five people.
DR. SWEENEY: Yes. That's been the pattern.
DR. AYUB: Yes. There are four to five people, the father, the son, the children. Our office has done an investigation of at least four tower collapses, for very similar reasons. The causes of the failures are really identical.
MS. WILLIAMS: Mohammed, I have a similar question following up on Marie's. One of the previous presentations--I don't know if it was Kevin's or Marie's--the smaller contracts were part of a larger general contract. I believe we were talking about an emphasis program at that point, going to the generals to be more stringent in the requirements of the subcontractors regarding fall protection.
Have you seen anything like that develop?
DR. AYUB: No, I haven't seen that. In most of the accident investigations that we have done, there were no major general contractors. The tower owner contracted with a tower erection contractor, a three- or four-employee outfit. They were asked to carry the contract here, take the drawings, and go up and replace those diagonals. Most of the time, they are not told the precautions that they need to take.
MS. WILLIAMS: Thank you.
MR. AHERN: Our firm does cell tower reconfiguration. One of the reasons we're doing that, is because local zoning people are getting disgruntled with the proliferation of the numerous towers for every company that wants to have a nationwide network. So, they're trying to increase the capacity of transmitters and receivers on existing towers and they're not designed to take the additional loads.
The interesting part is that, to a large degree, to reconfigure a tower to take the additional load of an additional transmitter-receiver, is sometimes significantly more expensive than to completely rebuild the tower.
In response to Marie's question, I think the typical new tower is less than a quarter of a million dollars of expense, so it's pretty small. There's a real challenge to contractors because you need a sky hook to tie off above where you are as you progress up. There are no bonding requirements.
Generally speaking, the tower owners have a broad degree of evaluation of your general insurance programs within the company. There's so much pressure on the communication industry right now to deal with the economics, that they want the low price. So, it's a challenge to ensure that companies perform safely. There are numerous examples where, either on new construction or reconstruction, that has not occurred.
DR. SWEENEY: Mr. Chairman, I may be preaching to the choir, and I think we've talked about this a bunch of times in this committee, is there needs to be a concerted effort by OSHA to reach the small contractor. I know we have the same problem at NIOSH. But there needs to be some way for us to get the health and safety message and the training to these groups, and I can't believe that we can't figure that out.
MR. AHERN: I'd like to respond to that. This is my copy of the standard. It's easier for me to read than this one because it's indented, colorized, et cetera. To a large degree, the small businessman knows this exists, but he doesn't know the detail of it and all the references.
It's my belief that a small businessman doing a construction project that wants to do a good job cannot pick up the phone and call the local OSHA office and say, would you please come out and evaluate my set-up, tell me if I'm okay, because if he's not okay, for all the interpretations of this standard, he's cited. So, he doesn't make the call.
There needs to be some form of broad-based, nationwide, complimentary inspections that enables the people that care about complying to do it without risk. I see Stew smiling. Tell me what it is.
MR. BURKHAMMER: Well, I'm glad you brought that up. Each office now--if not all of them, most of them--now have a Compliance Assistance Specialist in the office. A small contractor, medium contractor, large contractor can call the office without fear of reprisal and ask for a Compliance Assistance person or a consultation. They will come out to your site, they will talk to you. You will not be cited by consultation or by Compliance Assistance. The bottom line is, they're not to refer that consultation visit to Compliance for them to come out and hammer you after the consultation has ended.
So, we now have a tool for the small business. A lady name Tina Coles is the head of Small Business for OSHA and she'll be tickled to death for you to talk to her about this issue.
MR. AHERN: Great. Because in this tower reconfiguration, the normal tower construction period is anywhere from a few days to less than two weeks. The response time to be on a tower site which seems to have a significant number of failures needs to be immediate. So, that's a key issue, is how quickly can they respond.
MR. BURKHAMMER: One of the concerns that OSHA has with the tower group, and it's what Bob referred to earlier that we've discussed in ACCSH for quite a while with Kevin and others, is knowing where the sites are.
If you're driving down the highway and you look up on a mountain somewhere and you see a little piece of a tower going up and you have no clue how to get up there, well, the OSHA guy has no clue how to get up there, either. These are remote roads. They're very dense locations. Sometimes you can see the tower, sometimes you can't until it's erected and they're gone. So, it's difficult for OSHA to find where these are.
One of the discussions we're having with NATE is that they would share with us, as part of the alliance, where the sites are and who the contractors are so we would have the ability then to work with these contractors to improve their program. Right now, it's very difficult.
MR. STRUDWICK: I'm Greg Strudwick. We've worked real closely, at least association-wise, with St. Paul, Zurich, with CNA. They're part of the team that puts together the package when it comes to a contractor being able to ensure himself. We're trying to lean on those guys, and they're providing a huge amount of resources as far as training and education. They're ultimately responsible should somebody die on those sites, and they're ensuring those guys. They're taking it very seriously at this point.
I hope to see them working closer with us from the standpoint of identifying the ones that are not necessarily qualified, but actually have the ability to ensure themselves based on a relationship with an underwriter, or whatever.
But that underwriter--I've seen that underwriting starting to raise the bar in a number of cases--will challenge that contractor as to his ability. If he doesn't have the ability, they're probably not going to finance the job.
MR. AHERN: I'd be interested to hear Dan's comments on this, but my sense is, given today's existing insurance climate, St. Paul's may be taking on 1 in 10 new clients. A typical guy doing this small, quarter of a million dollar project, particularly if he doesn't have an exemplary safety record, is not even going to get the chance to get under the St. Paul umbrella in the market. Is that a fair comment?
MR. STRUDWICK: But, Jim, it goes back to the owner, in other words, the person that's actually hiring the individual. If they don't require the requirements --
MR. STRUDWICK: Right now in the tower industry there is so much pressure on that owner economically to go with the low price. Now, there are some that make sure that your general liability umbrellas are sky-high and you have the training, but that's the exception rather than the rule.
MR. STRUDWICK: It's just one piece of the puzzle. But I'd like to hear from Dan as far as what they're trying to do.
MR. MURPHY: Well, quite honestly, the statement was very accurate in today's world and in the construction community. We can be very selective on the contractors that we choose to provide the insurance products to. The type of contractors I think that you're talking about here, we don't even go after those types of contractors.
But I suggest that the associations, along with the carriers, along with the group of people sitting at this table, could certainly influence what's happening out there, because it seems to me, through the doctor's presentation, that we have a serious problem.
We, for example, don't deal with tower erectors. We don't go that small in the construction community. We would be certainly willing to share our expertise along with the construction safety groups and all the individuals sitting here to try to protect the folks that are going up on these towers.
I don't know the solution. I understand the problem, because they're getting the job, they're going out there, they're doing it long before anybody can take a look at what they're doing. It really shocks me that they don't have bonds when they're doing this.
CHAIRMAN KRUL: Marie?
DR. SWEENEY: The question is to Stew. What is NATE proposing to do? Because they've been talking for about four years now and we haven't seen a reduction in fatalities. I know Rob's been talking with them for quite a while. Why aren't we seeing the reduction?
MR. BURKHAMMER: I don't know.
DR. AYUB: Thank you so much.
CHAIRMAN KRUL: Thank you.
MR. BEAUREGARD: I'd just like to make one comment, non-tower related. North Carolina recently had an opportunity to work with your office. It was construction of a large retail outlet. What happened there, was they were using a concrete lift slab operation, which we're seeing more and more within the industry. I wanted people to be aware of what we found there. I can't go into great details because we still have the investigation open.
But if you go down the road to any of these stores like Lowe's, Home Depot, a lot of them are newly constructed. They're just giant warehouses, and then they fill in the inside. The way they're manufacturing these now, is they're using a method called concrete lift slab where they actually pre-cast the wall, and then they raise the wall in place.
One of the things we have found through this investigation is that, on all of these, there's plans that the manufacturer recommends how the wall should be installed, et cetera. In many of the instances we're looking at, not only with this case now, we're finding that people weren't necessarily following those requirements in the plan.
The key requirement is, if it says it needs to be connected at the top, it needs to be grouted, needs to be back-filled or back-poured on the bottom before you take the supports off, they really mean you're supposed to do that.
Through talking to a number of different people, we're finding that people feel that that's a recommendation and it's not a requirement. In this particular instance, we did have a wall collapse that wasn't supported and it resulted in three people getting killed on the job site.
But I wanted to let this group know that we intend to get some type of hazard alert out throughout North Carolina, and we're going to pass that along just so that people who are involved in this type of building operation are aware of the hazards.
CHAIRMAN KRUL: Just a comment. You refreshed my memory with the lift slab method. Those of you who will remember back to Bridgeport when it was tried on L'Ambience Plaza and the tragic results, looking at this tower erection deal, when we first addressed this issue it was fatalities due to fall protection.
With the good doctor's presentation here, there's obviously, clearly, a problem in the construction processes that are being used that are even causing more fatalities with this.
I'm struck that if this was the ironworking industry, or the roofing industry, or the cement industry, or anybody else's industry that started showing up--and I don't want to lay the blame on Stew, the Directorate, OSHA, or anybody else.
I don't know what the answer is here because of the quick time that these jobs go through. But, clearly, there's a problem here. There's a problem with the construction process, there's a problem with the training process.
For the next meeting for ACCSH, I'm going to use the prerogative of the chair and have these two individuals who work in that industry--I have the gentleman's phone number--and have him and his former working companion come in here and talk about the problems that exist in this industry. I don't know how we can address it.
I know Stew's being honest. I mean, you don't know where these things are going up. But I don't wonder if this committee shouldn't take a look at maybe bringing some interested parties in and taking a look at this and see if there's something directed from this committee back to the Assistant Secretary to try and address it. I mean, you don't have to have it jump out and poke you in the eye. The statistics speak for themselves. There's definitely a problem in this industry.
MS. WILLIAMS: I had a question for Stew. Was there no going to be an alert from OSHA on tilt panels because of the rise in fatalities? Did I hear that? Do you know if that has happened?
MR. BURKHAMMER: We drafted an alert. It basically was an alert from the Assistant Secretary and it went to OPA. I will find out where it is. I don't know right now. But it's drafted, it's completed. It's somewhere in the system. I'll try to find out where it is.
DR. AYUB: If I may, on the issue of the tilt-up wall panels, I think you didn't mean the lift slabs, but you meant the tilted wall panels.
CHAIRMAN KRUL: Yes, on this project.
DR. AYUB: That was an isolated case that we have seen. We haven't seen a rash of incidents on the tilt-up wall panels. That was a shortcoming on the part of the contractor because he had violated a city
There was no connection at the top, there was no connection at the bottom, there was no pulling of the slab at the bottom, and he removed the braces before he should have.
But, to our knowledge, and going through the engineering magazines, we really don't see there is a need for any national alert here on the tilt-up wall panels. But if we find there are some other incidents along the same lines, then we will surely think about it.
CHAIRMAN KRUL: Doctor, is OSHA investigating this parking garage collapse in Maryland, right outside the District?
DR. AYUB: No. As you know, Maryland is a state OSHA plan and we have told them that if they need an assistant from us to review the report of their expert, then we will be glad to do it for them.
They have already hired a couple of experts and their report should be done shortly. So, we are going to review it and we're going to ensure that all of the sides of the investigations have been addressed.
CHAIRMAN KRUL: Any other questions for the doctor?
MR. STRUDWICK: One more question.
CHAIRMAN KRUL: Go ahead, Greg.
MR. STRUDWICK: When you made the statement that you couldn't find, in 25 percent of the cases, was that a physical problem, engineering solution, or was that human error, or do you combine both and you still haven't been able to find the 25 percent?
DR. AYUB: In about 25 percent of the cases, we cannot pin down the cause of the incident because there are four or five potential causes. Sometimes there is a lack of evidence. Some of the evidence has been destroyed. The lab work was not done properly, it was not done on time. Some of the information is not coming forth from the contractors.
So all this points to the fact that conclusively we cannot say that this is why the accident took place, but in our report we will say a whole range of potential causes. It is quite normal with any other incident investigation field.
MR. STRUDWICK: Thank you.
CHAIRMAN KRUL: Thank you, Doctor. Thank you very much for an interesting presentation.
CHAIRMAN KRUL: Just a note. The Assistant Secretary, John Henshaw, will be here at 10:00. Why don't we take a short break. In respect for the Secretary, let's make this a 10-minute break and have everybody in here and seated and not milling.
Again, for those of you in the public sector who came in late, if you haven't heard, at the end of today's meeting, whenever that will be, because we're not sure about how many of our presenters will be able to present because of the weather. But there will be a public comment period at the end of today's meeting, so if you'd like to have the microphone for whatever topic, you're welcome to it.
Let's be back in 10 minutes.
(Whereupon, at 9:40 a.m. the meeting was recessed and resumed back on the record at 10:00 a.m.)
CHAIRMAN KRUL: Ladies and gentlemen, if you could take your seats, the Assistant Secretary is on his way down.
MR. BUSH: Mr. Chairman, I'm David Bush. I think, after thinking about the tower erection and the fact that you're having a couple of tower erection individuals here, people that work in it, it would also be good for us to invite NATE and let them give their explanation, because the regularity and frequency with which we're having failures in structure means that the chances are that the people erecting them have no good, basic understanding of proper erection or the use of equipment.
CHAIRMAN KRUL: And I think that's a proper motion or a proper suggestion that we have the balance between workers coming out of the field making their complaints and having representatives of the employers association here as well.
Without objection--I don't even think we're going to need a motion--we're going to invite them as guests to the next meeting. I will contact the individual who came before the Building Trades Safety and Health Committee.
When Stew gets back, I'll ask the Directorate of Construction if they would extend that invitation once we know the dates of the next ACCSH meeting. I think that would be an extremely interesting presentation, to hear both sides of the issue, and let them know that this committee is concerned.
Kevin just came in. I won't do it now. Later on this afternoon, whether I make it back, or Jane will do it, we're going to have two new workgroups. Some of these workgroups will be completing their assignments and will no longer need to be formed or to have meetings.
But I certainly want to form a silica workgroup, and we'll talk about that after the silica presentation. But Kevin made an excellent point. I also want to form a tower erection construction/fall protection workgroup regarding both of those serious problems in tower erection.
Listening to Stew's lament from OSHA's standpoint that these jobs are basically nomadic, very quick to be erected and then they're on to the next place, however, Kevin made an excellent suggestion. I think that these are the kinds of things that need to be discussed in this workgroup and then suggested back to OSHA for additional enforcement.
These places have to have FCC licenses, so finding where they're going to be erected isn't going to be a problem. If they're tall enough, they have to have FAA clearance, or at least warning beacons on them.
So I don't think finding them is the problem. I think, get the human and financial resources necessary to target them and let OSHA do its job from there. Let the Directorate do its job from there.
But I just think it would be silly to look at these presentations, and whether it's what we pick up as hearsay or what we read in the headlines, and look at a problem as egregious and obvious as this one is with the injuries and fatalities that are occurring than to just sit by and do nothing. I think we should be making some recommendation to the regulatory agency as to what needs to be done.
Anyone else while we're waiting for the Secretary?
CHAIRMAN KRUL: There was one individual who indicated a notion to speak during the public comment period later this afternoon. Is there anyone else? Two? Okay. I just wanted to let you know that, even though it's not on the agenda, we'll make room for it at the end of the session.
I know Scott will probably make it in. I'm trying to play Bob Ryan, weatherman here. I don't know if anybody's gone outside and stuck a ruler in the snow lately. It's supposed to fall right through this evening.
Those of you who live here know that this town paralyzes after two inches of snow. I just can't imagine, if eight or nine inches of snow falls. But, at any rate, we'll figure it out.
AUDIENCE: Do you think we'll meet tomorrow morning?
CHAIRMAN KRUL: It will be totally up to whether the Federal Government is closed or not. If the Federal Government is closed, then we certainly won't. I guess we'll just have to play it by ear. I don't know if that decision will even be made today.
Mr. Secretary, welcome. It's always a pleasure to see you, sir. I'd like to introduce the Assistant Secretary of Labor for OSHA, Mr. John Henshaw. I think it would be appropriate if we let the Assistant Secretary know, especially for the newer members, and refresh his memory after one year of the ACCSH meeting, some of the old members.
(Whereupon, the members introduced themselves to Assistant Secretary Henshaw.)
CHAIRMAN KRUL: Mr. Secretary, it's all yours.
By Assistant Secretary Henshaw
MR. HENSHAW: Well, I appreciate the opportunity to speak before the group. I know you have a lot of things on your agenda, a lot of things that you have and are about to discuss. So I don't want to interfere with that, but I would like to give you a little update as to some of the things that we've been thinking about.
Let me just start off, first. I think what you guys are doing, have done in the past, and will continue to do is extremely critical for OSHA, for the mission, for what we're all about, and for what we're soon to accomplish as far as protecting lives and reducing injuries and illnesses.
So, I would like to just reiterate, what you are doing is extremely valuable to us and will continue to be valuable to us. I look forward to subsequent meetings in the future to talk about real issues and how we can reduce injuries, illnesses and fatalities.
Let me just emphasize, some of the things that are important to me and the Agency, is our record, the history, the performance in respect to injuries, illnesses and fatalities in construction.
It's worrisome. The rates are up. We need to be concerned about that. There obviously are certain industries or certain activities that are surprising. Construction fatalities, for example, as BLS reports in 2001, are up by 6 percent. That's worrisome. We need to address that, and we need to address it seriously.
Also, the fatalities in certain industry sectors is something to be concerned about. Hopefully you have this information with you. If you don't, we can get it for you. But certainly heavy construction is down by 16 percent, and masonry/stonework is down by 8.
But the others are up. Like, well drilling is up by 200 percent, concrete work is up by 33 percent, single-family home construction is up by 29 percent. These are fatalities in 2001. Highway and street work, up 19 percent. Electrical work, up 16 percent. So, I can go on about where the increases are.
I hope this group will give us some good advice and some help as to how we can address these increases and rifle shots, to the point where we can be effective in reducing fatalities, and ultimately injuries and illnesses.
If you don't have that data, I'm sure we can get those data for you so you can analyze it a little more carefully.
One of the things I would like to talk to you about, is a success story in respect to steel erection and the training that's been going on with OSHA and our compliance officers.
As you know, this is a joint venture between the Directorate of Construction, OTI, which is our training institute, the NEA, ABC, and the Ironworkers as far as training our compliance officers. We've had five courses completed so far. Two more courses are scheduled in St. Louis and Atlanta sometime, I think, in the January/February timeframes.
We've trained about 136 state and federal CSHO's, or inspectors, in 2002. Frank conveyed to your folks, our folks have felt that this training has been excellent and your folks have been very helpful and very supportive in facilities. It's extremely valuable for our compliance officers to understand real-world kind of conditions.
Everybody in this room, I'm sure, understands that for us to be effective in our interventions, in particular our inspection interventions, we need to understand real-world conditions.
We can't be textbook, we must be real-world. We must know, we must convey, we must have conversations that are relevant to real-world kinds of conditions and not just be very digital and textbook kinds of conversations.
So, this kind of training, this kind of experience will make us more effective compliance officers. It's not just being able to identify hazards, in my mind, although that's a key part of our inspection process.
The other part of the process is to convey an understanding of the issue in a way that we achieve compliance. The result that we're measuring is not necessarily how many inspections and how many violations we identify. The end result is whether we achieve compliance and a more safe workplace. That's the end result.
Really, to be more conversant and understand the nuances of a workplace and construction workplace, and in this case steel erection, and then be able to convey that more effectively to the employer in a way that they understand and can now incorporate into their normal business activities and then achieve compliance long-term, that's the result we're looking for. That's the bottom line.
So this kind of training, not only for steel erection, hopefully there will be other opportunities where we can be more effective in training our compliance officers on how to do inspections and convey the results to construction facilities. We certainly want to explore those. As you deliberate and have any more ideas as to how we can do that, we'd certainly like to entertain those conversations.
As far as our CSHO's, I can go on about their comments about how well the training was. But certainly it will play out as we continue to embark on further inspections around the steel erection standard.
The other thing I'd like to talk about is our construction partnerships, if I may. We sort of began these in 1998 and we've sort of increased the number of strategic partnerships or construction partnerships over the years. Certainly, last year, we've increased those significantly. We're up to about 180 strategic partnerships.
Where I'm coming from, and I know it bears out in the results, is that these partnerships are successful--and I'll talk about some of the successes in just a minute--because, from the very beginning, we establish a strong working relationship between workers, organized labor or non-organized groups, but at least workers, the employers, the management of the workplace, and government.
All three parties sit down and say we are going to hold safety and health as a core value, as something above anything else, and we're going to work to resolve injury and illness hazards and reduce fatalities, injuries and illnesses.
These partnerships, I think, are key for our success, our continuing success, beyond the enforcement piece, because, as you know, we cannot inspect every facility and we cannot identify every construction project, we cannot inspect every project and every phase of the project all throughout the nation.
This is not going to happen. We don't have enough resources to do that. But partnerships, I think, is a way to drive performance without the enforcement intervention as being our only tool to achieve that.
The partnerships obviously that we've set up, there are bells and whistles associated with it. There are qualifying criteria before a partnership is agreed to. Obviously there are training components, and there are management systems, and obviously all parties need to be engaged in the process.
There are incentives in respect to less frequent or exempt from program inspections or reduced program inspections on projects, and possibly focused inspections as opposed to wall-to-wall kinds of inspections.
Those are all some of the parameters around these partnerships, but I'd like to grow those even more. I'd like to establish a lot more partnerships to the extent we can within the Agency.
There are a couple of examples of where we have shown, and the one I've used in the past, is the Idaho Construction Partnership, where we have about 27 general contractors in the State of Idaho. The partnership was set up on the premise that these 27 contractors qualified, they had management systems.
Part of the qualification, is they would hold their subcontractors, as well as themselves, accountable to safety and health. They would also do audits themselves, as well as OSHA would do some audits.
I think the bottom line is, at least on that project or that partnership, which is one 180 some-odd partnerships -- we would normally do in the State of Idaho, in a given year, about 250 inspections.
Through this partnership, there were over 3,000 inspections conducted. They weren't OSHA inspections, but they were contractor inspections of the subcontractors. So, we had over a 10:1 increase in the number of inspections that were done.
Now, you can make an argument that it wasn't an OSHA inspection and it may not have been the same quality, and that's true. The 3,000-plus inspections that were done were probably not to the same degree as an OSHA inspection would be.
But, as everybody in this room understands, as you raise, as you talk about, as you focus on safety and health, that causes a lot of change. That causes a lot of action on behalf of management, labor, and workers about how concerned they are and how focused they are on safety and health.
So, just having a tenfold increase in the number of "inspections" that were done, again, not qualified as an OSHA inspection, that created an awful lot of energy in the State of Idaho around construction.
The bottom line is, and we don't have all the figures in, on this partnership, as well as others, we need to gather more objective data on the impact of these partnerships.
But in this case, where we normally had, if I remember the statistics right, from 1995 to 2000, we had 18 fatalities in the State of Idaho. In the last two years, we've had three. That's really cutting the fatality rate down, in half, if you project it over a five-year period.
During the same time, construction has doubled in the State of Idaho. So, the bottom line is, that kind of partnership seems to be working, at least on fatalities. It's cut the fatality rate in half, at least from the data that we have at this point.
I don't know, because we don't have the data on injury and illness statistics. But my guess is, it has to impact that significantly as well. That kind of data, that kind of partnership, and other partnerships, we need to articulate the value of these. We as an agency, and we as members of these partnerships, will need to begin to gather data to show these things work.
Now, it doesn't mean we're not going to continue to do inspections. We will. Obviously, even in the partnerships we will do complaints and we will handle fatality inspections. Obviously, we have to do that.
But these kind of working relationships up
front, in my mind, produce a bigger impact in reducing injuries, illnesses and fatalities. The key, is that we have labor, management, and government working together on solving the problems.
So I think it's clear that we need to grow these a little more. We need to establish more partnerships that produce these kinds of results. At the end of the day, we've got to be able to measure those results and show these are more effective than if we just relied on enforcement by itself.
Another piece of an area that we're moving in is the alliance piece, and that bears some explanation because there is a misperception of what alliances are. I want to make sure that we really make this absolutely clear.
Where the partnerships are more proscriptive, a lot more bells and whistles, a lot more data, a lot more assessments done, a lot more evaluation done before a member is qualified for a partnership, the alliances are more loosely formed, only because there's no incentives involved, there's no return except for the hope and the intent of reducing injuries and illnesses. That's the only return on the alliances.
The alliances are an agreement between two parties, basically, OSHA and whoever the party is we're signing an alliance with. We signed one yesterday with the American Society of Safety Engineers, ASSE. The intent of that alliance, as well as the other ones, are to focus around outreach and education in reducing injuries, illnesses and fatalities.
That's the sole purpose of those alliances, is to work with a party and work with that party to direct resources to where the issues are to reduce injuries, illnesses and fatalities.
Now, it's true, a lot of our alliances in the past had been around ergonomics, because that's an emphasis of ours. But certainly the issues in construction, it may not be heavy in ergonomics, but there are certainly in respect to fatalities.
We're talking about fall protection, we're talking about trenching, we're talking about some serious issues that cause fatalities. There may be opportunities for further alliances with the construction industry to deal with these kinds of increases that we've seen lately.
But it has to be clear that the alliances, or with any party, whether it's the association, whether it's a professional society, whether it's organized labor, in my mind it doesn't matter. I like to get alliances with as many people as we can.
In my mind, what this does, is it helps us use and effectively deploy resources that are not being deployed now, necessarily, around issues of safety and health and fatality prevention.
I know I've been criticized about, this seems like we're working with industry. We signed one with the airline industry, for example. Well, the fact is, those are resources that aren't necessarily captured yet and focused on safety and health.
What I want to do, is capture those resources and get them focused on the issues that we're concerned about. If we can get an agreement with that organization that they'll devote resources and attention to that, those resources, we haven't had in the past.
I want to do more of those. I want to do more of those with labor, more of those with industry, more of those with professional societies, more of those with other organizations that have resources that can come to bear on reducing injuries and illnesses. That's the sole purpose.
This business about, what are they focusing on, they're focusing on one thing. They're focusing on worker safety and health.
Just like on our partnerships, we have to show these alliances are directing resources and producing the impact that we're concerned about, which is reducing injuries, illnesses and fatalities.
We have to measure that. If that's not creating that impact, then we need to restructure that alliance or we need to restructure that partnership. But we have to measure if it's effective in reducing injuries, illnesses and fatalities.
Alliances, there's no incentives to that except a working relationship, except an agreement that we're working in a collaborative way to impact the bottom line, which is to reduce injuries, illnesses and fatalities.
So, I just wanted to make that absolutely clear and clear up any misperceptions. It's not working with, or collaborating with anything but impacting the worker and reducing injuries and illnesses.
That's the only reason why we're doing this, capturing resources, directing them in areas where we need it for safety and health, and safety and health only.
Like I said, it's open to any organization that wants to collaborate, any organization that wants to work on issues that are safety and health related. We've signed about 10 of these alliances so far.
I hope we sign many, many, many more because I think the impact -- the American worker deserves all of us working on the same page, considering safety and health as a core value, and then devoting resources on education, outreach, and ensuring compliance with OSHA regulations.
The next issue I'd like to talk about is obviously something near and dear to your heart, is the negotiated rulemaking on cranes.
As you know, we've been working on selecting the team members for this negotiated rulemaking. It was announced back on July 16. The nominations have been closed. We are considering the nominations and we will be reporting out our recommendations as to who should be part of this negotiated rulemaking.
I can tell you that I personally am committed to negotiated rulemaking. The thing that I'm also committed to, is that once we complete the product and once the committee completes the product, OSHA responds to it and not wait several years. It's wasted work if OSHA doesn't respond to it. So I think we have to be prepared.
Just like on our regulatory agenda, when we say we're going to do something on the agenda, it's got to be done. As Stew -- and Bruce is not here, but as they know, our managers are going to be held accountable to meeting those timelines on that regulation agenda.
Once the product on this negotiated rulemaking is done, it will be on the agenda for us to continue with that process and we're going to hold ourselves to those timelines. We're not going to wait five or six years because we've already seen what can happen, because institutional memory begins to wane and a little uncertainty begins to develop.
Once that committee has made a recommendation, OSHA needs to respond, and respond appropriately in a timely way. We're committed to do that on the negotiated rulemaking for cranes.
I mentioned, we are considering now the nominees for the committee and we hope to make an announcement here in the next few weeks who those members are, and they'll be open for comment. It will be published in the Federal Register and open for comment.
Then obviously I think the requirement is between 15 and 25 members of that committee. We don't know exactly how many we're going to have now. What's critical, in my mind, is that we get representation to where we can bring this thing forward, and it's a consensus, it covers all the issues and it focuses on safety and health.
We need to reduce fatalities. We need to reduce injuries and illnesses. So the committee's deliberations and their recommendation has to be centered on the safety and health of workers dealing with, in this case, cranes.
The thing I would like to talk about, and I know you've got a couple of things on your agenda to talk about our regulatory agenda, which is dealing with hearing conservation, silica, and confined space. I certainly would be interested, as you talk about some of those things.
I know Ed Sullivan and I had a meeting set, I think, that we had to postpone. He wanted to raise a couple of issues in respect to silica and we weren't able to talk about that. But you will be talking about that later on today, right?
CHAIRMAN KRUL: Yes.
MR. HENSHAW: So I'd be interested in some of the discussions that you guys have on the issue of silica, as well as hearing conservation, as well as confined space. Those are critically important things for us.
I guess it's also on your agenda where you will be talking about some of the things that concern us. As I mentioned, our intervention around inspections. How do we more effectively identify where we ought to be doing inspections on construction sites?
We have a targeting system for general industry. We don't have a good targeting system for construction. We need to address that. If we have limited resources, we'll always have limited resources.
It won't do us any good to complain about, let's get more resources. Well, let's don't complain about that. Let's figure out, based on what we have, how can we direct our resources in the most effective way to get the biggest bang for the buck? We'll need your help on how to really structure that.
How can we identify the construction sites that need enforcement intervention, and how can we do that in a way where we can get in, do an effective job on enforcement, and, most importantly, create the result that we're looking for?
One of the other issues that I think all of you understand and have heard, we are, as an agency, focusing on internal certifications, improving the quality of our folks.
I've mentioned this to other groups, and I'm sure you've heard me say this. I've been very impressed with the quality of the people we have in the Agency since I've been here about a year, year and half, not quite.
But I've been very impressed with the quality of our people. But for us to continue to improve, continue to do a better job, I think certification is part of that.
So, we are pushing very hard on allowing our people and valuing professional certification, allowing our people to achieve certification in whatever area they choose, construction, hygiene, safety, medicine, nursing, whatever those certifications that are relevant for their jobs and for their interest.
We want to allow our folks to value their certification, allow them the opportunity to get that, and maintain it. I think they'll be more effective, they'll be more energized.
We're already very mission-driven, but I think they'll be able to maybe have a better conversation during the intervention process on communicating risk and communicating what solutions and why those solutions are important in respect to saving lives and reducing injuries and illnesses.
I think there are a couple, I guess, questions, or maybe some questions you may have of me that I'd like to open up on the floor. I'd just like to reiterate before I do that, because I haven't mentioned everything that we're doing here, certainly like on Hispanics, homeland security, and a number of other things that we're working on. But I don't want to take up valuable time, unless that's of interest to you.
I'd just like to close and then open it up for questions. I'm a safety and health professional. I took this job for one reason, and for one reason only: to impact the lives of American working men and women in this country, impact in a way that provides a safer workplace for them to work, to achieve their personal expectations and goals and to be successful in whatever they choose to do.
That's my only purpose. I'm not here to feather anything, or to create a resume. I've already got my resume. I'm here, really, to impact the lives of American working men and women, and the immigrants and those who are engaged in employment here in the United States.
My measure of success is going to be, are we doing that? Are we actually impacting the lives of American working men and women? When I say impact, I mean significantly reducing risk, injuries, illnesses and fatalities. That's my sole purpose.
If there's anything you can help us do or help advise us on in achieving that, or anything you can do, or groups that you're involved in can do to help us achieve that, certainly I'd be interested in knowing how we could make that happen.
This is not an OSHA responsibility entirely. This is your responsibility, my responsibility, all of our associations, all of our groups that are involved in it. It's our responsibility. I think we all need to figure out ways all of us could work on that.
How can we reduce injuries, illnesses and fatalities? How can we do it within our own groups and how can we do it collaboratively? How can we do it individually? There's a lot of opportunity in any of this and I'm open to suggestions you can give us as to how we can make it happen.
I'll stop there and open it up for questions. Mr. Chairman, do we have time for questions?
CHAIRMAN KRUL: Yes, we do. Absolutely.
MR. HENSHAW: Okay.
CHAIRMAN KRUL: Jane?
MR. HENSHAW: Jane, yes.
MS. WILLIAMS: So, having sat on the Crane Workgroup for four years, I personally, on behalf of the workgroup, want to thank you for your support for negotiated rulemaking. We had asked for it for two years.
We know you were personally involved in that decision and we truly believe that it's going to be a success that we'll all be proud of. So, we really do appreciate your support.
I have to bring you current on sanitation. A-10 is pursuing A-10-25. It is construction sanitation. I have been asked to be the subcommittee chairman, which I've accepted, and we're proceeding with our work as we speak.
I hope sometime when your resources become available -- and I know your commitment to realize things that can be achieved, that maybe this work product would also be something in addition to ACCSH's work product and that we can move that forward at some point in time.
Your comment with the risk of injury and illness, that's 9.2 million construction workers now that that would really benefit. So, I look forward to your supporting that on a new regulation agenda sometime.
As the senior member now on this committee, I have to tell you, we're pledged to do whatever we can and to have any workgroups you want of us, to meet as often as we can, because we truly all believe in what we're doing. We know we're the workplace specialist for you.
I know I can speak for every one of us here. You just tell us what you need and we certainly will inform you of where we think we can be a big help to you. Thank you.
MR. HENSHAW: Okay. Thank you, Jane. Appreciate it.
CHAIRMAN KRUL: Kevin?
MR. BEAUREGARD: I'd just like to add to what Jane said. I was contacted by the State of Michigan prior to the meeting and they wanted to let me know that, since federal OSHA took the sanitation off their agenda, that they have added it back to their agenda, so it appears that they're probably going to pursue some type of rulemaking on sanitation.
MR. HENSHAW: Okay
CHAIRMAN KRUL: Marie?
DR. SWEENEY: Thank you. With NIOSH, partnerships are great. We think it's a win-win situation to have partners between government, labor and management.
One of my concerns is how you maintain those partnerships. I think you have to nurture them, you have to provide resources and personnel from your staff. It's kind of tight right now, so how do you plan on keeping the energy up?
In the beginning, everybody's really excited about it, then sort of, if you can't provide the resources, it wanes a little bit. So, how would you keep that energy up?
MR. HENSHAW: That's obviously going to be a challenge for us. I'm hoping that there will be some offsets achieved, be some savings achieved so we can devote -- we don't have the good figures, but I alluded to the number of inspections in Idaho, where it may be that we can reduce some of the inspections that we would normally do in construction and devote some of those to partnerships if it's producing the results, if it's dramatically reducing fatalities. So, there may be some offset opportunities.
But, yet, I didn't mention this, but our inspections will increase. We're pledging to increase the number of inspections this year as well. So I think what it comes down to, is us doing a better job of managing our time, not only in how we deal with partnerships and the resources we've put into it, but also how we manage our time for enforcement, how do we more effectively use our CSHO's.
We've got to constantly look at, instead of doing it the same old way, we've got to find a more expeditious or a little bit easier way in the sense of doing things that are not necessary and devoting the time to those things that are necessary.
So we've got to quit doing some things that don't return value. To me, value is producing the results, the bottom line, which is injury and illness reduction. So we've got to constantly figure out ways to do that, so we're going to be challenging our managers.
It's appropriate that Davis Layne is here. All the RAs, the regional administrators, report in to him. His job is going to be to continuously improve the management of our regional offices and area offices and deploy those resources in areas where we get the impact, we get the results, and not deploy or not do things that don't produce results. We've got to quit doing some things. They're hard decisions to make, but we've got to make them.
DR. SWEENEY: Thank you.
CHAIRMAN KRUL: Going along, Mr. Secretary, with your comment regarding suggestions, just so you know, part of the Chairman's responsibility is to update and appoint new workgroups. Based on the Building Trades' request, and with the development, I think we've already got the framework for which an ACCSH workgroup can work on a recommendation for a silica standard and sort of push that towards the --
I know it's at the top of your regulatory agenda now, but I think we can help out OSHA with recommendations from this committee with the expertise that exists and with the work that has already been accomplished, that we can get something to you real quick on silica.
As a result of Dr. Ayub's presentation and some discussions that this committee has had in the past, we want to take a look at communication tower erection construction and the fall protection problems, with the numbers of fatalities--especially the fatalities--and injuries that are occurring in that industry and make some recommendations back to the Directorate of Construction. Your comment on targeting construction sites.
I know this is something that, over the years, all assistant secretaries, and since the Directorate was put in place, it's always been a problem. But, again, I think the level of expertise and the knowledge that is out there, I think, again, if we put a workgroup together here to bring in the expertise and knowledge here and put recommendations back up to you, perhaps we can get some better targeting going, recognizing your human and financial resources constrictions that you're under.
On your alliances and partnerships, Stew made a great presentation with some very, very compelling data. I know he can't go to every single place that everybody thinks of, but we've already made the offer for him to come to the Building Trades Safety and Health Committee and look at establishing an alliance/partnership with the Building Construction Trades.
But I would suggest to you, sir, that I couldn't think of a better place for that type of presentation to be made than at the next Construction Users Roundtable conference.
Owners, contractors, other interested parties, I think, would be -- to me, that evidence was so compelling, what Stew had from Idaho. Talk about preaching to the choir. Lowering worker compensation rates, making construction sites safer, is music to owners' ears. I think it would be a great place for you to showcase that.
MR. HENSHAW: I think Stew just put that date on his calendar.
CHAIRMAN KRUL: Any other questions for the Secretary? Marie?
DR. SWEENEY: I don't want to hog it.
CHAIRMAN KRUL: No, go ahead.
DR. SWEENEY: Mr. Secretary, going back to the partnerships, I haven't been looking at the OSHA web site just recently, but is there a description of the various partnerships and alliances that you've got, and describing what the elements are and what you're using to measure?
MR. HENSHAW: Yes. The partnerships are described to some extent, but not enough. I think we need to do a better job of that.
DR. SWEENEY: Who is the partnership with?
MR. HENSHAW: There is a list of all the partnerships in there. I don't know that there's a good description of exactly the detail of that. Stew, I haven't checked that web site. I know the alliance was just released, opened up yesterday, day before yesterday, which describes what alliances are all about.
But we need to look at, certainly, construction partnerships and the detail on that because the web site has got to be a major vehicle for selling partnerships, so we've got to have the detail in there and the value added. It's got to be described, what the value added is, which is what the impact is.
The alliance is a new one. I can tell you, there's not a whole lot because alliances are a little looser. Each alliance, there will be an implementation process or implementation team, which they'll be talking about exactly how many things will be done and what the impact of that will be.
Such as, most of them are around outreach and education, how many workshops are going to be held, what's the subject matter of the workshops, how many people do we expect to train or to communicate with, or those sorts of things?
So that's going to be described in our alliance. We don't have them yet because implementation teams have just been formed based on this loose alliance that was written up. It's a one- or two-page document. An example of what an alliance is, is on that web site.
But the partnerships and the alliances have to be a sales tool. People have to understand where the value is and whether, in fact, it's something they want to consider. So we'll make those improvements.
DR. SWEENEY: I have one more question.
CHAIRMAN KRUL: Go ahead.
DR. SWEENEY: You have ergonomic guidelines for health care, mostly nursing homes. How about for construction?
MR. HENSHAW: How about for construction? One of the things that -- we have a four-prong approach in ergonomics. Everybody knows that. I don't need to belabor that. But one of the things that we've been saying from day one, is there's a certain number of industry-specific or task-specific guidelines OSHA will develop.
Then there will be, and we will encourage, foster, and help develop, other guidelines in other industries, and we want to continue with that. But this gives us the ability to allow, to foster, and to participate in guidelines for every industry, all industries, construction and manufacturing, and other kinds of industries, whether they be nursing homes or printers.
One of the alliances we've done, is the printers will be developing their own guideline. We'll be participating, but they'll be developing their own guideline.
An alliance that was created with the State of North Carolina and the American Furniture Manufacturers. They are working on a guideline for furniture manufacturing. I hope to have a lot more of that. So, through our alliance process and other means, we will be looking at participating.
Maybe it will be an OSHA label on it, but it will be a guideline that we can begin to implement and, most importantly, start getting people to implement and control ergonomic hazards.
This process also allows us to get into other areas, maritime and construction. If you know the old standard, obviously it was limited. This process has no boundaries. This process has no limitations, like just general industry. It allows us to go wherever the ergonomic hazards exist, and we all know they exist in construction.
So I'd be interested in this organization's interest in the guideline on construction and a process by which we can begin to talk about, what are the elements, and how to formulate and how to develop such a guideline.
CHAIRMAN KRUL: Mr. Secretary, I know your time is tight. We want to do a group shot with the committee while the photographer is here. Noah is in the room. While we're doing the group photo, Noah can be setting up for his presentation.
Again, I apologize to everyone in the room. I do have to leave for a couple of hours to go to a labor management meeting, and Jane Williams will be chairing the meeting in my absence.
Mr. Secretary, thank you again. Davis, thanks for coming. Thank you again. We appreciate it.
MR. HENSHAW: Thank you. Appreciate it.
(Whereupon, at 10:50 a.m. the meeting was recessed and resumed back on the record at 11:00 a.m.)
MS. WILLIAMS: Could the members be seated, please? Would the record show that we have been joined by Bruce Swanson, our DFO, and that Jane Williams is now in the chair on behalf of Mr. Krul, Chairman.
The first item that we're going to proceed with will be the remarks by Bruce Swanson, Director of the Directorate of Construction. Bruce?
By Mr. Russell "Bruce" Swanson
MR. SWANSON: Thank you, Jane. This will be quick.
First, let me apologize for not being here at 8:00 this morning, when I understand you all were. I envy you your three-block walk. I should have taken a room in the same hotel last night, or one of the same hotels.
Rather than give you an update on the Directorate of Construction and what we have been doing, what I asked that my staff do for the next day and a half, and a couple of them, at least, have already done this morning, is as we have the office directors give their updates on what their shops are doing, like Stew Burkhammer's on his alliances, partnerships, and outreach, to please take a few minutes and inform you folks, because so many of you are new to this committee. Even the old members of this committee, we unfortunately met only once in the past year. So, there aren't too many veterans around.
But seeing as how we are your contact, we being the Directorate of Construction, with the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, I'd like you to have a feel for what the Directorate of Construction does. As I say, I understand, in my absence, that Stew covered his shop, how it's structured, and what its duties are. Mohammed Ayub did the same.
As we move on and get into Noah Connell's Standards and Compliance Assistance Office, I would ask that the same thing be done. Do not be at all bashful about asking any of them, or about asking me, for clarification on what we do, or if the thought occurs to you, what we don't do. You can ask about that as well, so feel free.
With that, thank you, Jane.
MS. WILLIAMS: Do the members have any questions of Mr. Swanson?
MS. WILLIAMS: Well, this is a first. Thank you, Bruce.
Our next presentation will be by Dave Wallis. Dave is going to be reporting on the Power Transmission and Distribution.
MR. SWANSON: I understand that Mr. Wallace is not with us, so we're going to move on to Noah.
MS. WILLIAMS: Thank you.
Noah, we're looking forward to your presentation.
NEGOTIATED RULEMAKING - SUBPART N - CRANES AND DERRICKS
By Mr. Noah Connell
MR. CONNELL: Good morning. My name is Noah Connell. I'm the Director of the Office of Construction Standards and Guidance in the Directorate of Construction.
As Bruce indicated, first I'll just say a little bit about what that office does. We have several responsibilities. First, is to promulgate new construction standards. We also prepare compliance directives that give policy guidance on new standards and existing standards.
We issue interpretation letters, we handle telephone inquiries, we handle something called e-correspondence, which is the department's new system that allows the public to write an e-mail through our web site and ask questions of the department.
Those get distributed to the appropriate agency. We handle those for the construction questions. We also draft compliance assistance and training tools.
Just to give you an idea, in the past fiscal year we updated the Signs, Signals and Barricades rule. We issued a compliance directive for the new Steel Erection standard. We began the Cranes Negotiated Rulemaking process. We issued 85 interpretation letters. We issued 458 answers to e-correspondence inquiries. We answered about 1,000 telephone inquiries.
We also designed part of the steel erection training program, which I think you've heard about earlier, the partnership that we have with our industry and labor partners.
We've also been assisting in putting on that training. We have a staff of six and hope to increase that by three sometime in the near future.
With respect to the Cranes Negotiated Rulemaking, I can give you a little bit of basic information about negotiated rulemaking. There is a Negotiated Rulemaking Act of 1990 that forms sort of the basic blueprint for how we go about doing negotiated rulemakings here.
The idea is to get representatives of the interests that are going to be affected by a new rule all together literally at one table so that we can negotiate a proposed rule.
The rulemaking process involves, first, coming up with a proposed rule, then submitting that to public comment. The Agency considers the comments, then comes out with a final rule. Where negotiated rulemaking comes in, is that in that proposed rule stage, instead of the Agency on its own drafting of a proposal, a negotiated rulemaking committee, which is a federal advisory committee, gets together and hammers out a proposed rule.
OSHA has a seat at that committee, so OSHA is part of the group that develops the proposed rule. That proposal is then published and is submitted for public comment. The comments are considered and then we issue a final rule.
There's a number of advantages to using the negotiated rulemaking process. One of them that stands out in my mind, is the expertise that you get, that the Agency gets, from the regulated community.
Not only do you get that expertise, you have the opportunity to have back-and-forth discussions with the people who know the most about the topic. In that way, you have the opportunity to form a proposal that is about as well informed as it can be.
Hopefully, you also wind up with industry support for the new rule that emerges because the industry played a close part in the formation of that rule.
I like to think of this process along the lines of the general philosophy of a participatory democracy that we have in this country, not so much from the standpoint of the voting aspect of it, but from the tradition in the United States of citizens playing a very active role in the formation of rules and laws that apply to them.
There are some limitations to negotiated rulemaking. One, is that we can't really do it for rules that affect too many interests, because then it becomes too impractical to try to get all those interests together and to get representatives who can hammer out a proposal. So, the number of interests affected have to be somewhat limited.
Along those lines, for Subpart N, as you all know, there are a number of different aspects of the existing standard that go beyond cranes and derricks. That standard also currently deals with things like hoists.
We are confining the efforts of the negotiated rulemaking to the part of Subpart N that deals with cranes and derricks, and that's all. That is why we made that decision, because we needed to limit the number of interests that would be involved.
Now, I think Assistant Secretary Henshaw mentioned that we had started this process by issuing a Federal Register notice back in July announcing our intention to use negotiated rulemaking to update the rule. We did receive 55 nominations for committee members. We are in the process of determining who to put in a list for the committee.
Once we do that, we will publish the list. The list will be subject to public comment. Then after receiving comments, after a comment period and studying the comments, the Agency will then issue a final committee list and we'll announce the scheduling of the first meeting.
So that's pretty much where we are right now on the negotiated rulemaking. I'd be happy to entertain any questions you might have.
MS. WILLIAMS: Marie?
DR. SWEENEY: I just have one quick question. Once the proposed rule is published, do you have to go through the same process that you do for other non-negotiated rules, like SBREFA and other things like that?
MR. CONNELL: Yes. I should mention the SBREFA process. SBREFA stands for the Small Business Regulatory Enforcement Fairness Act. And under SBREFA, for certain rules, basically rules that will have a significant economic effect--and there are some other tests that can kick it in as well--for rules that meet those tests, there is a panel that is formed, an agency panel that is formed, that has to consult with representatives of small businesses before a proposal is issued.
This gives small businesses an opportunity to let the Agency know of what concerns they may have about the draft proposal that the Agency is about to publish a proposal. So, this takes place in the stage prior to the issuance of a proposal.
We will go through that process for the crane standard. Then the Agency panel considers the input of the small business representatives and a report is published in response. So, that will be part of the process as well.
MS. WILLIAMS: Noah, can you tell us, after the committee renders a product, is there any point in time that product, or at some time a product, would come to ACCSH to be reviewed?
MR. CONNELL: Yes. All new standards, by regulation, are submitted to ACCSH for review.
MR. SWANSON: All 1926 standards.
MR. CONNELL: I'm sorry. Yes. All construction standards. This will be submitted to ACCSH for comment as well.
MS. WILLIAMS: Thank you.
Any other comments?
MR. CONNELL: I understand there's another change in the schedule.
MS. WILLIAMS: I think we just worked that out, Noah, that you will remain on schedule with your additional information at 1:15.
MR. CONNELL: Okay. Very good.
MS. WILLIAMS: Okay. That's what I'm being informed, if that meets with your approval.
MR. CONNELL: Sure. That's fine.
MS. WILLIAMS: And at this time we're going to move forward with the Crane Workgroup presentation, if you can join us. Being as this is going to be going to neg-reg, you're certainly welcome to see what we have in mind at this point.
MR. CONNELL: Sure.
MS. WILLIAMS: Thank you, Noah.
At this time I'd like to introduce Jim Ahern. Jim is on ACCSH, of course, and took over for Larry Edginton. Larry was co-chair of this workgroup for nearly three years. Jim has come in and filled those shoes and has done a tremendous job in getting our final product to you today.
CRANE WORKGROUPS REPORT
By James Ahern
MR. AHERN: Thank you, Jane. I actually thought we were going to have a little bit of a break, so bear with me one second.
(Whereupon, a video was shown.)
(Showing of slides)
MR. AHERN: In case you're not an electrical engineer, that outrigger sitting on the pavement there would be considered almost an unlimited grounding situation. If you notice, the wire rope coming down from the mast is touching the electric line.
Further, that's a pretty common commercial truck. That red steel arm that you're seeing in the upper right-hand corner would be a crane attachment. We pretty commonly call it the boom truck in our industry. There are literally thousands of boom trucks out there.
This is not the Washington Group, this is not Bechtel, this is not an organization that has a safety director. This is some little, local lumberyard that was trying to make a delivery to a construction site project. Fortunately, there were no injuries as a result of that contact with the power line.
But certainly there are a lot of instances where an employee of a construction company is guiding the load into place, he's touching that metal vertical hoist line when the line contacts the power line, and he's electrocuted. It's real common.
This is about as good an example as I've seen for a short presentation relative to the type of accident that can be engaged with a construction company.
Now, that lumberyard that owns that crane is not unlike a lot of small businesses that own one or two cranes. The guy that owns that small business has a sense that OSHA is not a small town in Wisconsin.
But I can almost guarantee you, he does not know the details of this book. He probably doesn't know what Subpart N is, and he doesn't certainly know the background information that's necessary to provide a safe working place as it relates to cranes.
Our task for the workgroup was to take a look and create a summary report for this committee for Subpart N, 1926.550. I was new to this committee, like several of you are, just two years ago and I didn't know what a workgroup was until I arrived here.
Ultimately, I learned that our task as a workgroup member, which is made up of not only ACCSH committee members but also several industry individuals, labor, insurance, et cetera, was to create a recommendation for the promulgation of a new rule.
But it became much more complicated than that. I found out that we had to work hard to study the problem. We had to eventually provide the report which we're going to give you today.
Then the OSHA professional staff would convert that into a regulation, sometimes looking significantly different than what the intent of the report was. That regulation would go in the Federal Register, there would be comments, and then there would be a final regulation promulgated.
Quite a length period of time. Noah's presentation about the Negotiated Rulemaking Committee significantly cuts that time. But the important part of that comment, is you as new members, as our chairman has commented on a couple of times today, will be asked to be a part of a workgroup to add your expertise to ensure that we do a good job. That is not a task to be thought of lightly. It takes a lot of effort.
A little history on Subpart N. It was originally drafted in 1971, based on some standards that were created in the late 1960s. In that subsequent 30-year period, there has only been two additions to it, one in 1988 and one in 1993. In 1998, an advisory committee workgroup was formed, referred to as Workgroup N.
Now, Workgroup N is really a misnomer because there are several sections to Subpart N which deal with helicopters, hoists, conveyors, and aerial lifts. Our real challenge was only to work on 550, which was the crane portion.
Several of you may want to know why it's snowing here today, and I can answer that for you. The chairman, for the first three years of this committee, was Larry Edginton. He did a very good job of leading the committee up to that point.
Unfortunately for myself, last January, he took a job that had him leave Washington and move to California. Well, I planned this snowstorm as a retribution for him leaving and requiring me to be the chairman, and unfortunately he didn't show up. So, we're the ones that have to bear the problem.
The workgroup was made up of over 35 members, manufacturers, construction company owners, crane owners, users, suppliers, training organizations, testing people, insurance companies, government entities, and trade organizations. We created a series of goals.
Our first goal is almost verbatim what Secretary Henshaw said, a safer workplace and reduced fatalities. Our second goal, was to have reasonable rules. Our third goal, was to have those rules simply written. Our fourth goal, was to have it documented in one location.
Now, if you were to look in here and you found the details of Subpart N, you'd find it's maybe four, five, or six pages. But in those four, five, or six pages, there six, seven, or eight references. Now, keep in mind my comment about, the typical crane owner doesn't know that Subpart N exists in this book.
Well, what's the odds that he knows about those six, seven, or eight references? Now, if you go and acquire the six, seven, or eight references, this is the stack of paperwork you come up with.
As a matter of fact, one of those references is not available to the professional staff at OSHA. How do you expect a small contractor to come up with that reference? So, it was important to us to have all the information existing at one location.
Then we said we wanted uniform enforceability without broad interpretation. How many of you either drove here for this meeting or drove to an airport to get to this meeting and used an interstate?
(A showing of hands)
MR. AHERN: The majority of you, it looks like. Well, would you believe that if for some reason you had to park you car on the shoulder of the road and walk across one of those interstate bridges because you had a problem, and you did that while you were performing your job for your employer, your employer could potentially be cited under the OSHA fall protection standard.
The reason that could happen for you, is because the fall protection standard says the top rail has to be 42 inches, plus or minus three. If you use the minus side it's 39 inches, and that concrete parapet wall that protects the side of that bridge, for most of those 20,000-plus interstate bridges across the country, is only 32 inches high, or seven inches short.
Now, one of my competitors up in central Ohio was recently cited by the OSHA office because he was out, not exactly in the center of the bridge, but not right up against the parapet wall, performing reconstruction of the bridge deck. An OSHA inspector came out and said, you're in violation of the fall protection standard, therefore, you're cited.
Our goal was not to have part of our good work broadly interpreted so that citations would occur as a result. We took a look at the new formats of the steel erection and we said, we need to adopt a similar format. So we said we needed scope and application.
One does not exist there today. We need definitions. We need general requirements. Then we need the body of the standard as it relates to all the different types of cranes that exist right now and potentially will be expanded.
Noah made a comment about negotiated rulemaking. In July of this year, that group was announced to be formed. Numerous of our 35 workgroup members have applied for positions on that workgroup.
We think that's good because there's a lot of effort that's gone into the creation of our report, and that will be carried forward through those members if they achieve that goal of being assigned to the committee.
We had our final meeting yesterday, as a matter of fact. We have a report for you that we'll distribute. Maybe I could get a little bit of help to do that, please.
We want this report to be the cornerstone document to be forwarded to the Negotiated Rulemaking Committee to be utilized to begin their efforts. Again, we expect to have some of our members on that committee.
In this report, we deal with several key issues. The first one is scope and application, the second one is regulated equipment. We name very specifically all the types of equipment that will be covered in the rules.
We have some clarifications and exceptions. For example, a tow truck, which would probably meet the criteria we've established, would be accepted. We create the definitions. We have general requirements. In our general requirements, the first thing we felt we had to deal with was signals, both hand and visual, radio and audible.
As a matter of fact, back when the promulgation initially occurred, the use of all these very convenient, low-expense radios didn't exist. Now almost every construction company utilizes some combination.
We also created a new standard for the inspections, both periodic and annual. We looked at wire rope, operating near power lines--obviously, the film we just showed you and the statistics that we get from OSHA show that power line contact is a major, major problem--operator qualifications and work zone control.
Then we look at individual types of cranes, like tower cranes, cranes on barges, derricks, et cetera. Probably the most seminole part of our work is going to be operated to operator qualification.
Kevin Beauregard, a member of the ACCSH committee and also a very active member on the workgroup, is going to present this part for you.
OPERATOR TRAINING AND QUALIFICATION
By Mr. Beauregard
MR. BEAUREGARD: Thanks, Jim. I joined the subcommittee about a year ago, the same time Jim did. This past year, what happened was, we broke down the subcommittee into smaller workgroups and we decided that that was the best way to tackle it, because we really wanted to push to get a product out.
Particularly when we found out it was going to negotiated rulemaking, we wanted to make sure we got enough of what the group felt was important in so we could possibly pass that on.
Right after they did that, Jim came up to me and said, by the way, you're going to lead the operator training and qualification section, which happened to be the most contentious issue, I think, in the whole group, at least in the discussions I was in.
I do think the group as a whole worked very hard at putting together this component, which is not in the current standard. There was not a training qualification requirement in the current standard, but I think people felt that it was very important.
So I'm going to run down the main components of that. In the handout that Jim just passed out for the ACCSH members, if you turn to page 30, I believe pages 30 to 36 is the section in its entirety. So if you want to follow along, although I don't have the whole standard up here, those are the major components.
Basically, when we started looking at this from the beginning, it was going to be called training, and then it was going to be called qualifications. Through many discussions, we determined that it really needed to have both.
We needed to have operators of cranes that were thoroughly qualified to operate those cranes. In addition, then they needed to make sure they had significant training on the specific types of cranes or operations they were going to do.
The first section deals with training. Basically, what we said, was the training we felt was necessary for crane operators, first of all, was going to be on this new standard. It was also going to need to entail some crane operator characteristics, load capacity of cranes. We have 1910.180 for crawler and locomotive cranes.
If we were still proceeding, that would probably come out, because as we started to further develop the other sections of the standard, we incorporated a lot of the things that are currently in 180, revised them, and put them into our draft that you have in front of you.
There are still several sections within 180 that we weren't able to get to because of the time schedule, getting it sped up. So we didn't fully address in our draft the manufacturer operational tests that are required that are found in 180, and there are several other sections in there as well.
The handling of the load and the holding of the load are also addressed in 180 that we didn't get to. So, like I said, ultimately, I think what Jim had said in the beginning, was it was our intent to get everything in one location so people didn't have to go to a bunch of different standards, or a bunch of different references.
Then the applicable ASME and ANSI standards. Again, the group tried very hard to incorporate those ASME or ANSI standards that were applicable within this standard, and I think it's going to be the recommendation when it goes forward to try to do that.
Whether or not it can be done, you saw the stack that Jim held up. It remains to be seen whether or not we can get all that into a workable document or not, but it would be nice to have it in one place.
The second section deals with qualifications. This, we really went around and around on. we had lots of input from many interest groups, whether they be employer, employee, or public interest groups in this.
What we ultimately came to, and you have it in your document, is that there would be a requirement for a written exam every five years for crane operators. There would also be a physical requirement for crane operators that would include a drug testing program as well.
In addition, there will be a practical, hands-on exam. We talked about a written test. A written test is fine and good to demonstrate your learned knowledge, but when you're dealing with a crane and crane operation, we really felt it was important to have a practical, hands-on exam of that equipment as well.
At a minimum, that would include pre- and post-start inspections, operation and maneuvering skills, load chart familiarization, and the shut-down and securing procedures for that crane.
There are a couple of other elements we added in the standard as well. One deals with maintenance. There was a concern about not only the operators and those that worked around crane operations, but also those that worked on the crane equipment.
We wanted to make sure that those individuals that would be working on that equipment were familiar enough with that equipment to be working on it. What the group had shared, is that there were occasions where somebody was actually performing maintenance on the equipment.
They really wanted a qualified operator of that equipment, but there wasn't a qualified of the equipment there, so the maintenance person assumed that role and then there were some problems there.
So what we ultimately ended up saying ,is there needed to either be a qualified operator of the equipment there with the maintenance personnel, or the maintenance personnel needed to be familiar enough and qualified enough to perform the activities of testing when he was doing the maintenance on there.
We also added a section which is in the current standard dealing with assembly and disassembly of that crane. Particularly as these cranes get larger and larger, there's more work involved in the assembly and disassembly.
What the country has seen, I believe, is there have been a fair number of accidents associated with the assembly and disassembly process. So the group felt it was important to add this section in there. Again, we wanted to make sure that there was a competent person on that site at the time of assembly and disassembly to oversee that activity.
Finally, there's a section in there dealing with retraining. Anytime there's a change to the work site, a change to the crane, or there's an indication that the crane operator needs the retraining. That could be based on observation, it could be based on the activity that's going on on the site. There's a number of different things.
One of the things -- and I think one of the earlier speakers talked about the importance of consistency within the standards. It was very important for our group, for our format in the training section, to be consistent with other training requirements in OSHA standards that have been recently passed.
So if you look at the actual language in some of the training sections and it looks familiar to you, it's because it was lifted from other standards such as the Power Industrial Truck Standard, or the Scaffolding Standard, or a number of other standards that include a training element or training component that has come out over, say, the last six or seven years. But as far as the retraining, that's what we have in there.
The other thing that was fairly contentious with the group was training record documentation. Over the past several years, there's been a move to decrease the amount of documentation through the Paperwork Reduction Act.
But the group as a whole felt that it was important to maintain a record of training. It's not a comprehensive record. It's detailed in the draft. But we did feel it was important to have some type of documentation that the individuals have been trained and qualified.
Additionally, there's a section in the beginning of the standard that does allow, if somebody has received that training and documentation from a previous employer and they have verifiable proof of that, that it will count towards this training and qualification effort, although there will still be sections that the employer that the operator currently works at will still have to comply with. But it was very important to try to have that carryover training. As long as it's adequate training, we wanted to accept it.
In a nutshell, that's the training and qualification section. I'll be glad to answer questions on the section as well.
DR. SWEENEY: In the language here on training, it says that "the employer shall provide the training," but it doesn't say that the person who's doing the training is qualified. So somewhere in there -- you can't just have -- you know, you can't just say you have to provide the training when, in fact, the trainer is not qualified.
MR. BEAUREGARD: I'll have to go through it, but that very issue was addressed and we did talk about it.
DR. SWEENEY: Did I miss it in here? I might be an employer, and I'm not qualified to train somebody. But I might own the equipment and hire people to do it.
MS. WILLIAMS: Marie, what you'll see consisted in this report will be summarizing for you the intent of this report. This report is a work in progress and is not inclusive at all.
DR. SWEENEY: Sure. Okay.
MS. WILLIAMS: We just put ourselves on a timeline to support negotiated rulemaking. So, yes, I'm sure there will be many things. You'll understand that when you hear the intent of the motion.
DR. SWEENEY: Yes. I guess my question was, if, in fact, the language is supposed to be consistent with other OSHA training sections, I think that might need to be done.
MS. WILLIAMS: Yes.
MR. BEAUREGARD: And I can tell you that was addressed. I'll have to go through it and I'll get with you later. But that specific issue was addressed. We wanted to make sure that whoever was providing the training was qualified to do that.
DR. SWEENEY: Okay. Fine.
MR. BEAUREGARD: Like Jane said, one of the things we struggled with the last couple days, or last two days of the session, is we would have liked to have toned this up quite a bit before we presented it to the full committee.
MS. WILLIAMS: Okay.
MR. BEAUREGARD: But with the announcement of negotiated rulemaking and the deadline of 18 months, and the fact that the last time this full group met was a year ago and we're uncertain when the next time we'll meet, we wanted to make sure we presented it so we could get it moved forward, so at least the work of the group is done and we'll get moved forward to that point. Then there's probably going to be some additional things that we, individually or as a group, forward as well.
DR. SWEENEY: I have another question. Just a comment.
MR. BEAUREGARD: It's the second paragraph.
DR. SWEENEY: The other thing, is the integration of ANSI and ASME regulations in there. That's something that's okay with each of these groups and you can get the language from both of those groups.
MS. WILLIAMS: Again, we were told that it was. However, that would be formalized by the Negotiated Rulemaking Committee and would not be our prerogative at this time.
MR. AHERN: May I?
MS. WILLIAMS: Yes, you may.
MR. AHERN: We've got to solve that problem as an industry as a whole. A large majority of the workgroup members are members of the B-30, which is the predominant document that ASME utilizes to advise people on how to safely utilize cranes.
So, while we didn't have a formal documentation that ASME would allow us to utilize their document, that's got to happen. Somehow, the combination of the negotiated rulemaking team and OSHA has to be able to utilize those standards, because they're well thought out and well-developed.
DR. SWEENEY: That's right. I'm not meaning to be critical. This is a wonderful piece, given the timeframe that you all had to put it together. It's got lots of --
MR. AHERN: That didn't sound critical to me.
DR. SWEENEY: Well, no. I think it's very good.
MS. WILLIAMS: The chair recognizes Bruce.
MR. SWANSON: Let me, if I may, address Marie's point here. This report, as I understand it, is being returned to the committee by the subcommittee after a four-year effort, a very great effort, to produce a product.
You know that the Agency has indicated that it is going to move into a negotiated rulemaking phase and you are going to ask that OSHA make your product available to the Neg-Reg Committee, and I'm sure that will happen.
But, should members of the committee have comments, such as Marie's, which is very, very valid, and the workgroup did not have the opportunity to work it in because of time constraints, this can still be a living document for the committee.
The committee does not have to turn this around today if you wish to make a presentation to OSHA three months from now and pick up some of these loose ends so that you are more comfortable with your work product as a committee as a whole. That's certainly valid. The committee as a whole can ask the workgroup--lots of luck, huh--to retain some ownership on this and keep working on this.
MR. AHERN: To dovetail on top of Bruce's comments, it's an interesting dynamic, being a chairman of a broad-based group like this and reaching a consensus, but not personally agreeing with it as the chairman.
DR. SWEENEY: I know.
MR. AHERN: So there are some things in there that I want to personally address, not as an ACCSH committee member, but as a contractor, with the Neg-Reg Committee that I disagree with. So you can be on both sides of the fence here.
DR. SWEENEY: May I ask Bruce a question?
MS. WILLIAMS: Yes.
DR. SWEENEY: You would still have the option during the comment periods for the rule.
MS. WILLIAMS: Marie, that's in the motion. We have a three-page for you to hear.
DR. SWEENEY: No, no, no. Just as a point of information.
MS. WILLIAMS: Yes. Absolutely.
DR. SWEENEY: Okay. Okay.
That, in fact, if Jim wanted to make a comment later on in the rulemaking process he could as an individual during the comment period.
MS. WILLIAMS: Absolutely. And that's addressed.
MR. AHERN: Well, my understanding of the negotiated rulemaking process is, although there are 15 to 25 formal committee members, they have public meetings that a broad base of other people are able to attend.
In addition to that, in the past, anyway, they've created subcommittees that have had members of the subcommittees that are not formal members of the Negotiated Rulemaking Committee. So there's lots of options to be a part of the continuing process as late as responding in comment to the Federal Register.
MS. WILLIAMS: Jim, I think at this time the chair is going to read this and pass this to you so you can understand our intent. I think it will save us a great deal of time.
MR. AHERN: And one more thing. I'd like to point out that Frank Migliaccio, Jane, Joe, Kevin, and Emmett Russell, out here, were all members of this workgroup and actively participated.
So if you have any questions as opposed to the motion that Jane is passing out, but the technical aspect of why we chose to concern ourselves with work zone safety versus something else, we'd be happy to respond. Maybe those individuals that I mentioned that are members of the workgroup might want to add one other comment, if you have one.
MR. STRUDWICK: A question on the training criteria, curriculum. I'm sure it was addressed. Could you just respond to where that's going to come from?
MR. BEAUREGARD: Yes. We talked about that at length. As far as the major components, we broke down what the major issues were that needed to be covered in the training. As far as developing an actual curriculum, we did not do that.
So whatever training was conducted by the employer would have to have those components. But what we did feel was necessary, and kind of piggy-backed on what Marie had said, was we wanted to make sure that training was done by somebody that's qualified for that training.
I did find it when we were talking. In paragraph three, which is on page 34, I think it's the second paragraph --
DR. SWEENEY: I see it.
MR. BEAUREGARD: -- is our attempt to address that and make sure that somebody qualified is doing the training. That language is probably going to have to be tweaked or revised. But we didn't actually get into developing a curriculum for that training.
MR. STRUDWICK: Well, I didn't think that you had probably developed a curriculum, but I thought you might have an idea of who had the curriculum developed.
MR. AHERN: We believe there will be an industry quickly arising. The complexity is, that seven-ton boom truck versus the 250-ton Manitowac truck crane, versus the 45-ton link belt crawler crane, you can't prescriptively say in the OSHA Code either what the training or the hands-on test has to be.
But if you create a benchmark that has to be achieved, if the hands-on and the written can pass that benchmark, then it will stand the test. We know there are already organizations out there that are prepared to provide that to either associations or individual crane operators.
MR. SWANSON: Yes. One point of clarification, because we have several times referred to the membership of your workgroup committee, and your Power Point presentation had a list of 35 folks, not by name, but by interest group represented.
It's a small technical point, but I wouldn't want anyone to misunderstand. The members of this workgroup were members of ACCSH who went to those meetings and were with that workgroup.
There was often a roomful of 20, 30 other people that came in and participated. They were part of the rest of the human race that was all welcome to come in and participate.
There was not a named -- for example, let me pick on the manufacturers. There was not a named manufacturer representative to be in that room. Any crane manufacturer that wanted to appear and work with the committee and share his or her thoughts was welcome.
MS. WILLIAMS: Thank you, Bruce. At this time I want to read this because, for our guests, I think it will also make clarifications to you, as well as the committee. This is an introduction to the motion and the intent.
"The Subpart N - Cranes Workgroup was charged by ACCSH to review and propose language for 29 CFR 1926.550, Cranes, and has been conducting public meetings for the past four years.
Workgroup meetings have been attended by as many as 36 representatives of manufacturers, employers, employees, associations, OSHA state plans, and the general public.
The workgroup convincingly requested OSHA to consider the re-write of Subpart N, Cranes, as a candidate for negotiated rulemaking that was consummated by the Federal Register notice and call for committee nominations to serve all interests identified.
As a result of the proposed negotiated rulemaking for Subpart N, Cranes, the workgroup agreed to continue their work product through the appointment process period and established a meeting schedule to conclude in December, 2002.
In multiple workgroup and subcommittee workgroup meetings over these years, many involved stakeholders, including participation of European manufacturers representing the expertise of their interests, have participated in in-depth discussions.
It is suggested that the ACCSH committee would require extensive time, potentially without the industry expertise represented by the workgroup participants, to review the workgroup's in-progress report.
As the full ACCSH committee is meeting December 5 and 6, and as it is anticipated the full ACCSH committee may not formally meet again until after the commencement of negotiated rulemaking deliberations begin, the workgroup's in-progress report is presented to the full ACCSH committee for acceptance.
By ACCSH committee acceptance, it is understood that this product is a work in progress. Acceptance does not acknowledge the correctness of the participants' views and understanding. It does not supersede established regulatory texts or letters of interpretation, nor is it to be placed on the ACCSH web page as a completed workgroup product.
As such, and in accordance with adopted ACCSH guidelines, a work-in-progress report is not available to the general public. Acceptance of the Subpart N, Cranes Workgroup in-progress report acknowledges the efforts of the workgroup and provides access to the data contained for reference by the Negotiated Rulemaking Committee, as provided by the Assistant Secretary.
This report includes deliberations of the workgroup through its meetings of December 3 and 4, 2002. Therefore, it is understood that the co-chair will circulate this in-progress report to the workgroup attendees of record.
Further comments by the workgroup participants may be individually submitted to the Negotiated Rulemaking Committee in the manner established by the committee.
The Subpart N - Cranes, Workgroup will now officially disband and will not meet again, unless reconstituted by the ACCSH chair.
Therefore, the Subpart N - Cranes Workgroup moves for the full ACCSH committee to adopt the in-progress Subpart N - Cranes report and that it be forwarded to the Assistant Secretary as a reference document to be provided to the Negotiated Rulemaking Committee for use during their deliberations.
As this is a workgroup report, it does not require a second. Respectfully submitted this 5th day of December, 2002, Jim Ahern and Jane Williams"--strike "Jane Williams," as I'm now sitting in the chair--"Subpart N - Cranes, 1926.550 Workgroup Co-chairs."
For the record, the voting ACCSH workgroup participants were: Jim Ahern, employer representative; Jane Williams, public representative; Kevin Beauregard, state plan representative; and Joe Durst, employee representative.
We had all members of the ACCSH divisions represented in the consensus that we received at our meeting yesterday. We had unanimous consensus as workgroup participants, but we also understand we will have individual comments, as I'm sure the committee will, during the formal process that it will now go through in the hands of OSHA."
So, again, it's a labor of love of four years. Quite frankly, and to be very honest, Jim wanted to spend a great deal of time tweaking it because of the professional pride that is involved, but we would not have been able to get this to you to make it a living document for the committee.
Is there any question that I can respond to, or does that help explain to the committee its intent?
MS. WILLIAMS: I will respond to the motion that's on the floor before you.
DR. SWEENEY: So moved.
MS. WILLIAMS: Thank you. Therefore, the Subpart N - Crane Workgroup moves for the full ACCSH committee to adopt the in-progress Subpart N - Cranes report, and that it be forwarded to the Assistant Secretary as a reference document to be provided to the Negotiated Rulemaking Committee for use during their deliberations.
Are there any questions?
MS. WILLIAMS: Are you all understanding the intent of the motion?
MS. WILLIAMS: As many are as in favor of the motion, say aye.
(A chorus of ayes)
MS. WILLIAMS: Those opposed, say no.
MS. WILLIAMS: Would you please enter into the record unanimous support and adoption of the motion as read? Thank you.
We can now continue. Jim, if you'd like to go through the general conditions.
MR. AHERN: No. That's the end of our report. But there is one anecdotal comment here. If we believe, no matter how good our workgroup's efforts were or how good the Negotiated Rulemaking Committee's efforts will be, that just because it's printed and placed under Subpart N of this book, that it's going to immediately stop fatalities, we're sadly mistaken.
The key element is to follow up on several things we heard this morning about getting the owners of cranes aware of how they can better manage their company.
I said to Emmett Russell yesterday, what we're looking for as owners of cranes is for a well-trained crane operator to come up and say, Mike, I cannot make this lift because the way the crane is configured, and under the wind conditions and the ground conditions, it's unsafe.
Every competent owner of a crane wants to hear that from his operators. That training to those crane operators is crucial to take this information that we're going to soon promulgate and turn it into a reduction of fatalities.
Any questions about our report?
MR. AHERN: Thank you, Madam Chairwoman.
MS. WILLIAMS: Thank you, Jim.
In conclusion, the Chair would like to acknowledge, with deep appreciation, the efforts of all of the participants that came to many, many, many meetings over four years at their own expense and deliberated with us for two to three days at a time, and especially to Larry Edginton and to Jim, who spearheaded the effort on behalf of ACCSH and I believe have done a tremendous job, as well as Kevin and everyone else.
Then with the operators, Bill Smith. There's just too many to name. We're very proud of a good effort and we wish to thank them all.
At this time, it is noon. We're scheduled to go to 12:15. Noah, would you like to do your presentation now and not come back or would you care to come back? It's your decision.
MR. CONNELL: Either way.
MS. WILLIAMS: Why don't we entertain Noah at this time, and that way it will be completed and he can go and respond to Mr. Swanson's needs.
MR. CONNELL: Well, I definitely want to make sure I'm able to do that.
MS. WILLIAMS: We are officially picking up on the item that was scheduled for 1:15 to 1:45 with Noah Connell, the MUTCD - Confined Space in Construction - Steel Erection Directive. Noah?
MUTCD - CONFINED SPACE IN CONSTRUCTION - STEEL ERECTION DIRECTIVE
By Noah Connell
MR. CONNELL: Okay. The MUTCD. Those letters stand for the Manual on Uniform Traffic Control Devices. Before this year, OSHA, in its Signs, Signals, and Barricades Standard, incorporated by reference the 1971 version of that manual which deals with highway work zones. We needed to update that incorporation by reference. A lot has happened in the 30-plus years since we had adopted it. The Department of Transportation, on a number of occasions, has updated that manual.
The industry came to us and they said, you guys need to fix this. Your requirements are not consistent with the Department of Transportation's requirements, which are much more up to date.
The Agency attempted to use a streamlined form of rulemaking to accomplish this known as a direct final rule. In July of this year, we published a direct final rule which would have updated our standard to a more modern version of the DOT manual.
Now, the way a direct final rule works, is that the Agency skips the proposed rule stage, publishes a final rule, and gives a comment period for the public to submit significant adverse comments. If any significant adverse comment is submitted, the Agency has to withdraw the direct final rule and start all over again.
We only do this where we think that we've got something that is truly non-controversial. Because of the broad base of support by the industry to update this rule, we felt that this had a very good chance of not receiving any significant adverse comments.
But, just in case it did, we also, at the same time that we published the direct final rule, we published a conventional proposed rule.
As it turned out, two comments were submitted that we treated as significant adverse comments, one from the National Association of Homebuilders, the other from the National Electrical Contractors Association, both of whom stated that they felt that the effective date of the direct final rule, which would have been August of this year, was too soon.
So, we withdrew the direct final rule. We went ahead and issued a final rule that had a different effective date, an effective date of December 11th of this year.
What the rule does, is it incorporates by reference both the 1993 version and the millennium edition of the Department of Transportation's MUTCD. Employers have the option of using one or the other.
The reason we did that, instead of just adopting the most recent version, the millennium edition, was because we wanted to do this rule as quickly as possible. When you want to do something in rulemaking as quickly as possible, you have to make sure that it has absolutely minimal costs to the public.
The 1993 version of the MUTCD, the states have had to comply with that version since the mid-1990s. So we could show that almost all contractors who engage in work where they're going to have to follow the MUTCD already had to abide by the Department of Transportation's rule. Therefore, there is very little, if any, new costs involved. So, that's why there is this one quirk to what we did.
If there are any questions on the MUTCD, I could take them now. Yes?
MR. BEAUREGARD: The safety director for the North Carolina Department of Transportation wanted me to inquire of you whether or not you have had any questions or inquiries about the new clothing requirements about high-speed traffic. He said that they have concerns about possible heat exhaustion in the summertime.
MR. CONNELL: Yes. I believe what he's referring to, is there are some new industry consensus standards. I'm not sure if they've been adopted--I don't think they've been adopted yet, but they've been discussed--that have enhanced requirements for the type of reflective clothing that would have to be used.
That is not part of either the millennium edition or the 1993 edition. So, I think that's what he's referring to.
MS. WILLIAMS: Any other questions on that issue for Noah?
MR. CONNELL: Also, next up is Confined Space in Construction. We are moving forward with a rulemaking to amend the construction standard for confined spaces.
Where we are right now, is we have not reached the proposed rule stage. We're prior to that stage. What we're doing right now, is we are preparing to go through the SBREFA process that I discussed earlier.
That involves us giving a draft regulatory text to the small business representatives. We will get their comments, we'll have discussions with them, then the Small Business Regulatory Enforcement Fairness Panel will come up with a report.
Then from that point forward, we then will do several things. One, ACCSH will have an opportunity to review that draft and then we will move forward with the proposal. So, the next official step that we will take will be next spring, convening the SBREFA panel.
Anything on confined space?
MS. WILLIAMS: I think after 10 years of waiting for confined space, we're delighted as a committee. It was a long, long product of this committee, so we're very excited to see you progressing with that.
MS. WILLIAMS: We do have a question.
MR. BRODERICK: Noah, are you saying that the internal draft is prepared and ready to give to SBREFA?
MR. CONNELL: We have a draft reg text which we are getting ready so that it will be ready for submission. We still have some internal clearances to go through on that.
The last item is the steel erection directive, which I mentioned earlier that we had issued earlier this year. The approach that we took in the directive, I think, is a bit different than the traditional approach.
We wanted the directive to be able to be used as a compliance assistance tool, so it has several parts. It has an overview that those who just need to get a quick idea of what's involved with the new steel erection standard can just look at the overview and see what's involved, and it keys you to the particular parts of the standard if you have an interest in one particular section as you go through the overview. It tells you where to look in the standard, where the details are.
Another part is something we call an inspection tips section for our compliance officers. This gives tips to our compliance officers for when they're doing inspections involving steel erection.
Now, we tried to make it clear in the documents--and I think it is worth emphasizing here--that we recommend in that tips section that compliance officers do a number of things.
That doesn't mean that the things that we're recommending in there are necessarily things that employers have to do. So, for example, there are some documentation requirements in the new steel erection standard--not very many, there are some.
But when one of our compliance officers is doing an inspection, it is useful for them to ask employers for documents.
Now, if they ask for a document that isn't required by the standard, the employer does not have to produce such a document and the employer cannot be cited for not producing the document.
The only documents that an employer has to produce in terms of being able to be cited by the standard are those documents that the standard requires that the employer make or retain.
The fact that we suggest to compliance officers, well, you can ask an employer for a variety of documents. That doesn't mean that we're telling them that they have to produce those documents if the standard doesn't require it.
So the tips section should not be misunderstood as policy guidance in terms of what the standard means. It is what we called it: tips to compliance officers for when they're doing an inspection.
The other major part of the directive is the questions and answers, Q&As. We chose this format to convey policy guidance because it's our sense that many employers find this the easiest to use.
We've got over 50 Qs and As in the directive. We are currently working on another 50-plus Qs and As to provide some more clarity to the standard in response to a number of inquiries that we've received since the standard went out, and we're moving along in that process.
Any questions about the directive?
MR. CONNELL: Let me also mention, by the way, that before we issued the directive, we gave the public an opportunity to comment on the draft. We received a number of comments; many of them were very helpful.
When we do our revisions, when we add our additional 50-some-odd Qs and As, we will make available to our stakeholders, in particular, the draft of those Qs and As so that we can get the benefit of their expertise before this thing becomes an official document.
MS. WILLIAMS: That's good. Any questions of Noah?
MS. WILLIAMS: Noah, as always, thank you very much.
MR. CONNELL: Thank you.
MS. WILLIAMS: The Chair has a question of Mr. Swanson or Mr. Biersner. I'm not sure who can respond to this. Bob and I, as you know, were talking about tomorrow's events in this meeting.
What would be the procedure in concluding today's activities if there is a potential we will be snowed in tomorrow and the building might not be available for work?
MR. SWANSON: If this committee wishes to conclude its work at the end of the day today, regardless of how many of the agenda items we've accomplished, that's certainly up to the committee. I don't know why you wouldn't want to spend the weekend here in Washington with the rest of us, however.
MS. WILLIAMS: Well, we're all intending to be here. So if I'm understanding, the proper thing to do would be to adjourn at the point where we are in case, and then reconvene in the morning, should we be able to access the building. We just wanted to have an idea. So we'll let Bob handle that, with all that due advice.
Let's break for lunch. Being as we have had Noah's presentation, let's resume at 1:30. So our official time will be 1:30. We will reconvene in this meeting room. Thank you.
(Whereupon, at 12:12 p.m. the meeting was recessed for lunch.)
MS. WILLIAMS: The ACCSH formal meeting is reconvened.
If you look on your agenda, our next scheduled item would have been Hearing Conservation. As you've heard Bruce state, they are not available to meet with us.
So, we are going to go on to Silica. Those representatives are here. At this time, we'll hear from Bill Perry and Loretta Schuman. Thank you.
By Bill Perry and Loretta Schuman
MR. PERRY: Thank you. It's a pleasure to be here this afternoon--good afternoon to all--to address the committee on the subject of crystalline silica.
My name is Bill Perry. I'm the Director of the Office of Chemical Hazards, Non-Metals, in OSHA's Director of Standards and Guidance.
To my right is Dr. Loretta Schuman, who is the project officer for the Silica Rulemaking Project out of my office.
I thought what we would do, is first give you a brief update and status report on where we are with the rulemaking and what we can expect down the line. Then, of course, we'd be interested in hearing any comments that any members may have, or do our best to answer any questions you may have.
MS. WILLIAMS: Thank you.
MR. PERRY: At this time I'll turn the mike over to Dr. Schuman, please.
DR. SCHUMAN: Thank you, Bill. Thanks to the members of the committee for giving us this opportunity to make this presentation about silica to you today.
Nearly two million U.S. workers are currently exposed to silica. Half of these are in the construction industry, with about 100,000 in high-risk occupations such as sand blasters, rock drillers, and tunnelers. Approximately 250 to 300 workers are reported to die each year from silicosis. This report is thought to be an under-estimate.
The construction industry is a significant portion of the recorded industries on the death certificates of those who die from silicosis.
Silica remains a regulatory priority on the OSHA agenda. We have been working actively for the past two years on conducting research to develop regulatory options for silica.
Our research covers general industry, construction, and maritime, but we have been focusing on construction, in particular, most recently.
Our research has focused on risk issues, as well as on accumulating information on current exposure levels and the effectiveness of methods to control exposures in construction operations.
Just about two years ago, we had a special stakeholder meeting with just construction stakeholders. We felt that it was important to have special meetings in addition to our meetings with the general stakeholders because of the challenges resulting from the high turnover and the non-fixed work sites that are common in your industry. One of these meetings was even more specific. It focused on road and transportation construction.
At that meeting, representatives of employers and employees were in attendance, as well as a university researcher and representatives from NIOSH and MSHA. At these meetings, we had four general areas of discussion. They were: exposure control methods; exposure assessment and monitoring; health screening and record retention; and other important issues.
Since that meeting, both our contractor and NIOSH have completed a number of site visits to construction facilities to gather more information on controls, exposures, as well as costs. We have also obtained exposure and control information from case files of OSHA compliance inspections.
So, currently we're analyzing the information obtained to evaluate the feasibility, the effectiveness, and the potential impacts of regulatory alternatives.
Our Office of Regulatory Analysis is developing cost estimates for a number of regulatory alternatives so that the Agency can decide on an appropriate course of action and scope for the rulemaking.
Possible regulatory alternatives include consideration of exposure limits, exposure assessment approaches, and health screening.
We may do a comprehensive standard such as those for asbestos and lead, or we may do something smaller in scope. This analysis will also help us decide whether the regulatory action will trigger SBREFA requirements.
As you probably know, the Small Business Regulatory Enforcement Fairness Act, or SBREFA, requires, if a proposed action meets the trigger, that we coordinate with the Small Business Administration, as well as the Office of Management and Budget, to arrange discussions with a panel of people from small businesses who have reviewed and will give us feedback on draft regulatory texts and preliminary economic analyses. If the requirements are triggered, we are currently anticipating that we will initiate the SBREFA process by summer.
Meanwhile, as an outgrowth of our research on exposures and controls, we are also currently using this valuable information, which in the past OSHA has not published.
We're currently preparing a series of non-regulatory guidance documents that will help employers and workers to implement effective dust control for a number of construction operations.
MR. PERRY: I think that basically sums up where we are. We're still in a research and analysis mode. We've gotten a tremendous amount of information over the past couple of years, especially dealing with exposure and control.
Effectiveness does control effectiveness measures in the construction industry largely from site visits, from many of the NIOSH field reports that they have published, and about 60 or so enforcement case files that we've called in that have very detailed field notes.
As Loretta indicated, this is a large compilation of exposure information that we hope would be valuable to put out in a form aside from the regulation itself, put out in a form that employers and workers will find useful to illustrate what does and what does not work in terms of dust control for various construction operations.
It is, to my knowledge, something that OSHA's not done before as a direct results of its research coming from a regulatory effort in terms of turning that information around, and hopefully putting it in a form that's more readily available to people who might be interested in that. We'd be interested in hearing any of your views on that idea as well.
MS. WILLIAMS: I do have a couple of questions, and I'm sure Marie does.
Two things. The silica issue has been discussed repeatedly at ACCSH over the times of which we have met, and I'm sure Marie will give you an overview, I think, of the NIOSH involvements and what they've been doing.
But you mentioned an attempt to go to SBREFA this summer. Our official Chair is going to be announcing today the appointment of a Silica Workgroup, of which Marie and I will be the co-chairs of that workgroup.
We would be very much interested to work with you on the development of guidelines that would effect the construction industry, because I think our views and those of this committee could be very beneficial to you, and noble for us.
So, I think that could be a real good meeting. But what I'm hearing, is we may have to look at having a workgroup session, or at least fact-finding with you, should we not have an official call for ACCSH to support that agenda and for us to be involved. So, I just want to offer that and we'll work with the Directorate to see how that can be accomplished.
The exposure limits. You were mentioning those, and you mentioned two million workers. Do you have any indications of the age of the workers that represent the largest part of that group?
MR. PERRY: Of the potentially exposed group?
MS. WILLIAMS: Yes.
MR. PERRY: Off the top of my head, I don't. But we do have some demographic information on the make-up of the workforce, in general. I don't know. I'd have to check with some of the people that are doing the industry profile work, both our contractor and regulatory analysis, to see what we have that might be more detailed than that.
MS. WILLIAMS: Marie? I'm sorry. Mike? Mike had his hand up.
MR. SOTELO: Just a comment and a question. The 250 to 300 workers that are dying from this disease. I'd like to know their age. That would be important for me, if you could dig out that information. Or maybe you have that.
And then the other thing would be -- you have that. Okay. That's fine. I come from Washington State and they have a lead/silica program already out there.
You probably already knew that, but they have some pretty good information out there on a lot of things that worked, and probably an equal amount of number of things that did not work as far as when they implemented that plan.
There's a lot of confusion by the employers when the standard came out. It wasn't so hard to explain time-weighted average testing. It was very inconsistent amongst the compliance end of things in the State of Washington as far as the interpretation of how the law was written, or the suggestions were written. This one happens to be a law.
So, just a comment that Washington State has a program that is relatively effective that needs a lot of work. Maybe you can tell me how old these workers are that are dying.
DR. SWEENEY: Well, it depends on what you're talking about. If you're talking about acute silicosis, it could be any age. Actually, there was a case not too long ago where they had something like eight workers in the Dallas, Texas region where they were doing sand blasting.
Many of these gentlemen--I think more than half, maybe 4 to 6 of them--came down with acute silicosis. Again, that's a progressive disease. Once you get it, you're gone.
Primarily, those who have chronic silicosis tend to be older. But let's not just look at silicosis. People who are exposed to silica also have a range of diseases that they may, in fact, be at risk of, one being lung cancer. There's more and more data that suggests that that's the issue.
There's a lot of issues that we all know in terms of sampling and analytic methods relative to measuring silica in the air.
And we're going to have to be talking to the OSHA tech group in Salt Lake City. There are a number of people at NIOSH who have been spending their time working on these analytic methods.
The current PEL is 50, the current REL is 35, but getting down to those levels is going to be difficult. Also, making laboratories capable of measuring down below 35 is also an issue right now. And I'm not the expert to talk about it. Bill's the industrial hygienist.
MR. PERRY: Yes. If I could elaborate a little bit. First of all, I appreciate very much hearing about the workgroup. I think we've be very interested in working with the working group on both the rulemaking project and on the guidance project as well. So, we look forward to that a great deal.
Second, I should clarify. Obviously, we gave a very summary report today, admittedly. The fatality data that we're citing is death certificate data that's compiled from the National Center for Health Statistics, where silicosis is listed as either a contributing or underlying cause of death.
Beyond that, we don't have a breakout of whether those represent acute silicosis, chronic, accelerated silicosis cases. Undoubtedly there's a mixture in there, because we know acute and accelerated silicosis continue to occur today.
On the sampling and analytical side, that's a very complex and fascinating issue for us. We have had a working -- I don't know if you call it a working group.
We have been collaborating for almost two years now with our lab in Salt Lake City, with the NIOSH laboratory folks, with our Wisconsin lab, from our consultation program, and with MSHA's lab people, to do a number of research projects to find out how the analytical method can be improved to increase sensitivity, to reduce variation between labs.
In addition, for a while, there has been a lot of concern about the lack of a primary reference quartz standard to calibrate X-ray and infrared devices. The three agencies got together, put some money together, gave it to NIST in order to develop a new primary standard, and it looks like that is very close now to becoming available to commercial labs for a number of years.
So, there will be a primary standard available again in the near future which I think will help the situation quite a bit.
In addition, we've been looking at alternatives to the use of silver membrane filters, which, for a while, became unavailable on the market. Silver membrane filters are required to do X-ray diffraction analysis for quartz.
At least that crisis was eased when the silver membrane filters came back on the market, but we're still looking at effective substitutes, since we're not sure how stable that supply of silver membrane filters is going to be.
That would have a huge impact on employers being able to assess exposures if all of a sudden the X-ray diffraction method became impossible to implement. That really remains to be the best way today of analyzing quartz from airborne dust samples. So, we've been making a lot of progress on the analytical front, since probably about two years ago.
MS. WILLIAMS: Chairman Krul had comments here that he was going to read into the minutes. Because they're all silica-related, I think you might want to hear what this report says. I will not be able to address any questions regarding it, but I think you will find it of interest.
The report is from the Building and Construction Trades Department and it states, "The Building and Construction Trades Department is extremely pleased that the Advisory Committee on Construction Safety and Health, ACCSH, is again in session to carry out its mandate in the 1969 Construction Safety Act, to advise the Secretary in the formulation of construction safety and health standards and other regulations, and with respect to policy matters arising in the administration of this act."
The Secretary's regulations characterized the committee as a continuing advisory body and provides that ACCSH shall also constitute an advisory committee within the meaning of the Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970.
The regulations required the Assistant Secretary to provide the committee with "all pertinent factual information available to him, including the result of research, demonstrations, and experiments."
ACCSH offers the Agency valuable advice drawn from numerous sections of the construction industry. The Building and Construction Trades Department is also extremely pleased that OSHA has included the promulgation of a comprehensive silica standard in its recent regulatory agendas, has conducted a special emphasis program on silica, has held stakeholder meetings concerning the silica hazard, and has placed the promulgation of the silica standard on the agenda of this ACCSH meeting.
ACCSH is the appropriate and ideal body to review this subject and to make a recommendation to the Assistant Secretary with regard to a Part 1926 comprehensive silica standard.
The promulgation of a comprehensive silica standard for the construction industry is the Building and Construction Trades Department's highest priority insofar as protecting construction workers from occupational health hazards is a concern.
More than 60 years ago, Secretary of Labor Francis Perkins stated, "Our job is one of applying techniques and principles to every known silica dust hazard in American industry. We know the methods of control. Let us put them in practice."
Today, more than 30 years after the passage of the OSHA act, we still do not have in place an effective standard. This is particularly surprising because OSHA listed crystalline silica as one of the five priorities chosen for rulemaking as part of its priority planning process in 1994 and 1995, which included consultation with NIOSH, EPA, MSHA, and the Labor Department's Office of Policy.
Further, in 1996, the Internal Agency for Research of Lung Cancer reviewed the public experimental epidemiologic reports of cancer in animals and the workers exposed to respiratorial crystalline silica and concluded that there was sufficient evidence in humans for the carcinogenics of inhaled crystalline silica in the form of quartz or crystabolite from occupational sources.
In the same year, directors of the American Thoracic Society adopted an official statement that described the adverse health effects of exposure to crystalline silica, including lung cancer.
A listing of construction tasks which exposed workers to excessive amounts of dust-containing silica already has been compiled and recommendations for effective dust control measures already exist.
Yet, excessive exposures continue largely undocumented. As was the case with the occupational exposure to asbestos, the unique nature of the construction industry requires a separate Part 1926 Silica Standard to protect construction workers.
Issues relating to multi-employer work sites, short duration jobs, and extremely high exposures produced in the course of certain construction tasks make a separate standard necessary.
We hope that at this advisory committee meeting, an ACCSH workgroup on silica will be established and a meeting of that workgroup scheduled soon. The working group will have available to it a great deal of valuable information to review in preparing a recommendation to the full committee.
For example, it will have the record of the several silica stakeholder meetings that have occurred in various parts of the country, the documentation of OSHA inspections that took place under OSHA's special emphasis program on silica, NIOSH hazard evaluations on silica, including the April, 2000 report entitled "Health Effects of Occupational Exposure to Respiral Crystalline Silica," and a draft of a comprehensive silica standard for the construction industry that the Building and Construction Trades Department Safety and Health Committee has developed over a period of several years and which was sent to your office in September, 2001, shared with the Directorate of Health Standards, and discussed with a number of private organizations.
In conclusion, we believe ACCSH is the appropriate vehicle to move forward a comprehensive silica standard for the construction industry. Through that committee, we, as an industry partner, can assist OSHA's development of a standard agreeable to all stakeholders, which is the role of ACCSH as the Construction Safety and Health Advisory Committee to OSHA.
Thank you for this opportunity to address ACCSH on this important subject." I believe this is entered, although not signed.
I think it is a report from our member of ACCSH, Larry Edginton, on behalf of the Building and Construction Department, who ends his term as of today. There are extra copies here for the committee, and I see no reason that you should not have one.
As I've commented, a workgroup has been declared by the Chair prior to his leaving. We will be looking for volunteers from the committee to assist on that and we will have to coordinate as the Chairs, Marie and I, with Bruce to see how quickly we can meet and what our task would have to be to support your efforts.
MR. PERRY: I appreciate that very much. We look forward to it.
MR. SWANSON: I think, for purposes of the record, we should simply indicate that that is from the Building and Trades Department of the AFL-CIO. It was my understanding yesterday through a telephone conversation, I thought that I was asked yesterday if President Ed Sullivan could be put on the agenda to read those comments into the record.
MS. WILLIAMS: I see.
MR. SWANSON: So I think that's from the BCTD Safety and Health Committee.
MS. WILLIAMS: Okay.
MR. SWANSON: Do you have any information on that, Frank, that you could help me with?
MR. MEDEROS: Yes, I do. I think that's the report the way it's come together in 2001, after a long period of time of discussing it, and it was sent over with Larry Edginton. It was from the Safety and Health Committee, the Building Trades Department.
MR. SWANSON: Okay. That's who you meant by "we," was the BTD.
MR. MEDEROS: Yes. When I was still a member of the Building Trades Safety and Health Committee.
MR. SWANSON: Right. Okay. Thank you, Mr. Mederos.
MS. WILLIAMS: So we will enter this report as coming from the Building and Construction Trades Department Safety and Health Committee. We have copies here for the committee, and you certainly may have one.
Bruce, is my recommendation accurate that we should work, Marie and I, through you to establish a timeline as to how we will be addressing this?
MR. SWANSON: Well, maybe we can have some more discussion on this off-camera, but it is my understanding that, this morning before I arrived, the chairman of this committee set up a subcommittee, with the consent of the entire committee, on silica. That subcommittee is yourself and Marie Haring Sweeney, correct?
MS. WILLIAMS: Yes.
MR. SWANSON: This standard is not being done through my shop, as you well know, it is not being done through DOC, it's being done through Health Standards. But I will be happy to work with ACCSH, its workgroup, and coordinate with our colleagues in health standards in any way possible.
MS. WILLIAMS: Yes. That's what I needed to understand. This was not entered as a formal motion for the workgroup. I think it was the Chairman's idea to do that when he returned later this afternoon. This was an item that was later on the agenda. However, his comment was directed to the Assistant Secretary, in telling him that we were, in fact, going to take that action.
So the record should show that we will have a formal motion that I will present as the chair, unless Bob returns, at which time he will do so. Then that workgroup can be officially consummated with action of the motion.
MR. SWANSON: Okay.
MS. WILLIAMS: Marie?
DR. SWEENEY: I have one question of clarification. Do we have a charge or will that come when Bob comes to make the motion?
MS. WILLIAMS: I'm hoping Bob comes to give us the charge, because I'm not sure of the exact intent of our charge. That's why I was asking that of Bruce. If not, I will charge it, as the Chair, with the void to be filled in properly.
Are there any other questions, any other comments on the issue of silica that the committee would like to address of our guests while they are here? Yes, Tom?
MR. BRODERICK: I hate to keep coming back to this for a population of 250 to 300 workers that died of sarcosis, but do we have any occupational information, occupational codes? Were they in the construction trades, or were some in the shipbuilding?
MR. PERRY: No. The total number of 200 to 250 is from a large group of industries. Construction is among them. I think it's probably -- if I remember, I think it's around 11 percent of those deaths or so as having been identified among workers in the construction industry.
MR. BRODERICK: Okay. Thank you.
MS. WILLIAMS: Marie?
DR. SWEENEY: Nothing.
MS. WILLIAMS: Any other comments?
MS. WILLIAMS: Thank you, Loretta, Bill. We appreciate your report. I'm sure we will be talking with you. We look forward to working with you on this issue, and working with ACCSH on it.
MR. PERRY: Thank you.
DR. SCHUMAN: Thank you.
MS. WILLIAMS: Would the record show, please, that our next presentation will be the Proposed Assigned Protection Factor - Rulemaking.
As such, our counsel has left and vacated the chair due to a potential conflict of interest. Brad Hammock, H-A-M-M-O-C-K, will be assuming the position of our solicitor for this presentation only.
Thank you. Are you John?
MR. STEELNACK: Yes.
MS. WILLIAMS: John Steelnack?
MR. STEELNACK: Right.
MS. WILLIAMS: We'd welcome you to ACCSH and we will accept your presentation at this time.
PROPOSED ASSIGNED PROTECTION FACTOR - RULEMAKING
By John Steelnack
MR. STEELNACK: Thank you. I'm John Steelnack. I'm the Project Officer in the OSHA continuing project of revising our respirator protection standard, basically the last piece that is missing, which is assigned protection factors for the various classes of respirators.
The history of it is, basically, on January 8, 1998 when we published the final Respirator Standard itself, we reserved the section on Assigned Protection Factors and the definitions of assigned protection factor, maximum use concentration, the APF table itself, and a revision of the OLLI 6B5 substance-specific standards as they relate to respirator tables because one of the goals of this revision is to consolidate everything on the respirator side and to 134, the respirator standard that applies across the board.
What we have done, we are going to be preparing a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking that will be published.
In that, we will add the missing definitions that we reserved. We will put in an Assigned Protection Factor table with individual numbers for the various classes of respirators, half-mask, full-face piece, supplied air respirators, powered air purifying respirators, and SCBAs.
We will also publish suggested revisions to the Respiratory Protection sections of the 6B5 Substance-Specific Standards and bring them all into line so that everybody is using the same APF table and using the same numbers for their respirators.
We will make it easier for people to comply in the future. It won't be individual APF tables on each substance, it will be one table and the 134 Respirator Standard.
We have looked at doing this item, and we're in the process right now of getting a review through the Department. It's down at the Policy Planning Board. We will then go from there to OMB, and if OMB passes the review, then we will be publishing sometime in the spring.
We're going to be seeking public comment on the assigned protection factors that we're proposing on the definitions and the changes to the Substance-Specific Standard. We felt it was important to get public comment on the actual APF, because we have not published a table before, what OSHA suggests for APF, and we want public comment before we go to a final.
We have done an extensive review of the existing evaluations of respirator performance out there, specifically workplace protection factor studies where they actually measure the performance in an individual workplace, as well as simulated workplace testing which is done in laboratories.
Out of that, we have not only looked at that, but we've used our own professional judgment and other judgment from experts in setting up our APF table.
We're looking to get this out in the spring, and hopefully we will have hearings soon thereafter, either late summer or early fall. Depending on what the comments are that we receive from the public hearings, we will then proceed on for the final standard.
The actual APF discussion on the definitions. We defined APFs as the workplace level of respiratory protection that a respirator or class of respirators is expected to provide to employees when the employer implements a continuing effective respirator program as specified by 29 CFR 1910.134.
We have tied the use of APFs to the respirator program. You've got to have a respirator program and meet all the requirements of 134 before you can use the APFs. That was a problem in the past. People would look at the APFs and basically say, well, that means I can wear this half-mask respirator for 10 times the PEL, let's say.
But without doing fit-testing, or without being trained, or without being medically qualified to wear the respirator, they probably would not be receiving anywhere near that APF of 10. So, we've deliberately tied everything to being part of a continuing effective respiratory protection program.
We also have maximum use concentrations which are basically setting maximum use limits for various hazardous substances, which really is the assigned protection factor times the progressive exposure limit that determines the maximum exposure.
If you have a substance with a PEL of 10 and you've got a half-mask with an APF of 10, that means you could use it up to 100 times, is the limit for a half-masks. If you needed more protection than that, then you would have to go up to the next class of respirator with a higher protection factor.
We are superseding the APF and Substance-Specific Standards because some of them vary between the various standards. They were developed over the years, and each time they were done, they tended to be what was the latest thinking on APF at that time. But these standards go all the way from the 1970s up to the year 2000.
As thinking has changed on what is appropriate protection for these respirators, you ended up with situations where in one standard you could use it for 100 times, and the next standard you could use it for 50 times because the thought of how they protected and how well they protected had changed.
Now we're going to standardize on the numbers we have in 134 in the proposal, which is the best information we have now on the performance of these individual classes of respirators.
We have left some of the substance-specific unique characteristics. Like, some of the Substance-Specific Standards state that you cannot use filtering face pieces, for example.
In that case, that statement, which was originally in the APF table, has now been translated into an actual requirement in that Substance-Specific Standard. Otherwise, we are kicking everybody back to 134 for the Respirator Standard to handle these issues.
It's not a good idea to have them looking at fit testing and other items. Under individual standards, they should actually go to 134, which is the latest version of all the material.
We are requesting comments and additional information. We are asking for any additional studies that are out there. Right now, we have all the published studies and the other ones that we know that are available, but there are some other studies out there that have never been published or made public and we'd like to get a chance to look at them.
We're soliciting people to send them in. We hope there is additional information that people will have that they will send in and comment on our standards and give us additional direction.
We have one area which is a lack, which is on current respirator use patterns in the industry. We have the latest survey that was done which is a BLS labor survey that was done jus this year. They did that for NIOSH. We have used that data in setting our costs and benefits.
But, unfortunately, it's very hard to tie what respirators they're using to exactly the exposure levels they're looking at. They quite often will tell you, this is the respirator I'm using, but you have no idea what exposures they specifically are getting.
Is it 10 times the PEL? Is it 20 times the PEL? Are they using the right respirator or not? We have done an extensive evaluation of that, and that's part of our economic analysis.
The economic analysis itself basically looks and has come up with a number of $4.4 million as the cost of the standard. In reality, that really depends on how many people that were currently wearing respirators will be kicked up into a higher category, let's say, they were wearing full face pieces and they would have to go up to a higher-performing respirator, let's say a PAPR, in which case you go from a $100, $150 full face piece to a $1,000 PAPR. That's where the expensive things come.
What we're looking at there, is they've basically determined that the major industries that take costs under the standard would be the health care industry and some specialty industries, basically lead, asbestos removal industries, things like that, where they may have to go to a more protective respirator because some of the original asbestos standards had a higher value for the full face piece than is in the final proposal.
In most cases, they're actually wearing more protective respirators than would be required. That is one thing the BLS survey shows, is that in a number of cases companies choose to use more protective respirators, or the employees choose to wear PAPRs as opposed to negative-pressure respirators, in which case we don't take a benefit for that. But that is one of the things that does happen out there.
Well, that's about what we have now for the APF rulemaking. It is proceeding ahead and we hope to have it out soon. It's taken quite a while. Originally in 1998, I thought it would come out at least within a year. But here it is, 2002, and we're coming out with it. Hopefully, we will get out with it and finish this off.
This is the last piece of the Respirator Standard and it should finish it and make it more effective as a Respirator Standard. Right now, people don't know what APFs to use. Some of them use the 1992 ANSI standard and use their APFs, some use the NIOSH respirator decision logic, which is what we at OSHA had recommended.
But, between the two of these, they differ on some classes of respirators. In some cases, ANSI gives a higher protection factor to a particular class than NIOSH did.
But, again, NIOSH last provided theirs in 1987. This is ANSI's 1992 version, and they are currently revising it again with a new APF table. We know about that, and our APFs are reasonably similar between NIOSH and ANSI. We're not in a unique situation. We're not proposing out of the expected numbers.
MS. WILLIAMS: Mr. Steelnack, do I understand you correctly in that you will be tying all industries into 134, including the construction industry?
MR. STEELNACK: Well, that's currently part of the 134, which covers all the industries. That was already part of the final Respirator Standard.
MS. WILLIAMS: That's what I thought I heard. For your information, when this committee had a presentation right after the adoption of the Respiratory Standard, the committee was very strong in their opinion at that time that the economic burden had been miscalculated, especially as regards to the construction industry, because of the medical exams on a migratory workforce that we encounter.
We would not want to see such an event again if we could. The ACCSH committee was concerned at that time that we had not had any exposure to the adoption of the standard that affected our industry.
Would it be possible, at the time that you go to stakeholder comment, or prior to, that you could present to the ACCSH committee so they may review and get comments from our stakeholders and ensure that that data is entered into your considerations?
MR. STEELNACK: Yes. We'd be glad to do that. I'm not sure exactly when your next meeting is.
MS. WILLIAMS: We aren't, either. That's why I brought it up. With your agenda that you have presented to us, and in support of that, my question, I think, would be, could that be provided to Mr. Swanson and the Directorate, to be provided to the committee as soon as it was available, regardless of whether ACCSH meets? Can we do that?
MR. SWANSON: Of course you can do that. But what are your timelines on this, John?
MR. STEELNACK: Well, basically we have to get out past the Policy Planning Board, which means hopefully this month, if we're lucky. The reality is, Christmas is coming, so it will probably be early January.
MR. SWANSON: I heard that.
MR. STEELNACK: Then 90 days for OMB review. They get that by then, which pushes us into the March/April timeframe, at the earliest. That's if they say, okay, fine, you can publish.
I would like to get it to you before then, but right now we're in the middle of departmental review and it's kind of tough to put it out before they've had a chance to beat up on us.
MR. SWANSON: For the information of the Chair and the other members of the committee, I have had the opportunity from time to time to hear from the Assistant Secretary how strongly he feels about his reg. agenda timelines.
I'm sure that applies not only to my shop, but Health Standards as well. If it looked to him like the absence of a meeting by this body was going to have a negative impact on his timelines, I'm sure that he would work vigorously to bring about a meeting.
MS. WILLIAMS: I would join in that. I really feel this is a very critical issue to the industry. The applications of it to all of us at this table and what we can bring to you is very much desirable, to the point that we will support, and I will let our Chair handle however he feels that motion should be for a meeting to support your timeline and that of the Assistant Secretary.
DR. SWEENEY: May I add, this particular piece of legislation is actually critical. It is very, very important to making sure that respirators do protect workers, not only in construction, but in general industry and in any place that respirators are used.
As you all may know, NIOSH certifies respirators. That's one of our regulatory requirements. We have not been able to upgrade a lot of the respirators. In fact, when we do do a recommended exposure limit, we're not sure what kind of respirators to recommend because the APFs are so out of date.
So this particular piece of work is critical to us. Also, we're updating the Immediately Dangerous to Life and Health values, IDLH values. The IDLHs, the respirator decisions, are critical to making sure a person can get out of an imminently dangerous environment. So, I urge OSHA to continue moving forward with this particular work, and do it fast.
MS. WILLIAMS: We do need to expedite it, there's no doubt about it. However, we know at the time of the adoption of the Respiratory Standard, it was alluded that we lost many tradesmen who could not meet the new testing requirements, and that placed a burden on employers, as well as on our workforce.
Now that that workforce is even more impeded by all the issues that we know it is, I would just be concerned that this committee do its diligence in looking at everything and support the timeline and the need, but that we've put in a value as best that we can.
DR. SWEENEY: And I'm not sure that this would add an additional burden to the Respiratory Protection Standard. What it will do, is make sure that whatever respirator a person is wearing is the appropriate one, and that particular respirator protects them. So if you qualify for a respirator or you don't qualify, that's one thing. But wearing the right respirator is the most important thing.
MS. WILLIAMS: That's what I was thinking we had heard, the increased requirements could affect the workforce.
Are there any other comments?
MR. STRUDWICK: Only one comment from the construction side, because we face this an awful lot as far as exposure is concerned, and recognizing exposure, and the administrator of the respirator program.
And what we're doing now is costing us lots of money because we're going to the extreme as far as the manufacturer is concerned in telling them to provide better-than-adequate protection.
DR. SWEENEY: That's where the APFs will come in handy.
MR. STRUDWICK: Right. So we're right behind you, whatever we can do.
MR. STEELNACK: Well, we are anxious to get the APFs out because it's the core of selection on respirators. We've already got people out there doing the analysis, determining what they're exposed to. They know the levels.
But without an APF to go along with that level, you don't know when to switch from a half-mask to a full face piece, or up to a supplied air, if you have to.
DR. SWEENEY: And one of the reasons why we haven't updated the respirator decision logic which many people use, is because we didn't have the adequate APFs. In fact, we were doing that in the late 1990s and just aborted the whole activity until we had the new APFs. So, there's a lot of things that are really hinging upon this particular activity.
MR. STEELNACK: There's a lot of pressure on us to get it out, and I hope we can meet our schedule.
MS. WILLIAMS: I'm sure ACCSH will do everything they will be able to do to support that schedule. But I do feel strongly that we need to be involved and knowledgeable of what may be coming our way.
Any other questions of Mr. Steelnack?
MR. STEELNACK: Well, there's one other item, which I guess really isn't on the agenda, but is respirator-related. We do have a second respirator-related rulemaking that's going on.
As part of the Respirator Standard, there was a provision back in Appendix A which was on fit testing, which said if you wanted to do a new fit testing protocol you could submit it to OSHA, and OSHA would examine it and put out a public notice, basically a Federal Register notice, seeking comment, and then if it passed, would approve it and add it back here as an approved fit test protocol. We have had one already submitted. This is on controlled negative-pressure fit testing, which is one version of fit testing.
The man who invented it, Dr. Cliff Crutchfield and Occupational Health Dynamics, which is the company that distributes it, have submitted the required items that are in Appendix A, Part 2, which is two peer review journals and an actual protocol that he proposes to do.
In this case, what he wants to do, is do three exercises and two doffings and donnings. Basically, two times the person takes it off, puts it on himself, then takes it off, puts it on himself, and each time you measure what type of fit he got and use those two doffings and donnings in place of five of the exercises.
It will be a little faster. The two doffings and donnings are actually a little bit tougher on the individual. They may actually fail more often because it shows how well that individual can continually get an adequate fit with that respirator.
Well, the original protocol, you only don it once. So if you get a good fit the first time you put it on, the assumption is you'll continue to get a good fit each time. This one here tests it three times, in essence, on doffing and donning.
So we have this. This is going to go to our solicitor's for review, then we'll start the process of inside OSHA review, and then OMB, before we put it out, hopefully, this spring.
MS. WILLIAMS: Very good. Thank you, Mr. Steelnack.
At this time, let's take a 10-minute break while the Acting Chair vacates the chair and Mr. Hammock may vacate the solicitor's chair and Mr. Biersner can re-join us. Ten minutes.
(Whereupon, at 2:30 p.m. the meeting was recessed and resumed back on the record at 2:42 p.m.)
CHAIRMAN KRUL: Would the committee members reconvene, please?
I want to thank Jane Williams for taking the chair for me while I was away at that meeting.
I've had some discussions here with a couple people from the committee, and most importantly with Bruce Swanson as the designated federal official. I'd like to have a sense of the committee members.
I'm trying to be pragmatic about the balance of this agenda. Given the weather conditions we incurred today and the people who could not make it in, and the switching around on the agenda, we believe Mr. Schneider from the Laborers International, who was going to do Highway Work Zone Safety, we know he is in Florida. We hope he was smart enough to stay there and not try to make it back.
So, our guess would be that that, in fact, is what's going to happen. Everything else, I think we can do and get out of here still before the 5:00 schedule. We can have our public comment period.
We can have Noah Connell on the CSHO training. Marie Haring Sweeney wanted a few minutes with the committee. I think we could wrap up business without having to reconvene again tomorrow. Unless somebody has major objections, that will be the process.
I just don't see the sense of convening for tomorrow morning's session, wondering whether somebody's going to show or not, and it may only be one presentation. We could always move Scott's presentation to a future meeting, which would not be a problem, I'm sure.
MR. SWANSON: Not for us.
CHAIRMAN KRUL: Okay. With that in mind, we'll proceed.
Is Noah up next?
MR. SWANSON: Yes. Noah is up next. If I may, Mr. Chairman, give a brief introduction. A couple of comments.
One, it's my understanding that my boss, the Assistant Secretary, in his presentation this morning, alluded to something that he has shared with me several times in the past, and that is, those things on the reg. agenda that have dates attached to them will be done by those dates.
He's rather serious about it, and he explained to me in some detail how serious he is about it, and my wishes are to keep him happy in that regard.
Noah, as he shared with you this morning, has an office that does not only standards, but does the guidance, the standards interpretation, for the known world. That also is a very time-consuming process for him.
Noah's entire staff, when he has one, is nine people. I think this is a good group for me to, in my own enlightened self-interest, bring up that Noah's staff of nine is down to six. He has recently announced three vacancies at the GS-13 level.
The person we're looking for--or the three people we're looking for--would be folks that, in your opinion, would do well in a regulatory writing environment.
I will cause each member of this committee to get by e-mail a copy of that announcement so you can share it with those folks who would benefit by the federal employment, and who we could benefit by having them on board, and I could benefit by keeping my boss happy in meeting some of his deadlines.
The next item that Noah is going to present, I believe he's made the modification so that what you're going to see is a slice of the training that we've been participating in with the steel erection community. That's the Ironworkers, it's the NEA, it's the ABC, and it's other interested folks that have been able to join us from time to time.
We have, since last spring, made five presentations to compliance officers around the country. This is the first time that anything this intensive has been done and this particular environmental setting has been created for our compliance officers, and they love it.
Five times, now, we have, through the good offices of Joe Hunt, Frank, and the Ironworkers' membership, been able to use apprenticeship training facilities, brought the compliance officers in, brought contractors in, both the signatory and non-signatory contractors, to participate in the training of compliance officers. We put on a four-day course.
What Noah is going to do, is give you a very, very brief slice of what that training looks like and give you a feel for what it is we're doing. Obviously, we're not going to burden you with the entire four days.
We are not going to give you an executive summary of the standard. You probably already know the standard if you have an interest in it, and if you don't, it would be a waste of our time.
But, as our advisory committee, as our board of directors, as it were, I want to share with you what it is that we are doing and ask for your input now and in the future.
So, with that introduction, Noah, can you go?
COMPLIANCE OFFICER TRAINING
By Noah Connell
(Showing of slides)
MR. CONNELL: Let me just put this in context. What I'm going to run through, is one part of the training in terms of the tools that we use in the training. This is just one part. The training consists of hands-on demonstrations by Ironworkers.
Not only a hands-on demonstration of various steel erection processes, but also the compliance officers are given an opportunity to do some hands-on work on steel mock-ups that the Ironworkers have put together for us. The training is done at Ironworker facilities around the country.
We do actual mock-ups, small-scale mock-ups, of steel erection. The compliance officers participate in that. We have Ironworkers who demonstrate the various aspects of it and show the compliance officers how it works. We get cranes in to show the interplay between cranes and steel erection.
So, there's a lot of hands-on, almost real-life, or real-life type stuff that they get to participate in. That's mixed in with our Power Point that we do, that OSHA does, that goes through the requirements of the standard.
Other components that are involved. The Ironworkers have videos that integrate both requirements of the standard with demonstrations of how it looks in the real world. The ADC folks who participate also have videos, and they bring in equipment as well. So, this is just one of the tools that we use.
I'm just going to show you a couple of examples, a couple of slices of what we do, to give you a feel for it.
I'll start with, one of the parts of the standard deals with multiple lifts. The standard permits the use of multiple lifts, as long as you follow certain requirements.
First of all, only beams and similar-type members can be lifted through a multiple lift. Our directive says that these can be of different sizes.
You have to use a multiple lift rigging assembly. There are several types. Here, you can see two. Our directive says that a qualified rigger can also piece these together from manufacturer assemblies. The entire assembly does not have to be purchased from a manufacturer.
You can do up to five members per lift. You've got to rig them onto the assembly from the top down. They have to be attached at the center. You have to maintain a seven-foot minimum, measured from the bottom of the one above to the top of the one below, but you don't maintain that clearance as you're landing the pieces.
So, as you're placing them and they're being brought down, of course, the pieces will begin to come together and you measure the seven feet as you rig them. They must be maintained reasonably level.
Now, when you place them, you place them in the opposite order that they were put into the rigging, from the bottom up. You have to use controlled load lowering if you are doing this over connectors.
Another aspect of the standard that we spent a lot of time on is structural stability. One aspect, among many aspects of structural stability, deals with the anchorage of the columns.
The purpose of all these requirements that I'm going to talk about on this section is to keep that column from falling over when it's being erected. Now, how do we do that? Well, you must guy and brace where it's necessary to do so. We have to have adequate means of transferring the loads down to the column anchorage.
You must use a minimum of four anchor bolts. We have specific strength requirements for the anchorage as a whole. If the anchor bolts are going to be modified in some way, we have requirements to make sure that that's done properly.
There is a general requirement that every column has to be evaluated to determine if guying or bracing is needed. If it's determined that it is, you've got to do it.
Columns have to be set on level, finished floors or pre-routed leveling plates, leveling nuts, or shim packs. Whichever one is chosen, they must be designed to be adequate to transfer the loads. To give you a look at that, that's what shim packs look like, on the left, leveling nuts on the right. So, you also have to have four anchor bolts or rods.
The strength requirement. It's a 300-pound eccentric gravity load. That applies to the entire anchorage, not just the bolts. Here are some examples: on the left, a weld failure; on the right, where the foundation itself failed.
Modification repair of the bolts. That's a picture of where epoxy was used to do a repair. That's okay if it's done right. If you do make these changes to the anchored bolts, you must ensure the adequacy of the repair.
That means the project structural engineer of record has to approve those changes and the controlling contractor has to notify the erector in writing of that approval. Our directive tells us that you don't have to maintain a copy of that approval on the site.
Minor adjustments are allowed, but if you are going to completely unbend the bolt that's going to weaken it and you can't do that. There's an example of a bolt that came out of the foundation.
Now, these requirements that I just walked through do not apply -- they apply to column anchorages. Columns. They don't apply to posts. So how do you know when something is a column and when something is a post?
Well, the standard has a definition of a post. Something is a post if it's axially loaded, which means that the load is pressing down on the top, and it weighs 300 pounds or less. So, if you have those two things, you have a post.
Or, if it's not axially loaded, there is no load pressing down at the top but it's being laterally restrained by the member above, that's a post. So, in either of those two cases, column anchorage requirements do not apply.
Now let's take a look at some of the requirements dealing with beams and columns and structural stability. We have requirements for connecting solid-web members, apart from diagonal bracing. We have specific requirements for diagonal bracing and for double connections.
We also set in the standard specifications for the strength of column splices and we have some specs for perimeter columns. Today I'll just give you a look at the requirements for double connections and how we explain that.
First of all, what is a double connection? It's two pieces of steel that share common bolts on either side of a central piece. So, conceptually, this is what it looks like.
You have that central piece here being the column, and those two beams are going to join at the column on opposite sides and they're going to share their bolts. In real life, that's what a double connection would look like.
So what's the problem with double connections? Well, once that first member is connected, the first member here, as you can see, being right there, the nuts and the ends of the bolts, these right here, are going to prevent you from bringing in the second piece.
That means that you're going to have to take off these nuts and back out these bolts in order to bring this piece in. So the problem is, what's now holding up that first member? Not much. It's in danger of falling. In the real world, in many cases, the Ironworker has to sit on this beam during this process, so it's a very dangerous process.
So what's the solution? Well, we have a set of requirements that address this. Now, keep in mind that the requirements only apply to certain double connections, double connections that are either at columns--and here's one that's at a column--or beam webs over a column.
So the beam webs, if you assume that this is a column and not a post, that would be an example of a double connection at the beam webs over the column. Where you have either of those two things happening, that's where our requirements apply.
So what are the requirements? Well, you get a choice. You can either make sure that one bolt, at least one bolt with its wrench-tight nut, remains connected to that first member at all times through the whole process. That's one option.
Another option that you have, is you don't want to do that, you don't want to always make sure that there's one bolt connected at all times. Instead, you can use a seat. And we'll take a look at these options one at a time.
So let's look at the first option. How can you do this? How can you keep one bolt wrench tight, with this wrench-tight nut connected at all times? Well, one way is through what's called a staggered connection.
Notice that these three bolts are going through the flange that's connecting this beam, but this one does not. So this bolt can remain connected to that first member, which is on the other side, at all times. You don't have to take this one out to bring this second piece in. So that's one way of doing it.
Another way of doing it, is the bottom part of this flange is clipped off. So, once again, you can always keep this bolt in place holding this first member while you bring the second member in. So, that's two ways. And there could be others, but that's two ways of accomplishing the first option.
What about the other option, using a seat? A seat, which is a structural attachment that supports the first member at all times while you're bringing that second member in.
So, remember that the problem was that this first member could drop down when you back out these bolts. Well, the seat is now going to prevent that first member from dropping down. So if you use a seat, then you solve the problem. Okay.
One other example I'll show you which involves fall protection. Under the Steel Erection Standard, if you could fall over 30 feet, everybody has to be protected, including connectors and deckers.
Now, between 15 and 30 feet, you have to have fall protection, but there are a couple of exceptions. We have exceptions for deckers who are in a controlled decking zone and for connectors. Today, we are just going to talk about the controlled decking zone in a minute.
But, just so that you can see pictorially how these requirements work, under 15 feet, we don't require fall protection. Over 15 feet, but under 30 feet, you have to have fall protection unless you're a decker in a CDZ, or a connector. If you have the possibility of falling 30 feet, everyone has to be protected.
So one of the exceptions we'll take a look at today is the controlled decking zone, CDZ. Now, before we can talk about what the requirements are, we spend a little bit of time just going over some basic concepts. You can think of the process of installing decking as involving three distinct stages.
Unsecured decking. You take the decking, it's laid down, and that's it, it's just laying there. Unsecured decking.
Initially-attached decking. That's decking that has two or more attachments per panel, but you're going to wind up with a lot more at the end. So, initially attached means you've got two or more.
The third, and final, stage is finally attached. That's when, after those initial attachments are made, two, or three, or whatever it is per panel, the drawings tell you that each panel is going to have to have X numbers of attachments per panel and you're going to go in and put the rest of those attachments in. When that is completed, that's when a panel is finally attached.
So let's say you're looking down from a helicopter at a roof that is being decked, and here's the three stages that you would see. You're going to have an area that has its final attachments all put in. You have other decking that's been initially attached.
Then you have an area where it's been laid down, but not yet initially attached. That's unsecured decking. Then you've got an area that's just an open bay. That's the area that you're going to be working with.
Now, in a controlled decking zone, the standard only permits leading edge decking work to be done. What does that mean? It means the people who are placing the deck and the people who are doing initial installation of the deck use those minimum number of attachments that we require.
We do not permit people to install final deck attachments within a controlled decking zone. We do allow the installation of perimeter fall protection if you meet certain requirements. Okay.
What are the requirements for a controlled decking zone? The standard limits access. That's what we just talked about, what you can do inside a controlled decking zone. You have to have designated boundaries. We limit the size of a controlled decking zone. There are certain work practices required and there are training requirements.
So, let's take a look at these one at a time. We start with the concept of limited access and designating those boundaries.
First of all, what's the purpose of designating these boundaries? Why are we limiting access? Well, we want to protect the workers who are outside the CDZ.
We want to keep them out of the CDZ and we want to have a way of signaling to them that they can't come in this area. So, that's done with these control lines and that's going to keep these non-decking workers outside the zone.
Next, we limit the size of the CDZ. It can be up to 90' x 90' from the leading edge. So what would that look like? It's got to be designated by a boundary.
Well, here's the area where you're adding decking. Here are the control lines, the warning lines. Let's assume each bay is 30' x 30'. This warning line is 90' away from the leading edge, and this one is 30' away from the leading edge. So, you're okay so far.
Now, as the decking process progresses, now this line is 60' away, the edge. You're still okay. Once you get to 90', though, you're going to have to stop. You're going to have to jump up that control line so that you can continue the process of decking down here and stay within that 90' x 90' maximum.
Now, in our appendix, which is not mandatory, we do note that it's a good idea to not have a control line closer than 6' to the leading edge. Okay.
What are those work practices that we require? Well, you're allowed up to 3,000 square feet of unsecured decking. You've got to install the attachments, those initial attachments, from the leading edge back and you're not allowed to do the final attachments in the CDZ.
So what's that going to look like? Here, we've got our three different stages represented, the finally attached area, initially attached stuff, and this decking is laid down but not yet secured.
As that process of laying down the deck proceeds, at this point in this example they've now reached the point where they've got 3,000 square feet of unattached decking. So now they've got to stop. That's the maximum that's allowed.
Then they're going to install those initial attachments from the leading edge back. We do that because we don't want the workers working with their backs facing this way, walking backwards towards an open edge. We want them to go the other way.
So then you secure that decking. That's initially secured. Now you're ready to proceed forward again. But, remember, we can't go more than 90' from this line.
So, in order to be able to finish up this process here because they exceed '90 feet here, you've got to jump up that line so that now they can continue. They will be able to lay all this deck in one go because it will only total 2,400 square feet without doing the initial attachments, and then they're done.
So that just gives a little bit of an idea of the approach that we've taken in trying to explain the standard. We tried to explain the underlying concepts and not just read the provisions.
MR. SWANSON: As I was watching your Power Point presentation, Noah, I was thinking, too bad we didn't put some of the snapshots of compliance officers having fun on iron in there to add a little levity to this.
CHAIRMAN KRUL: Jim?
MR. AHERN: Yes. I have a couple of questions for you, Noah. The majority of the presentation looked like it was relating to general construction of a building.
A couple of the items on our agenda related to the Manual of Uniform Traffic Control Devices in a highway work zone, and then the presentation by Scott that we're going to postpone to another day about the highway work zone safety.
Certainly, there's a lot of emphasis on highway work zone safety, not just because of the traveling public getting into the construction zone, but of the activities.
As a matter of fact, I think at a meeting quite a while ago we made reference to a special program that existed up in Chicago that focused on bridge construction.
I think, if we look back in the minutes, we might see where we were going to have the gentleman that represented that area office come in and give us a report on whether he was successful or not in attaining any reduction in accidents or fatalities. That's my recollection, anyway.
But as it relates to bridge construction, the requirement that allows you to not be tied off at less than 15 feet, is that only in Subpart R or is that consistent across the entire 1926 standard?
MR. CONNELL: No, it's not consistent. The threshold height in Subpart R for fall protection is 15'. If you're not within the scope of Subpart R and you are within the scope of our general fall protection standard Subpart M, the threshold height is 6'. If you are working on a scaffold, the threshold height is 10'.
MR. AHERN: Okay. If you walk out in the hall, there's a picture up there of a pedestrian bridge failure with what we would commonly refer to as a tub girder.
We make reference to beams. I looked in the definition section and there isn't initially a definition of beam, so you've got to look at little deeper. I think it's under Structural Steel, to make sure that you understand what a beam is.
My question becomes, if I'm on a highway project and I'm using structural steel beams or girders, and I'm eventually going to put concrete on top of those beams and girders to create a bridge deck. In some cases, I'm going to use permanent steel decking, in other cases I'm going to use temporary wood decking.
Do the controlled decking zone standards that we looked at at this building apply to a bridge, with either that metal decking and/or the temporary wood decking?
MR. CONNELL: The controlled decking zone provisions are not limited to building structures. Now, clearly when you're installing metal decking, if you choose to use a controlled decking zone between 15' and 30', you can use those provisions, that approach, for the installation of metal decking. I believe we define metal decking in the standard.
MR. AHERN: The reason I'm asking this, is eventually I'm going to go back to the American Road and Transportation Builders Association and give them a report on what I've learned at this ACCSH meeting. I want to make sure it applies to what the majority of the bridge buildings members of the ARTBA will ultimately be held accountable for in the standard.
MR. CONNELL: Right. I don't want to give you an answer on the fly to your second question of whether you can use the controlled decking zone procedures between 15' and 30' for the installation of wooden decking. I mean, I'm tempted to say no, but I would have to take a closer look at that.
Generally speaking, the scope of Subpart R absolutely is not limited to building structures. In fact, the scope was designed in an extremely broad way so that we really don't care what kind of structure it is, with a couple of exceptions.
There are a couple of types of structures that are specifically excluded from the coverage of Subpart R. But, for the most part, you determine the scope of Subpart R based on the activity, not the type of building structure.
So, yes, you should assume that, in general, bridges, for example -- and we do in other sections of this training. We do have examples that show bridge construction. Yes, they're going to have to be aware of Subpart R, absolutely.
MR. AHERN: My sense is, from the Fall Protection Standard, it's a real plus to a bridge contractor, putting down wood temporary decking to support the concrete, to utilize this standard for fall protection. I'm not sure that there would be universal acceptance of that interpretation.
MR. CONNELL: Like I say, we'd have to take a closer look at that.
MR. AHERN: Could you do that?
MR. CONNELL: Sure.
CHAIRMAN KRUL: Frank?
MR. MIGLIACCIO: Yes. When you're using the wood, that's not a steel erection activity. This only covers certain things under the scope of steel erection activities. Steel decking is steel erection activity. A wooden deck is not steel erection activity, so it wouldn't be covered.
CHAIRMAN KRUL: Jane?
MS. WILLIAMS: Noah, I just had a question on the presentation. I was at the Chicago meeting, and some of the CSHOs, I thought, were a little hesitant. Of course, it was the first one. I think the presentation was great.
How do you see them interacting, being in an actual facility or actual job conditions versus the arena condition that it was first held? Did they seem to really get into it more?
MR. CONNELL: Oh, absolutely. I mean, I think you're referring to the Chicago -- the very first session which was not part of this training at that meeting.
MS. WILLIAMS: Okay.
MR. CONNELL: That was a separate thing.
MS. WILLIAMS: Just an introductory type thing. I see.
MR. CONNELL: Our first training, partnership training that we did, was held in New Jersey. So, it's very different from what you saw.
MS. WILLIAMS: Okay.
MR. CONNELL: And the compliance officers, I think, love the hands-on stuff. They love the instructions from the Ironworkers and from the Agency folks. I might point out, in particular, there's an Ironworker instructor whose name is Jim Creeding who does a fantastic job.
He's a very experienced Ironworker and he has a lot of back-and-forth discussion with the compliance officers as he is showing various processes, and as they're working with him to do the mock-ups.
MR. SWANSON: Imagine a Marine Corps drill instructor and you've got Jimmy.
MS. WILLIAMS: Well, from my position in working with so many general contractors, to have that level go to a CSHO makes our job so much better to know they understand and can visualize and are not really interpreting loosely. So, I think it's a great program.
MR. CONNELL: And I have to tell you that the only reason why, being in OSHA, we have some sense of these processes so we can explain them is because our industry stakeholders talk to us, because we sure didn't come in knowing this stuff.
CHAIRMAN KRUL: Dan?
MR. MURPHY: Just a quick question for you. In watching the presentation, I realized that you put together a very good explanation of some issues that all of the construction management students that I work with are confronted with. I'm wondering, would this be available to get into, like, some of the heavy construction method classes that are taught around the U.S.?
MR. CONNELL: You mean, the Power Point? Yes. We will make the complete Power Point, in some three parts, available upon request.
MR. MURPHY: Wonderful.
MR. CONNELL: Yes. We can give that to you.
MR. MURPHY: Thank you.
MR. AHERN: One last question for you. Initially, in order to make sure that that concrete deck does not slide off those girders on a bridge, we put little "mushrooms" up that are referred to as shear connectors.
MR. CONNELL: We're familiar with shear connectors. There was confusion in the bridge construction industry initially whether the shear connectors could be installed at the structural steel fabricator and brought out to the project and erected, or whether they had to be placed after the erection. There was maybe some clarification of that, and maybe the clarification only lasted a temporary amount of time.
Could you, if you're prepared to or are able to, comment on that, where we are now and where we're going to be going forward?
MR. CONNELL: Yes. I think you're probably referring to -- well, let me start with the standard. The standard says that shear connectors which are these attachments that aren't involved in steel erection, these attachments -- rods, they get attached to, for example, steel beams. They're used a lot, especially in bridge construction. They allow the concrete, once it's poured, to pipe to and be strongly connected with the steel beneath it.
The standard says that you're only allowed to install shear connectors after the decking has been installed. That means that you're prohibited from having them installed at the fabrication shop and erecting the steel with the shear connectors on them. That's what the standard says.
In the compliance directive that we issued back earlier this year, we have a de minimis policy where we say that if you use fall protection at all times, then you can have those shear connectors factory-installed and erect the member with them on, if you have fall protection at all times.
MR. AHERN: Independent of 5', 17', 32'.
MR. CONNELL: Correct. You have to have fall protection at all times. If you have it at all times, then it's considered a de minimius violation.
MR. AHERN: Not just fall protection in compliance with Subpart R.
MR. CONNELL: Well, we are talking about a situation where the operation that you're dealing with is covered by Subpart R. If you're covered by Subpart R, then you have to confront this provision because this provision says you can't use factory-installed shear connectors.
So if you're covered by Subpart R, if you want to do that, the directive ways, well, it's only a de minimis violation and you won't be cited if you have fall protection at all times.
I think when you raised this question about whether this was a temporary policy or not, you might be referring back to this big meeting we had in Chicago over a year ago, where we had sent out a draft compliance directive.
MR. AHERN: I just wasn't sure.
MR. CONNELL: There is no time limit on the final directive which is in place.
CHAIRMAN KRUL: Greg?
MR. STRUDWICK: Let me make this a little more complicated. I'm right along with Jim. But if you're governed by Subpart R, and you say that if the studs are installed at the factory that you have to have fall protection all the time, 100 percent of the time, does that start at 6' or does that start at 15'?
MR. CONNELL: Well, that's another very good question. I know you guys are always good at coming up with them.
MR. STRUDWICK: Well, no. The application was a railroad bridge where the girders were used and installed. Now, what they did, is they drilled their shaft and they left the shaft down, but they left the ground there.
In other words, they excavate out from underneath the bridge when it's finished. So here the girders are, more than 6' but less than 15', and here they are, putting their decking down in between the studs that are already installed.
MR. CONNELL: Right.
MR. STRUDWICK: And I questioned it. Now I'm questioning you.
MR. CONNELL: Well, let me tell you what -- and of course I get to say I didn't make these answers. I'm just telling you what the answers are. I can tell you what the Agency--not Noah Connell--has not answered.
What the Agency has answered, is we have said in our first directive the example that we used in the directive talks about shear connectors at 20'. We chose that example because it was over 15. So it's safe to say that we have said, over 15', this policy applies.
The question that you're asking, is, well, wait a minute. Let's say that these shear connectors are less than 15'. Let's say they're at 6' and your work activity puts you under Subpart R.
Does our de minimis policy apply to those shear connectors below 15'? We haven't answered that question yet, but we know it's a question and we're going to answer it in our next round of Qs and As that we're going to put in the revised directive.
MR. STRUDWICK: The answer that I got when I posed the same question was that the steel manufacturer, extruder, made that decision for the bridge contractor based on the fact that he was not going to be more than 15', but more than 6', in some cases.
MR. CONNELL: We know it's a question and we know it needs to be answered, and we're going to answer it, just not today.
CHAIRMAN KRUL: Frank?
MR. MIGLIACCIO: I have a two-part question here for you now that we've gotten into this. And I didn't put him up to it. One, who did make the decisions on the questions and answers?
MR. CONNELL: Bruce.
MR. MIGLIACCIO: Who put everything together?
MR. CONNELL: Bruce, can you answer that?
MR. SWANSON: Yes. Noah did not.
MR. MIGLIACCIO: No. I know that.
MR. MIGLIACCIO: I'm just saying, was there a committee that put this together? Who actually put this together? The next one that comes up, the second part, is I'd like to offer the assistance of the Ironworkers on.
MR. SWANSON: Frank, I believe you've offered assistance before on this particular issue. This was an Agency policy decision that was made. And, no, it wasn't any specific committee. It was a committee as a whole. It was OSHA that made this decision.
MR. MIGLIACCIO: The reason I say this, is it's always been my understanding that OSHA is to eliminate a hazard. This isn't a fall hazard, this is a tripping hazard. Even with a harness on, it doesn't eliminate the tripping hazard. Can anybody answer that? I knew you'd get around to something I understood here today.
MR. SWANSON: Mr. Chairman, if I may, may I make a general comment?
CHAIRMAN KRUL: Sure.
MR. SWANSON: On the steel erection standard itself and the training, in case the rest of the committee hasn't picked it up from the conversation, there are some controversial aspects to our interpretation of the standard.
It's a part of the training that the compliance officers really loathe. Frank is not the only member of his organization that holds this view on Nelson studs and how the standard ought to be interpreted.
We have lively discussions at our training seminars. Contractors sometimes have a different view. Particularly, the non-signatory contractors have a view that differs from the Ironworker Brotherhood on how the statute ought to be interpreted.
Fortunately for us, until a court tells us we're wrong, our interpretation is the interpretation that the compliance officers are being trained on and have to follow.
What Noah explained on the shear connectors, or Nelson studs, is what we are training our people. If a contractor has his employees up there 100 percent protected from falls over 15', and he has got joists up there with Nelson studs that were sent from the fabricator with those studs on them, he is not in violation of the standard. That's the way we're interpreting it, that's the way we're enforcing it. Not everyone agrees with that.
MR. MIGLIACCIO: I'm just waiting for it to go to court.
MR. SWANSON: Yes.
MR. BRODERICK: But if the studs were on a deck at the leading edge, then the tripping hazard could become a fall hazard, right?
MR. SWANSON: Well, it is. The Nelson stud is a tripping hazard, which is why we have the requirement for fall protection.
MR. BRODERICK: Right.
MR. SWANSON: There is another opinion that you've heard, that in addition to it being just a hazard for a fall, there's a real-life danger of injury through impalement or otherwise because it is still a tripping hazard. Even if you're wearing a full body harness, you can still trip and fall. That is, indeed, the argument, Tom.
CHAIRMAN KRUL: Joe, go ahead.
MR. DURST: Joe Durst, with the Carpenters. With regards to Christmas treeing, is there a wind speed or is at the judgment of a competent person when lifts can be made?
MR. CONNELL: There is no provision in the Steel Erection standard that addresses wind speed. But the steel erection standard says specifically that all of the requirements of the Crane Standard, with the exception of the one dealing with personnel hoists, apply to the Steel Erection Standard.
Plus, we have these additional requirements in the steel erection standards. So if there is--and I'm not sure if there is--something that addresses wind in the Crane Standard, it would apply here. But I don't recall if there is something in the Crane Standard.
MR. DURST: The only reason I raise this question, in the Mandolin Bay Convention Center, one morning the wind was -- it blows in Vegas a lot, but it's gone up to 45 miles an hour. They made this pick, and instantly these beams started twirling.
Now they are all turning so fast, there is no way to set this thing back down, except for leaving them turning until they slow down, because nobody can get ahold of the tag line to stop that bottom one and set it down.
It was the same activity in which they actually lost an Ironworker, getting killed by grabbing the bottom beam and putting enough pressure on it that the tag line ripped and he went off the edge of the building. It's the same activity. Once you get these things turning the air, they're turning.
MR. CONNELL: Let me just turn back to the question that was asked earlier about installing. The controlled decking zone provision speaks specifically about where metal decking is initially being installed.
MR. AHERN: So the interesting part about that, is in some of the applications I was making reference to, we used metal decking as permanent.
It is, for all intents and purposes, the same operation when we use temporary wood decking. In one case, that bridge contractor, when he's using metal decking, falls under Subpart R, in the other case he doesn't.
MR. CONNELL: Well, let me just say that you're really asking, I think, two separate questions. One question that you asked earlier, was do the controlled decking zone requirements, or not requirements, but -- you don't have to have a controlled decking zone when you're doing steel erection. It's an option.
If you don't want to put your deckers in fall protection between 15' and 30', you are allowed to use the controlled decking zone process, and then you do have to follow those requirements.
So if you choose that option, then you've got to do the CDZ stuff. This is telling you that the CDZ option is only available when you're installing metal decking. That's one question.
The other question that you're asking is, well, is the process of installing wooden decking ever covered by Subpart R? Now, the scope section of Subpart R -- Subpart R kicks in in one of two ways.
One, in 750(e)(1) of the standard, there is a list of activities. If you're doing any one of those activities, you are automatically covered by Subpart R. That's one way that Subpart R applies.
Another way that it applies, is there's another list of activities in 750(b)(2). Those activities come under Subpart R if you meet a test. The test is, are they being done during and as a part of the list of activities in (b)(1)?
If--and I'm not answering yes or no, I'm just saying if--the installation of that wooden decking could meet that test, if the wooden decking was being installed during and as a part of one of the listed activities in (b)(1), then Subpart R would apply to that activity.
But you still wouldn't get the option of using a controlled decking zone as a substitute for fall protection for installing those wooden decking panels.
MR. AHERN: I followed everything until you got to that conclusion. Why don't you get it then?
MR. CONNELL: Because the controlled decking zone is only designed, and by its own terms only applies to the installation of the metal decking.
MR. AHERN: Okay. So it's irrelevant whether it passes the test or not.
MR. CONNELL: For purposes of figuring out if you want to use the CDZ option as a substitute for fall protection, yes, then it's irrelevant. But if you want to know, what are the fall protection requirements for that activity, it's very relevant. You have to figure that out to know whether it's 6' under Subpart M or 15' under Subpart R.
CHAIRMAN KRUL: One more question. We're going to limit debate and questioning here.
MR. BEAUREGARD: I don't really have a question, but I think it's important that I make a statement. Noah brought up the scope and the activities that are covered.
Somebody was talking about shear connectors. For those of you that have members that do business in state plan states, it's real important that you look at what that state plan state has for steel erection, too.
I can speak for North Carolina specifically, and I can tell you, we have a very different wording in our standard specifically to shear connectors and we do allow them to be shop-installed, so you won't be getting a de minimis violation in North Carolina.
We have also limited the scope and activities covered by the standard, so it's not as extensive as what's in the federal standard. So before your members do activity in our state, or the other state plan states, you'd better take a look at that, because you may find yourself doing some activities that are or aren't covered by the standard there.
CHAIRMAN KRUL: Thanks, Kevin.
Noah, as always, thank you for an excellent presentation.
MR. CONNELL: Thank you.
CHAIRMAN KRUL: Thank you very much.
CHAIRMAN KRUL: Okay. What I'd like to do, as Chair, is quickly go through these ACCSH workgroups that I was handed a sheet on. Again, with the folks who have left and with those workgroups that have been completed, I just think we should go over this.
I was not here when James Ahern and Jane submitted this Subpart N Crane report, but I'd like to thank them both for a job well done, and Jim especially for all his e-mails that he sent out.
He was very good about sending them out and keeping everybody abreast of what was going on with this. But I know they held a lot of meetings and that was a lot of work to put into that. On behalf of the committee, I want to thank all of you who worked on that.
Marie, this data collection targeting. Bring me up to speed. When the Assistant Secretary was speaking about targeting construction sites, was that part of this workgroup?
DR. SWEENEY: Yes.
CHAIRMAN KRUL: Okay. So you and Tom will stay with that?
DR. SWEENEY: I think we probably need to sit down and get a charge, a re-named charge.
CHAIRMAN KRUL: Okay. Well, two things. I'm looking around here at faces and names. If anybody's interested in sitting on these, I mean, just speak up and tell me you want to be there.
In some cases I'm going to be a nasty chairman and appoint people, because we're just going to need it. I'm going to leave the DOC staff to the DOC for appointment rather than me.
Diversified Construction Workforce Initiatives. Are you handling that by your lonesome now that Larry's gone?
MS. WILLIAMS: Yes.
CHAIRMAN KRUL: Would anyone care to work with Jane on that? David Bush.
Fall Protection. Brother Migliaccio told me he's interested in that, because Felipe Devora is no longer here. Manny, are you still interested in working on that?
MR. MEDEROS: Yes. My understanding is that the committee was set up for Subpart M, and that was completed and nothing was before that committee at this time.
CHAIRMAN KRUL: That work was completed?
MR. MEDEROS: Yes.
CHAIRMAN KRUL: So this is an old list. So, scratch that.
Here's a good one, with Bill Rhoten gone: hexavalent chromium. That's specialty welding. I'm not trying to diminish the importance of it. I'm looking around this table and wondering how much expertise there is in hexavalent chromium now that Bill Rhoten is gone.
DR. SWEENEY: I have a question about that.
CHAIRMAN KRUL: Go ahead.
DR. SWEENEY: Is hexavalent chromium still on the reg. agenda for Health Standards?
MR. SWANSON: Yes, it is.
DR. SWEENEY: We might want to keep and open mind about it for the next time.
CHAIRMAN KRUL: Does that mean you want to be the open-minded co-chair person?
DR. SWEENEY: Well, if you look at the number of workgroups, we might want to just keep it open until I lose another workgroup.
CHAIRMAN KRUL: So right now, there are no folks there.
DR. SWEENEY: No. No.
CHAIRMAN KRUL: And certainly, I mean, if anybody wants to take this, we certainly have the ability to recruit people from the Center to Protect Workers' Rights who have more expertise in this kind of stuff. Again, Billy was more familiar with where those exposures would come in his particular trade as a plumber and pipefitter in welding. It is specialty welding.
I mean, does anybody have experience with hexavalent chromium?
CHAIRMAN KRUL: All right. Let's just keep it open.
Musculosketal Disorders is still active.
DR. SWEENEY: I think so. I think that the Assistant Secretary did indicate that he was keeping an open mind about it.
CHAIRMAN KRUL: Yes.
DR. SWEENEY: And I'd like to at least --
CHAIRMAN KRUL: All right. Just for my clarification, in listening to Mr. Henshaw, we are not talking about developing an ergonomic standard for construction. We're just talking about looking, and I'm sure the contractors are concerned that that's not the case as well.
DR. SWEENEY: I think we can have a workgroup meeting and talk about where we're going to go. I know there are other people on this committee that are interested in at least talking about it.
CHAIRMAN KRUL: All right. And the normal course of order, for those of you who don't want to raise your hands and volunteer -- I mean, you're all invited. Just because we're appointing people to the workgroups, it means anybody could go to anybody's workgroup and participate.
In fact, we will have--and I'll go over that right at the end here--outside agencies like -- folks who have worked on things and upon whose expertise we rely on to go to the chairs and members of the committee.
MR. DURST: Mr. Chairman?
CHAIRMAN KRUL: Yes?
MR. DURST: I'll volunteer to be on that Ergonomics Committee.
CHAIRMAN KRUL: Don't call it Ergonomics, Joe. Call it Musculoskeletal Disorders. Joe Durst will be on the Musculoskeletal workgroup.
MR. SWANSON: I think it is a very good idea that this committee stay active in that area, although this administration has indicated from time to time they're not interested in a standard on this for the construction industry, at least at this time.
They are doing best practices in other industries. They are interested in best practices in the construction industry. We do have some contractors who are on their own going forward with MSD programs. We have some insurance companies sponsoring them. We have some contractor associations sponsoring programs. I think it would be remiss of this committee to not be tracking this subject.
CHAIRMAN KRUL: And I think there's an interesting among contractors, I know our association, obviously, for worker's comp rates, the key people that you lose to repetitive injuries or any musculoskeletal disorders.
If, in fact, something can be done that is workable within reason and doesn't cost a zillion dollars, I don't think there would be any disagreement from anybody's point of view, especially for those employees that you value as your workers, some of them in critical positions.
Who had their hand up? Joe?
MR. DURST: Well, Mr. Chairman, we carpenters have been doing thousands of members' training in the ergonomics program that we have. We have contractors in and around Chicago and western Washington who we know are experiencing fewer musculoskeletal disorder diseases, because they've said so.
Now, the trick is getting the numbers from them because you always have that fear of, okay, we started with 365 OSHAs, and you're now down to 50. That's a great improvement, but you've still got 50 there.
CHAIRMAN KRUL: I've seen some, if not all, of your curricula dealing with ergonomics and repetitive work disorders, and I encourage you to share them with the members of that committee to show them -- I mean, the carpenters approached this before anybody started talking about ergonomic standards and looked at the repetitive disorders that were occurring as a result of the work that they do, and they're to be commended. There were very simple remedies, most of them common sense, but yet put into a format that all workers understood.
Multilingual Issues in Construction. Marie appears on a lot of these, doesn't she?
DR. SWEENEY: I've been around.
CHAIRMAN KRUL: Mike, would you like to be on that? And Greg? Okay. Anyone else? That's really -- I mean, not that anything else isn't important.
MR. BRODERICK: I'll stay with it.
CHAIRMAN KRUL: You want to stay with it?
MR. BRODERICK: Yes.
CHAIRMAN KRUL: Tom Broderick.
Noise and Construction.
MR. SWANSON: Excuse me, Bob. May I make a comment? This is not specifically addressed to what just happened here. But one of the strengths of what happens in this committee is because we have a multiplicity of interests at the table. We've got employers, we have employees, we have whatever.
On the workgroups, to the extent possible--and I know it's not always possible--but if we can get that same cross-pollenization on workgroups, it really helps. Not that there's anything wrong with two contractors being on the language committee, but --
CHAIRMAN KRUL: I know where you're coming from.
MR. SWANSON: Right.
CHAIRMAN KRUL: And I'm trying to be careful in that. By the same token, we've got committees with just public sector members on it. Well, I'll get to that. There are issues here where there needs to be a balance between employee and employer representatives. This one, I don't think is one of them, but there are a couple of them coming up that obviously -- and that will be addressed.
MR. DURST: Yes. But Bruce, here you've got public, federal government, and two contractors.
CHAIRMAN KRUL: Yes. This will make more sense in a couple of minutes here.
Noise and Construction. I know NIOSH has been extremely interested in doing that. Joe, I think that's a natural thing for the carpenters.
MR. DURST: Yes.
CHAIRMAN KRUL: James?
MR. AHERN: I'm interested, but I would be more interested if you're going to set up a tower workgroup.
CHAIRMAN KRUL: We will at the end.
MR. AHERN: Okay. Then I'll wait.
CHAIRMAN KRUL: Okay.
DR. SWEENEY: Mr. Chairman, I think it would have been -- really, I'm sorry that we didn't hear from either Jim or Mike from OSHA staff on the progress of their --
CHAIRMAN KRUL: Noise and construction.
DR. SWEENEY: -- AMPR. So at some point can we get some status of where things are? It's kind of been -- I don't know where we are. Then I think we need to know what OSHA needs from us, because we did have a couple of meetings.
We sort of got the people up to date on it and then everything stopped. So, I'd really like to know where we are, and at least maybe OSHA could just write us a few sentences, send it out in an e-mail, to give us an update on what the status is.
MR. SWANSON: Sure. There's probably a couple of ways of handling this, Bob and Marie. We can do it in writing. We can have the subcommittee sit down with those folks who would have reported today had they been here and get a little more interactive exchange than just a couple of written paragraphs. Whatever you need, we will work on making happen.
DR. SWEENEY: Okay.
CHAIRMAN KRUL: That was a very compelling presentation that was made by your colleague, I believe, at the last ACCSH meeting. This is an issue that's been discussed numerous times in our Building Construction Safety and Health Committee.
The reason is, those of us who are over a certain age and long in tooth are all going "eh" every time somebody says something, and it's from exposure to noise. The common thread is from years of being exposed to very high-decibel noises and it's just something that, again, with the evidence there --
I think the solutions are non-economically destructive for employers. They're very simple to implement. The technology keeps increasing for things available to protect workers' hearing on the job site.
I would encourage you to use the center. The laborers and Scott Schneider have done a lot of work on trying to get a draft standard to give you some guidance. I suggest that may be part of your --
DR. SWEENEY: Absolutely.
CHAIRMAN KRUL: Okay.
OSHA Form 170. Jane, we're done with that.
MS. WILLIAMS: Yes.
CHAIRMAN KRUL: That one's gone. Okay.
Training. Owen and Bill, again, are gone. Frank, are you expressed an interest in training. Greg.
MR. DURST: What is this?
CHAIRMAN KRUL: I'm assuming this is safety and health training. Is that not what this workgroup was set up for, training?
MR. DURST: Training, as in 1926.21, Training.
MS. WILLIAMS: The last motion on it was for consideration of OSHA to mandate 10-hour training.
MR. SWANSON: What is the sense of this committee as to the issue of training, or lack thereof, in the construction community?
MR. DURST: Is this the OSHA 10-hour Training Subcommittee?
CHAIRMAN KRUL: That is a direction that Mr. Rhoten took with the last committee and he felt very strongly about that. But the underlying issue--and the judge will be whatever the chair wants it to be--is, what are the needs of the construction industry for training, what with the language difficulties and the turnover between employers, et cetera, and what could we/should we, as an Agency, be doing in addressing that that we're not now doing?
CHAIRMAN KRUL: To put your mind at ease at the mandated 10-hour program, with all due respect to my good union brother at the United Association who is no longer a member of this committee, it generated such philosophical differences about who thought what should and should not be as far as mandating, saying to the Federal Government, you have got to have an OSHA 10-hour program or similar in order to set foot on a construction site, I don't know if that's where you're going, but --
MR. DURST: No, no.
CHAIRMAN KRUL: Okay.
MR. DURST: That's not where I'm going. That's not what created -- this, in fact, is the subcommittee dealing with the OSHA 10-hour business. That subcommittee was created to address the issue of the feasibility of having an OSHA 10-hour card that was imbedded within a registration form that both the card and the registration form were then serialized, and that OTI would print millions of these.
They would give 50,000 to the National Resource Center and 50,000 to Tom. Tom then would give trainers 100 of them. He would know where these numbers were. The only difference to OTI, is that in the list of students, it would go: name, card number, address. Then OTI would have accountability for OSHA 10- and 30-hour cards, which they don't now.
CHAIRMAN KRUL: If the general training -- and I'm not denying that that may have been the focus of what that training workgroup was. I admit to, one year later, not remembering whether it was or it wasn't. But I don't think there's anything here limited -- Mike, you had your hand up. Go ahead.
MR. BUCHET: If it please the Chair, Michael Buchet from the Directorate of Construction, former ACCSH member and a participant on that committee.
One of the questions that has come up with people who provide 10- and 30-hour training, is that there is no accountability for the documentation that is given to the worker they've taken the card. The card can be reproduced, and there's no way to prove that it is a good one or a bad one.
One of the things that we talked about with representatives of OTI, was how you could get property control on the cards that are handed out saying you have had a 10-hour course or a 30-hour course, very much what Mr. Durst talked about.
CHAIRMAN KRUL: Okay. And I'm not being argumentative. If that is one of the charges of that workgroup, so be it, and let it be that way. Then Joe will probably want to be a member of it.
My point was, and Bruce was getting to them, under the general heading of training, that doesn't mean other issues having anything to do with training can't be addressed by that workgroup.
MR. BUCHET: And certainly more were addressed.
CHAIRMAN KRUL: Yes.
MS. WILLIAMS: Mr. Chairman, one of the meetings that we had with OTI and Ziggy, the committee addressed some of these issues, Joe, with them. Since then, because I've recently completed a 10-hour on construction, they are numbering and they no longer give you the extra 20 blanks.
You only get one or two that you will be held accountable for as an instructor. So, I just sent off, like, a class of 40 and I got 42 numbered. They are controlled now, so they have started that process.
CHAIRMAN KRUL: I know this took place to interject your thoughts on the OSHA 10-hour card.
MR. BRODERICK: Well, I'll get to that in just a second. But the other thing that's about to happen with the ed. centers, and I don't know completely the mechanics of it, but I know in the recompete that we were told that, as ed. centers, we were now going to be responsible for the dissemination of the 10- and 30-hour cards to the instructors that the ed. center created. No longer were they going to be coming from OTI. That's just kind of an aside.
The other thing that I wanted to bring up, and I have some rationale for it, is the OSHA cards that we give a the end of a 10- and 30-hour have no expiration date on them. I know that this has been beaten about ad nauseam.
I think there was some resistance on the part of OSHA some years ago, especially when the Train the Trainer course was only offered at OTI, so the idea of having an expiration date was not very popular.
But now that we have ed. centers, multiple ed. centers in all of the regions, it would seem to me that it would be prudent to have an expiration date, perhaps, that would track with the four years with the instructors.
I had a situation in the last two weeks where we were doing a class, and I had a fellow proudly display to me his green OSHA card that he had gotten back in 1974 and said, is this still good? Well, there are several answers to that. Technically, it hasn't expired, but that which he learned in 1974 probably bears very little to what he would learn today.
So I am not really aware of the process that this committee would have to go through to make that recommendation, and I don't know whether the people around this table agree that that would be a good thing to do. But I was hoping we could discuss that.
CHAIRMAN KRUL: I would suggest that be assigned to this very workgroup for discussion.
Mr. Durst and Mr. Migliaccio? I'd like to have a couple of management representatives. Greg?
MR. STRUDWICK: Right. Yes.
CHAIRMAN KRUL: Anyone else?
MR. STRUDWICK: And to respond to your analysis or your comment, is that 10-hour--and this is the way that we present is--is that it's an introduction to the standards. It really doesn't get real comprehensive.
So, you know, to say that that card needs an expiration date, there's really no criteria. There's no test at the end, that kind of thing. You'd just better do all your 10-hour for the standard that you're looking at.
If we're going to do something like that, I think that the workgroup can discuss that and come up with a comprehensive analysis of the end result, in other words, a test that could qualify the 10-hour. Then it could be redone, just like the 502.
MR. BRODERICK: The 10-hour card is just attesting that the person has gone through 10 hours of hazard awareness training.
MR. STRUDWICK: That's it. As an introduction.
MR. BRODERICK: But, having said that, the 10-hour card has now become a benchmark that owners are using to determine whether a worker can or can't, or a supervisor can or can't be on a job. It's becoming used for other things.
So if that is, indeed, the reality, then I think that a person who is able to get on a site using that as a credential, that would, in and of itself, speak to the reason why it shouldn't be allowed to be more than four years old.
MR. STRUDWICK: And I agree with that, to the point that performance is going to dictate that. In other words, Brand Sant, with ARTBA, came up with a 10-hour that's directed at the work zone safety program.
MR. BRODERICK: Right.
MR. STRUDWICK: In that one, that probably has the criteria at the end that judges the performance of the individual that took it. But initially, and now, it's up to the instructor. There is no typical criteria or curriculum for each of those hours.
CHAIRMAN KRUL: Joseph? Go ahead.
MR. DURST: Mr. Chairman, for the 10 hours and the 30-hour courses, OSHA certainly dictates 6 hours of the 10 hours you're going to teach, and 24 of the 30 hours you're going to teach.
CHAIRMAN KRUL: Sure.
MR. DURST: And the problem--and I agree with Tom wholeheartedly--is one of our millwright or construction carpenter contractors says to the hall, I want 30 guys, and they have to have an OSHA 10-hour card. Many of our contractors are starting to say that. Nobody's going to go to work for me unless you have an OSHA 10-hour card. So the 30 guys show up.
Five of their cards are dated in 2002, some are dated in 2000, and half of them are dated in 1985, is all the further back you've got to go to miss fall protection, respiratory protection, recordkeeping, steel erection, scaffolds, all new standards.
So, the guy goes out there with no idea. The 6' rule, no idea. Ten foot rule, no idea. No body belt any more, except for positioning. All these things that are very, very basic.
When that worker walks on the job with that card before 1985, he hasn't got a clue. Those are all things that really would be taught in the OSHA 10-hour course because they're all part of the mandatory subjects that OSHA says you have to teach.
CHAIRMAN KRUL: Well, again, let's save those debates for the workgroup and bring recommendations back to the ACCSH committee for presentation to the Assistant Secretary for dealing with them.
Process Safety Management. Kevin, refresh my memory. Oh, I'm sorry.
MS. WILLIAMS: One other item for that group to consider and evaluate to give back to us, is the training of a temporary workforce on the construction site. Those temporary numbers are increasing. We all know the legal answer, but I think we should ask that committee to address that, in particular. It's a problem for us.
VOICE: Good idea.
CHAIRMAN KRUL: Refresh my memory on process safety management.
MR. BEAUREGARD: I wish I could. It was never made clear to me what the intent of that committee was. I know that there is a Process Safety Standard in general industry.
CHAIRMAN KRUL: Right.
MR. BEAUREGARD: And I don't know if the intent was to see if we should have an applicable one in construction or what exactly it was.
CHAIRMAN KRUL: Go ahead, Jane.
MS. WILLIAMS: Originally, it was assigned to Danny Evans, and I assisted him in a couple of meetings that David and I had from Danny. I provided it to Kevin ages ago, via Bruce's shop.
As far as the -- the incident that happened at a chemical plant and it was exactly that, to evaluate how it would be, or should it be, addressed in detail within the construction because of the number of construction activities going on within the textile plants, the Texaco's, the Chevron's, and did we need to do something because of the textile plants.
MR. BEAUREGARD: Well, I think the Process Safety Standard itself is applicable to contract work in --
CHAIRMAN KRUL: It is, for maintenance work.
MR. BEAUREGARD: -- industrial plants, and that's why I was kind of confused as to --
CHAIRMAN KRUL: And normally that's a requirement of a plant owner. If the standard already exists, the enforcement -- well, let's keep it open.
MR. BOOM: Jim Boom, Directorate of Construction. It did appear in the Federal Register a couple of years ago for some changes. I don't know exactly where standards are right now with that. So you could do away with it, and if there's a need --
CHAIRMAN KRUL: Reestablish it later.
MR. SWANSON: I don't believe that it is on the reg. agenda for general industry. It is certainly not on our reg. agenda. I don't think you have to think of make-work projects for this committee.
CHAIRMAN KRUL: No, no. There's plenty as it is right now. So let's eliminate, at least for now, the Process Safety Management. If it pops back up, we'll reestablish. So, you're off the hook, Kevin.
MR. BEAUREGARD: I appreciate it.
CHAIRMAN KRUL: Safety and Health Program Standard. Ms. Williams has volunteered to take Mr. Rhoten's place on that. If there's anyone else who's interested -- David?
MR. BEAUREGARD: I'll sit on that if you need an extra person.
CHAIRMAN KRUL: Kevin. Good.
And the Sanitation Standard. Again, Ms. Williams is acting as an advisor to the Directorate at this time.
State Plan States. I've looked in the minutes. I think I made that assignment -- it would probably be -- I know John O'Connor couldn't be with us today, more than likely because of the weather between here and Baltimore. But, Kevin, I think it would be proper if you and John just --
MR. BEAUREGARD: As I recall, this is another one I wasn't entirely clear on what the goal was. I remember Ellen talking to the group at one point about, it would be nice if there could be some commonality among states, particularly in regards to, like, licensing asbestos workers, et cetera. I talked to Ellen at length about that, and I also talked to ASHBA about that.
The problem, is in every state, those places are housed in different organizations. Like, North Carolina, licensing asbestos isn't even within the Department of Labor.
S,o if that was the intent of that group, and I've got unanimous consent from the ASBHA group that they weren't interested in delving into that, but, I mean, I'll be glad to stay on that committee. But I'm not sure what we're going to do there.
CHAIRMAN KRUL: Well, I think you're right. I think the initial intent for forming that was to do exactly what you said. But everyone understood that all these licensing mechanisms that exist in the states are different because they're profit and money generators for the people who do this.
That would be a perfect world if we could have the portability of everyone going across lines of the 48 contiguous states, and Alaska and Hawaii, and not have to deal with individual regulations.
In fact, I think the argument came here that a contractors in the District of Columbia has to get licensing on asbestos removal, has to get licensing from the District of Columbia, some people from the Commonwealth of Virginia, and some of those people from the State of Maryland all do the same work.
That, I think, was the intent of looking at how state plan states could streamline on some safety and health issues. So I would just say leave it open with you and John, and as those issues arise --
MR. SOTELO: I'd like to be part of that.
CHAIRMAN KRUL: Okay.
MR. SOTELO: I come from a state plan.
CHAIRMAN KRUL: Sure.
MR. BEAUREGARD: And there are bound to be other issues regarding different state plans, but I think that particular issue, we wouldn't make much headway on because we don't have the right members here to deal with it.
CHAIRMAN KRUL: Right.
MR. DURST: Bob, I'll be on that committee.
CHAIRMAN KRUL: On that committee as well? Okay. All right.
On the Tower Erection, Construction/Fall Protection, Fatalities, Injuries. Jim Ahern expressed some interest in that, and I had passed a note to Stew earlier this morning.
I will reach out to the two individuals as former workers in the communication tower field. But, in fairness, I'm going to have Stew reach out to the National Association of Tower Erectors and at least extend an invitation to them. I don't mean to make this the Spanish inquisition or a kangaroo court, but i think the debate, at least, needs to be carried forth.
There were a couple of good suggestions that came out of Kevin, as I mentioned earlier, about looking at FCC licensing, and FAA licensing. We can find out where these towers are being put up, even though they are short-term jobs. So, James, you'd like to be on that. Frank.
Kevin, you want to be on that just for --
MR. SOTELO: Mr. Chairman, I don't think you're going to have to issue any subpoenas. If NATE knows that this committee is interested in the subject, you can't keep them away.
CHAIRMAN KRUL: Okay. I'm looking at it strictly from a matter of fairness. I have heard these two employees and they're pretty indicting of the industry. I just think it would be fair if the industry had the opportunity to be here to respond.
MR. BEAUREGARD: NATE has been very active in our work with the --
CHAIRMAN KRUL: Yes. Mike?
MR. SOTELO: Mr. Chairman, is there any possibility of getting owners there as well? Because, I mean, really, that's where the problem is. If you can get the Williams, the MCIs, and the people that are paying for these towers to go up and tell them that they're going for the low bidder, as you put it, and this is what's causing these people not to be diligent enough to provide workplace safety, that would serve to the crux of the problem. But are they part of our agenda?
CHAIRMAN KRUL: Well, I don't disagree with you. The reason I'm wincing, is every time we deal with owners --
MR. SOTELO: Is it difficult?
CHAIRMAN KRUL: No. I don't mean, we, ACCSH. I mean, in construction. If it's a brand-new construction site, or even more importantly, if it's something in the maintenance field where you're walking onto an owner's property, you, that contractor, and his employees are guests in somebody's facility. I'm just a little uneasy about trying to tell an owner how he should be running his business.
MR. SOTELO: No. I understand that. In the State of Washington, there's a number of --
CHAIRMAN KRUL: But we'd love to.
MR. SOTELO: There's a number of large owners that have a criteria to do work for them as far as workplace safety, low experience factors under one, a number of different things.
CHAIRMAN KRUL: Yes.
MR. SOTELO: I was just wondering if it was at all possible to -- maybe the larger corporations, like MCR, some of these owners that would be willing to be a little bit more diligent when it comes to -- I mean, it might be worth asking the question.
CHAIRMAN KRUL: Well, I mean, the publicity goes far. It has to be negative for everybody involved, including the owners. I mean, I'm not adverse to bringing them in there.
I'm just wondering, would it be more proper if the Directorate of Construction Department notified some of these companies that on such and such a date there's going to be a discussion regarding serious problems in the construction of communication towers in your industry?
MR. SWANSON: Here's what I would suggest. DOC will work with the co-chairs of this workgroup, and NATE, and whoever else can help us put together a reasonably accurate and short mailing list of owners.
Then on DOC letterhead and over my signature, we can put out a letter that there is going to be such a workgroup subcommittee of this committee dealing with this subject at such a time and such a place, and here are some of the people that will be coming in to testify, and would you please be willing to participate in this discussion? My guess is, they or their lawyers would be there.
MR. BEAUREGARD: Mr. Chairman, North Carolina has a mailing list that has many of those people on there, and I'll be glad to provide that.
CHAIRMAN KRUL: Good. If you would provide it, that would be great. Okay.
Last, but certainly not least, I know while I was gone--and I thank Jane for doing that in her capacity with President Sullivan of the Building Trades' comments regarding silica.
Again, knowing this is on the agenda for OSHA to set a standard, I'd like to have, especially on this committee, a really good balance of all the members of this committee.
The Bricklayers International has already done a tremendous amount of work in developing a standard. Now, I don't mean that I want the bricklayers standard to come in here and everybody to rubber stamp it and say it's great.
I want you to tear it apart, look at it, see what's workable from this committee's employer/employer members and members of the public who wish to belong to this.
What we want to do, is because the evidence for the problems with silica, I think, is so overwhelming and so compelling, that they get pushed up on an even more rapid pace on the agenda of OSHA for development of a standard.
There are experts, again, available from the Center to Protect Workers' Rights. The folks from the Bricklayers would be happy to participate in this. As I said, the standard is already there so it's more or less using that as a template, looking at the information that's there, and seeing if this committee can come together, as you did with cranes, with a workgroup report and a recommendation back to the Secretary about a standard that -- of course, it will always go to OSHA and it's going to get worked around anyway, but it would be nice if this committee could do the same thing that we do with cranes on a very, very crucial issue.
James, I think you've got a vested interest in the Silica Committee, doing roadwork. I'd like to see you on it. I've asked Jane to chair it.
I'm asking that this one be based on President Sullivan's comments, that it is important. NIOSH has done a tremendous amount of work with this. You're the solicitor. I'm sitting here, get me out of jail.
MR. BOOM: I should point out, the Assistant Secretary addressed that this morning.
CHAIRMAN KRUL: Right. Workgroups can get formed as a result of discussions amongst the members of the committee, and with suggestions that come from the chair and from the committee.
MR. DURST: You did it when you set up the workgroup for the training, or whatever this thing is called, a year and a half ago.
CHAIRMAN KRUL: If you're asking me, am I exercising the prerogative of the Chair to push a workgroup to get silica, yes. But the reason is, is because this is already a high priority for OSHA.
What we're attempting to do, is make it an even higher priority by taking this workgroup, hopefully getting a standard out again, just like cranes did, and come up with a workgroup report, a scope, and a standard for OSHA to consider in pushing this agenda forward.
It's not because this is serendipitous or it's a scheme that the Building Trades just wants us to go through. The evidence is there regarding silicosis and the dangers for silica to workers. I mean, some of the draconian practices that are still done by our people.
Again, I'm offering this expertise because the Bricklayers can show the collective bargaining agreements that have already been entered into, and employers recognize what their liability can be, much like the asbestos issue, if people are continued, and just in a very, very short period of time, necessity being the mother of invention.
All of the types of equipment used to cut blocks of terrazzo and tile have all of a sudden come up with these really inexpensive methods of capturing fumes, or using wet methods.
MR. SWANSON: Mr. Chairman, I believe you're testifying.
CHAIRMAN KRUL: Am I testifying?
MR. SWANSON: We'll have you come to the first meeting.
It is your prerogative, at least historically the way we've done business here. You ask for volunteers and/or names of members of this committee to serve on workgroups and report back to this committee. We've never elected them or, by a motion, put them in.
This particular one is a click-off from past business, but it's only a click and it shouldn't cause anybody any problem. But the normal interface that you have with OSHA is my office, the Directorate of Construction. We put out safety standards for the construction industry. This is not one of those.
This standard, which is under development at the present time in OSHA already, is coming from another directorate. That does not prevent this group from having a workgroup, bringing in the public, commenting on silica in the construction community, and holding edifying discussions.
I would assume that the other directorate will make sure that it is present at those meetings and get whatever it can from it, particularly because they know the bottom line is, because it impacts the construction industry, they're going to have to come back here and face this committee with their proposed standards. So, I suspect a unique level of cooperation from them.
CHAIRMAN KRUL: Joe, you a point? Oh, I'm sorry. James, go ahead.
MR. AHERN: Does the other directorate have a workgroup?
MR. SWANSON: No.
MR. AHERN: Okay.
CHAIRMAN KRUL: Joe?
MR. DURST: I was only going to put out, in your nifty blue book guidance, it says that the chairman should appoint.
But, in light of what Bruce just said, even though there's this other ongoing thing in the Agency dealing with this issue of silica, it doesn't mean that this committee, which can do whatever it wants as long as it's not illegal, immoral, or improper, develop presentations to the Directorate of Construction or to the Assistant Secretary for a silica standard for the construction industry and be a construction industry-specific standard.
CHAIRMAN KRUL: Okay.
Knowing that you're not going to have to bring me cigars with beer in jail, I've got Jane, James Ahern, Marie, Joe, Greg.
DR. SWEENEY: It's my impression that we will work closely with the folks from Health Standards in working on this. Can a standard that covers 1910 also cover 1926?
MR. SWANSON: Can a standard?
DR. SWEENEY: Yes.
MR. SWANSON: Can it? Sure.
DR. SWEENEY: Okay.
MR. SWANSON: It's a question of the promulgation of said standard and the notice system following.
DR. SWEENEY: Fine. Fine. I just don't want to be re-inventing the wheel. If they're proposing language, we want to make sure that they do cover us, and it covers us appropriately.
MR. SWANSON: Yes. And I am not trying to be overly cute here. I simply cannot commit the resources of another directorate to attend any meetings. It is my sincere guess that they will want to be part of anything that's going on.
CHAIRMAN KRUL: Joe?
MR. DURST: But, Mr. Chairman, I look at the issue of silica like I look at the issue of asbestos. The activities dealing with asbestos in the construction industry, the installation, removal, the demolition, the spill clean-up, emergency response, all those things being construction activities, and the manufacturer of asbestos-containing materials being general industry, those are two separate worlds.
Now you've got silica and you've got drilling blasts, scoring, boring, cutting, sawing, and all these construction activities. Then over here you've got general industry, silica sand, boundaries, and all these other fine things, that one could really envision two separate standards instead of giving construction some little niche, by, oh, by the way, there are these folks out there called construction who also do certain activities.
CHAIRMAN KRUL: Marie, you wanted five minutes at the end of the meeting.
DR. SWEENEY: Yes. I don't want to take any more time. I'm fading, and I'm sure other people are, too. I'm sorry.
CHAIRMAN KRUL: No, go ahead.
MR. AHERN: Could I get one more point in about this subcommittee on silica? If I understood the lady that made the comments, she said whatever that acronym is for submitting a proposed standard to small business was going to occur this summer.
DR. SWEENEY: SBREFA.
MR. AHERN: Well, whatever it is. It sounds like they're far along with the proposed standard. Are we timely with our workgroup? Can we group together with them to ensure that they don't submit something that doesn't take construction into consideration?
MR. DURST: We are further along than you think.
DR. SWEENEY: Right. Right. Absolutely.
MR. SWANSON: You want to hear the rest of Bob's testimony? No, I'm sorry.
CHAIRMAN KRUL: No. No, you don't.
MR. SWANSON: It really is a valid, valid question, Jim. We did not, for the past two years, have a workgroup of ACCSH working with Health Standards. We still might not have a workgroup here working with Health Standards.
Health Standards has a mandate and they are well along on writing a standard for silica, regulating silica in the work environment. That does not prohibit this group from saying, hey, we want to have some discussions with the construction community about silica, and you apparently there are papers and proposed standards that other groups have done, and they can come in and make these presentations to the ACCSH workgroup.
Health Standards can have their experts come in and sit and listen to that testimony. I think it's a healthy exercise. If this body has an interest in the subject, it ought to pursue it. Is it two years too late? Maybe. But I can't get you those two years back. Boy, I'd love to be able to do that.
MR. AHERN: I guess what I'm looking for is maybe to slow them down a little bit so we get a bite at the apple.
MR. SWANSON: No, I'm not going down that road. Huh-uh.
MS. WILLIAMS: Mr. Chairman, while you were gone, one of the issues that I addressed with Dr. Schuman and Mr. Perry when they gave us their timeline and that they wanted to created guidelines first and proceed with their rulemaking for a summer SBREFA, was to work very closely with them early on and get it started.
So my intent would be to ask the Directorate via e-mail, or whatever we do, to allow our workgroup to begin to support them -- Dr. Schuman directs me to do so, and to say, what is your timeline and where do we fit into this picture, by what date, to do those guidelines first? Then I would get that information out to the interested people.
DR. SWEENEY: You and I can talk offline, but I talked with Bill Perry.
MS. WILLIAMS: Did you?
DR. SWEENEY: Yes. Yes.
MS. WILLIAMS: Okay.
CHAIRMAN KRUL: Okay. I interrupted you.
MR. MEDEROS: Would you put me on the Silica Committee?
CHAIRMAN KRUL: Sure. Manny Mederos, Silica. And Tom Broderick on Training. That dilutes the labor representation on training.
You wanted a couple of minutes.
DR. SWEENEY: Yes.
CHAIRMAN KRUL: And then we're going to do public comment, I promise.
DR. SWEENEY: There are a number of new members here, and I've told you I'm with the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health. We sit on ACCSH as representatives of the Department of Health and Human Services. I just wanted to explain a little bit about who NIOSH is as opposed to OSHA and why we are here in an advisory capacity to OSHA.
As everybody knows, OSHA is part of the Department of Labor and NIOSH is Department of Health and Human Services. We're both constructed under the Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970.
Our mandate is to do research, service, and we have a very, very small regulatory function, and I'll get that out of the way. It's mostly for certification of respirators, which I was talking about for assigned protection factors for respirators.
We also have recently been delegated the authority to certify personal protective equipment out of the Pittsburgh Research Lab, actually, the new National Personal Protective Laboratory out of Pittsburgh.
Then, also, we are required to develop exposure and health rules for compensating individuals who have been exposed to radiation in the federal facilities where radiation was an issue at hand, for Oak Ridge, Savannah River, Mounds --
We think of ourselves as complementary to OSHA. In fact, we provide the research by which they can found some of their regulations.
Then, also, we provide services. We have a web site, one in English, one in Spanish. We have an 800 number. We also have a variety of different publications. All of our publications are free and you can find them by going to our web site or calling the NIOSH 800 number.
One of our services -- and I don't know who put this in front of me, but this is our Health Hazard Evaluation Program. This is the description of the program, as well as the form. This is if you have a problem on the work site, and you can request that NIOSH come out. We're non-regulatory in this respect.
We can evaluate the work site, we can evaluate the problem, give you recommendations for those. The request has to come from management, an appropriate labor representative, or three current employees.
Another thing that we do relative to services, is we make recommendations. Those recommendations come out in the form of recommended exposure limits. Everybody knows about PELs, Permissible Exposure Limits, but we have recommendations, many of which are lower than the PEL. Then, also, our IDLH values, Immediately Dangerous to Life and Health.
If you have any questions about NIOSH or our services, this is just three minutes of explanation. I can probably fill up an hour and give you more. But, again, our publications are free. All you have to do is call them for them.
The publications list is on the web site. If you want more information about NIOSH, this is just a little summary. Actually, it's kind of a draft. I think we're coming out with a newer and better-looking format. If you want more, just give me a call.
CHAIRMAN KRUL: Thank you, Marie.
MR. DURST: Just a quick plug for -- . The Health Hazard Evaluation Program does work. If you want a quick response -- I didn't see the question on here. There was a question on the other form that says, "Has NIOSH or any agency looked at this type of problem?"
Before, do your homework. Go to their list of health hazard evaluations on the web site. If it's contact dermatitis, there's one listed there. Go read it and see if it isn't the problem that you've got.
Then you'll get a much quicker response if you say, no, this is not the same as the HHE number -- because NIOSH isn't going to go look at it, probably. They're going to assign a doctor to it, and someone's going to call you in a week.
CHAIRMAN KRUL: We've had HHEs done by NIOSH over the years and they are very good at what they do, and very helpful.
DR. SWEENEY: Thank you.
CHAIRMAN KRUL: Jane?
MS. WILLIAMS: Mr. Chairman, at our orientation that we held yesterday with new members, Mr. Durst suggested an amendment to the advisory guidelines that were written by inserting a statement that the DFO would designate an individual to respond to personal emergency medical needs of the members or stakeholders in attendance at these meetings.
That was very well received by everyone and, with your permission, I would like to get some wording and have Joe, if you feel comfortable with it, bring that back to the next meeting as revised advisory committee guidelines.
CHAIRMAN KRUL: Without objection. Okay.
CHAIRMAN KRUL: Okay. The public comment period, at least. Who would like to be first? Please come up to the microphone and identify yourself and who you are with.
MR. GLUXMAN: My name is Dan Gluxsman with the International Safety Equipment Association. We are an association whose members are companies that make, obviously, safety equipment: respirators, hard hats, fall protection, other things that have been discussed here.
I wanted to briefly talk about an outreach program to the construction industry that ISEA has begun. It's known as the Partnership for Worker Protection.
What's being passed around now is, I guess, the key little nugget of this outreach program which, as you can see on the inside, there's a sort of little calculator, as we call it, that underscores the value of actually using safety equipment.
Certainly, as we all know, compliance in construction has some issues. We've been doing some surveys to gauge which types of safety equipment have higher usage rates and which ones have lower rates.
The outreach program, overall, has kind of three components to it. There's direct outreach to construction companies and end users. My colleagues are down in Orlando at the ARTPA conference that was mentioned here a little bit earlier.
There's a texts newsletters and items like this that we're sending out to about 3,000 construction influentials. Some of you may be on that, some of your colleagues may already be on it.
A third way that we're doing this outreach program is maybe a more passive approach, which is just putting up a booth at various shows, for example, at the ConAg Expo.
We noticed that, as certain manufacturers of, say, cutting equipment were demonstrating their cutting equipment, the demonstrators didn't have on any personal protective equipment, no hearing protection, no respiratory protection, no eye protection.
We started giving out safety equipment, and now we're coming up with essentially a safety equipment kiosk at the welding and some other large shows where equipment for cutting or other construction equipment is being demonstrated, to make sure that those who are actually doing the demonstrations are working safely.
That's the crux of what I wanted to say. I did want to say that ISA would be happy to work with any workgroups here to help with outreach or use and selection of equipment, for example, in the fall protection category, once a standard is developed, how to get the word out. We'd be happy to help facilitate essentially getting the word out on the various work products that this group is doing.
Let me share one or two little nuggets with you on silica. As we did a survey, one of the questions was respiratory protection, is it used. Someone wrote back saying, no, because the wind blows the dust away. There are some perceptions like that that we're trying to correct as well.
We are also doing a little bit of outreach with insurance companies. I know we've talked to CNA, Liberty Mutual, and St. Paul, and we're hoping to work with insurance companies as well. And that's about it.
CHAIRMAN KRUL: Thank you. We appreciate you coming and taking the time.
MR. GLUXMAN: Sure.
CHAIRMAN KRUL: Is there someone else in the back there? There were at least two or three people who wanted to speak.
CHAIRMAN KRUL: No. Anyone else?
CHAIRMAN KRUL: Jim, you were out of the room and I made a note. I've got all kinds of hieroglyphic scribbling over here on these assignments to the workgroups.
MR. BOOM: I think I have them.
CHAIRMAN KRUL: Okay.
Would you make those available through the e-mail?
MR. BOOM: Yes. Yes.
CHAIRMAN KRUL: Okay.
MR. BOOM: After the meeting we'll go over this.
CHAIRMAN KRUL: Okay.
And once you get it, again, if you want to go on it or if you want to come attend it when the notification goes out for the -- you know what I didn't do, is appoint a chair or a leader for any one of these groups. I guess you guys can figure that out when you get there.
Well, whoever calls the meeting, like Jim used to do -- he was very, very good about posting that to all committee members. I suggest, for these workgroups, that if there is going to be a meeting called, or even if you're going to do it by teleconference or just by phone calls, that you let the rest of the folks know so that if there is any interest in a particular workgroup for somebody who didn't get appointed to it, there is by no means a restriction for any member of the committee not to attend any other workgroup.
CHAIRMAN KRUL: Is there any ACCSH business, given that it now appears that we have completed the agenda, or what was available on the agenda, for both days? I'm about to ask for a motion to finally adjourn. But is there anything that the ACCSH folks have to know from you guys? I don't know what "ACCSH Business is on here."
MR. MEDEROS: I have a question. Several things came up today on programs, partnership programs, silica, et cetera. Looking at state plans, which has become sort of an issue with me, and looking at how federal OSHA works out there, there's approximately half the states that are under state programs now.
Do we have an idea of what percentage of construction workers are covered under state plans versus under federal OSHA? I'm in an area now where we service five states, and at least three of them are under state plans.
I'm just wondering, looking at construction workers out there, if an organization like the IBW has 300,000 construction workers, how many of them are really covered under federal OSHA.
MR. SWANSON: I don't have that, Manny, off the top of my head. I don't know, Kevin, if you've got a feel, if it's something that you've discussed at ASBA meetings or not.
MR. BEAUREGARD: I don't know the breakdown of the whole population of who's covered under federal OSHA in construction and who's covered under state OSHA.
MR. SWANSON: But we can work that out for you if that's an important issue. We'll get that.
CHAIRMAN KRUL: Joe?
MR. DURST: Well, Bruce, all the states in Region 9 are state plan states.
MR. SWANSON: Correct.
MR. DURST: And all of those states have some rules that are more stringent than federal OSHA. Not necessarily applying to construction, but somewhere in their makeup of rules they are different, and most of them have the rules codified differently as in divisions, or chapters, or something else.
The other states that have more stringent rules, generally -- Michigan is a state plan state, and Kentucky, from my experience, and then most everybody else simply takes the federal standard and puts "State of Indiana OSHA," boom, 1926. 29 CFR 1926, the same numbering system, the whole bit.
MR. SWANSON: California does not do that.
MR. MEDEROS: California does not do that.
MR. DURST: California, Hawaii, New Mexico, Nevada, Oregon, Washington, and Alaska all have different systems.
MR. SWANSON: Right.
MR. MEDEROS: I guess my problem is a different problem. Therein lies the problem in Region 9. Where a state doesn't just simply adopt and put a stamp on the OSHA regulations, they rewrite it. It doesn't provide the same level of protection in all matters. They had to file three -- in a short period of time because of that.
So I was just wondering, on the whole, how many people are covered under state, and are they really covered under total protection of the federal program, or is it some of the states just simply adopting it?
MR. BEAUREGARD: The other issue there with state plan states, is there's 26 states that have some type of state plan program, but they're not all the same. Some states have a comprehensive program with consultation, compliance, and education and training. Other states take care of the public sector. Other states take care of one of those components.
So, it's not as simple as -- you may actually be in a state where, on the consultative side, the federal OSHA requirements are applicable, and on the compliance side -- so it's not that simple.
I mean, I can provide, or Bruce can provide, the state plan states and the number of construction workers, according to BLS statistics, that are in those states. I don't know if that will answer your questions for you.
MR. SWANSON: My guess is that the state plan states that have regulatory authority probably cover 40 to 50 percent of the construction workers in this country. Just slightly under half, would be my guess.
MR. MEDEROS: That would be fine.
CHAIRMAN KRUL: Does anybody else have any other thing that they need to raise, new business, old business?
MR. BEAUREGARD: I have one quick thing. I noticed on the agenda that there are six or seven members of the council whose terms expire today. Can you fill us in on -- because we just went through all the subcommittees, but a number of those people may or may not be here.
MR. SWANSON: What would you like from me, Kevin?
MR. BEAUREGARD: Where are we in the process of that? Are there reappointments getting ready to come out or is that something that's still under consideration?
MR. SWANSON: Reappointments are not on the verge of coming out. This committee, unlike the other advisory committees, because this committee pre-dates the OSHA Act, the language governing this committee says that you continue to serve until a replacement is named, even if your term has expired, or at least you're free to continue. You know, we've outlawed slavery.
But in the past, those of you that were reappointed last August know that it went several long months before you knew whether you were going to be reappointed or not.
My feeling is, because of questions being asked by this administration of my office for information regarding people, is that they intend to act much more quickly this time. But they don't answer to me, it's the other way around.
Kevin, you have the same system in your state. My guess is, shortly after the first of the year, they will give us seven names, some of whom will be reappointments and some of whom will be new names. But I have no handle on that, sir.
MR. BEAUREGARD: All right.
CHAIRMAN KRUL: Do we have any inkling as to when the next meeting may be, a general idea?
MR. SWANSON: My recommendation to this body would be to work with what's convenient for you, anticipate that you are back on a schedule of four meetings a year. You schedule a meeting and go forward with it and I will notify my superiors what your plans are. If they take exception to that, I'll have to get back to you, Bob.
But let's just go ahead, plan on a meeting three months from now if that's what works well for you. I would anticipate that it is more likely that we're going to have to move the next meeting sooner to meet some standards needs, because this guy is very, very serious about meeting those standards dates that he has.
So you are not, realistically, going to go another year without a meeting, so just plan on three months, what works for you, what works with your time schedules, and let the world try and move around you instead.
CHAIRMAN KRUL: Joe?
MR. DURST: Mr. Chairman, I would make a motion that the Directorate of Construction inform the Assistant Secretary that this committee would like to meet in February in conjunction with the Construction Safety Council's conference, either before or after it. It's in Chicago. It draws a large number of construction people to that event.
CHAIRMAN KRUL: Joe, that's the one at the Rosemont Center?
MR. DURST: Yes. Which is in February, 2003.
MR. BRODERICK: The 11th through the 13th.
CHAIRMAN KRUL: I have no problem with that. I'm looking for a second.
VOICE: I'll make the second.
CHAIRMAN KRUL: And let me go on a question, first. I'm speaking for your Agency now, and I probably shouldn't. There's always been a problem--it doesn't mean that Bruce can't carry it forward--with out-of-town meetings with budgets. We went through that and we were going to try to do Con Expo one year.
The advisory committees, just from a personal opinion, that I've always sat on, they always felt that it was good to get out to other parts of the country, especially for the public comment period and to let other people come see how advisory committees work and give them an opportunity to make public comments.
We've got the second, and I'll call for the question. But do you concur that budgetary constraints sometimes throw cold water on out-of-town ideas?
MR. SWANSON: I agree 100 percent that they sometimes do. It's going to be worse this time around. We are operating now, and for the foreseeable future, on a continuing resolution. We are led to believe that when we go to the 2002 budget, we're not going to like it much.
So it could well be that somebody is going to say we can't have it in Chicago. On the other hand, why don't we propose it and see?
CHAIRMAN KRUL: You had a question. Go ahead.
MR. DURST: Mr. Chairman, I don't disagree with what you said, I don't disagree with what Bruce said. But if you don't send the message to the Agency and the leadership that this committee would like to meet out of Washington, DC, out in the real world, have an opportunity for contractors and people in this business who maybe can't afford to fly to Washington, DC and be here for two days for this meeting, to get in contact with this committee so this becomes a get-in-touch-with-the-real-world-of-construction --
CHAIRMAN KRUL: I said that more for the new members than anything else, Joe, that don't get your hopes up only to have them dashed because of the budgetary constraints.
All those in favor, signify by saying aye.
(A chorus of ayes)
CHAIRMAN KRUL: Opposed, if any?
CHAIRMAN KRUL: Let's have that on the record and push that up as a recommendation to the Secretary. I think it's a great idea.
MR. BOOM: What are the dates again?
MR. BRODERICK: 11th, 12th and 13th of February. It's very close.
MR. AHERN: I want a clarification there. Are you saying it's during those days, or it's immediately before or immediately after those dates?
MR. BRODERICK: Those are the dates of the conference.
MR. BRODERICK: The third day of the conference is an all-day session, so Thursday and Friday -- doing this format Thursday, and then a half a day Friday, could still work.
VOICE: The 13th and 14th.
MR. BRODERICK: Right.
CHAIRMAN KRUL: Let's make the recommendation, whether we do it one full day like today, with a limited agenda, or we look at doing a complete day and a half. I think making the recommendation that it be held in conjunction with that is a great one. I mean, it's a super place, easy to get to right next to O'Hare Airport, and they do put on a really, really nice show. It's a great show.
Is there any other ACCSH business or anything anybody else needs to know?
CHAIRMAN KRUL: The Chair will entertain a motion for adjournment.
VOICE: So moved.
CHAIRMAN KRUL: Second?
CHAIRMAN KRUL: I think that's unanimous consent. Thank you all. Happy holidays. Safe journey home.
(Whereupon, at 4:53 p.m. the meeting was adjourned.)
C E R T I F I C A T E
This is to certify that the foregoing proceedings of a meeting of the Advisory Committee on Construction Safety and Health (ACCSH), U.S. Department of Labor, held on December 5, 2002, were transcribed as herein appears, and this is the original of transcript thereof.
WILLIAM J. MOFFITT
Official Court Reporter
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