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National Advisory Committee on Occupational Safety & Health
Minutes of September 13-14, 2000, Meeting
U.S. Department of Labor
Room N3437 A-C
The meeting of the National Advisory Committee on Occupational Safety and Health (NACOSH) was opened by Chair Byron Orton at approximately 9:06 am on Wednesday, September 13. Committee members introduced themselves to the public. Public Member Dan Hryhorczuk was unable to attend the meeting. Labor Member Mike Wright missed just the first day of the meeting. The minutes of the previous meeting (June 6) were accepted. About 40 members of the public were present for the opening of the meeting.
The following members were present:
In an opening statement, the Chair noted that since the committee had completed it's substantive study of the standards development process and submitted recommendations to both OSHA and NIOSH, that it was now ready to begin a review of some important training issues during the course of the next several meetings. He also welcomed NIOSH Chief of Staff and Acting Deputy Director Marilyn Fingerhut who was substituting for NIOSH Director Linda Rosenstock who had been called out of town at the last minute.
Dr. Fingerhut began her overview of NIOSH activities by mentioning that NIOSH was adding a second deputy and that the search to fill the two positions was underway. The Deputy Director for Management will be located in Atlanta and the Deputy Director for Program will be located in the Washington, D.C. With reference to upcoming events, Fingerhut mentioned the Health Care Workers Best Practices Conference scheduled for October 17-18 in Pittsburgh and the second National Occupational Injury Research Symposium (NOIRS) on October 17-19 which is also being held in Pittsburgh. She also asked members to hold open the date of June 27, 2001, for the NORA Symposium 2001 to be held at the Omni Shoreham Hotel in Washington, DC. Fingerhut mentioned that growing concern related to treated sewage sludge, and requests by worker representatives concerned about potential occupational exposure to pathogens at two sites, had prompted NIOSH to conduct two health hazard evaluations relating to biosolids. This led to the development of a Hazard Identification Bulletin which provides prudent recommendations for preventing potential adverse health effects in workers exposed to biosolids on the job. With regard to NORA, Fingerhut said that NIOSH's investment continues to rise and currently represents 34% of the NIOSH budget. In addition, in FY 2000 NORA also has eleven federal partners offering additional NORA funding opportunities. In conclusion she mentioned that NIOSH had been working with the HHS Secretary, Department of Energy and other lead agencies to coordinate the Administration position on the Thompson -Bingaman amendment to Senate Bill S2549 which would establish a federal workers' compensation program for DOE employees and contractors who have become ill from exposure to beryllium, radiation or other toxic substances while working at DOE nuclear weapons facilities.
OSHA Assistant Secretary Charles Jeffress started his update on OSHA activities by telling the committee how much he appreciated the work they had done on the standards development process. He added that the report contained some very thoughtful and useful recommendations that he was sharing with the Secretary of Labor, the Secretary and Deputy Secretary's staff and other departmental staff. He said that it was too soon to be able to report back specifically on which recommendations could be implemented, but that he hoped to have a fuller discussion with the committee at a later date. He mentioned the Federal Worker 2000 program that NIOSH had also been involved in, saying that OSHA had spent the better part of a year trying to shape the program in a way that the President would endorse, and that the fruits of this success were just becoming evident. With regard to the budget, Jeffress said that at this point both the House and the Senate had finally authorized the amount requested by the President, but that both Houses had also passed a rider prohibiting the release of an ergonomics standard during the next year which the President has announced he will not accept. Jeffress mentioned that OSHA's overall compliance level of inspections was about 1,000 inspections ahead of where they were at this time last year and that they were doing more site specific inspections which take twice as much time. Significant cases (fines of $100,000 or more) are running about the same as last year with the total expected to be just under 200. He added that the most recent BLS Fatality Data showed a slight reduction. In terms of standards activities, Jeffress said that Ergo was taking the bulk of available resources in both OSHA and the Solicitor's Office, as well as getting a lot of attention from the Secretary's Office. He said that OSHA had gotten a lot of thoughtful comments and suggestions for improvement of the rule and that they were working very hard to respond to the comments and suggestions. Jeffress said that work was continuing on steel erection and TB, but that work on recordkeeping was just about done. He said that work had been suspended on payment for personal protective equipment. Jeffress said that OSHA was working hard on an outreach plan for the agency that Pat Clark would be briefing the committee on the next morning. He also mentioned that the agency's Internet Expert Advisors had been selected as one of 25 finalists in the Ford Foundation's Innovations in American Government competition and that the 10 winners would be announced October 12. He concluded by saying that OSHA had recently awarded $8 million in grants for worker training and that they had also announced the availability of money for next year for more institutional support.
Hank Lick asked NIOSH about the status of the Chart Book. Marilyn Fingerhut responded that they expected it to be out by the end of October. Peg Seminario asked whether or not there was an existing group with representatives from OSHA, NIOSH and BLS to analyze the results of the various injury/illness/fatality statistical summaries when they are released. She emphasized the importance of such coordination. Charles Jeffress responded that there was not a regular group or task force that looked at the reports, but that individual groups did study the data carefully. Marilyn Fingerhut responded that she thought this was a very good suggestion. Tish Davis concurred with the importance of the suggestion adding that one of NIOSH's priorities was surveillance research. Peg Seminario asked OSHA to comment on the Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) being developed in conjunction with FAA related to the safety of flight attendants. Jeffress said that OSHA and FAA had signed an MOU and agreed to start by having a joint team review six OSHA standards for applicability. This will lead to the revision of the 1975 FAA document which will then be published in the Federal Register. Fingerhut added that NIOSH had an active research program underway with FAA and that they were studying: risk of cancer from cosmic radiation; ergonomics; and cabin airflow and ventilation in relation to infectious disease. Seminario added that the Flight Attendants had petitioned FAA in 1990 to adopt OSHA standards, but that she credited Charles Jeffress with trying to solve the problems.
Susan Board, Acting Associate Director for Extramural Programs at NIOSH, began her presentation on NIOSH Training and their Education and Research Centers, by citing the OSH Act which decrees that NIOSH should "conduct educational and informational programs directly or by grants, or contracts, to provide an adequate supply of qualified personnel to carry out the purposes of the OSH Act..." She listed the following categories of extramural training activities but concentrated on the last two: Agricultural Centers, International Training, Fellowships, Education and Research Centers (ERCs), and Training Project Grants. She continued by saying that although the Training Grant Program was started in 1972, the ERCs were not established until 1977 with major emphasis on interdisciplinary training. In 1986, the scope was expanded to include research training programs and the original disciplines were expanded to include nursing and medicine. In 2000, the scope was further expanded to support the training of health services researchers. ERC grants are awarded to academic institutions having at least two of four academic programs (occupational medicine, health nursing, safety and/or industrial hygiene), and one additional core component (occupational epidemiology, injury epidemiology, ergonomics, or toxicology). A second requirement is that they have a continuing education and outreach program, and a third requirement is that there be interdisciplinary interaction between the faculty and the trainees. Between 1977 and 1999 NIOSH ERC's conducted continuing education courses for over 415,000 occupational safety and health professionals. Total graduates during this period by program were: occupational medicine - 2,298; occupational health nursing - 938; occupational safety/ergonomics - 1,361; industrial hygiene - 4,331; and 1,770 in other related programs. A variety of workforce assessment studies have been conducted over the years with the latest being the just completed "Workforce Needs Assessment" by the Institute of Medicine.
Tish Davis asked about NIOSH's perspective as to its role with respect to worker education, mentioning that the ERC's focused primarily on professional training. Paul Schulte, also from NIOSH responded that on the next day's agenda he would talk about how NIOSH was increasingly looking at worker and employer training. Peg Seminario asked about the annual funding level and was told it was about $14 million, which represented 7-8% of their budget. She added that it would be very helpful to find out what percentage of the graduates actually go into the government because she is concerned that there may not be a sufficient number of qualified people available in the future. Nancy Lessin expressed her concern at the increasing number of behavior-based safety courses being included in ERC curricula and asked how often the ERCs are brought together for any kind of guidance. Susan Board responded that the ERC directors, the continuing education directors and the health nursing directors all meet at least annually in separate sessions. She offered to put this subject on their agendas for future discussion.
Margaret Carroll brought up the subject of the graying of the professional workforce and said that they were already beginning to have fewer applicants for each job. She asked if NIOSH was anticipating this pending shortfall and looking at enhancing the numbers of graduates from some of these institutions to fill the anticipated gap. Rosie Sokas responded by saying that one of the problems was that "anticipated" doesn't pay the rent, and that it is very difficult to convince students to go into fields where there is not currently a shortfall, even though there may well be one in 5-10 years. She added that Civil Service hiring regulations tended to discourage PhDs from entering the Federal Service. Bonnie Rogers added that, with regard to the ERCS, they do extensive needs assessments and then offer courses based on the results. Tish Davis commented that they were already unable to find the professionally qualified people they currently needed in the state public health agencies to conduct surveillance. Hank Lick said that he was familiar with three ERCs and that they were having difficulty getting students and, that from a look at employement opportunities posted at major conferences, it appeared that hiring was relatively flat right now. Nancy Lessin questioned how the needs assessments were conducted and wondered how many unions and how many safety and health managers had been surveyed.
Peg Seminario pointed out that there was a direct relationship between government regulatory activity and the demand for safety and health specialists. She pointed out that not many health standards had come out during the past ten years, but that with the release of the final standard on ergonomics the demand will skyrocket, making it necessary not just to look at current needs but to plan for what is on the horizon. She said that she thought that NIOSH needed to be the agency that asks the questions about future training needs, and that the combined demand created by an ergonomics standard and a safety and health programs standard, combined with the fact that within the next five years an unusually large number of professionally trained people would probably retire, the impact could be staggering. She said that in the labor unions, as in the government, she looks around and wonders who is going to be doing the work in five years, and there is no one there. She emphasized that she thought there was going to be a serious crisis. She added that the ERCs did not appear to be dealing with these issues and that perhaps NORA could serve as a vehicle for such studies that needed to look at the future rather than reflect the past. She said that she thought there ought to be a more integrated ERC program that was directed toward a larger goal than just training more "occ docs" and that there should be some requirement to give some service back to the government for providing the education. Rosie Sokas said that she agreed but that if the programs were not recruiting adequately to begin with, it becomes a more difficult problem. (Later in the day Susan Board supplied figures from a survey of 928 NIOSH supported ERC graduates which showed that 26% were in government, 52% in private industry, 19% in academia and 3% in other categories).
Bonnie Rogers mentioned that people really did not solely want the traditional mode of delivery of training -- moving somewhere to get the education which might mean giving up their job -- and that after the UNC Occupational Nursing Program implemented a distance learning program, the number of students applying skyrocketed. Hank Lick cautioned that he agreed that distance-learning had its place, but that some of the necessary hard science training required on-site training involving laboratory work, etc. He added that the traditional curriculum would also have to change to reflect changing issues.
In the afternoon a panel discussion focused on OSHA training programs, especially with regard to the training of Compliance Safety and Health Officers (CSHOs). The panel included Deputy Assistant Secretary Davis Layne, Director of the OSHA Training Institute Dr. Henry (Hank) Payne, and Ken Maglicic representing the AFGE National Council of Field Labor Lodges (NCFLL). In opening comments, Davis Layne said that there were many different types of training used by OSHA in addition to the formal training program which the panel would discuss. These included taking courses at local colleges, bringing in specialists on specific safety/health issues to address office and regional staff meetings, and sending staff to specialized courses outside the agency (such as DOE). Hank Payne gave an overview of the Office of Training and Education, how they are organized and how they develop the training programs that are used to train CSHOs. He also reviewed the training and education directive on compliance officer training that specifies the requirements for CSHO training. He said that they were using a systems appproach to training and that one of the things they had concentrated on recently was to formalize the course development process. They trained their staff on course development, the right way to do it, how to develop tests. He talked about the role of their development people. He said that when a new standard comes out, a new directive comes out, or a change in a directive comes out, they work with the national office to develop related training. The materials that are developed are used in a number of ways: for teaching, student handouts and references, accreditation, evaluation and compliance assistance. He added that it was his goal to get the Institute accredited by a third party association such as the North Central Association for Colleges and Schools, or the American Council on Education, because he thought it would help establish the credibility of their courses as well as increase the credibility of CSHOs. He said they were also going to start evaluating their courses based on the materials that are being developed which had not been done in the past. He said that they had developed a new "prototype tool kit" on powered industrial trucks for use by the new Compliance Assistance Specialist Team which included power point presentations, videotapes, fact sheets, compliance assistance tools and links to other websites where they could get more information.
Hank Payne mentioned that they had a total of 17 instructors (5 for construction, 7 for safety and 5 for health) who could not possibly be expert in every area that training is provided in and so they bring in specialists to augment this staff. Ken Maglicic added that the CSHOs found this addition of experts to be essential. Payne continued by saying that they currently provided training through 80 safety and health courses to: Federal and State compliance personnel, State consultation personnel, other Federal agencies' personnel, employers and workers. The number of students trained during FY 1999 totaled just under 5900. He added that about half of the training was done away from the Institute. In this respect, during the past year OSHA established a partnership with the Department of Energy's Hammer Training facility in Richland, Washington, that has the best facilities available anywhere. This facility makes it possible for students to participate in hands on training.
In describing compliance officer training, Hank Payne said that the training was governed by Directive 1.12A and covers new hires as well as experienced personnel and includes formal courses, self-study, and on-the-job training working with supervisors. New hires go through a developmental training period that lasts two years. The formal courses during the first year include: a two-week initial compliance course, a standards course, and one on inspection techniques and legal aspects. During the second year they take three additional courses: a cross-over course and two technical courses in their area of specialization. In answer to a question from Nancy Lessin as to whether all new hires actually got all of this training, Davis Layne responded that certain parts were absolutely mandatory, but that if they had hired a CSHO with 10-15 years safety and health experience, the training requirements would be modified somewhat. Both he and Payne acknowledged that resource problems occasionally impacted training schedules and that there was a natural tension between the front line supervisor trying to meet goals and the CSHO undergoing training. The post development period calls for CSHOs to attend one safety and health course every three years and one professional conference every two years. In response to a question from Peg Seminario on resources, Hank Payne said that approximately 68% of the budget for the Training Institute went to internal training of CSHOs.
Ken Maglicic then thanked the committee for inviting him to take part in the presentation and said that one of the things we needed to look at was the changing nature of the organization and what goes on out there on the front line. He said that with the introduction of the new "compliance assistant" positions, they were very interested in how this was going to affect area office operations. He said that the NCFLL also thought it was very important that they be involved with the steering committees that make recommendations on the training of compliance officers in general and that the development of technical specialists was extremely important. Maglicic described a union/management partnership committee that was set up in one of the regions to assist area and regional offices in identifying training needs and try to maximize the training budget by getting Institute staff to provide some spot training in certain areas of the region. The group would also act as a sounding board for new ideas and procedures under consideration. Davis Layne gave examples of other types of training provided to OSHA's staff such as training on computer systems, first aid, safe driving, etc. He said that OSHA looks for opportunities to partner with other institutions and cited Emory University's program to have occupational physicians spend part of their residency in OSHA and accompany CSHOs on inspections. He added that some of our CSHOs had gone through the Florida Power and Light training school. He complimented Hank Payne's accomplishments at the Training Institute and said that many improvements had been made since he became the Director.
During committee discussion with the panel, LaMont Byrd asked if the Institute had any formalized training process for improving the teaching skills of those responsible for the training classes. Hank Payne responded that they had a contract with a professional trainer of trainers. He said that they also team new instructors with experienced instructors for a year or so. Peg Seminario asked Ken Maglicic if there were problems for CSHOs in actually getting access to training especially in the post-developmental period. He said that because of resource shortages there was a continuing problem when front line supervisors were faced with giving up a resource for a certain period of time and still needed to meet operational goals. He said that the union felt good in Region 5 were he was located because they had been able to develop a partnership which has put on some local training and that the interaction between union and management to identify needs and resources had been excellent. He added that he thought a short 3-5 day annual review course should be developed that experienced inspectors could attend each year that updated them on all of the changes in standards, compliance directives and overall policies that had occurred during the year. He also said that he thought the development of more technical specialists would be of great benefit since they served as on-the-job trainers for less specialized staff. Davis Layne added that there was a natural tension between who received priority in training -- new hires versus experienced inspectors -- and that new hires usually won because of operational needs. Hank Payne pointed out that one of the reasons he had been hired was to develop distance learning technologies which will be implemented in the coming year. He said, however, that this would not solve all of the problems but could greatly increase access and timeliness.
Hank Lick asked if OSHA had an automated software system for tracking training records of all of its staff. The answer was: yes, the Institute and the regions had outdated informal manual systems; and no, they are just now setting up an automated tracking system that will be initiated later in the month. Hank Lick also asked about the "technical specialist" positions that had been mentioned. Davis Layne said that they were something new to the agency and were an opportunity for inspectors to advance beyond the journeyman level, and that on the management level they would be somewhat comparable to an assistant area director. He said that similar positions had existed to a limited extent in the regional offices but that OSHA intended to establish more in the area offices and that they would be selected by competitive process. Nancy Lessin asked how OSHA decides what courses to develop internally and which to contract out. Hank Payne responded that all of the Institute courses were developed internally but Davis Layne added that some of the National Office courses were contracted out and that the decision was made on a case-by-case basis. She asked specifically about the course to train CSHOs how to evaluate safety and health programs and Hank Payne said that they had developed the course internally and kept refining it. In answer to her request he promised to send her a copy of the curriculum and materials from the last time the course was taught. In answer to her question about the OSHA Training Institute Education Centers (Ed Centers), Hank Payne responded that they were created to fill the void in the areas that OSHA didn't reach well -- primarily other federal agencies and the private sector (employers and employee reps). He said that they develop the curriculum for the ed centers and require their instructors to sit through an Institute course.
Dennis Scullion asked if there was a system that defines what each inspector needs to know before he goes out on an inspection, verifies that he has that knowledge and then measures his success. Davis Layne responded that OSHA usually hires generalists rather than specialists because the reality of the situation was that they could not hire experts in all the necessary areas because of the huge diversity of worksites. Over the years specialists are developed. By providing comprehensive general training to new CSHOs, OSHA hopes they will have the background necessary to handle general inspections and know when to call in specialists for specific problems. Hank Payne added that although they did not have any system in place similar to that Dennis had asked about, he was currently working in that direction, but he pointed out that they had to be careful to be sure that a "competency based training system" did not become a mechanism by which people were separated. He said that the ramifications of such a system were widespread, involving labor management relations and even the basic skills they required when hiring people.
Margaret Carroll asked if there was any commitment on the part of the administration to make certain that inspectors who had achieved their professional certification were given the opportunity to get the number of continuing education credits required to maintain their certification. Davis Layne responded that a couple of years ago the Assistant Secretary had sent out a memorandum encouraging staff to attain and maintain certification. Nancy Lessin asked a final question about how CSHOs are trained to recognize "disincentive" programs -- those that discourage workers from reporting injuries and illnesses. Hank Payne said that he did not think they had really addressed disincentive programs in their basic training but that he would now make certain that they did.
The meeting resumed on Thursday morning, September 14, with a presentation by Thomas F. Bresnahan, Deputy Executive Director of the American Society of Safety Engineers (ASSE), and Steven F. Kane, Chairman of the ANSI Z490 Committee on "Best Practices in Safety, Health, and Environmental Training". Bresnahan began by saying that ASSE is serving as the Secretariat for the ANSI Z490 Committee which was chartered on April 1, 1998, and grew out of the recognized need for improvement in safety, health, and environmental training. In 1996, ASSE had conducted four focus group meetings across the country in an effort to determine if ASSE should venture into accreditation of training organizations programs, as well as ascertaining the market interest in procuring such accreditation. The outcome was a determination that ASSE should file an application with ANSI to establish a standards committee to develop safety, health, and environmental training standards to improve competence, quality and effectiveness of safety and health training providers. These standards of "best practice", now called "accepted practice", once established, would be used to audit, monitor, evaluate and analyze national, industry-wide training of large and small training service providers as well as for corporations and government entities seeking third-party review of their employee training activities. Kane continued by describing the content of the proposed voluntary consensus standard, citing that the committee 48 national organizations were represented on the committee including business, industry, government, academia, organized labor. training organizations, professional associations and societies. The draft standard went out for first public review on 7/14/00. In describing how this voluntary standard might impact OSHA, Bresnahan said that it could provide guidelines on how training should be designed, implemented and evaluated, but he emphasized that this standard was designed as a basic guideline and that additional projects would provide training standards on specific applications such as ANSI Z390, "Accepted Practices for Hydrogen Sulfide (H2S) Safety Training Programs". He added that the Z490.1 standard could provide a measurement and benchmark to evaluate training, provide a basic body of knowledge that could be used for training, provide audible criteria to evaluate current accepted practices in training and provide models of training that are transferable to almost all industries.
In committee discussion, Nancy Lessin expressed her concern that there was no requirement for worker involvement in determining if training was the appropriate intervention, development of training, selection of trainers and evaluation of trainers. She was also concerned that there was no discussion of the hierarchy of controls or support for the elimination of hazards as the first step. She also warned that both workers compensation claims and reported injuries and illnesses might go up at first as a result of good training. Steve Kane responded that they had determined that the purpose of this particular standard would not be to describe a needs assessment and hazard reduction program, but that this standard was designed to be just about training. Peg Seminario observed that the standard was really more of a management systems approach to training which captures the principles of good adult education. She asked about the composition of the group involved in developing the standards and Tom Bresnahan said that there were 4 employer groups, 5 unions, 10 technical societies, 10 governmental agencies, 4 independent specialists from academia, 1 standards developing organization, 4 training orgnizations, 2 insurance groups and 8 observers. LaMont Byrd suggested that the references in Annex A be expanded especially in terms of program evaluation, and that perhaps there could be an additional annex for program evaluation. Mike Wright echoed the feeling that this was a training management standard and not a training standard and he said he feared that people would adopt it and it would lead to improvements in the management of the training process but not lead to any real improvements in training. Dennis Scullion suggested that perhaps the name did not properly represent the stated scope and purpose.
Hank Payne, Director of OSHA's Training Institute, resumed his discussion of the Training Institute and Training Grant Programs assisted by Ron Mouw, Manager of the Training and Education Plans Division of the Office of Training and Education. This division is responsible for the Susan Harwood Training Grant Program, the Outreach Training Program and the OSHA Training Institute Education Centers. Payne described the Outreach Training Program one where OSHA authorizes safety and health professionals (there are currently over 3500 authorized trainers on the books) to conduct 10 and 30-hour courses on behalf of OSHA for workers in either general industry or construction. To be an authorized instructor, the individual must take either the construction or general industry instructor's training course, pass an exam and take a refresher course every 4 years. Cards are issued to workers who successfully complete the course. Last year OSHA issued 175,000 cards. Hank Payne added that a lot of construction companies require a card before they will allow individuals to start work. He said that some schools are including the course in their vocational education curriculum and one state requires that on all municipal or state construction programs over $100,000 the company have a similar program in place. In describing the Education Center Program, Payne said that the organizations are selected through a competitive process, that OSHA does not give them money but does provide them with curricula. The centers are responsible for advertising their courses and making their programs self sufficient. OSHA is currently furnishing 15 courses to the ECs which conduct many other courses as well. OSHA has decided to recompete the ECs in FY 2002 on the tenth anniversary of the program. There is currently an EC in every region except Region 5 where ther are three consortia Education Centers. Payne said that in the recompetition OSHA intends to add the requirement for the ECs, who currently train most of the Outreach Training instructors, to also hand out the cards for those instructors whom they certify, assist with the Distance Learning Program, and help with the roll-out of training for new standards. In FY 99, the Training Institute trained 5860 individuals, whereas the Education Centers trained another 9984.
Hank Payne said that they conduct an annual training planning meeting each year to bring National Office and Regional Staff together to develop training plans for the upcoming fiscal year (18 months in advance). He added that with the cooperation of Ron Mouw they have reenergized their evaluation program and that in the coming year they will increase their auditing of courses given by outreach trainers. He said that they had visited four ECs this past year and that the ECs had become good partners in sharing with OSHA some of the additions they had made to the courses. Payne mentioned that within the next year they were also going to be moving into distance learning in an effort to use resources more effectively and increase the access to training. But he stressed that this would not be a panacea and would not solve all of their training problems. He said that they were also planning to enhance classroom training in a number of ways which had convinced them that they had to move to a new training facility which they planned to do in 2001. The facility has been selected and is in the same general area but will be 12,000 sq.ft. larger which will allow for break-out rooms, lab space and space for distance learning programs.
He said that the new automated registration system that they were in the process of developing would allow training coordinators -- and each student is assigned to a training coordinator -- to enrol. students and do a lot of the coordination and training records work that previously had to be done by Institute staff. Payne then described briefly the Management Training and Development Program the Institute had been asked to design to supplement the basic supervisory training provided by the Department of Labor for new supervisors. This program was designed for team leaders, supervisors, managers and executives.
As a final portion of his presentation, Hank Payne described the Susan Harwood Training Grants Program. The grants program began in OSHA in 1978 as the New Directions Grants Program. The awards then were multi-year awards that provided seed money to non-profit organizations (averaging about $80,000 per organization). The goals were to develop institutional competency and self-sufficiency, while stressing hazard recognition training. In 1990, the program was converted to a targeted training grants program with one-year awards based on specific topics to be studied. Payne said that we currently have two types of grants that are awarded to non-profit organizations: strategic plan grants (which focus on a topic included in OSHA's Strategic Plan), and institutional competency building grants (which are similar to the earlier New Direction grants). In FY 2000 there were 60 Susan Harwood Training Grants awarded and in FY 99 over 39,000 students were trained.
During Committee discussion, Bonnie Rogers asked how students contacted the Education Centers. Ron Mouw responded that the core schedule was posted on the Internet which showed the 75 different courses offered at the Institute as well as the 15 courses offered at each of the 12 Educations Centers. The 800 numbers for the various Education Centers are also posted on the Internet so that interested people can contact them directly. He added that the majority of people who attended the Education Center courses were safety directors or people who have responsibility for worker safety and health for private companies or unions. Rogers also asked for specifica on the distance learning program under development. Hank Payne said they had found quite a few information-based courses that did not require labs that would enter the program during the coming fiscal year. He added that because of the mismatched equipment in the area offices, the first step was to provide a multi-media platform to each area office, state and consultation office which is planned for the September-November, 2000, timeframe. He said that eventually they would run a few courses both in a classroom setting and distance learning format and compare pre-test/post-test scores for both in an effort to compare the effectiveness of the two methods. He added that in his doctoral dissertation he had reviewed over a thousand studies of the two technologies and that the vast majority showed no significant difference. He said that the retraining of current instructors posed something of a challenge. Peg Seminario said that she wanted to commend both Hank and Ron for the absolutely terrific work that they were doing and for the work Ron has done over the years. She said that she felt the only weakness was in getting all of this information out to the people actually doing the jobs and she wondered whether there was any effort underway to develop core materials that could be used by employers, unions and others. Ron Mouw said that OSHA was looking at a couple of things and mentioned an outreach program with the Sheetmetal Workers who had developed a pretty good interactive CD-rom program. He said that they were going to make use of satellite broadcasts and had a program on recordkeeping already to go to a network of community colleges around the country. He acknowledged, though, that most of they gave at the Institute did not reach workers. Hank Payne said that previously materials developed from grant programs were on paper but they are now required to be in electronic format which will allow them to be put on the Internet. He said they were in the process of developing a set of core materials which would be put on the web so that anyone could download and use it. Tish Davis expressed her concern that we don't really know who is being trained, or the demographic characteristics of people who are not being trained, and that we need to know that in order to tailor training to meet those needs. Mike Wright told Hank and Ron how useful their programs had been to the Steelworkers and that they had put a lot of people through the OSHA 10-hour course and had used the 30-hour course to a lesser extent. He mentioned Canadian training programs and said that Ontario's program was not as good at training professionals as OSHA's but was better at training workers through their grants program and wondered if there had been any interaction. Ron Mouw said that there had been some informal exchange of information but nothing formal. He said that he knew that materials were being developed specifically to do worker training and that he thought it was a good idea for OSHA to get in touch with the people doing this work. The committee discussed the fact that many people were nearing retirement age within OSHA which could result in a huge increase in training needs, and also the language and literacy problems that had to be faced. Mike Wright again commented on how useful the 30-hour course was, but added that the best thing the Institute could do for worker safety and health was to develop a second 30-hour course in comprehensive safety analysis that teaches people how to communicate effectively with workers to spot hazards, how to look at all of the factors that go beyond strict OSHA compliance, to do a quick and dirty "what if" analysis because they had found that in the majority of fatalities no OSHA standard was violated but that something "unusual" had happened. Ron Mouw said that was exactly what they were trying to do but that it was a very difficult task.
The next presentation was a short report on OSHA's Task Force on Outreach Activities by Pat Clark, Regional Administrator from New York. She said that, as a result of a 1999 retreat, the Assistant Secretary had formed an outreach work group to look into what we were currently doing, who was doing it, what we wanted to do and how well we worked together. In the resulting investigation, the group found a lot of overlap and that a lot of people were doing the same things. They found that an enormous amount of materials were being developed by individual area offices, regions and national offices that the rest of the organization did not know about. Other concerns were how to measure outreach activities and how to change the culture of the organization to understand the importance of outreach activities. As a result, every director of every freestanding office in every region has been charged with developing an annual outreach plan. Clark indicated that in October there would be a meeting of representatives from all offices and regions to share the information and discuss coordination. The workgroup also decided that they needed to establish a national electronic database clearinghouse for materials that are developed for outreach activities. She gave committee members a copy of the Outreach Plan.
Peg Seminario thanked Pat Clark for making the presentation and told her how pleased she and the entire committee were to see OSHA going in this direction since they had expressed their concerns over the years at the lack of integration of outreach activities into the overall program. She asked if the clearinghouse was intended for use just by OSHA and with just OSHA materials, or whether it might be used by the public with other related materials added. Pat Clark responded that initially it would probably be composed of OSHA materials and for OSHA use only, but as the process got established it was hoped that this could be expanded for public use with additional materials included. Peg Seminario urged OSHA to make it public and include all of the materials developed by the public in an effort to reduce the waste of resources in developing materials that already existed. Tish Davis suggested that the public health infrastructure could also serve as a means of outreach and added that NIOSH already had some contractors who were working on assessing the impact of outreach and education that might be of interest to OSHA. Hank Lick warned that additional resources would be required for the development of a real clearinghouse and Pat Clark responded that they had discussed that extensively and that was why they would be taking a phased-in approach. Peg Seminario asked whether the new compliance assistance specialists would be under the control of the area offices or the region. Pat Clark said that she thought this varied.
After lunch, Dr. Paul Schulte, head of NIOSH's Education and Information Division, assisted by Dr. Greg Loos, head of NIOSH's Training and Educational Systems Branch, reviewed the October 1999 Training Conference and the NIOSH Training Research Program. He began by citing that, at the time the OSH Act was passed in 1970, there was a shortage of safety and health professionals in the United States and the Act recognized this by calling upon NIOSH to train health professionals. For the first 25 years NIOSH trained people who went into business for themselves in the ERCs; consequently, now the training of health professionals is conducted out of the ERC's training programs. This lead to a reevaluation of NIOSH's mission in relation to training. Schulte said that NIOSH identified five areas to concentrate on: workplace training conferences, training effectiveness research, targeting hard to reach and underserved groups, development of model training materials, and new directions in international and national collaboration and new technologies. In describing the Workplace Safety and Health Training Conference held in St. Louis in October 1999, Schulte said it was well attended by nearly 600 people and represented the first time that the breadth and depth of the training community was brought together to look at training holistically. He said that they were publishing the proceedings and hoped to have them out in early 2001 and said that they would be put up on the NIOSH web site. With regard to training effectiveness research, Schulte mentioned two studies that NIOSH had triggered: Assessing Occupational Safety and Health Training: a Review of the Literature, by Cohen and Colligan in 1998; and A Model for Research on Training Effectivess, which NIOSH developed in 1999. Schulte commented that there was not much literature that really looks at or quantifies research design and that NIOSH's model for research on training had been named "Training Intervention Effectiveness Research (TIER) and consisted of four stages: Stage 1 - Formative Research; Stage 2 - Process Research; Stage 3 - Outcome Research; and Stage 4 - Impact Assessment. He indicated that they intended to conduct research at each of these stages and that training intervention effectiveness research was part the NORA program. Schulte said that in the third category, targeting hard-to-reach and under-served groups, they had identified four categories: new workers, people who are language or literacy challenged, high-risk sectors, and small businesses. He said that they were developing a number of materials aimed at these groups. With regard to new directions, Schulte said that they were doing extensive exploration of web-based training and distance learning and said that although there clearly some advantages, there was also a down side that they were exploring. With regard to national efforts, Schulte said they had been collaborating with other organizations as they did in the St. Louis Training Conference and that on the international level Dr. Loos was spearheading an effort to develop an international web access portal that would have a single search engine so that it can search across the different web sites.
In committee discussion, Dennis Scullion expressed his concern that computer-based off-the-shelf training programs did not contain the specifics that were essential to any effective training program. Greg Loos responded that they were trying to encourage much more creative computer-based environments where they could create two and three dimensional work environments and put the specific of the worksite including the hazards in there. Tish Davis commented that, as she listened to the OSHA and NIOSH presentations, she heard many areas of overlap and urged OSHA and NIOSH to work more closely together on these issues. Peg Seminario suggested that in relation to worker training it would be a good idea to contact the teachers unions in an effort to set up some cooperative projects, and perhaps some demonstration projects particularly with respect to young workers. Hank Lick encouraged NIOSH to consider publishing again the little pamphlets NIOSH had published in the '70s that included checklists for small businesses like gas stations, tire changers and body shops. Mike Wright cited a model program for providing basic occupational safety and health training to young people in Ontario where, to celebrate Workers Memorial Day each April 28th, union members go into the school systems and conduct programs that range from one hour to all day in several hundred high schools located primarily in working class areas. Peg Seminario added that she knew that had also happened in the Chicago area.
OSHA Assistant Secretary Jeffress and NIOSH Director Rosenstock joined the committee for the final session on meeting planning. Peg Seminario told them that they work the two agencies were doing in training was really outstanding, had a lot of good initiatives but needed broader support and increased resources. She urged both agencies to publicize their efforts and accomplishments more because she felt that Congress did not really know about the good work that both agencies were doing. She asked what percentage of OSHA's and NIOSH's budget were devoted to training and said it was important to know this in an effort to get increased funding. Charles Jeffress commented that might be easier to get extra money for training of external folks than it would be to train internal staff but said that he agreed that they needed to provide Congress with more detail on OSHA's outreach programs. Peg Seminario added that that there were a considerable number of initiatives and bills that required staff with five years' experience and that there was often a Congressional demand that OSHA needed "competent people". She suggested that OSHA put together specific proposals of what the costs of such qualifications and training were and present it to Congress. The committee discussed three tentative presentations for the agenda of the December 5-6 meeting. They included presentations by: the UAW-Ford National Joint Committee on Health and Safety Training Programs; the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences Worker Education and Training Program Partnership; and the Veterans Health Administration Safety and Health Partnership. Mike Wright suggested that at some point the committee ought to look at the specific training requirements of different OSHA standards. The committee agreed but decided to hold this subject for a later meeting. Peg Seminario said that the committee needed to take a look at what it had already learned and determine just what it intended to do with regard to developing recommendations, and keep this in mind in selecting future agenda items. She said that she thought it would be essential to allot agenda time at the next meeting to discuss recommendations related to the subjects heard so far. She said that she felt it might be appropriate at that time to put together a group to work with the agencies on training and outreach activities. Mike Wright said it would also be helpful to look at how much of training resources are devoted to CSHOs, professionals, front-line representatives, workers and employers. Charles Jeffress said it would also be helpful to look at how the two agencies might use other people to deliver training more than they were currently doing. In concluding the meeting the committee decided to schedule the three presentations discussed earlier and allow time during the next meeting to discuss drafting recommendations related to training.
The meeting was adjourned at 2:47 pm on Thursday, September 14.
Department of Labor - Washington, D.C.
Wednesday, September 13, 2000
Thursday, September 14, 2000
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