<< Back to MACOSH - Meeting Minutes


The fourteenth meeting of the OSHA Maritime Advisory Committee for Occupational Safety and Health (MACOSH) was called to order at 9:00 a.m. on February 29, 2000 in Houston, TX. An electronic transcript of the full meeting (February 29, March 1, 2000) was sent separately to members of the previously chartered committee for their review and record. With one minor addition recommended by Larry Reed, the Executive Summary and the transcript on the November 1999 meeting were approved unanimously. Larry Reed and Larry Liberatore began the meeting and reviewed the agenda for the current meeting.

Ms. Barbara Bielaski, who is the Acting Deputy Director of Safety Standards, gave an update on the OSHA safety and health standards program. The update included some background, the issues at hand, the reason for the standard and relevant dates. Prior to the update, Ms. Bielaski explained that the ergonomics rule was larger and more complex than originally anticipated, and a large majority of OSHA staff had been put onto this project.
1. Recordkeeping. Reasons for this standard are to get better data, simplify paper work and to increase compliance. Plans include going to OMB in early March, and publish a final rule sometime in the summer. This will also include extensive outreach, and will go into effect January 1, 2001.

2. PPE Payment. Who will pay for PPE. OSHA is currently reviewing the record and a final rule is expected in the Spring of 2000.

3. Tuberculosis. The issue is whether a standard is needed with the recent decrease in TB cases. A final rule is scheduled for publication in Summer 2000.

4. Ergonomics. Reason for this standard is to reduce the number of illnesses and injuries relating from MSDs. A final publication is expected end of 2000.

5. Exit routes. This will be a plain language version and a final rule is expected Summer 2000.

6. Steel erection. Final rule this summer.

7. Safety and Health Programs. Currently is in an internal review with all dates being held up due to the Ergonomics rule.

8. Process Safety Management. Issues include whether OSHA should add approximately 100 lower reactive chemicals to the appendix A list, and how OSHA should clarify the exemption of flammable liquids stored in atmospheric tanks. This is an ANPR to be published April 2000, seeking comments, recommendations, data and information.
Chap Pierce, Acting Director of Office of Maritime Standards, commented on standards projects that are currently being worked on in the Office of Maritime Standards. The first project is the shipyard fire protection negotiated rulemaking (commonly referred to as "neg reg") that is being redone to be updated and put into plain language. Another draft has been completed and turned in for internal review. Once this draft gets through to the Solicitors Office, we are hoping that the neg reg committee will continue the process with a meeting to be held in late April or May. The second project involves a workgroup formed within MACOSH that was to look at the SESAC recommendations and prioritize the subpart as to which needed revision first. The final project was the longshoring Correction Notice. An extensive review revealed numerous errors, many of which dealt with references that were incorrect, and the conversion of metric units. Due to the number of errors, the smaller correction notice has been changed, and now will be a correction notice that will include all necessary corrections. This should be wrapped up in two to three months. This project directly correlates with the blue book publication, which will be delayed as well.

Thomas Galassi, Deputy Director of Compliance Programs, gave an update on the OSHA compliance program. Mr. Galassi explained that since the work at home policy was in the headlines, a great deal of OSHAs attention has been directed to the dissemination of information and extensively reviewing this process. Each Directorate has been charged to look at how we do policy, and to look at every document on the OSHA home page and identify any problem documents. On February 3, the site specific targeting plan for the year 2000 was completed. The inspection targeting is to begin February 2000 and will go to January 31, 2001. A multi-employer directive was issued, and is entitled "Multi-Employer Citation Policy, CPL 2-0.124. This breaks down how OSHA looks at multi-employer work sites by giving numerous examples. Mr. Galassi requested examples from the MACOSH committee that would assist with the maritime industry in the directive. Mr. Galassi also discussed the Powered Industrial Trucks Training Directive, the PITS settlement, Tagout Issues with the U.S. Navy, the shipbreaking MOA, CSHO Training, and the longshoring directive. Mr. Galassi stated that the Shipyard Tool Bag concept is in a draft directive. During the discussion on the revision to STD.2, Mr. Galassi stated that OSHA would like input from MACOSH on which new standards would apply to the shipyard industry, from a potential workgroup.

A discussion was held about maritime industry workers and the ergonomics proposal. As the standard states in its proposed format, workers in the maritime SIC code are excluded from this rule, including office workers and the such, since NIOSH is performing an ergonomic study in this industry. [Note: On March 1, the full committee finalized and faxed a letter to the OSHA docket office clarifying MACOSHs support of this exclusion.]

Larry Liberatore gave an update on what the training and outreach workgroup had discussed during their meeting held in San Francisco on January 5, 2000. Since OSHA compliance officers are generalists, the workgroup felt that they needed more specific training in the maritime industry. NMSA has been contracted to help revamp the current OTI Maritime course, which is currently split between longshoring and shipyards, with one day on diving. A two week course is being developed at Kings Point that will train compliance officers in the terminology, process and dynamics of the shipyard. Once this training module has been developed and put into action, the same process will take place for longshoring. In addition, this workgroup discussed the training and outreach of longshore and shipyard workers. MACOSH would partner with various groups involved and the OSHA area office and hold roundtable discussions on the top injury in that particular shipyard. This workgroup will identify three or four locations and injuries for both longshoring and shipyards, and Larry will discuss this with the Regional Administrators, and from this, a few roundtable discussions will be held. Several members of the committee shared their recent experience with the roundtable discussion, and felt that it was very positive.

The committee then split into breakout groups to discuss the noted agenda items and to discuss the letter that they would submit to the ergo docket supporting the exclusion of the maritime industry. The longshore group discussion included vertical tandem lifting, the use of under deck cones, and the blue book. It was agreed that this group would send examples of anticipated problems from the industry with proposed solutions to Tom Galassi for the multi-employer citation policy. This group also discussed the PITS settlement and training, fall protection from pedestal areas and containerships, and developing smaller workgroups for purposes of the training and outreach program. These workgroups would include OSHA, labor and the employer and would identify the target injury, and develop a plan to reduce the frequency. The shipyard breakout produced a list of three issues that they would like MACOSH and OSHA to work on. The first was the lockout/tagout issue, especially as it pertains to Navy vessels. Maritech will charter a subcommittee during the rechartering of MACOSH, and will bring some recommendations to the next meeting. Larry Reed will be contacting the chairman on the Construction Advisory Committee and find out what is happening in the construction arena, and report back at the next MACOSH meeting. The third issue was blasting in shipbuilding operations, especially in confined areas. False readings of lead and cadmium are being produced. NIOSH has been asked to review the current sampling protocol to determine if it can be redesigned to fit this situation. In addition, a discussion was held on the original SESAC recommendations and the need for updating several of these recommendations, including the electrical standard. Chuck Rupy gave a presentation on the Maritech program, and this group will also produce a list of four hazard areas that they would like to see in the training and outreach program.

The full committee reconvened on March 1, 2000 at 8:30 a.m. and began with a presentation from Captain Chris McMahon, Director of Global Maritime and Transportation School at the U.S. Merchant Marine Academy at Kings Point. Captain McMahon explained that in the past five years, the Academy has undergone a reinvention, and is now the largest maritime and transportation professional education program in the country with over 150 new courses. The courses are taught by the Kings Point faculty, members of the industry, military and government. The academy has developed a series of partnerships with the industry that are currently underway. Education and training programs are provided to professionals in developing countries. Capt. McMahon explained that the academy can customize programs and training specific to the customer, whether it be military, government or private industry.

Following Capt. McMahons presentation, the committee heard an update on the ergonomic intervention project by Dr. Hudock (NIOSH ergonomist) and Karl Siegfried (ergonomic consultant). Steve reported that they had three of seven of the pre-intervention walk-through surveys. Karl described several of the successful proposed interventions to date. In October 1999, NMSA gave its management approval for longshoring to be a part of the NIOSH ergonomics study. [Note: Labor had previously given its consent.] The longshoring part of the maritime ergonomics study should begin in late summer 2000.

Two items were raised and voted on following this presentation. The first was that the project officers for the ergonomics study conduct injury and illness reviews for the entire work force in the maritime industries and that the recommendations provide information on interventions for the work force, including administrative and office workers. The second issue was a letter that was being submitted to the ergonomics docket from the MACOSH committee. This letter was a written request to OSHA to clarify that the maritime industry is excluded from the ergonomic program proposal, and when the NIOSH study is completed, that OSHA develop an ergonomics program the proposals for entire maritime industry (one for shipyards and one for longshoring) based on the recommendations of the study. [Note: after full committee review, this letter was finalized and faxed to the ergo docket office on March 1, 2000 for inclusion in the official docket.]

Mr. Joe Dubois, Office of Statistics, gave a presentation on the data initiative for scheduling compliance investigations. It was explained that OSHA uses the BLS data from the OSHA 200 log. 80,000 employers in a certain group of industries were sent a letter requesting their OSHA 200 log information. The lost work day rate was calculated from these logs, and lists were produced for each area office comprised of the companies with rates of 14 or greater to be targeted for inspection. The companies who had rates between 8 and 14 were sent a letter identifying their rate, and recommending that they reduce that number. Currently, OSHA is trying to improve the quality of the data, and whether or not employers know how to use the OSHA 200 log correctly.

Capt. McMahon gave a presentation on the proposed shipyard course that would be held at the U.S. Merchant Marine Academy in May or June of this year. This course would familiarize OSHA inspectors on the industry, terminology and what happens in a shipyard, but it would not focus on safety. There would be several field trips for extensive hands-on training. Ms. Jennifer Miller, from the OSHA Training Institute (OTI), explained that this course would precede the current Maritime OTI course. Students would attend the two week course at Kings Point to get an understanding of the shipyard process, product, terminology, vessel and how the shipyard operates. Then, they would attend the OTI course to focus on the hazards of those processes, the standards and OSHA policies that relate to the application of those standards to the hazards. Mr. Tom Pope, Area Director, explained that following these two training modules, the inspectors would then perform inspections in their area office with Senior Compliance Officers who had experience in the maritime industry. The first course will be audited by several people in the industry, and any additions, subtractions or changes would be made prior to the second course scheduled for the end of the summer. This same process will take place for the longshoring industry after the shipyard courses are underway.

The full committee then discussed plans for the next meeting to be held preferably in Kings Point, NY for either July 12-13 or July 19-20, 2000. [Note: The latter date was selected for this meeting.] The second meeting of the recharted committee is tentatively scheduled in conjunction with the National Safety Council meeting in Orlando October 18 -19, 2000.

After the meeting adjourned, Steve Butler, Office of Maritime Compliance, showed a very effective video that was made for outreach and training for the Association of Contractors on fatalities among divers. The suggestion was made that a similar video could be made by MACOSH to support the training initiatives.