Before The United States Department Of Labor
Occupational Safety And Health Administration
In The Matter Of: Advisory
Committee On Construction Safety And Health
National Institute for
Spokane Research Center
315 East Montgomery
August 28, 1996
The above-entitled matter came on for hearing, pursuant to adjournment at 9:10 a.m.
KNUT RINGEN, Chairperson
Director/Center to Protect Workers' Rights
111 Massachusetts Avenue, N.W.
Washington, D.C. 20001
STEPHEN D. COOPER
International Association of Bridge,
Structural & Ornamental Iron Workers
1750 New York Avenue, N.W.
Washington, D.C. 20006
WILLIAM C. RHOTEN
United Association of Journeymen & Apprentices of the Plumbers & Pipe Fitting Industry
901 Massachusetts Avenue, N.W.
Washington, D.C. 20001
WILLIAM J. SMITH
Director/Safety & Health International
Union Operating Engineers
1125 17th Street, N.W.
Washington, D.C. 20036
LAUREN J. SUGERMAN
Executive Director Chicago Women in Trades
220 South Ashland Avenue
Chicago, Illinois 60607
Safety/Loss Control Manager
J.A. Jones Construction
J.A. Jones Drive
Charlotte, North Carolina 28287
The Ryland Group
11000 Broken Land Parkway
Columbia, Maryland 21044
Anzalone & Associates
12700 Foothill Boulevard
Sylmar, California 91342
ANA MARIA OSORIO, M.D., MPH
Chief, Occupational Health Branch
California Department of Health Services
2151 Berkeley Way - Annex 11
Berkeley, California 94704
JUDY A. PAUL
American Association of Occupational Health Nurses
1200 Southeast 98th Avenue
Vancouver, Washington 98664
DIANE D. PORTER
Associate Director NIOSH
1600 Clifton Road
Atlanta, Georgia 30333
1111 3rd Avenue
P R O C E E D I N G S
MR. RINGEN: The first thing that I think we'll try to do this morning is to see if we can schedule a date for our next meeting before people leave. And we're probably looking at the end of October or early November. How does November 5, 6 look?
MR. HALL: Is 5 election day?
MR. RINGEN: That's not so good, is it?
MR. HALL: 11, week of eleven through 15?
MR. RINGEN: Okay, there's something called Veterans Day on the 14th. I don't know what that is.
MR. HALL: Well the 11th might be -- that would be Veterans Day.
MR. RINGEN: We could do either 11 and 12 or 12 and 13. If we do 11, then you have to travel on Sunday.
MR. HALL: Well also 11 might be a federal holiday. MR. RINGEN: Which holiday is that?
MR. HALL: Veterans Day. We take our holidays on Mondays.
MR. RINGEN: All right, we can certainly travel on Veterans Day.
MR. OSORIO: So the prior week wasn't good for you.
MR. RINGEN: That's Election Day. The 7th and 8th would have to be --
MS. OSORIO: Oh, I see.
MR. SWANSON: Well Election Day is only one day, except in Chicago.
MR. RINGEN: It's a full day for you, but for the rest of us it's pretty easy. So what's your pleasure, 6th and 7th or 12th and 13th?
MR. MASTERSON: 12th and 13th for me.
MR. RINGEN: Okay, any opposition to that? 12th and 13th in D.C.
MR. CLOUTIER: We can't come back to Spokane?
MR. RINGEN: You got that date, Tom?
MR. HALL: Yeah, 12, 13?
MR. RINGEN: Right.
MR. RINGEN: Let me find out how many people here are interested in this visit to the construction site today. A show of hands.
MS. PORTER: So three people, is that what I have?
MR. HALL: What about the people who are already here like Cooper or --
MS. PORTER: Okay, so what did we have, five? Okay.
MR. RINGEN: Okay, so we're set for that. This morning what we have to do is we were going to have a presentation from Marie Haring-Sweeney about the NIOSH Research Program and then we're going to have the work group reports and we're going to complete the program about what we need to do between now and the next meeting. So Marie
-- unless there's any discussion?
MR. SWANSON: And you're going to let me give a supplemental report.
MR. RINGEN: That's right, you have a supplemental report. Why don't you do that after Marie does hers, since we already have the screen down.
MS. PORTER: Let me just do a little bit of introduction. Marie is the construction program research coordinator for NIOSH. She's a Ph.D. epidemiologist from the University of Michigan, has been with NIOSH for 19 years and has worked a great deal on the health side of construction, safety and health, knows a lot about disease among construction workers, but has recently become indoctrinated in the program.
The reason that she's there in this position is as a result of the evaluation that we did a year ago which Stu Burkhammer participated in trying to help us put together a more coordinated program, and so Marie's in the beginning of doing that and she'll show you a little bit about what we've accomplished thus far.
MR. RINGEN: We worked together on Marie's first study at NIOSH 19 years ago.
MS. HARING-SWEENEY: Mr. Chairman, members of the committee, I'm happy to be here this morning and I think I'd rather do this at 9 o'clock in the morning rather than 3 o'clock yesterday.
I've set out -- if you haven't seen them already-- some publications that NIOSH has produced and printed relative to construction, and if you like these or want more of these publications our 800 number is 1(800) 35-NIOSH and you'll get a menu and it'll flip you over to the publications office.
If you can't hear me over the fan, please tell me and do not hesitate to ask questions because I may not see your hand or I may not hear you. What I'd like to do this morning is give you just a brief overview of our program, program elements, describe just a few of the projects, because we have well over a hundred projects that are being done relative to construction, and talk to you a little bit of our future in terms of strategic planning.
NIOSH gets approximately $12 million in earmarked funds from Congress to do construction-related research and associated activities. We began to receive earmarked funds in the early '90s. Now if you estimate that there are somewhere between six million and seven million construction workers, we are spending in this country about 1.75 per construction worker on health -- on occupational safety and health research coming from the federal government. Approximately one-third or 30 percent is spent on intramural projects, that is, projects that are done by NIOSH staff. The other 70 percent is used to fund a network of extramural centers that do occupational safety and health in construction and they do include the Washington State of NIOSH. Those are in yellow. There are approximately 19 states that we fund our programs in, including the District of Columbia.
The NIOSH construction program and actually our research program is based on a public health model. We use surveillance to track and prioritize our activities. We track injuries, diseases, deaths and hazardous exposures. It helps us to prioritize the types of research that we're going to be doing and then it also may in fact help us to prioritize what kind of interventions or controls we'll be using in the future.
Let me just go over the -- we fund a little more than a hundred projects. I want to take you through just some of them. In terms of surveillance projects, we are now in the process of going through doing proportionate mortality studies in 10 construction trades. We have three of them that are finished and seven more are in the pipeline, probably will be finished within the next two years, and I'll give you the data in a few minutes.
We have a large effort in doing surveillance in musculoskeletal disorders. We're also looking at patterns of occupational exposure in operating engineers, for example, DOTS, silica, diesel and then we also have a large program that's based in Morgantown, West Virginia looking at patterns of fatal injuries, usually through the NTOMSS program, which is the National Traumatic Occupational Mortality Surveillance System, which is a nationwide system, and also the FACE program which is the Fatal Accident Circumstances Examination or Evaluation Program which evaluates the circumstances around fatalities, both pre- and post-fatality and through that we've been able to effectively reduce things like deaths in overhead cranes.
In fact you might have seen in these pink documents, which is out for printing right now is one of the alerts that we published in 1985 and again in 1993 and have found that since the publication in '86, we've seen a dramatic decrease in overhead crane fatalities due to this publication.
This is just some data, some results from the three proportionate mortality studies that we have completed of laborers, carpenters and iron workers, and what I did was I took -- looked at the results and I took those which are common among the three groups or at least two out of the three groups.
And what we find is that lung cancer is a big killer among all three of them. I think we need to do a fair amount of work to probably reduce continuing asbestos and silicon exposure as well as perhaps reduce some personal risk factors such as smoking. We found stomach cancer in laborers and carpenters, asbestos as to carpenters and iron workers. For all three of them we found transportation injuries and falls as their major cause of fatalities, and this falls in line with what we already know. It helps us to confirm it. It also helps us to prioritize where we would be directing our research in the future.
I thought this little cartoon reflects well what we're trying to work against and trying to prevent musculoskeletal disorders. This cartoon represents to me some of the fallacies that we've been using in the past in trying to reduce musculoskeletal disorders, particularly back injuries and that is if you lift right, that is, with the package close to your body, between your knees with a straight back that is going to prevent low back injuries. And what we've found is that a lot of that doesn't work if in fact the individual is asked to lift something that's beyond his personal capacity. So I think we need to look a little bit harder in trying to reduce musculoskeletal injuries.
We have a large surveillance project through our partners at the Center to Protect Workers' Rights and the University of Iowa where they did a survey of eastern Iowa construction workers and they asked them about pain and symptoms in the last 12 months in 9 different body parts. And what we found, which wasn't striking, was that 76 percent of all construction workers we surveyed reported low back pain in the last 12 months.
This is the percent who reported back pain in the last 12 months by trade, and here we have roofers and glazers, almost a hundred percent of them said they had low back pain, which helps to prioritize where we ought to be looking at in reducing this type of musculoskeletal injuries in these groups.
This picture was taken by Louis Hine in the construction of the Empire State Building in 1931. This individual is an iron worker, and hopefully we have in the last 40 or 50 years been able to protect a lot more workers in falls. However, when you look at the BLS data and the NTOMSS data, we find that falls still kill more construction workers than any other cause. But they're closely followed by motor vehicle accidents, which we saw in the proportion mortality studies, transportation accidents, electrocutions and contact with machinery. Again this surveillance data tells us where we ought to be working.
And in fact let me just go back here. The Division of Safety & Research in Morgantown has a number of projects which is looking at falls, particularly falls from scaffoldings, falls from ladders. They're doing a case control study of the FACE data relative to falls. So I think we're trying to cover the bases on that.
Our research program is wide and varied. It goes from the basic laboratory research. For example trying to identify which isocyanide compound causes immunologic reactions and asthma, all the way to measuring exposure levels and methods development for new exposure measurements.
I wanted to talk to you not about the epidemiology studies, but a lot of what we're doing in exposure research. We have gotten a lot of press and we've done a lot of work on being able to measure exposures in the manufacturing sector. It's a sector where you have somebody who works at the same station every day over and over again and is exposed to perhaps somewhat the same hazards on a day-to-day basis.
That's not true for construction, as we all know, and we have to develop new methods to identify the hazards and measure the hazards in that sort of itinerate work environment of the -- of the construction worker. One large focus project that we're doing is evaluating lead and trying to reduce lead among painters, as well as people who are involved in rehabilitation of structural steel, particularly bridges.
We have done studies on lead levels for painters, as well as in their children. We found that if in fact there's not a good protection program on site the person carries home the lead. It's in their cars. It's in their home and it's in their children. So based on that, we'll be able to do some -- to use that information to help make sure people do not take the lead home to their children, as well as protecting themselves.
We also doing methods development on trying to detect lead with quick methods, on site detection kits for lead, as well as doing salivary lead levels for workers who are on site, so you won't have to do blood levels and find out that a person's been exposed when in fact you can find out right there on site. We're also doing some methods for detecting heximal and chromium on site as well.
One of the activities that's being spearheaded by Pam Susie at the Center to Protect Workers' Rights is the task based exposure assessment methods. It's again trying to measure some peak exposures in individuals based on their activity on a day-to-day basis. Again some construction workers do not do the same thing day after day and this is one way of perhaps capturing those itinerate exposures that they may have today and not tomorrow.
When Linda Rosenstock came on board two and a half years ago she gave us four areas that she thought we should be working in and we should spend more efforts in, one of which was intervention. Another one was surveillance, which we've done a fair amount in, another is work organization, which we are beginning to do some work in and health services research, which I don't think in construction we've gotten that far yet.
Some of the projects that we're doing, one of the ones that's actually I think being carried to fruition is reduction in asphalt fumes and paving operations. We're working with labor as well as management and the people who are manufacturing the asphalt paving equipment to reduce the exposure, asphalt fume exposures among pavers.
We also have a couple of other things that are going on. We're developing a new kind of hearing protection where in fact the worker is able to hear conversational tones, but it blocks out all the harmful frequencies as well as volumes.
We are developing a tool based ventilation system, particularly in sanders to reduce the amount of exposure from dust to the worker, as well as prevent exposure to the people who are in approximate areas, such as -- I don't know, probably wouldn't be painters, but other kinds of people, other kinds of construction workers in the area.
And then also we're working with both the University of Massachusetts at Lowell and the University of Iowa to develop new seating for heavy equipment, particularly bulldozers and other types of construction equipment to reduce whole body vibration for operating engineers.
Other intervention activities, we have -- we work with the University of West Virginia and with Chicago Land on fall protection, doing training on reduction in electrocutions. We have a number of projects on ergonomics, and I forgot to bring the book. We have apprenticeship training programs relative to ergonomics, trying to develop modules that the apprentice -- these are directed at carpenters right now -- will include in their four year training program to get them to understand a little bit about ergonomics and to be aware of the hazards and what they can do to reduce the amount of exposure to their bodies.
We have a whole other program where we're trying to evaluate work organization in the construction industry and that is a whole other area that has confounded people because of the culture in construction. We have a project that's going on with the University of Massachusetts at Lowell. It's looking at ethnographic factors; that is, what institutional activities prevent the use of safe work practices on the job. We're also looking at the use of personal protective equipment and also the effect of women being introduced into the construction industry.
NIOSH has a large silicoses prevention project. Several of them in fact, and it goes hand in hand with the special emphasis program on silica that OSHA is doing right now. We have one project that specifically looks at minors. It's a screening program in western Pennsylvania to evaluate silicosis in them. We're also looking at the economic impact of alternative blasting materials and also evaluating contaminate levels of alternative blasting materials to silica.
One of the efforts to look at alternative blasting materials gave us the opportunity to understand that some of the blasting materials alternatives are not that good. One of them which we found we had to close the operation down with OSHA because the blasting material was made out of uranium tailing.
MR. SWANSON: How much contact have you had with OSHA as far as us seeking your help on targeting our efforts under the special --
MS. HARING-SWEENEY: Actually there's a fair amount. We have a number of people who are sitting on your committee with Ruth McAuley and I've actually been in touch with her as well, and so I don't know all that's going on specifically, but we sit on your -- on the panel with them and OSHA.
One of the things that -- we also have a large education program right now that relates to silicosis and also we've put on --
MR. RINGEN: This is a multimedia briefcase.
MS. HARING-SWEENEY: It is, multi-plugs, too. We have education programs on silica that we're calling, "It's Not Just Dust." This is one of four posters that our Health Effects Laboratory Division Communications Branch put together, along with an alert -- several alerts on preventing silicosis in construction workers and also a number of updates. This is I think a rather effective poster, if you can read it. I'm sorry, can you see the small print?
And there's also this publication, again that came out, "Construction Safety News." Again, "It's Not Just Dust," and hopefully by beginning to raise awareness of the worker as well as those people who are using the various blasting materials that we can reduce silicosis, an entirely preventable disease.
As Diane said we had a review that came out in January of 1996 that suggested that NIOSH's program could use a bit of focus and help. It said we should look at a variety of different things within the program. But I think over the last five years NIOSH with its partners has had a large number of successes.
One is that in 1990, 1989, there was no infrastructure for doing research in construction. It just was not. Now we have approximately 35 centers that are doing construction-related research. We have also been able to increase the awareness and understanding by the industry of the public health issues related, the public health and safety research issues in industry, as well as increased the awareness of the public health community about the work-related diseases and injuries in construction and the need for doing more research and intervention activities.
As part of our strategic planning, as I said we'll talk about the future. We have a steering committee now which is represented by 18 divisions and NIOSH and the offices. Over the next year we're going to try to do a GAPS analyses, basically strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats.
In order to do this we need your help in terms of telling us what you think is important related to research. In our strategic plans we want to incorporate the national goals, as well as the goals of the National Intervention Research agenda. Hopefully all of you have seen the NORA document. If not, we don't have any here, but we can get some.
We went through the construction priorities. I think we saw all but three of the 21 priority areas that came out of the National Information Research Agenda relate to construction. We don't have mixed exposures, but I think we should because in fact there are large opportunities for mixed exposures in construction.
When I was talking to Knut about what we should say, what we wanted to do here he says ask the committee about things you need from them. So I sat down and talked to my steering committee and said okay, what would you like from the ANOSH committee. We need a fair amount of guidance as to what you think is important.
We also need a lot of assistance in developing ways to communicate our safety and health message to the hard to reach sectors of the industry. As we all know there are numbers of different tiers in construction, as well as there are in mining, as well as there are in other types of industries. The larger companies seem to get the message, and it is the middle and the other areas that we're not quite -- don't quite know how to reach.
We'd also like your assistance in developing programs or research to follow the suggested research and surveillance, and also to assist us in translating NIOSH-related research findings to you. Thank you.
MR. RINGEN: Diane, Do you have something to add?
MS. PORTER: Just that we are very excited with the opportunities that these earmarked funds have provided to enable us to build an infrastructure, both extramurally and intramurally within the institute, and I believe if I had to speak to one weakness of the program is the lack of communication that we've had in some respects over the last five years. But as with any program an evolution over time you learn a lot. And partnership with respect to the industry and the labor folks, trying to pull this research agenda together and make some sense.
I was talking to Dr. Rosenstock last week and we're talking about the National Occupational Research Agenda and you saw that we unveiled that on the 25th anniversary of NIOSH and she said we could do the entire National Occupational Research Agenda in construction. There's no question that if we can get some additional funds and whatever, we would be able to accomplish what we want to accomplish on the research agenda by just using the construction industry, because as Marie pointed out it represents basically all of the 21 priority areas for research.
So we're excited about the opportunities we've been provided and look forward to the input of the committee, directed to Marie, because she's actually the research program coordinator, and obviously you can talk to me about it as well.
MR. RINGEN: I think what Marie said was -- first of all, she made a very good presentation of this. In 1989 NIOSH spent about 300,000 on construction so to about 12 million more or less to about this point in time, which has obviously been a very big growth curve and we've had very good Congressional support for this program and continue to have excellent support. And our goal in the building trades is to get this budget up to about 20 million or so. I think we could spend that effectively.
As a result of the fast growth NIOSH decided about a year ago to hold an external review, a big review of this program. And I'm sorry Stu Burkhammer isn't here because he was on the review and Joe Adam who was a long time member of this committee was also on that review and they both felt very strongly that the program, all of us who were involved in it, are driven a little bit too much by our own interests as opposed to what the industry really needs and that in some ways the research has not been well enough as you say integrated into it. And they recommended very strongly that this committee be one of the major focus points that can give guidance to this program. So that's something that we're going to try to accomplish here and this is the first step in that.
There's another thing that's important in that respect that we have to keep in mind also. Before this research program was started really the field of construction safety and health was driven entirely almost or to a large extent by anecdotes and experiences that had very little basis in any kind of research or a strong data component to it. A lot of it was based on things like the fatality data, which we all know is lousy data to start with.
And you'd go to construction safety and health meetings and there would be a bunch of consultants standing up and making very forceful presentations, but with very, very little by and large factual basis for what they were saying. So I think that this program is helping to provide more of a factual and also intellectual basis for activities that I think is good, but that could be much, much better if it was integrated more into the people who are actually out there doing the work. So that's -- that is the other thing that this committee has to help achieve, how do we get these researchers.
And most of them have never done anything in construction before, they've been in other fields of occupational health and it's been a little bit dragging people into this kicking and screaming sometimes, both into construction and especially into safety research, which none of these academics seem to feel that that is very intellectually challenging until they get into it.
So there's a host of challenges still that we're trying to accommodate, get more researchers involved, get them to do research that is relevant, that's practical and this kind of stuff, and also get the people in the industry to make better use of this research program. That's roughly where we're it. We certainly have a critical mass that people can use at this point in time. We look for this committee to guide us on how to achieve these multiple objectives as this program continues to grow.
MS. HARING-SWEENEY: One other thing that we have now with the integration of the former Bureau of Mines there's a whole other angle is mining, construction in mining, and we have to sort of think of that as another angle. We're only use to most of the time above ground application, but now we need to think about the underground applications as well.
MR. SWANSON: Another area that we have to spend more time thinking about is the integration with this new directorate of construction in OSHA and in your office. There's such a natural interface that from our side of the table that we've done nothing about to date and that has to change.
MR. RINGEN: That came out in the review. That's a very important thing that NIOSH and OSHA have to work better together and you talked yesterday about the problems that you have just with your statistics operation.
MS. HARING-SWEENEY: Yeah, we've actually asked for -- putting a project plant for running the steering committee so that we might be able to spend more time interacting with people on a face-to-face basis as well as coming to OSHA or having OSHA coming to us.
MR. SWANSON: I'd love to have OSHA come to you. Can I detail somebody to Cincinnati? You can train him for a year.
MR. RINGEN: A long term detail. But the stuff you're saying about integrating construction and mining is real important when we went through this facility yesterday. Just to mention four things that I saw here that I thought were very relevant which was starting out, obviously they're dealing with excavation and tunneling mainly, if we want to put it in construction terms.
They have a huge research program in heavy equipment operations, nothing different from what the operating engineers are interested in, including the cranes and hoists kind of issues. Great opportunities for the use of 3-D stimulation -- simulation, not stimulation. 3-D CAD simulation of safety and health, which is something that we can and you can use much more of. And they do an awful lot on education and training, and that could be very good for our industry, so I see great opportunities.
I also think that what based on what they said yesterday that the fatality rate in surface mine operations is about 53 per 100,000, which is pretty high and it's mostly equipment operations.
MS. SCHUSTER: How are you currently reaching out to the -- you've posed that in your meeting now, but how are you currently reaching out to the industry?
MS. HARING-SWEENEY: We are looking into how to do it better. Right now most of our outreach is through our publications as well as through publications in the periodic literature. We are now beginning through our education and information division going into locations and also we do a fair amount of outreach through our collaborators and our partners. We're doing training and things like that.
The program is going to be expanded and that was one of the questions that I asked is how are we going to do it, what do you think are the methods that are most effective in reaching not only those people that we already talked to, but people that don't know that we exist. And we went and did a focus group of vocational teachers in and around the Ohio area and only one out of nine of those people in the focus groups knew that NIOSH actually existed.
MS. OSORIO: I think that's a little bit deceiving because if you saw, quite a bit of their money is going for -- and we're the recipient for some of it. And if you look at the state level, we couldn't do our work unless we interfaced with trade groups, with unions. We go to vocational schools. We go to community colleges and all that. So I think although NIOSH is not always known, we always acknowledge who is funding us.
I think if you look at the people who are funding, I think they're making some inroads, too, but I agree that sometimes with NIOSH you maybe say it once and it goes right over people's heads, at least with the experience that we've had.
MS. HARING-SWEENEY: That's what I said. We're most effective through our partners and our collaborators and people that have gotten through the extramural programs. MR. RINGEN: The other thing that came up yesterday is what's the role of the seasonal crews. That's a very good questions. They're all over the country. How can a facility like this which is out in the western part, where NIOSH isn't represented very well, how can they work with people in the states and through the VRCs and so on out here.
MS. HARING-SWEENEY: Actually apparently this facility does very well in community outreach, so it would be probably very easy to tag onto that and keep on going.
MR. RINGEN: And how does NIOSH -- does it interact not just with federal OSHA but with all of the state plans? Does it work at all with the state plans, construction offices?
MS. HARING-SWEENEY: Again that's one of the gaps we need to look at.
MS. PORTER: Yeah. I think when one looked at the array of projects that we had, and we kind of broke them down by surveillance research, service orientation and outreach, the curve went like this, right?
We have a lot of money and projects being spent on the research side, but in terms of how to reach out to the community and get the information so we know we've got to level it or maybe even tilt it a little bit this way, because it doesn't do a darn bit of good to be doing all this research if we don't have a way to translate it and transport it out to the industry, and so that's something that we're looking at and Marie is looking at in terms of trying to balance out that curve a bit with the dollars that we have intramurally and maximizing and even understanding, because I think that one of the big weaknesses of the NIOSH program to some degree is that interface between the extramural and intramural program.
We give out the money and we say go, you know, and then we may not follow back to say well exactly what did you do, so that when Marie kind of represents what we know about translation, it may not be the whole picture because it's not the picture of what the extramural people are doing, and that was one of the things that was pointed out in the evaluation studies. We need to get better integrated with our extramural partners to understand the big picture.
MS. HARING-SWEENEY: One thing I do -- I should say is that we've had some very good interaction with people with whom we've had cooperative agreement. It may not be the same with contracts, I grant, but the cooperative agreements have been very collaborative.
The other thing is I think one has to say that we needed to do the research up front the first five years to really focus where we need to pay attention to. As you said, you know, people were standing up and not knowing, they were just blowing smoke. But now we know where to focus the energy.
MR. RINGEN: Any other comments?
MS. SUGARMAN: I just have a quick question. I also wanted to compliment you on a great presentation and I was going to ask also about the dissemination, because until I got on this committee I really didn't know about any of the work that NIOSH was doing or that it existed, and I'd be glad to be like on a mailing list and other organizations like mine who are encouraging workers to go into this industry to get posters that we can use in our training classes.
One of the biggest issues that women face is not feeling confident that it's a safe industry, you know, are hearing about that and I think if we're making them aware of what the resources are for making it safer, it's more encouraging.
MS. HARING-SWEENEY: Yeah, I think that you bring up a good point. We have a new division director in the education and information division. Things will be changing on how we do dissemination, so stay tuned.
MS. SUGARMAN: I also just -- I often get calls from workers about health and safety questions and I'm -- I'm never sure if there's a national clearing house or a resource place that says if I have this question about what kind of safety equipment would be best to use or is this a dangerous exposure. Is there -- does NIOSH serve as like a 1(800) number for --
MS. HARING-SWEENEY: Yeah, we have a 1(800) number, it's 1(800) 35-NIOSH, and let them ask the question and then they'll -- they may be able to help them, particularly on hazardous exposures and be able to give them some of these publications. In terms of a national clearing house for tools and for equipment, we don't have that information. We don't keep a repository with that kind of information.
MS. PORTER: Respiratory protection, we do.
MS. HARING-SWEENEY: Respiratory, right.
MS. PORTER: But, you know, we don't --
MS. HARING-SWEENEY: But gloves and --
MR. RINGEN: You can call the Illinois Construction Safety Council.
MS. SUGARMAN: In Chicago, yeah.
MR. RINGEN: Yeah, Chicago. They're the natural people that do this.
MS. PORTER: And we've also started a project, haven't we, Marie, on kind of designing respirators at least that fit women and minorities, because there's a bit problem in, you know, size and those kind of things with respect to appropriate protection, and so we're currently working on trying to get things for women and minority workers, and again that's a long term project. It will probably take us four years to figure it out, but we will then develop hopefully a market for that kind of personal protective equipment.
MS. HARING-SWEENEY: We need to do anthropometric studies, which is basically measuring people and figuring out what the range is.
MR. RINGEN: Unless any members of the community has any objection to this, I think that what we'll do in the future is to ask NIOSH to make a presentation at each of our meetings about the specifics of one or more issues.
MS. PORTER: Yeah we several years ago did a presentation to the committee on silicon and I think it would be great to do a couple research projects. It gives the researchers a chance to interface with the committee and I think it would be a great opportunity.
MR. SWANSON: Let me just if I could a comment. At the present time we're working with your organization at the center to do three programs in Seattle, Portland and in San Jose and it's working quite well on that well and fume examination and we really appreciate that effort that we're getting from you.
And I think when it's completed what we're going to do, no doubt, is an article in our journal to spell out what the results were and the help that we've gotten and we do appreciate it very much. If you hadn't taken that project on, it just wouldn't get done.
MR. RINGEN: And I think the organization of the program within NIOSH is really starting to come together and we're seeing a much more effective result. Okay, thank you.
Bruce, do you want to give a brief supplemental presentation?
MR. SWANSON: Yes, if I may. It's supplemental to the extent that I didn't give it yesterday when I should have. It's a cousin to just in time inventory. I'm leaving here in 20 minutes so let me give the rest of my report that was faxed out to me this morning.
What it is, is this is a communication from the Health Standards Unit inside OSHA that is developing a tuberculosis standard that will have an impact on the construction industry, not a significant impact in breadth, but perhaps a significant impact in depth for a small number of employers.
And they asked me to give you folks an early heads up that will be a proposed standard in the federal register before the end of this calendar year. So that's where we are time-wise. We will be back to ACCSH after the proposal and a year or two before we get around to any final standard that is going to have an impact in the construction industry.
But with that intro, let me quickly cover the background here on infectious TB being spread by airborne droplets generated to people in the infectious state by coughing, sneezing or speaking. Since '85 the incidence of TB in the United States has increased approximately 14 percent, reversing a 30-year downward trend.
In 1993 alone, 25,313 new cases of TB were reported in the United States. In '93 CDC reported to Congress that 12 health care workers had died from TB and that several hundred workers were under medical treatment. On October 8th, 1993, OSHA issued nationwide enforcement guidelines for TB in high risk work places that were identified by CDC. On January 26th, 1994, OSHA initiated rule making in this subject area.
Construction activity: From '94 to date, approximately 500 TB-related inspections have been conducted by OSHA and the state enforcement programs, so this stuff is all 50 state data. Inspection activity has focused on general industry facilities, specifically places identified by CDC. Examples are health care facilities, homeless shelters, correctional institutions and the like.
Referencing CDC guidelines to control TB, five A-1 citations have been and are being issued. Citations are being issued for standard violations for respiratory protection, record keeping and sign/tagging as well.
The proposed TB standard: The scope of the standard will cover employees in general industry as well as those in construction activity such as maintenance, repair or renovation. Examples would be ventilation systems, isolation rooms, laboratory hoods, et cetera. The standard will require the manager of the facility to inform all contractors of the potential hazard to TB when and where appropriate.
The standard will further require the contractor, based on the potential of employee exposure to develop an exposure control plan, provide respiratory protection as necessary and develop a medical surveillance program, provide training on the hazards associated with TB. Agency review of the standard has been completed in-house, and as I said after O & B review and subsequent amendment, the hope is to come out with a proposal by the end of this calendar year. Thank you, that's all. We are not asking for formal action.
MR. RINGEN: We're going to get something on TB?
MR. SWANSON: Yes.
MR. RINGEN: Is he going to cover anything specific on construction?
MR. SWANSON: It will cover what is anticipated will be necessary on the requirements of the medical surveillance program and a specific TB program that an employer will have to put in place, should the specific situation require it, such as a ventilation contractor going into a hospital facility or a nursing home where they have had TB activity, then a specific plan would have to be initiated. Thank you.
MR. RINGEN: I don't know if anybody here has ever had the issue of tuberculosis come up in their work.
MR. RHOTEN: Oh well it seems to me like a good idea. It's like the blood born passages that are standard at us and not with our contractors necessarily, but we've had facilities where our members worked in hospitals and they've been able to adapt to it quite easily, and I assume this is going to just be the same, you know, type of situation.
MS. OSORIO: We actually have a coop agreement with NIOSH and we have an occupational TB registry in our state and I have to tell you that most of the cases we're seeing, cases could be an active case of TB, which is very rare, or that they have a skin test converted from negative to positive. And where we're getting and seeing the cases is in institutional care. There are some custodial people that have converted, but you know, the construction industry per se hasn't come up.
MR. RINGEN: We had a problem in a couple of instances with immigrant workers that have tested positive.
MS. OSORIO: Well see we're assigning this as occupationally acquired. Those are people that they would have already had a skin test. So we're trying to see what work place factors that led to conversions. I'm not saying it doesn't exist, I'm saying we haven't picked it up at least in our registry for three years.
MR. RINGEN: All right, we'll look forward to it, Bruce. It's an important issue.
That concludes everything I think except for the work group reports.
MR. RHOTEN: I had one issue, if I could. I think yesterday the statistics that were passed out by OSHA that pointed out what the fatality rate was in smaller shops I think deserves a little more attention. I think maybe the problem has been there a long time.
But what I think needs to happen is with these rates as high as they are that it needs to be further identified, and I think what I'd like to know, if we can get the information, is if this problem is basically in the residential field or the light commercial field or industrial. Is the cause of this training? I think training is in that top ten of citation issues and if that could be determined, if that's more prevalent in the smaller shops than the larger shops.
I mean basically what I see here is a major problem that should have a top priority to fix it and I think we need more information so that we can fix it. But I think you can't pass something like this out and just say this is the information that the death rates for a contractor that hires four and under is 32 for per 100,000 on the fatality rate without going further and trying to fix this problem.
I mean to me it's a major, major problem. I think, you know, there's no doubt where I've been coming from on this training issue and I think there's been some opposition from the contractors' point of view that it shouldn't be required or mandated, and maybe it's not training. Maybe it's enforcement.
Maybe there has to be more emphasis put on enforcement by OSHA in these small shops, but I definitely think that I would like to have more information on why it's that way and with the aim at trying to fix it and I think we need to concentrate on that. I don't think we can just let this go year after year and think everything is okay or it's acceptable. It's absolutely unacceptable to have these kind of figures presented without going after a solution to them.
MR. RINGEN: Well Ana Maria raised the same issue in a different way yesterday when she said we better get a set of data that we can all pretty much agree on, I think, to paraphrase. Why don't you express it yourself?
MS. OSORIO: I agree it's very alarming and stuff, but I hate to be like really repetitious. I think I said it in the last three meetings is that I just don't think we can just look at the Fed OSHA situation, but look at the state plans, too, to get the complete picture.
And I also want to emphasize that neither seasonality issues or other issues that are regional. You know, like some of the work done in certain parts of the country may have tailings or any tailings that you work with. And we may have other parts where it's more altitude, you know, problems get more -- so I think we have to get the whole picture together. And so I'm not saying those death rates aren't important, I think that's part of the picture.
MR. RHOTEN: Well I think you're looking at an overall problem, and what I'm trying to point out is that I'm just looking at the small contractor problem. I mean I agree with you that you need all this information, but I don't think that the problem with small contractors happens because of any particular area maybe that he's working in or any particular material he's working with.
Maybe it is, but the problem seems to me to be that the guy is a small contractor, period, and something is not going right, that's all I'm suggesting. I think this problem with the small contractor needs to be separate than any other information that we need. I think we need to concentrate on this issue is what I'm suggesting.
MS. OSARIO: But I think -- I guess my feeling is that you need input from everybody involved and it just can't be a fed OSHA problem. It's a state plan, too.
MR. RHOTEN: I agree.
MS. OSARIO: And I think that if you look at solutions by looking at it regionally, if you have buy in from different people, there's trade groups, you know, union groups and whatever in different regions. I mean, I can organize people in California and there's people like me or that do similar things to me in other parts. So I think that is part of the solution, even if they're just looking at the data.
MR. RHOTEN: I'm not opposed to anything that you just said, all I'm suggesting is that I think we need first is all the information that we can get to find out exactly why that rate is that high, who the contractors are, whether they're plumbing contractors or underground contractors so we can further identify this particular problem and then ask OSHA to go after it.
MR. SMITH: I guarantee you they're not painters at least not in Southern California.
MR. RHOTEN: But I don't disagree with anything you said, I just want this further emphasized is all.
MR. SMITH: Yeah, just to follow on what Bill is saying, I think what he's saying is absolutely true. It looks like from the 250 and up or the 500 and up, which is where OSHA federally has been able to target, it looks like they're somewhat fixing the problem that was broken because their numbers are definitely low and probably prior to 1970 the numbers were higher because nothing was out there to do it and you'd have probably seen in 500 or greater like the Empire State Building and when there was workers and crafts falling everywhere, the numbers were going to be high.
After 1970 until now, they've been able to target this group because of dodges and because of the way they contract, and the group that they can't track is the 50 or 20 or 10 and less, and that's where the numbers are higher, so what Bill is saying is absolutely true.
What's broken now in this environment is that federally OSHA needs to find out how to go after and attack that broken mechanism in the smaller companies, and what we probably would find is that as the states reported, the states have a mechanism of using different latitudes like the workers' comp data that they can use to go after the individuals in their own state, in their own backyard and get these smaller contractors.
So the numbers state why, even though what we get are probably going to be lower here, because federally they can't do that yet and Bruce stated it the other day and we've talked about this with AGC and with a bunch of associations that it seems that what we need to do is get federal OSHA to tie into the state plans with the workers' comp system to use a better form of information to tracking really where the injuries are occurring.
MS. OSORIO: But you know it's an easy thing to just count deaths and I'm just saying that --
MR. SMITH: I'm not talking about the death side, I'm talking about the injury side, the whole nine yards.
MS. OSORIO: Right.
MR. SMITH: I mean, the workers' comp side doesn't just do deaths.
MS. OSORIO: But I guess my protest is that I just don't want to fixate on deaths. I totally agree that I think the smaller employer, contractor or whatever needs to be focused on it, but he or she may need to be focused on not just for fatalities, they may need some chronic exposure to other things, that's all I'm saying.
MR. RHOTEN: Well I agree with you 100 percent. That's basically what I'm asking for is more information like that. Now the only information I've got is the death rates I think and I don't know --
MS. OSORIO: We could do better and there's more data out there.
MR. RHOTEN: That's exactly what I'm asking for. I think what you'll find is that the injury rate is going to mirror this death rate and all the other problems and I think it's going to be basically with the smaller contractors. I don't disagree with anything you said. I'm just asking for some more information so that -- I mean, we know there's a problem right here, find out further what the problem is and then identify the problem further and then fix it, that's what I want to do.
MR. RINGEN: What we may do here -- and I think you're absolutely right, that we don't have enough information really still to make decisions, although we have a lot more than is being presented here generally, and we can form a formal group or an informal group of the committee to collect first of all the data that we have and to figure out how to make a meaningful presentation of data regularly available to this committee. I'll be glad to take charge of doing that or Diane can take charge of doing it, which would be even better, and have NIOSH --
MS. PORTER: That's fine, I can do it.
MR. RINGEN: All right, so Diane will -- yes?
MS. SCHUSTER: I just think that being sensitive to the concerns that are raised by Bill, that we can gather all the data, but maybe the first presentation for the next meeting should focus on more details on what those deaths entailed, where they occurred, what kinds of circumstances were involved.
MR. RHOTEN: Well that's exactly what I'm asking for is where they occurred, what type of work where there's falls.
MS. SCHUSTER: Exactly, I think that's the first step. I guess my problem is that's the first step and then other areas of morbidity and mortality we may explore, that's all I'm saying.
MR. RINGEN: I think Marie also had a quick comment here.
MS. HARING-SWEENEY: I have a comment. We've got -- we have a project going on in North Carolina at Duke University that's actually looking at the contractors for both injuries and fatalities. That should be done in the next -- very shortly and actually I think we should talk to John about how he is going about getting the information, because I think he's doing it in actually a couple of different ways, going to insurance companies, going to the Home Builders Association, and so it might be worthwhile to do that.
MR. RINGEN: It may still be a little too early, but we'll have a presentation from him soon. But by the next meeting we will get together, get Ana Marie involved to look at some of the states and we will put together much better data for you than we have now and then we'll talk about where to go from there.
MS. PORTER: And as I said yesterday, I mean, you know, you present one piece of data and ten more questions come up. So this is like, you know, gathering a baseline and start building from that, because it's only going to improve over time, but you're not going to be able to answer all the questions at once. But I think Bill's right, you know, this kind of evokes ten more questions that need to be dealt with.
MR. RINGEN: Yes.
MS. SCHUSTER: I think size is often very misleading, too, on that data because another very important factor, is that it may be a small contractor, but are they on a much larger site, is it a multi-employer site, and what were the interactions between their and the other people there is really critical, too, especially in some of the accidents and the fatalities that we've been investigating.
MR. RHOTEN: I appreciate that.
MS. SCHUSTER: It goes along with that multi-employer thing we did.
MR. RHOTEN: And I might have been guilty of already predetermining a solution for this problem which is training, and that might be wrong. So in my mind I've already got a solution for this problem, but I guess I have to clarify that that's really the problem. I guess when we get done with this, if that's what will happen, you'll find out that there's no training for those people in those four-man shops.
MR. RINGEN: We will deal with that. You were shaking your head, Steve, why, in despair?
MR. CLOUTIER: I think that's the tip of the iceberg in looking at fatality data or other data that's out there. The data is available. We've got to find a method to accumulate it, bring it back to the committee and I've said for years that OSHA has directed their talents or their efforts in the wrong place and those statistics bear well. We need to go after the smaller folks, to educate them, to train them, to bring them up, raise their level of expertise and everybody wins.
MR. RHOTEN: They've been fishing in the wrong hole.
MR. RINGEN: Let me raise one thing before Bruce goes, because this occurred to me yesterday in the conversations. One of the reasons that the state plans have the ability to function differently than federal OSHA is that they have access to an involvement with the workers' comp programs, which are by law state governed and by law for all practical purposes, OSHA can't do anything, can't force them to do anything, to operate safely as employers. OSHA and the Labor Department tried to get together the people who are responsible for workers' comp insurance in the state, and especially the people who are responsible for the involuntary risk pools, the assigned risk pools out there and get them together to talk about how they can implement better safety and health programs, because that's where you're going to find most of the small employers and that's probably the most effective way to get at them, and those assigned risk pools, even though they charge higher premiums, even though everybody else subsidizes them, even though they operate unsafely, do very little to promote safety at all. In most states they don't do anything, I don't think.
It's getting a little better, but far from it. So I would like to support -- or I'd like a discussion on that possibility of having the Labor Department bring together some of these insurance folks with the states, and the state OSHA officials as well to talk about how you can make a better effort at getting at this issue.
MR. CLOUTIER: Well, Mr. Chairman, I think that might be the next step after we gather whatever information we can get from state plans right now, what NIOSH has, what OSHA has and then if we get a lot of information, then we may not have to go to them. If we don't fill all the holes and take care of our needs, then we'll go back and ask the Secretary of Labor to get us information.
MR. RINGEN: That wasn't just for data. I mean, the main purpose is not for data, but that's fine. I have no problem with that. We will collect the data by the next meeting or whatever we have out there.
MR. SWANSON: That might be optimistic, but off you go.
MR. RINGEN: Well Diane is in charge. Anything else in general? We have a couple of other things to get to also, but let's take first what is on the agenda formally since you're going to leave now.
The most important thing is probably coming up so the safety and health programs report.
MS. PAUL: Now?
MR. RINGEN: Now.
MS. PAUL: Or after a break?
MR. RINGEN: I suggest we just -- unless people feel strong about a break, we'll keep going or do you need a break? Okay, five minute break and then we'll go ahead.
(A recess was taken.)
MR. RINGEN: Let's get started again with the report of the work on the programs.
MS. PAUL: Okay, at the last ACCSH meeting, you'll remember that we presented to the committee a document that was our effort up to that point and we felt that it was fairly complete and had quite a few comments from the members of the committee itself.
So in the interests of getting everything integrated, the chair of this committee asked that we go back to the drawing board between that meeting and this meeting and requested that members of ACCSH send their comments to the OSHA group that was doing the compiling for us through Bruce Swanson's office and that the stakeholders do the same, again ongoing, and that's exactly what happened.
This document that we just passed out is the document. If you look -- my assistant -- there we go. If you look on the fourth page and you received a red line strike out, part of this safety and health program's document, and that document was sent out with a group of other documents to 130 different people, stakeholders and the ACCSH committee member.
So this red line strike out document is the one we worked from yesterday. The clean copy is the three pages on top, with the changes that were made yesterday. So I'm not asking the committee to look at the full document, this red line strike out document you have had for some time, so I just wanted to make that point.
You will see there are a few changes, a few additions. We felt that this work group has done just about all that the work group can do. We have come just about as far as we can. We have had tremendous participation from stakeholders. We have had Camille Villanova of Bruce Swanson's staff has done an absolutely fantastic job, other than the fact that at 5 o'clock in the morning she was faxing these things practically daily, because she is in Washington, D.C., I'm in Vancouver, Washington, and she kept forgetting about that three hour difference. But be that as it may, she was intent that I was going to get this information and know what's going on.
So we believe that this construction safety and health management document is about as far as the work group can go. We give thanks to Bruce Swanson who has supplied us with people working on this, and like I say, especially to Camille Villanova, who has just worked her head off over the whole thing, to get us to this point.
We don't have total support, but Knut made it very clear to us that we're not a consensus work group, we were a work group that was to work as far as we could to get as much agreement as we can and then pass it on to the full committee, and that's what we're doing today, we're passing it on to the full committee for your -- not comments, I'm not trying to ask you for more comments, but this is the document we've come up with, you know, given the period of time and given the time frame, I move that you pass this document on up the line for the next step to the Assistant Secretary or whoever, the next step, and I'm not real familiar how that goes, but we present this to you as our work.
MR. RINGEN: Okay, thank you very much, Judy. Thank you for doing a very good job.
MR. RHOTEN: I'd like to just mention I'd like to make a comment that everybody is very unhappy with this document and I second the motion that you submit it on through. There's something in here that everybody wants in here that's not here, you know, but I second that.
MR. RINGEN: So you've made the motion that?
MS. PAUL: I've made the motion that we pass this along. And could I say one other thing? You know, this is the first step, although we've been doing this for almost two years and working on this, this is the first step, you know, and that's what we're bringing to you now, you know. And like I say, this is a lot of hard work and bending and, you know, and saying, okay, we can do this, and those kinds of things. You all know, you know, that it takes a lot of work to take diverse groups and come up with a document that even you will work from. So, you know, I thank everybody that's been involved and I'll leave it there.
MR. RINGEN: Okay, what about other people involved in the work group? Bill, to some extent you've been involved?
MR. RHOTEN: To some extent. I missed several meetings because I was involved with a confined space group.
MS. PAUL: And Ana Maria, do you have comments?
MS. OSORIO: Well I just want to emphasize some of the points that Judy made that I think there was a lot of discussion at the last meeting we had here that everybody who attends the meeting will not endorse this document a hundred percent.
I do think, though, as a credit to Bruce and Camille and Judy they've made an all-out effort to get everybody's opinion and try to put them down on paper in a way that is kind of middle of the road, if you will. And so I think there's been a good faith effort, but you know, this is just sort of like you said, sort of like an amoeba that needs a little more forming still.
So I think as a first step in the direction of ultimately getting something that will then go, you know, the formal OSHA route, I think it represents a lot of good faith effort by a lot of people and I think at this point, I think we can keep on having meetings with all this stakeholders that we talked about, but I don't think we're going to get any further than what we have now.
MR. RINGEN: I think it's important, the two things that you raised is that at this stage you've probably done as much as you can and that all this does is to form the basis for OSHA issuing an ANPR, if it finds it satisfactory, at which time everybody else will have opportunities to once again comment on it and we will get back something much more substantial in a couple years probably, whenever it is.
Bob, do you have any comments?
MR. MASTERSON: Only basically to say the same thing the others have said. I think nobody is a hundred percent satisfied with what's in here, but I think the effort put forth by everybody that participated was incredible. I mean everybody had to give and get a little. None of us got everything that we wanted, but I certainly think it's a document that we can work from and hopefully serve the real purpose, and that's to develop good safety in our programs.
MR. RINGEN: Any other comments about this? We have a motion that this be adopted and be sent forward. I'd like to suggest that maybe we make a small amendment to that, as we said yesterday, with opportunity for those who are not present at this meeting also to be able to send their comments on it to the assistant or to OSHA and if there should happen to be large disputes arising out of what those comments may be, that we may have to bring it back again, but anticipating that that wouldn't be the case, we'd move forward with it.
MS. PAUL: There was a kind of a time frame for getting comments back. I had a couple of them faxed even to me on Monday here and I read those --
MR. RINGEN: And they've been taken into account?
MS. PAUL: -- where appropriate. Yes, so the ones that came as of Monday we took into account and put those on the table, too. So we are that current.
MR. RINGEN: I think that includes Bernice Jenkins.
MS. PAUL: Yes, it does, and her comments, let me just tell you were on the June draft, and Bob and I -- there was conversation and I sent the letter around which we can put in the record here from Bernice to the members of the work group and they felt that -- or at least Bob felt that the concerns that Bernice raised regarding the June 13th draft, which was the draft before the draft, that we had addressed her concerns. So, you know, I just will put that in the record and send this around, so for your own information you have it. But this letter was directed to the draft that we fixed, so to speak, according to Bob. I asked him if that was the case.
MR. MASTERSON: Right and I think Jim also had agreed with that. Most of the provisions in Bernice's letter have been satisfied on that July draft, actually.
MR. RINGEN: Okay, the motion is on the floor. Any other comments or discussions? All in favor of the motion say Aye.
(Group says Aye.)
MR. RINGEN: Opposed?
MR. RINGEN: Okay, thank you very much. The record should reflect that there was nobody opposed to the motion, so this document will go forward to OSHA and they will do with it what they please.
Again I want to thank all of you and lots of people were involved --
MS. PAUL: Lots.
MR. RINGEN: -- and I think there was an extraordinary effort of getting input into something that started out as contentious and worked out. And you did an admirable job of shepherding it through, thank you. Now you're available for another work group. Thank you.
Next issue, is the confined spaces work group report ready, Steve?
MR. CLOUTIER: The confined space work group met on Monday, August 26th and in view of the final document which was sent to each ACCSH member on July 3rd, 1996, this number of pages long being double-spaced, wound up 44 pages long and everybody had a copy, and I don't have extra copies here for the committee, and I apologize for that. But there were a few minor changes made to the original document, and those changes are as follows:
On page 8, before we asked for some additional potential problem areas, and we were looking for an example, and we came up with an example of lack of adequate lighting, so we've added that wording.
On page 12, line 3, there was a discussion if it was a multi-employer site that somebody had to decide whose confined space entry plan they were going to use, so the committee felt that we needed to change it instead of having everybody work off their individual plan, that a decision would be made at the site that there would only be one plan being used for confined space entry, so we changed the wording to say, "Employers must work off a single entry plan."
And then on the last item of discussion at the meeting which was on page 32 where we were talking about on site and off site rescue services, it was decided that if the employer is going to use an off site rescue service then the standby person must be trained in CPR, and those of us in the committee felt that that was a perfectly legitimate request because we all know that there is a time lag of when you pick up the phone and dial a two, four or nine digit or a seven digit or a three digit emergency number, whether you're dialing 9-1-1 or a seven digit number that there's a time delay to get that response on site.
So we had some discussion on that and we all came to an agreement that we felt that if we're going to use an off site rescue service that the standby person must be trained in CPR.
Those are the only changes that were made to the original draft that was sent to you, and that was the June 28th, 1996 draft on confined space. So at this time, Mr. Chairman, I will make a motion that the work group's product go to the committee for a vote.
MR. RINGEN: Well I think those changes by and large are excellent. Bill, you served on the committee, do you have any comments?
MR. RHOTEN: No. I think it's a good document and I think that Steve did a very good job in getting all the information and all the input from any of the interested parties and I think he worked very hard on that and I'd second the motion that it be passed on.
MR. RINGEN: And let's see, Diane Porter was involved in it also, but she's not here right now.
MR. CLOUTIER: And, Mr. Chairman, I'd also like to thank Gil Esparza with the Department of Labor. He spent many, many hours on this coordinating it and giving us good draft information and Gil's been somewhat under the weather with open heart surgery here recently, and that didn't stop him up until the last moment. I would like to recognize him.
MR. RINGEN: I hope this wasn't a contributing factor.
MR. CLOUTIER: No, he's --
MR. RHOTEN: I'd like to recognize Gil also. He was a lot of help to me in going through some of the things I didn't understand. He was well familiar with this whole confined space issue and without his help I would have had a hard time coming to some judgment decisions.
MR. RINGEN: Well I want to also thank the work group and Steve in particular for the excellent effort again in an almost impossible time request from OSHA to produce what I think has been a very thorough review of the issues put together an excellent document that I'm certainly very happy with.
Any other questions or comments?
MR. RINGEN: Okay, we have the motion on the floor to adopt this report of the work group and to send it forth to OSHA. All in favor of the motion please say aye.
(The group says aye.)
MR. RINGEN: Any opposed?
MR. RINGEN: Nobody is opposed, okay, a unanimous agreement. Thank you very much for doing that and that concludes our work reports. Because of logistical problems the HAZWIC committee wasn't able to report today. We have one or two more issues left to take care of.
Subpart M, we discussed that yesterday and we established a work group. Bob Masterson, because of other commitments, asked to be relieved of the responsibility of being chairman, and since Steve Cooper isn't here, I suggest that we make a motion to appoint Cooper as chairman.
MR. RHOTEN: I'll second that motion.
MR. MASTERSON: I would still like to participate. I just don't have the extra time to chair and do the job that needs to be done there.
MR. RINGEN: It's understood, and we'll take care of that and I'll talk to Steve when I get back, realizing that that was a unanimous agreement once again. It's something that Cooper is familiar with.
A couple of other things that have come up. Steve raised it yesterday, the issue of federal construction procurement, we will make every effort by the next meeting also to put together a discussion of that issue and ask the various federal agencies who are the main construction -- the main agencies that buy construction services in the federal government to join us in a discussion about how to make procurement requirements uniform across the various agencies when it comes to safety and health. That's something that this committee is supposed to be doing as we said yesterday, so we'll deal with that.
The final thing is -- I don't know where Diane is -- but we have a request that Stu Burkhammer first brought to our attention and that is that OSHA and NIOSH
-- and maybe you can speak to this, Marie?
MS. HARING-SWEENEY: Yeah.
MR. RINGEN: They're developing a conference on best practices --
MS. HARING-SWEENEY: Right.
MR. RINGEN: -- in construction.
MS. HARING-SWEENEY: We're actually going to be calling it effective programs and practices to reduce work-related musculoskeletal disorders. I think we've all come to the conclusion that right now best is not a word we can use just yet. But we would like people to bring forward their
-- the programs and practices that they've used that seem to be successful in their work space, in their work environment and even some of the programs that might not have worked and talk about lessons learned.
MR. RINGEN: When is this conference going to be held?
MS. HARING-SWEENEY: This conference will be held in Chicago on January 8th and 9th, 1997. It will be at the Sheraton Chicago Hotel & Towers.
MR. RINGEN: You couldn't hold it in Florida?
MS. HARING-SWEENEY: We tried. We tried. We tried Florida. We tried Texas. It's right on the lake. It's right on Michigan Avenue. The winds are much better there.
MR. RINGEN: And this conference is a conference for all industry?
MS. HARING-SWEENEY: Right.
MR. RINGEN: And what Stu proposed and what I think you as conference organizers are interested in is having a section of it or some part of it dealing with construction.
MS. HARING-SWEENEY: That's right.
MR. RINGEN: And what I propose that we do with that is that we ask our WMD work group to work with you in developing that program, Stu and other people who are on that work group will be in touch with you. I don't think we need a motion or anything on this, but if anybody on the committee has suggestions about things that we can include in that conference, it would be very helpful.
MR. RHOTEN: Maybe they could get a job site visit to a high rise up there on the lake.
MR. HALL: Just to let you know NACOSH your sister group has two people on the planning committee for that conference. Do you remember who those two people are?
MS. HARING-SWEENEY: Pankling and Paxaminarian.
MR. HALL: Yeah, so there are two people from NACOSH working to plan that conference, to give you an idea.
MR. RINGEN: Well we can certainly have members from this committee join the planning committee.
MR. HALL: Well I'd say that's between you all and NIOSH if they want more people or if it's already so far along that they do. I don't know how you'd like that. Did you want more people on the planning committee?
MS. HARING-SWEENEY: We will discuss it with the chairperson, Larry Fein. But we will definitely take your suggestion under advisement.
MR. RINGEN: But what if we do the following, we say that we will organize a construction part of this under the auspices of our WMD work group?
MS. HARING-SWEENEY: I think that will work.
MR. RINGEN: Okay. We don't just want to be window dressing to the thing, if we're going to be involved.
Okay, other than that I don't believe I have any more issues that we need to discuss at this meeting. Do any of you have any additional business that we need to attend to?
MR. RINGEN: If not we'll see each other again on November 12 and 13 in Washington, D.C. Thank you all for taking the time to come. It's been an excellent meeting. I appreciate everybody's activities and all of you for being involved. We stand adjourned.
(Whereupon, the committee meeting was adjourned at 10:46 a.m.)
This is to certify that the attached proceedings before the UNITED STATES DEPARTMENT OF LABOR, in the matter of:
NAME OF PROCEEDINGS: Advisory Committee on Construction Safety and Health Administration
DATE OF PROCEEDINGS: August 28, 1996
PLACE OF PROCEEDINGS: Spokane, Washington were had as therein appears, and that this is the original transcript thereof for the files of the Department of Labor.