November 2002 DEC JOINT STATEWIDE HEALTH & SAFETY COMMITTEE REPORT
NYSDEC JOINT STATEWIDE HEALTH & SAFETY
(PEF, CSEA, C-82, NYSCOPBA, and DEC MANAGEMENT)
NOVEMBER 7, 2002
James Kersten (Co-Chair) PEF/EnCon
Joseph Lattanzio (Co-Chair) Director of Employee Relations - Albany
Jean Edouard Director of Health & Safety - Albany
Larry Enoch Health & Safety Office - Albany
Mark Cadrette Health & Safety Office - Albany
Fred Nuffer Division of Water - Albany
Mike Kanuk PEF - Albany
Jack Marsch PEF - Region 6
Wayne Bayer PEF - Albany
Holly Clark PEF - Albany
Joseph McDonald PEF - Albany
Jonathan Rosen PEF Headquarters
Laverne French CSEA - Albany
Karen Glesmann C-82 (ALES Unit) - Region 4
Marie Furlong Office of Employee Relations - Albany
Approval of H&S Minutes/Joint Process
The approved minutes of the May 30, 2002 meeting were distributed via e-mail to all employees on 11/6/02.
J. Lattanzio gave a brief overview of the new DEC (C-82) Security Services= Agency Law Enforcement Services (ALES) Unit. Karen Glesmann will represent C-82 on the Committee.
Regional Distribution of H&S Minutes
L. French reported that he continues to work on identifying locations where minutes are not being received. He will report his findings to J. Lattanzio who will solicit Regional Directors= assistance in this effort. It was agreed to drop this issue from future agendas.
Fleet Management/Regional Fleet Managers
PEF continues to recommend the establishment of the Fleet Manager position, citing that it is their goal to work with Management on pursuing this initiative. Additionally, PEF is concerned that any current year budget crisis will impact the Fleet (e.g., upgrading of vehicles, etc.)
Both Labor and Management stated they are looking forward to having the new computerization program implemented this FY.
Local Committee Formation
J. Edouard circulated recent regional committee meeting minutes from Regions 3, 4 and 8.
Regarding an update on Region 2 committee activities, J. Lattanzio advised the Committee that he has a commitment from the new Region 2 Regional Director ensuring that regional committee meetings will be held on a regular basis.
Region 0 (Central Office) has a meeting scheduled for December 3. J. Lattanzio to attend. Organizational issues have been resolved. It was mutually agreed to drop this issue from the future agendas.
News & Views (DEC e-News), Etc.
The Committee is open for suggestions on new articles to submit. Suggestions and/or articles should be sent to J. Edouard for review. J. Lattanzio will submit an article on the VIN Etching Program and the Child Safety Seat Program recently conducted by the Albany Police Department. It was suggested that an article regarding the purchase of AEDs by Regions 0, 3 and 8 be submitted for publication.
Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs)
F. Nuffer of the Division of Water reported on the Division= s progress to date in revising their SOPs. Up to this point in time, they have identified the various field work categories and developed a training curriculum which would address each SOP individually. Mr. Nuffer also reported that, although the Division does have the funding to pursue the training, this project has been on hold pending the appointment of a new project coordinator. Once a new coordinator is assigned, the Health & Safety office will work with DOW to complete the project. At PEF= s request, Management will provide an update at the next meeting.
PEF questioned whether the Division of Fish, Wildlife and Marine Resources has reviewed its SOPs on the issue of botulism. J. Edouard to investigate and report back to the Committee.
PEF expressed concern over the Division of Environmental Remediation= s issuance of a vehicle usage policy. J. Lattanzio to investigate and report back to the Committee.
Supervisors= Health & Safety Training
J. Edouard reported that the Contracts Unit has approved of the Request for Proposal (RFP). Suggested changes have been received, and the Department= s Health & Safety Unit is in the process of reconstructing the document. PEF (J. Rosen) again suggested a needs assessment be completed, and requested a copy of the RFP before it is officially submitted. PEF also suggested Management discuss with them the possibility of PEF funding some of the training.
Defensive Driving Training
PEF thanked Management for its interest in conducting this training. PEF suggested additional courses be held at both the Central Office and in the regions, especially the regions with the large sub-offices. J. Lattanzio to pursue the possibility of multiple courses in the regions. Management hopes to hold the Central Office course(s) during January 2003.
Department Health & Safety Budget Initiative/Staffing
As a basis for any budget/staffing initiative, PEF requested Management to conduct a regional survey of health and safety needs. PEF would like Management to pursue an official Department Health & Safety Budget. Management is not opposed to forming a sub-group to work on this issue. We need to demonstrate our needs and estimated annual costs. J. Kersten, J. Edouard, L. Enoch, H. Clark and J. Rosen were chosen to work on the development of a survey document. The sub-committee will report back to the Committee.
Accident Reporting Forms (RE: SOPs)/OSHA Record-Keeping Rules (Update 300, 301/Injury & Illness)
In response to a PEF-filed law suit, a hearing was held regarding the Department of Labor= s (DOL) violation of the State Administrative Procedures Act. A decision should be forthcoming within 30 days. DOL has withdrawn the new rule, and it ultimately will be republished. Until that time, all State agencies are following the new (withdrawn) rule. DEC awaits direction from GOER.
There was discussion of safety efforts being made at 625 Broadway. Parking lot vandalism and the reporting mechanisms (APD, State Police reports) were discussed. It was agreed that Workplace Safety would be added to the agenda for the next meeting.
World Trade Center Medical Monitoring Task Force
J. Lattanzio reported that medical evaluations are ongoing. To date, 82 DEC employees have been examined at Employee Health Services (EHS). (400 employees were targeted.) It has been reported that about five (5) employees were found to have potential WTC related respiratory problems. These employees have been referred to their personal physician with instructions that the personal physician contact EHS. Nine psychological referrals have been made to date. J. Rosen (PEF) expressed concern that personal physicians have not been referring the employees to the appropriate specialist(s) for necessary occupational health diagnostic procedures. The Health & Safety Office will request that EHS provide an informational packet to the employee/personal physician regarding what appropriate testing/treatment is necessary. Management to investigate and report back on what information is currently being provided and will ascertain whether there are any statistics on how many employees are being referred to specialists. Management encourages those employees who have not signed up for medical monitoring to do so.
Evacuation Procedures/Emergency Preparedness Plan
J. Edouard reported that, with the exception of Region 5, all regions have approved evacuation/ emergency preparedness plans. Region 5 is in the process of finalization. J. Edouard to check on whether all employees and their supervisors have been made aware of the plans. J. Rosen suggested issuing an employee friendly booklet detailing the emergency preparedness plan. He will bring a copy of the OGS State-owned and leased booklets to the next meeting to use as a guide. Update: Region 5's plan has been submitted and approved.
Tenant Safety Organization training has not yet been addressed. J. Edouard to follow up on this initiative with the Department of State and report back.
Automated External Defibrillators (AED)
Regions 3 and 8 are in the process of purchasing AEDs. The Health & Safety Unit monitors all AED purchases, ensuring EHS signoff is received and Red Cross training is provided. It is Management= s understanding that C-82 and Operations may be able to provide funding assistance for regional AEDs. J. Lattanzio to contact the Regional Directors again reminding them of their ability to make these purchases. PEF suggested the Committee encourage the regional committees to lobby their Regional Directors.
Right to Know Training
PEF does not believe the current amount of training meets Department needs. In Management= s opinion, the Department does provide the required annual generalized training; however, Management does agree that some employees do need additional job-specific training. J. Lattanzio stated that, should a Division request a specialized training, the Health & Safety Office will make every effort to be responsive, make field assessments, and conduct the training.
Safety Incentive Differential (SID)
Management reported that the work group continues to work at drafting new language to submit to Civil Service. The group will report to J. Lattanzio when that draft is prepared. J. Lattanzio suggested PEF submit the Safety Incentive Differential issue the under hazardous duty article in contract negotiations. Civil Service approval is required to effect a criteria revision to the current language. J. Lattanzio to provide a copy to the Committee when available.
Use of Disinfectants, Sanitizers, or Other Antimicrobial Products to Treat HVAC & Refrigeration Systems in All DEC Occupied Buildings
It was agreed that this issue be dropped from the agenda.
Regional H&S Committees= Annual Recommendation for Award - Propose Regional Committee
The Statewide Committee will request the two nominees (the Region 5 and 6 Regional Committees) to summarize their activities over the past 2 years. We will consider the information presented and make a determination.
DEC H&S Joint Training & Conference/Statewide Proposal for Pro-Active H&S Refresher of All Regional Committees and Their Activities
All agreed to be in support of this initiative, and to continue work on developing an agenda.
Statement of Purpose
This document was resigned by the appropriate signatories.
VIN Etching Program/Child Safety Seat Inspections
The Office of Employee Relations, in conjunction with the Albany Police Department (APD), is planning to conduct a Vin Etching Program and Child Safety Seat Inspection during October 2002 for Central Office employees. This effort is made possible through a grant obtained by the Albany Police Department= s community relations division. The VIN Etching Program, acid cutting of the vehicle identification number into all car windows, is not only a deterrent to car thieves, but also can provide up to a 5% reduction on the employee= s car insurance. APD reports that approximately 90% of the child safety seats currently in use are installed improperly. J. Lattanzio reported that the Department hopes to offer two additional VIN Etching Program days by the end of the year. Update: Two additional Vin etching sessions have been conducted accommodating approximately 200 employees.
It was suggested the Committee alert the regional committees to similar programs which may be available through their local police departments.
Respiratory Protection Committee
Health & Safety staff reported the Division of Environmental Remediation has formed a committee to discuss this issue. PEF requested additional information and union involvement. J. Lattanzio stated that this is an internal working group formed in response to a R-7 PESH citation (no demonstrated annual review of respirator effectiveness). It was mutually agreed to drop this issue from future agendas.
Class B Biosolids
PEF expressed concern that the Divisions of Water, Environmental Remediation and Solid & Hazardous Materials SOPs include reference to proper standard protection from Class B Biosolids.
Again, PEF expressed concerns that the above-mentioned Divisions make employees aware of this hazard as it relates to their handling of fish (i.e., collection of specimens).
On January 30, 2003 from 4:00 P.M.-6:00 P.M. PEF has reserved a room at their Annual Conference site for a meeting of the DEC regional health & safety committees. J. Lattanzio will communicate this information to the regional committees. M. Cadrette of the Health & Safety Unit to work with J. Rosen on a preparing a presentation for the Annual Conference.
Incident Command Weapons Mass Destruction
PEF expressed its interest in becoming involved in this initiative. J. Lattanzio believes this effort is being coordinated at the Statewide (all agency) level.
The next meeting will be held on January 23, 2003 at 9:30 A.M. at Council 82 headquarters, 63 Colvin Avenue, Albany, NY 12206. J. Lattanzio will invite Richard Lesniak, C-82 Health & Safety Director, to attend.
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Updated on November 29, 2016