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PANEL WILL DEVELOP APPROACH TO WORKPLACE SAFETY

SHARE PANEL WILL DEVELOP APPROACH TO WORKPLACE SAFETY

Now that the State Industrial Commission's Workers' Compensation Advisory Council has received some advice on how money will be spent to promote safety in the workplace, an ad hoc committee will digest the recommendations and try to come up with some acceptable ideas.

Earlier this year, the Legislature appropriated $1 million to promote workplace safety and left it up to the commission to decide how it should be spent. The commission asked the advisory council to help, and an ad hoc committee was formed.David Peay, chairman of the ad hoc committee, said the group held several meetings and one suggestion was hiring a full-time director to head a coordinating council.

One scenario has the council consisting of representatives from the Utah Safety Council, the Rocky Mountain Center, Utah Farm Bureau, chambers of commerce, labor unions, Utah Division of Occupational Safety and Health, private insurance, self insurers, Utah League of Cities and Towns and the Workers Compensation Fund of Utah.

Another suggestion was to have the council consist of representatives from manufacturing, construction and the service indus-tries.

Some advisory council members favor expanding the ad hoc committee into a coordinating council rather than create more bureaucratic groups. They also wondered about creating the council by law rather than expanding the ad hoc committee, a move than could be accomplished without changing the law.

Peay said some of the coordinating council's duties would be:

- Develop written safety programs for large and small businesses.

- Help develop on-site safety training programs.

- Help develop software to promote safety and health in the workplace.

- Develop a catalog where safety and health brochures and training material can be found.

- Develop a program of site-specific data and general injury data.

- Develop a media awareness program.

- Write and distribute a monthly publication promoting safety in the workplace.

- Develop criteria for spending the $1 million allowed by SB117.

Larry Bunkall, president of the Utah Manufacturers Association, said he favors safety experts walking around a business to point out safety problems rather than provide training in a classroom. But he wants to make certain that after on-site visits, businesses are not cited for safety violations.