May 6, 2015 Minutes

Safety Committee Meeting Minutes

May 6, 2015

“A safe and healthy work environment that supports safe work practices and reduces injuries”.


Members present:  Jolene Barnes, Donna Kosiorowski, Mike McGrath, Bob Beecher, Joe Iuteri, Sharon Paine, Frank Paolino, Lynn Bonaldo, Nate Hill, Carole Limosani, Kenneth Voss, Pauline Lucibello, Maureen Blake, Chris Everone, Eric Rice, Susan Misur.

Meeting was called to order:  Introductions were made and our guest, Ernie St. Amant from PMA was welcomed.

Ernie St. Amant, Senior Risk Control Specialist, Certified Health and Safety Official from PMA, is here for support and gives guidance and can provide technical training and assistance.  He wanted to share the good news that the West Haven Board of Education Safety Committee passed its State audit.

Donna Kosiorowski wanted to mention that Gail Burns keeps great minutes and when the person from the State came in late one afternoon, Gail provided all the documentation he requested and subsequently we received a letter stating that we had passed the State audit.  Ernie shared the City of West Haven passed the State audit, also.

Donna asked what happens if you do not pass the audit, and Ernie explained that if you are self-insured, (which we are), we could lose our accreditation if we do not pass the audit.

Accident Reports:

Donna asked Ernie if he could walk us through the process of the accident reports.

Ernie explained that the whole discipline is to find the root cause of the accident.  The humanistic factor is someone gets hurt and we need to find out why and how and how to prevent it from happening again.   We need to change behavior.  We capture and look at the root cause, by performing a good accident investigation.    I can share with you what other Boards of Education are doing.  In New Haven they use nurse triage to take the incident form with injured person and injured person’s direct supervisor.  It is the direct supervisor’s responsibility to complete the accident form.  

In Hamden the nursing staff was in opposition to completing the form, so they tailored a form for them; on the second page there is an accident investigation form, check box for the principal or designee to complete.  Then the injured employee with the principal or designee goes out and does the accident investigation together.

Donna Kosiorowski feels that the nurse should not be the designee that fills out the accident form. The nurse should not be investigating the accident or making a diagnosis.

Ernie said that the nurse cannot make a diagnosis and that the nurse should not be a part of the investigative piece.

Donna wanted to know who would be the Supervisor’s designee.  Who is an appropriate designee?

Jolene Barnes stated that the Principal has the option to assign a designee of their choice.  It would be someone they trust in their absence.

Frank Paolino said that usually there is a teacher in charge when the principal is not there, and that would be the designee.

Ernie said that first notice of loss should be a discoverable document, Ernie will share a copy and we can duplicate.

Donna Kosiorowski wanted to know if Meg would fill out the form for Food Service employees and Jolene stated that she would.  Donna asked about Lunch Aides and Frank Paolino stated it would be the Building Principal.

Frank Paolino said he would attach a copy of work order, for example, broken step, work order to fix step.   Ernie said yes, this is mitigating liability, that’s the accident investigation piece.

Chris Everone wanted to know if the school nurse should look at the employee to see how badly they are injured.

Ernie said that seems to be the best practice of most municipalities to triage the situation.  But if it’s after school and the nurse is not there, that would not be possible.

Chris Everone said that they don’t typically send anyone to the nurse.  Ernie said it depends on the severity. 

Bob Beecher said that when someone goes out on an injury, it should be indicated on the work order priority list, so that it can prioritized.   Bob said that this information needs to be known for the principal and building manager.

Donna wanted to know if the work order form can be revised to indicate priority due to an injury.  Chris Everone said it’s a pull down, we can add that.   Chris Everone stated that we can probably put something like injury occurred to be fixed ASAP.  Chris Everone said it says on the work order low/medium/high/safety.

Donna wanted to know if Ernie’s forms include a procedure.  Ernie said one thing they are working on now is decision training.  When to call 911, etc.  Ernie said he can send us a template that they are working on now.  It should be tailored by town.

Joe Iuteri said on the work order system if he checks emergency, does Mike McGrath get the alert right away.  Joe thought that putting emergency on the work order that an alert was sent immediately.  Mike said no he doesn’t get that.

Jolene Barnes stated that when an accident reports come to her, she will email Mike McGrath that the employee was injured, and ask Mike to take a look.

Joe Iuteri said that in the summer the nurses are not there, principals sometimes not there, can building manager fill it out?  Building managers are in each and every building.  A decision has to be made here.

Frank Paolino said he thought we discussed that at the last meeting, that we did say if no one was available that the building manager would be the designee.  Mike McGrath said the building manager could be his designee.

Frank Paolino said that the form on line is much more streamlined and generic.  It is much easier to fill out.   Chris Everone wanted to know if no one is around to fill out paperwork for Occupational Health, can they just go?

Jolene Barnes stated that Occupational Health calls Jolene’s office or the employee would go to the emergency room.  However, it is much easier for the employee to start with Occupational Health.

Ernie wanted to share some reports out of the PMA system.  He said that from 7-1-13 to 6-30-14 the BOE had 136 claims, frequency is high, and severity is low.  7-1-14 to 6-30-15 BOE currently has had 121 claims; we are down on claims (still a couple of months to go) but spiking in dollars due to two major losses.  Claims are going up which could mean we are reporting better.  Severities of claims (other than the two major claims) are low.

Donna wanted to know if someone did something foolish are they still covered.  Ernie said yes, as long as they hadn’t deviated from their scope of work.  Donna Kosiorowski said that the key is prevention.

Ernie said that he is working with Rob Sandella, Risk Manager of the City of West Haven, on a “Fleet Policy” for both the BOE and City for vehicles.

Meeting Minutes:

A motion was made to approve the minutes from 3/18/15 with a spelling correction.  The motion was made by Bob Beecher and Chris Everone seconded the motion.  The minutes were unanimously approved.

Workers’ Comp. Update: 


Safety Committee Information has been added to our website:

Thank you to Susan Misur for putting the Safety Committee Information on our Board of Education website.

OSHA Policy Revision:

Donna brought up that the OSHA/Bloodborne Pathogens Policy was reviewed in 2010 and now is in the process of revision.  The district sends the revised policy to CABE.  CABE reviews it and sends it back.    Donna will look at it again.    Donna worked with Personnel regarding this policy.  Now everyone goes to Occupational Health for pre-employment physicals so the procedure is different for vaccine for Hep B.    There should be OSHA note books in the Nurse’s Office and the Principal’s Office.


On April 22, 2015, Donna and Kathy Eamiello did an inspection of all the AED’s in the district with representatives of School Health Corp.  The AED's were in good locations and for the most part the signage was good.  They found in some instances the custodians are not checking the AED’s monthly, which is of great concern.  Donna is suggesting that we have the nurses’ check the AED’s each month and that the custodian’s would be required to check them over the summer.  Chris Everone will continue to monitor his AED’s in the rink, pool and sports complex.  Donna wanted to mention Ken Voss, Building Manager at Mackrille who does an outstanding job, checking his AED every week.  Joe Iuteri also does a great job at Haley.  Chris Everone asked about signage and we are working with School Health Corp. to get signage for several locations. Chris Everone wants to move the AED at the rink to a more visible location.   It was mentioned that Pagels signage was not visible and we are working with School Health Corp. for additional signage for several locations.  Donna will meet with Mike McGrath to discuss how to rectify AEDS being checked monthly. (Done-nurses to check during school year).

Our AED’s are approaching 9 years old, which means that the battery is used more quickly.  Due to the age of the units it is imperative that we check them a minimum of monthly to insure that they are working properly.  We are in the process of replacing them over the next few years.

We have at least one AED in each building and the locations are good.  The High School has 6 AED’s.

Dates for meetings next year:

Tentative dates selected were, October 14, January 6, March 16 and May 11. Wednesday’s are good will meet at the same time, 8:30am.

General discussion:

Donna asked how the committee shares the information that they take back from the meeting, and they said they discuss meeting with their principals.

Joe Iuteri brought up about asbestos tiles with regard to stripping them.    They went to a workshop and were told that they should use pads when stripping the tiles.  We use brushes and the RPMS are too high. They are stripping and scrapping tiles with 3” blades.  He has asked Mike McGrath about getting pads to clean the tiles.  We need new pads.

Eric Rice asked from a Science Department perspective regarding fire extinguisher training as part of the OSHA requirement.  Is there a comprehensive list of OSHA requirements for science?

Ernie said he has a document from Glastonbury that he can share regarding high school Safety and Health procedures for Science.  Ernie will forward to Eric.  It’s now a State document that the science program follows.

Donna Kosiorowski asked Ernie  is OSHA/bloodborne pathogen the only employee training we need to do with the exception of the training that Mike does?  Ernie said yes, that it’s the only annual one deemed by the employer to protect from bodily fluids.

Donna Kosiorowski stated that she has decided to stay on as co-chair of the Safety Committee for next year, and that Gail Burns will stay on as secretary.   Happy School Nurse Day Today, thank your school nurse today  and thank you for all your time and efforts.  Have a wonderful end of the year and be safe.


Meeting adjourned at 9:35am.


Next Meeting:

October 14, 2015