Section I

The Commission on

Health and Safety and Workers' Compensation

Authority

The Commission on Health and Safety and Workers' Compensation was created as part of the 1993 workers' compensation reforms by Senate Bill 1005 (Chapter 227, Statutes 1993) which was enacted on July 27, 1993 and became effective January 1, 1994.

SB 1005 enacted California Labor Code Sections 75 through 78, which abolished the former Health and Safety Commission and created the Commission on Health and Safety and Workers' Compensation in its place.

Commission Membership

The Commission on Health and Safety and Workers' Compensation is comprised of eight members, four from organized labor and four representing employers.

The Governor appoints two organized labor representatives and two employer representatives. The Speaker of the Assembly and the Senate Rules Committee each appoint two members, one each from labor and employers.

The Commission members are:

Jim R. Green

Executive Officer

Bay Counties District Council of Carpenters

Represents labor

Appointed by the Governor

Appointment expires December 31, 1995

Resigned effective March 23, 1995

James Hlawek

County Administrative Officer

County of San Bernardino

Represents employers

Appointed by the Governor

Appointment expires December 31, 1995

Leonard McLeod

Finance Committee Chairman

California Correctional Peace Officers' Association

Represents labor

Appointed by the Governor

Appointment expires December 31, 1998

Gerald O'Hara

Director

Teamsters Public Affairs Council

Represents labor

Appointed by the Speaker of the Assembly

Appointment expires December 31, 1997

Tom Rankin

Director of Research

California Labor Federation

Represents labor

Appointed by the Senate Rules Committee

Appointment expires December 31, 1996

Kristen Schwenkmeyer

Secretary-Treasurer

Gordon and Schwenkmeyer

Represents employers

Appointed by the Senate Rules Committee

Appointment expires December 31, 1996

Robert B. Steinberg

Senior Partner

Rose, Klein and Marias

Represents employers

Appointed by the Speaker of the Assembly

Appointment expires December 31, 1997

Gregory Vach

Director of Workers' Compensation

Ralston Purina Company

Appointed by the Governor

Represents employers

Appointment expires December 31, 1998

Commission Chair

Pursuant to Labor Code Section 75(b), the Chairman of the Commission is to be "selected by the Commissioners with the requirement that during 1994 the chairman be selected from the members representing organized labor. Thereafter, the Commissioners shall alternatively select an employer and organized labor representative to chair the Commission for one-year terms."

Tom Rankin was elected at the Commission's first meeting on July 28, 1994 to serve as Commission Chairman during 1994. Robert B. Steinberg was elected at the Commission's January 12, 1995 meeting to serve as Commission Chairman during 1995.

Powers of the Commission

All official actions of the Commission require a majority vote, including at least two votes from members representing organized labor and at least two votes from members representing employers.

The Commission may employ necessary staff, and conduct or contract for studies it deems necessary to carry out its responsibilities.

The Commission may approve the funding of grants to assist in establishing effective occupational injury and illness prevention programs.

The Commission may request information and data in the possession of other state agencies and departments, and any rating organization that the Commission deems necessary for carrying out its responsibilities.

The Commission may instruct the Department of Industrial Relations to expend funds in the Workplace Health and Safety Revolving Fund for payment of the Commission's expenses, and for funding the grants referenced above.

Funding for the Commission

As part of the 1993 workers' compensation reforms Senate Bill 484 (Chapter 119, Statutes 1993) was enacted July 16, 1993, providing for the appropriation of $500,000 from the Workplace Health and Safety Revolving Fund to the Commission.

The Workplace Health and Safety Revolving Fund is created in the State Treasury and is funded, upon appropriation by the Legislature, by civil and administrative penalties assessed pursuant to Sections 129.5 and 4628 of the Labor Code.

The Administrative Director of the Division of Workers' Compensation assesses administrative penalties under Labor Code Section 129.5 against an insurer, self-insured employer, or third-party administrator for failure to comply with legal requirements and rules and regulations in the administration of a claim. These assessments range from less than $100 to up to $5000 for more serious violations. In addition, the Administrative Director may assess a civil penalty of up to $100,000 where the assessee has maintained a general business practice violating specified prohibitions.

Under the provisions of Labor Code Section 4628, a workers' compensation judge or the appeals board may assess penalties of up to $1000 against a physician who knowingly fails to comply with the requirements relating to preparing and completing a medical-legal report.

The Workplace Health and Safety Revolving Fund is currently the only source of funding for the Commission. Since monies available from the Revolving Fund are derived solely from unpredictable penalty assessments, the Commission is exploring other funding sources.

The Commission's proposed budget for fiscal year 1995-96 is $697,000.

Meetings of the Commission

The Commission is required by Labor Code Section 75(d) to hold public meetings every other month and at the call of the Chairman.

Commission meetings have been held on the following dates and locations:

July 28, 1994 San Francisco

August 18, 1994 Sacramento

September 9, 1994 Los Angeles

October 14, 1994 Los Angeles

November 10, 1994 San Francisco

January 12, 1995 Los Angeles

February 9, 1995 San Francisco

March 9, 1995 Los Angeles

May 11, 1995 San Francisco

June 8, 1995 Los Angeles

The Commission is planning to meet on the following dates and locations:

September 14, 1995 San Francisco

October 12, 1995 San Diego

November 9, 1995 San Francisco


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