Commission on Health and Safety and Workers' Compensation
Information Bulletin

September 1998 Christine Baker
(415) 557-1304

Commission Recommends Improvements to California Workers' Compensation System

SAN FRANCISCO--The California Commission on Health and Safety and Workers' Compensation has issued several recommendations for improving the workers' compensation system in the state. These recommendations are designed to optimize the delivery of proper workers' compensation benefits to injured workers at the lowest possible cost to employers.

The Commission is concerned with the identification of the appropriate types and levels of benefits to compensate workers sustaining industrial injuries and illnesses, with a particular focus on return-to-work. The Commission has determined that the workers' compensation community - including employees, employers, insurers, evaluators, third-party administrators and benefit providers - believes that the workers' compensation system is still too complex and needs further simplification and modification in certain areas.

These and other findings are discussed in the 1997-98 Annual Report of the California Commission on Health and Safety and Workers' Compensation. The Commission focused its attention on the impact of the reform legislation on the community, on various aspects of California's health and safety and workers' compensation systems, and on the operations of state agencies charged with carrying out those programs.

Since its inception in 1994, the Commission has held meetings, conducted fact-finding hearings, and directed several studies to determine the effects of reform legislation on California employees and employers. These studies, conducted by independent research organizations under contract with the Commission, and other activities were aided by the involvement of state agency personnel and interested members of the workers' compensation community. This cooperative public-private partnership continues to work together to identify, describe, measure and propose solutions to problems and difficulties in the current health and safety and workers' compensation systems.

The Commission, created by the workers' compensation reform legislation of 1993, is charged with overseeing the health and safety and workers' compensation systems in California and recommending administrative or legislative modifications to improve their operation. The Commission was established to conduct a continuing examination of the workers' compensation system and of the state's activities to prevent industrial injuries and occupational diseases and to examine those programs in other states.

A copy of the Commission's 1997-98 Annual Report is available at no charge by writing to Christine Baker, Executive Officer, Commission on Health and Safety and Workers' Compensation, 30 Van Ness Avenue, Room 2122, San Francisco, California 94102, by calling (415) 557-1304, or by faxing a request to (415) 557-1385.

The annual report and other Commission publications are also available through the Internet at the California Department of Industrial Relations' home page at Information about the Commission may be accessed by choosing either "Occupational Safety & Health" or "Workers' Compensation".