FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
The Commission on Health and Safety and Workers’ Compensation Approves Draft Summary of January 9, 2009 First Aid Cases Advisory Group Meeting Report
OAKLAND -- The Commission on Health and Safety and Workers' Compensation (CHSWC) has approved for circulation and comment the Draft Summary of January 9, 2009 First Aid Cases Advisory Group Meeting Report and that the final report should be posted within a month if no comments are made.
Both employers and workers have raised problems involved with reporting first aid cases. For some employers, first aid cases are included in their reporting and therefore increase their experience modification (Ex-Mod) rating and their insurance premiums; other employers do not report first aid cases, so their Ex-Mods are not increased. For workers, either some first aid cases are fully taken care of under workers’ compensation, which is required by law, or workers are not getting any care because they do not know that they have workers’ compensation as a right, or there is care for the first aid case but it is not tied into the workers’ compensation system. In addition, if there is permanent disability at a later stage, it may not be handled and compensated appropriately.
At its November 6, 2008 meeting, the Commission on Health and Safety and Workers’ Compensation requested that staff prepare an Issue Paper on first aid and reporting criteria. The Commission also requested that an advisory group be convened to discuss issues and potential solutions to problems with reporting first aid cases. The report presents an Issue Paper, an up-to-date booklet on the current law for reporting occupational injuries and illnesses for workers’ compensation and Cal/OSHA, and suggested Legislative language in order identify the issues and potential solutions to problems with reporting first aid cases to support efforts to find ways to assure appropriate medical care, reduce administrative costs, discourage fraud by defining the process more clearly, and even the playing field for employers. In addition, the report provides a summary of the advisory group meeting held on January 9, 2009, regarding this issue.
CHSWC 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 illnesses and to examine those programs in other states.
Information about the Draft Summary of January 9, 2009 First Aid Cases Advisory Group Meeting Report and CHSWC is available at www.dir.ca.gov/chswc and by writing to the Commission on Health and Safety and Workers' Compensation, 1515 Clay Street, Room 901, Oakland, CA 94612, by calling (510) 622-3959, by faxing a request to (510) 622-3265, or by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.