Commission on Health and Safety and Workers' Compensation
Information Bulletin

January 5, 1998 Christine Baker
(415) 557-1304

Tom Rankin Elected 1998 Chairman of the
Commission on Health and Safety and Workers' Compensation

SAN FRANCISCO--The Commission on Health and Safety and Workers' Compensation is pleased to announce the election of Tom Rankin as Chairman of the Commission for 1998. Each year, the chairmanship of the Commission alternates between representatives of employers and organized labor.

Tom Rankin, initially appointed to the Commission by the Senate in 1994 and reappointed in February of 1997, is President of the California Labor Federation, AFL-CIO. An attorney, Mr. Rankin received his law degree from Boalt Hall School of Law at the University of California at Berkeley.

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.

The Commission is currently focused on several projects, including a study of workers' compensation permanent disability benefits, the impact of the medical/legal reform on California's workers' compensation programs, a study to evaluate the impact of the reform legislation on the rehabilitation system, development of prototype information material and video for injured workers, a task force to protect young workers from work related injuries and illnesses, evaluating incomplete physician reports in the permanent disability rating process, evaluating the carve out system, and bringing illegally uninsured employers into compliance. The Commission has released findings from its injured workers study entitled "Navigating the California Workers' Compensation System: The Injured Workers' Experience" as well as the first and second year findings of its medical/legal study entitled "Evaluating the Reforms of the Medical-Legal Process Using the WCIRB Permanent Disability". Also available are the first year findings from the Commission's evaluation of the impact of the reform legislation on the rehabilitation system as well as the findings and recommendations on California's Permanent Disability System as published by RAND under contract with the Commission.

Information about the Commission is available 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 or by calling (415) 557-1304. Information is also available through the Department of Industrial Relations' Internet home page at