State of California

Commission on Health and Safety and Workers' Compensation

Information Bulletin

November 12, 1996 Christine Baker
(415) 557-1304

James Hlawek Elected 1997 Chairman of
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 James Hlawek as Chairman of the Commission for 1997.

James Hlawek, initially appointed to the Commission by Governor Pete Wilson in 1994 and reappointed in October of 1996, is Administrative Officer for the County of San Bernardino. An adjunct professor at California State University, San Bernardino, teaching graduate courses in personnel management, public budgeting and labor relations, he is also Chairperson for the Program Advisory Board and is a member of the Board of Councilors, School of Business and Public Administration. James Hlawek is a member of the American Society of Public Administrators, the American Management Association and the Industrial Relations Research Association.

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, and a study to evaluate the impact of the reform legislation on the rehabilitation system. The Commission recently released findings from its injured worker study entitled "Navigating the California Workers' Compensation System: The Injured Workers' Experience" as well as the first year findings of its medical/legal study entitled "Evaluating the Reforms of the Medical-Legal Process Using the WCIRB Permanent Disability Survey". Recently approved studies and projects include developing prototype information material and video for injured workers, establishing a young workers task force to protect young workers from work related injuries and illnesses, developing a safety and health education video for young adolescent workers, evaluating incomplete physician reports in the permanent disability rating process, and the ongoing posting of health and safety related courses available through the state college and university system on the Internet.

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 servers' Commission on Health and Safety and Workers' Compensation home page. The address is