Commission on Health and Safety and Workers' Compensation
Information Bulletin

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE CONTACT:
July 1, 2000 Christine Baker
(415) 703-4220

Commission Approves New Projects on California Health, Safety and Workers' Compensation

SAN FRANCISCO -- The Commission on Health and Safety and Workers' Compensation (CHSWC) approved plans for additional projects and activities at its public meeting on June 29, 2000 in Los Angeles.

The Commission approved a study project to determine if there are any changes in the utilization of workers’ compensation benefits after an increase in benefits. This utilization study will evaluate whether benefit increases lead to changes in claim frequency, claim duration and overall claim cost. For over a decade, these questions have been raised whenever a workers’ compensation benefit increase was proposed. This study will address these issues and provide some independent research findings to assist in the formulation of public policy. The study is a joint project of the Commission and the Workers’ Compensation Insurance Rating Bureau of California.

The Commission also approved a pilot project to develop an integrated research database of State Disability Insurance and Workers’ Compensation temporary disability data. The Employment Development Department would join with the Commission in this effort. Other organizations have also been invited to participate.

Utilizing data from both SDI and workers’ compensation has the potential to increase knowledge about both systems, reduce administrative costs, improve understanding of temporary disability duration and return to work, and reduce the permanent disability experienced by workers who suffer serious injuries and illnesses. This initial phase will explore such issues such as confidentiality, data access, and data merging.

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.

Further information about the Commission and its activities may be obtained by writing to Christine Baker, Executive Officer, Commission on Health and Safety and Workers' Compensation, 455 Golden Gate Avenue, 10th Floor, San Francisco, California 94102, by calling (415) 703-4220, or by faxing a request to (415) 703-4234. Information is also available at www.dir.ca.gov.

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