Commission on Health and Safety and Workers' Compensation
Information Bulletin

April 2, 1998 Christine Baker
(415) 557-1304

Commission Releases Prototype Informational Materials for the Workers' Compensation Community

SAN FRANCISCO--The California Commission on Health and Safety and Workers' Compensation has approved and released prototype workers' compensation informational materials for use by workers, employers and the entire workers' compensation community. These materials, consisting of an educational video and six fact sheets, were developed by UC Berkeley's Labor Occupational Health Program (LOHP) under contract with the Commission.

The Commission commends the project advisory committee and the project team for their dedicated efforts and determination to develop meaningful and useful products for use by the entire community.

A previous CHSWC-sponsored study assessed the efficacy of information services available to injured workers, analyzed the strengths and weaknesses of available services, and recommended ways to improve those services. Research from the study revealed that injured workers face significant difficulties in trying to understand and navigate the California workers' compensation system and that available information for workers about the system was overly technical, bureaucratic, vague, inaccurate, and/or non-existent in many cases.

As a result, the Commission initiated this project to develop information for injured workers that would be readily available, relevant to workers, non-legalistic, and in an appealing format. Such materials would also save time and resources for the organizations that provide workers' compensation services and benefits.

The fact sheets will enable California employers to fulfill their requirement to provide workers' compensation information to new employees pursuant to California Code of Regulations Section 9880. The fact sheets will also partially fulfill the requirement for employers to provide information to an employee within 5 working days of notice or knowledge of any injury per CCR §9882.

The fact sheets address the following areas of workers' compensation:

The video follows the cases of three injured workers and describes the steps to take when an industrial injury takes place as well as available resources to get further assistance.

The fact sheets and videos will be distributed to injured workers through interested members of the workers' compensation community including the Division of Workers' Compensation Information and Assistance offices, employers, labor organizations, insurers, attorney organizations, medical and rehabilitation providers, and injured worker support groups. The materials are being distributed to various libraries throughout the state.

Single copies of the fact sheets may be obtained by contacting any of the Division of Workers' Compensation's Information and Assistance offices. The fact sheets are also available on the internet here.

The video and multiple copies of the fact sheets may be ordered from Standard Register by calling 1-800-975-4772.

English versions of the fact sheets are available in both black and white and color. Spanish versions of the fact sheets are forthcoming. The fact sheets and video may be utilized as is, or may be modified to add organization logos and/or supplemental information. The materials may be distributed in whole or part as appropriate to the roles, needs and resources of those organizations.

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

Information about the Commission can be obtained by writing to Christine Baker, Executive Officer, Commission on Health and Safety and Workers' Compensation, 30 Van Ness Avenue, Suite 2122, San Francisco, CA 94102, by calling (415) 557-1304, or by faxing a request to (415) 557-1385. Information is also available on the internet at - the Department of Industrial Relation's home page.