IR # 97-45
Wednesday, August 20, 1997

Rick Rice
(415) 972-8835
Christine Baker
(415) 557-1304

Commission To Host Conference on California Workers' Compensation Permanent Disability

SAN FRANCISCO -- James J. Hlawek, Chairman of the California Commission on Health and Safety and Workers' Compensation (CHSWC), and John C. Duncan, acting director of the Department of Industrial Relations, announced today that the Commission will host a public forum entitled "Summit on California Workers' Compensation Permanent Disability". The conference will be held on Friday, November 21, 1997, at the South San Francisco Conference Center in South San Francisco.

"The Commission is setting in motion a process by which recommendations for significant improvements to California's workers' compensation permanent disability system can be made and discussed", Chairman Hlawek stated.

The conference will bring together interested persons and representatives of the workers' compensation community from California and throughout the nation to discuss and comment upon the preliminary RAND report. Under contract with CHSWC, the RAND Corporation is conducting a major study of workers' compensation permanent disability and will issue a preliminary report of its findings and recommendations this September.

Acting Director Duncan observed that "This public forum will provide a valuable opportunity for the workers compensation community to work together to improve this complex and vital aspect of the workers' compensation system."

The conference will enable the community to determine areas of consensus as well as areas of disagreement. Based upon the RAND report and the comments received at the PD Summit, CHSWC will develop a consensus report containing recommendations for improving the workers' compensation permanent disability system in California.

The Commission on Health and Safety and Workers' Compensation, 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. It 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 details on the conference may be obtained 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, by calling (415) 557-1304, or by faxing a request to (415) 557-1385.