|FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE||CONTACT:|
|October 17, 2002||Christine Baker|
2001-2002 Annual Report on
California's Health, Safety and Workers Compensation Systems
SAN FRANCISCO -- The California Commission on Health and Safety and Workers Compensation (CHSWC) has issued its eighth Annual Report for 2001-2002 of its activities to improve vital programs affecting nearly all Californians. This Annual Report includes CHSWCs recommendations that were incorporated in the recently signed workers compensation bill - AB 749- as well as additional recommendations for legislative and administrative changes.
Since its beginning, CHSWC has engaged in several projects and studies to evaluate how certain areas of the California workers compensation system have been affected by the reform legislation and other influences, such as the economy. CHSWC has directed its efforts to identify and assess problems and to provide an empirical basis for recommendations and/or further investigations. Many of CHSWC recommendations for legislative changes were incorporated into AB 749 and become law effective January 1, 2003.
CHSWC recommendations based on research that helped shape AB 749 include:
� Considering workers compensation benefit increases
� Considering increasing incentives for returning permanently disabled workers to jobs with the same employer
� Revising the pharmaceutical cost structure for potential savings
� Setting requirements for providing information to injured workers
� Reconsidering the treating physician presumption
The Annual Report also highlights CHSWC mandates based on provisions of AB 749. Among CHSWCs key mandates is the implementation of the Worker Occupation Safety and Health Training and Education Program.
California has an exciting opportunity, once again, to serve as a national leader in worker protection. The Commission is instructed to develop a program that raises awareness and promotes injury and illness prevention, and to deliver this training through a statewide network of providers.
CHSWC makes additional recommendations in its 2001-2002 Annual Report which include:
� Attaining greater administrative efficiency through implementation of the CHSWC Judicial Study recommendations.
� Stabilizing the workers compensation insurance market as soon as possible.
� Focusing on returning the injured worker to the same or alternate job with the same employer.
� Improving the permanent disability rating tool to enhance consistency and outcomes for injured workers
� Evaluating the impact of AB749 reforms.
� Promoting occupational health and safety as an important goal and considering efforts to enhance safety and health of special populations such as immigrants and low-wage workers.
CHSWC 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.
Since its inception in 1994, CHSWC has held meetings, conducted fact-finding hearings, and directed several studies to determine how these crucial programs are serving California employees and employers. These studies, conducted by independent research organizations under contract with CHSWC, and other activities were aided by the involvement of state agency personnel and interested members of the workers compensation community. This cooperative public-private partnership continues to work together to identify, describe, measure and propose solutions to problems and difficulties in the current health and safety and workers compensation systems.
CHSWCs 2001-2002 Annual Report and other publications are available at CHSWCs home page at www.dir.ca.gov/chswc. A copy of the CHSWC 2001-2002 Annual Report may be obtained at no charge by writing to the Commission on Health and Safety and Workers' Compensation, 455 Golden Gate Avenue, 10th Floor, San Francisco, California 94102, by calling (415) 703-4220, by faxing a request to (415) 703-4234, or by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
For any questions regarding this bulletin, please contact:
Commission on Health and Safety and Workers' Compensation (CHSWC)
455 Golden Gate Avenue, 10th Floor, San Francisco, CA 94102
Email: email@example.com Phone: (415) 703-4220 Fax: (415) 703-4234 Contact Person: Christine Baker