The California Commission on Health and
Safety and Workers' Compensation was created as part of the 1993
workers' compensation reforms by Senate Bill 1005, enacted on
July 27, 1993 and effective January 1, 1994. SB 1005 enacted California
Labor Code Sections 75 through 78, abolishing the former Health
and Safety Commission and creating the Commission on Health and
Safety and Workers' Compensation in its place.
The Commission 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 on Health and Safety and Workers' Compensation
is comprised of eight members, four from organized labor and four
The Governor appoints two organized labor representatives and
two employer representatives. The Speaker of the Assembly and
the Senate Rules Committee each appoint two members, one each
from labor and employers. The Commission members elect a Chairman,
alternating between labor and employer members, for a one-year
All official actions of the Commission require a majority vote,
including at least two votes from members representing organized
labor and at least two votes from members representing employers.
The Commission members are:
James J. Hlawek
Robert B. Steinberg
Meetings of the Commission
Commission meetings have been held on the following dates and
locations in 1995 and 1996:
|January 12, 1995||Los Angeles|
|February 9, 1995||San Francisco|
|March 9, 1995||Los Angeles|
|May 11, 1995||San Francisco|
|June 8, 1995||Los Angeles|
|September 14, 1995||San Francisco|
|October 12, 1995||San Diego|
|November 9, 1995||Sacramento|
|January 18, 1996||Los Angeles|
|March 14, 1996||Sacramento|
|April 18 & 19, 1996 (Symposium)||San Francisco|
|May 23, 1996||Los Angeles|
The Commission is planning to meet on the following dates and locations:
|September 16, 1996||Los Angeles|
|November 15, 1996||San Diego|
As described in this Annual Report, the Commission has taken several
approaches to monitor the effects of the workers' compensation
reform legislation. The Commission's goal is to evaluate situations
from all perspectives to achieve an equitable, well run system
to benefit all.
Commission activities include:
Participation in Community Activities
The Commission has participated in task forces, special studies
and other activities conducted by others in the workers compensation
Commission members and executive officer have made presentations
at various meetings of the community, including:
|California Society of Industrial Medicine and Surgery|
|California Chamber of Commerce|
|California Workers' Compensation Institute|
In 1994, the Commission on Health and Safety and Workers' Compensation
awarded grants to nine employers and/or employee organizations
for Injury and Illness Prevention Programs.
These nine grant projects are progressing on schedule. Four of
these grant recipients have submitted final projects and the remaining
five are approaching completion.
All products such as training videos and manuals produced with
Health and Safety Grant funds are maintained in a library and
available to the public for viewing upon request. None of these
products are copyrighted and can be duplicated as needed. A catalog
of library products is available by contacting the Commission
on Health and Safety and Workers' Compensation. Requests for library
products can be sent to:
The Commission wanted to make information about health and safety
and workers' compensation courses more accessible to workers and
employers and to establish a data base of such courses.
The Commission developed and maintains a comprehensive curriculum
of health and safety and workers' compensation classes available
to the public on the Internet. This free service provides the
name of the college or university, information on degree and certification
programs, course names and descriptions, schedule of classes,
tuition costs (if any), and referrals and/or instructions on how
to obtain additional information. The data base is updated periodically
to incorporate additions to and changes in classes and schedules.
In addition, the Commission will also provide a compendium of
this data base information in printed form for those members of
the public without access to the Internet.
The Commission hosted an educational program entitled "Challenges
in California Workers' Compensation: A Symposium" on Thursday
and Friday, April 18 and 19, 1996 at the Hyatt Regency Hotel in
The purpose of the symposium was to bring leaders throughout the
country together to identify successful programs and propose solutions
to challenges noted in the California workers' compensation and
health and safety systems.
The objectives of the Symposium were as follows:
Approximately 400 participants attended the Symposium, which was
very well received by the workers' compensation community. The
Commission brought together academics, administrators, attorneys,
employers, insurers, labor leaders, program managers, public officials,
service providers and others from California and throughout the
nation to identify, discuss, and suggest alternative solutions
to challenges in the California workers' compensation program.
The Commission presented a "Who's Who" of California
workers' compensation along with national and international experts
in the field to discuss eight wide-ranging topics of concern.
These included representatives from states such as Florida, Oregon,
Texas, and Wisconsin that have recently implemented various changes
and reforms in their workers' compensation systems. A comprehensive
syllabus, containing material submitted by the Symposium speakers
and panelists, was provided to the attendees.
The first topic explored an overview of the challenges to the
current California workers' compensation system. Moderated
by Commissioner Robert B. Steinberg, various viewpoints were presented
by DIR Director Lloyd W. Aubry, Jr., DWC Administrative Director
Casey L. Young, CAAA President John Frailing, CWCI President Edward
C. Woodward, David R. Caine of Southern California Edison, Mary
E. Garry from Hewlett-Packard, and Commission Chairman Tom Rankin,
who represented the California Labor Federation in this discussion.
The impact of the elimination of the minimum rate law was
discussed by Professor Terry Thomason of McGill University in
Montreal. Commission Chairman Tom Rankin moderated the panel discussion
by WCIRB Executive Vice President David Bellusci, and National
Council on Compensation Insurance executives Thomas Cleary and
Nicholas J. Lannutti.
The topic of health and safety issues in workers' compensation
was addressed by former NCCI Assistant Vice President William
Kahley, by AFL-CIO Assistant Director of Occupational Safety and
Health James N. Ellenberger, and by Barry Hoschek, Region Operations
Manager for Liberty Mutual Insurance. Commissioner Gerald O'Hara
moderated the panel discussion by DOSH Chief John Howard, DOSH
Loss Control Certification Manager William S. Van Cleve, Dispute
Resolution Manager Mari Miller from the Oregon Division of Workers'
Compensation, and Willie Washington, the Legislative Advocate
and Director of Human Resources, Safety and Health and Workers'
Compensation of the California Manufacturers Association.
The fourth topic focused on litigation and alternative claims
resolution approaches. Speakers included Les Boden of the
Workers' Compensation Research Institute, Policy Director Ben
Delgado from the Texas Workers' Compensation Commission, Florida
Workers' Compensation Director Ann Clayton, Wisconsin Department
of Industry, Labor and Human Relations Director Gregory Krohm,
and Oregon WC Manager Mari Miller. The panel consisting of Florida
attorney Rosemary B. Eure, CAAA President John Frailing, Wisconsin
attorney Michael Gillick, Oregon attorney associations executive
Robert C. A. Moore, and CWCI General Counsel Michael J. McClain,
was moderated by Commissioner James J. Hlawek.
The second day of the Symposium started a with a moment of silence
for the one-year anniversary of the Oklahoma bombing and its victims
of workplace violence and continued with a lively discussion of
permanent disability and potential alternatives. Discoursing
on that topic were Rutgers University Dean John F. Burton, Jr.,
WCRI's Les Boden, and Bobby Gierisch, Director of Research and
Policy Analysis for the Texas House of Representatives. Commissioner
Gregory Vach moderated the panel discussion by CCR Executive Director
Charles W. Bader, Texas Workers'; Compensation Commissioner O.
D. Kenemore, Robert B. Hall of the Interwork Institute at the
California State University at San Diego, John Frailing, Michael
J. McClain, and Ben Delgado.
The objectives and methods of system evaluation were addressed
by University of Connecticut Economics Professor Peter Barth,
Ben Delgado, and Ann Clayton. Commissioner Leonard McLeod moderated
the panel discussion by Joseph E. Markey Association Manager and
Legislative Advocate for the California Self-Insurers Association,
O. D. Kenemore, and Casey L. Young.
A review of medical benefit cost containment strategies
was presented by Dr. Jay S. Himmelstein of the University of Massachusetts
Medical Center, Michigan State University Professor Ed Welch,
and Integrated Benefits Institute President Thomas Parry. The
panel consisted of CSIMS Executive Vice President Carlyle R. Brakensiek,
PacificCare's COMPREMIER Medical Director Dr. Henri Cuddihy, IMC
Executive Medical Director Dr. Allan MacKenzie, DWC Managed Care
Medical Director Dr. Linda Rudolph, Mari Miller, and Commissioner
Kristen Schwenkmeyer as moderator.
The final topic addressed alternative benefit delivery systems
and the identification of possible applications. Speakers included
DWC Industrial Relations Counsel John Plotz, Center to Protect
Workers' Rights Director Knut Ringen, Chapman University Associate
Professor of Law Ellyn Moscowitz, Ulico Insurance Group Executive
Vice President Mary-Lou Misrahy, and James N. Ellenberger. The
panel, moderated by Commissioner Robert H. Alvarado, included
United Brotherhood of Carpenters WC Policy Coordinator Michael
M. X. Buchet, Collins Electrical Company President Eugene Ginie,
attorneys Michael Ozurovich, Richard A. Robyn and Victor Van Bourg,
and Charles W. Bader.
The presentations revealed that some features of workers' compensation
programs in other states may be applicable to California, but
those systems cannot be transferred to California without extensive
analysis and appropriate modification. Representatives from other
states also stressed that they considered an oversight body as
essential to facilitate program transitions, new legislation and
Information about the Commission
For further information about the Commission and its activities:
Write to: Commission on Health and Safety and Workers' Compensation 30 Van Ness Avenue, Suite 2122 San Francisco, CA 94102 Telephone: 415-557-1304 FAX: 415-557-1385 Internet: The Internet address www.dir.ca.gov locates the California Department of Industrial Relations. The Commission may be accessed under either "Workers' Compensation" or "Occupational Safety and Health" on DIR's home page.Commission Publications
Commission publications are available upon written or faxed request to the Commission. Publications marked with an asterisk (*) are available on the Internet at the address given above.
One copy of any or all of the following publications will be provided at no charge. Commission publications may be reproduced for further distribution.
Publications currently available include: