FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
February 10, 2006

CONTACT:
Christine Baker
510-622-3959


Commission Approves 2005 WOSHTEP Advisory Board Annual Report

OAKLAND -- The Commission on Health and Safety and Workers' Compensation (CHSWC) has approved the 2005 WOSHTEP Advisory Board Annual Report. WOSHTEP, the Worker Occupational Safety and Health Training and Education Program (WOSHTEP), is a statewide effort aimed at reducing job-related injuries and illnesses among California workers. This program was created as part of workers' compensation reform and is administered by CHSWC in partnership with the Labor Occupational Health Program (LOHP) at the University of California, Berkeley, and the Labor Occupational Safety and Health Program (LOSH) at the University of California, Los Angeles.

WOSHTEP sponsors a variety of workplace health and safety training programs and distributes education materials on job safety. Particular emphasis is placed on reaching employers and workers in industries with significant injuries, illnesses, and workers' compensation costs. Focus is also on groups with special needs, such as workers and employers who do not speak English as their first language, those with limited literacy, those in traditionally underserved industries or occupations, those in small businesses, and young people entering the workforce. A labor-management Advisory Board guides the development of all activities, broadens partnerships with the employer, worker and insurance communities, and evaluates the program.

The 2005 Advisory Board Annual Report reviews accomplishments for 2003 through 2005, as well as activities to be implemented in 2006 and beyond. Accomplishments through 2005 include:

  1. Needs assessment and design, development and implementation of the WOSH Specialist curriculum, a 24-hours health and safety course which introduces participants to key occupational health and safety concepts and how to take a leadership role in the workplace. Participant materials are available in English, Spanish and Chinese.
  2. Development of a statewide network of trainers to deliver the WOSH Specialist curriculum.
  3. Development of easy-to-use health and safety resources for small businesses, which were adapted to the restaurant industry as well as training offered to owners and managers of small restaurants.
  4. Presentation of young worker health and safety educational programs, include a statewide Young Worker Leadership Academy model, to educate youth just entering the workforce about the importance of health and safety on the job and how to take a health and safety leadership role in their communities.
  5. Development of Resource Centers in Northern and Southern California, which are housed at LOHP and LOSH, providing printed and online materials on occupational health and safety, technical and research assistance, referrals to state and local health and safety agencies, and an electronic bibliography, Multilingual Health & Safety Resources: A Guide to Worker Training Materials on the Web with materials in 23 languages.
Activities to be implemented in 2006 and beyond include:
  1. Further targeted outreach and development of partnerships with local, non-profit organizations, community colleges, other university, and the State Compensation Insurance Fund.
  2. Additional offerings of the WOSH Specialist course and the Small Business Health and Safety Training for owners and managers of small businesses, as well as further development of the statewide network of trainers.
  3. Development of a comprehensive evaluation system

CHSWC, 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. CHSWC 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 2005 WOSHTEP Advisory Board Annual Report and information about WOSHTEP and CHSWC may be accessed on the Internet at CHSWC's home page at www.dir.ca.gov/chswc. Information about WOSHTEP and information about CHSWC may also be obtained by writing to CHSWC at 1515 Clay Street, Room 901, Oakland, California, 94612, by calling (510) 622-3959, by faxing a request to (510) 622-3265, or by email at chswc@dir.ca.gov.

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