FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
March 22, 2005
CHSWC Issues 2004 Annual Report on California's Health, Safety and Workers' Compensation Systems
OAKLAND -- The California Commission on Health and Safety and Workers' Compensation (CHSWC) has issued its tenth Annual Report for 2004 of its activities to improve vital programs affecting nearly all Californians. This Annual Report includes CHSWC's recommendations that were incorporated in the recently signed workers' compensation bills, Senate Bill 899, 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.
CHSWC recommendations in the 2004 Annual Report focus on system improvements, which will benefit employers and workers:
- Continue Evaluating and Monitoring the Workers' Compensation System to Determine Whether the Goals of the Reforms are Being Realized
- Measure and Monitor the Impact of Reform Provisions on Medical Issues
- Examine the Integration of Medical and Indemnity Benefits
- Evaluate the Benefit Delivery Reforms, Including the Revised Permanent Disability Rating Schedule, Temporary Disability Benefits, and Apportionment
- Evaluate Changes to Return-to-Work Programs
- Test 24-Hour Care Models Via Pilot Projects
- Evaluate the Success of Carve-outs
- Develop a Cohesive and Comprehensive Analysis for Identifying and Reducing Fraud and Abuse in the System
- Stabilize the Workers' Compensation Insurance Market and Reduce Workers' Compensation Costs and Premium Rate to Employers
- Develop Training on Injury Prevention for High Hazard Industries and Significant Hazards
- Understand Occupational Risks at Small Firms
- Combine Occupational Injury-Reduction Efforts with Health-Promotion Programs
- Improve Efficiency of Administration By Measures Such As Utilizing Electronic Deposit in Lieu of Paper Check Disbursements
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.
CHSWC's 2004 Annual Report and other publications are available at CHSWC's home page at
www.dir.ca.gov/chswc. A copy of the CHSWC 2004
Annual Report may be obtained at no charge by writing to the Commission on Health and
Safety and Workers' Compensation, 1515 Clay Street, Oakland, CA 94612, by calling
(510) 622-3959, by faxing a request to (510) 622-3265, or by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.