April 29, 2005

Christine Baker

CHSWC Issues Paper on United States
Longshore and Harbor Workers' Compensation Market in California

OAKLAND -- The California Commission on Health and Safety and Workers' Compensation (CHSWC) has approved the release of the issue paper entitled "CHSWC Issue Paper on the United States Longshore and Harbor (US L & H) Workers' Compensation Market in California." This issue paper was developed by CHSWC staff in response to a request by Assemblyman Juan Vargas.

The U.S. L & H Workers' Compensation Act is a federal law that provides protection to about 500,000 workers for injuries or occupational diseases that may occur on the navigable waters of the United States or in adjoining areas. Currently, employers whose U.S. L & H insurance carriers become insolvent are held liable for payment of claims. Employees face either non-payment of claims or extreme delays in payment under the U.S. Department of Labor Special Fund.

The CHSWC issue paper provides information on the U.S. L & H Workers' Compensation Act and explores the feasibility of creating a guaranty fund for U.S. L & H workers' compensation insurance carrier insolvencies. The issue paper recommends that the Legislature consider creating a separate U.S. L & H guaranty account to be administered by the California Insurance Guarantee Association (CIGA).

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 issue paper, as well as information about CHSWC, is available at, by writing to Christine Baker, CHSWC Executive Officer, 1515 Clay Street, Room 901, Oakland, California 94612, or by calling (510) 622-3959.