FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
IR # 96-25
Thursday, May 30, 1996
Commission Contracts for Development and Distribution of
Educational Materials for Injured Workers
SAN FRANCISCO -- The California Commission on Health and Safety and
Workers' Compensation voted unanimously to contract with UC Berkeley, Labor
Occupational Health Program (LOHP) for the development and distribution
of instructional written materials and video on the workers' compensation
Preliminary analysis of focus group sessions conducted by LOHP as part of
a study of informational services available to the injured worker funded
by the Commission, confirms that the workers' compensation system is very
complicated and, for many injured workers, extremely difficult to navigate.
The focus group participants and other major participants in the system
perceive that available information for workers about the workers' compensation
system is overly technical, bureaucratic, vague, inaccurate, and/or non-existent
in many cases, and that workers need educational materials that are easy
to understand and relevant to their experiences. Such materials would also
save time and resources for the organizations that provide workers' compensation
services and benefits.
With Commission funding, LOHP will develop 7 fact sheets in both English
and Spanish designed for all workers, i.e., uninjured workers and
workers who are at various stages of a claim. Covered topics will include
Introduction to Workers' Compensation, Medical Treatment and Evaluation,
Attorney Services, Problems and Disputes, Settling Your Claim, Resources,
and Workers' Compensation for Young Workers. In addition, LOHP will develop
and distribute an instructional
video. While the written materials are intended to provide more in-depth
information, the video will provide a general introduction to workers' compensation
that would be applicable to injured workers who are just entering the workers'
compensation system. It will explain the basic terms, acronyms, and benefits
in workers' compensation, the chronology of a typical claim, steps the injured
worker should take, and available resources. The video will be accompanied
by a fact sheet that will allow injured workers to retain some of the essential
information shown in the video.
The Commission, 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. 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.
Further information about the Commission and its activities may be obtained
by writing to Christine Baker, Executive Officer, Commission on Health and
Safety and Workers' Compensation, 30 Van Ness Avenue, Suite 2122, San Francisco,
California 94102, by calling (415) 557-1304, or by faxing a request to (415)
557-1385. Information is also available through the Department of Industrial
Relations' Internet servers' Commission on Health and Safety and Workers'
Compensation home page. The address is www.dir.ca.gov.