SAN FRANCISCO -- This year's annual report of the California Commission on Health and Safety and Workers' Compensation includes a recommendation to thoroughly review the state workers' compensation system to decrease wage loss to disabled workers and increase the number of injured workers returning to work. "The commission is concerned with the appropriate types and levels of benefits to compensate workers sustaining industrial injuries and illnesses, with a particular focus on return to work," said Christine Baker, executive officer.
"The commission focused its attention on the impact of the reform legislation on the community, various aspects of California's workplace health and safety and workers' compensation systems, and the operations of state agencies charged with carrying out those programs." Their annual report recommends:
A special section of the 1998-99 annual report to the Legislature describes changes in workers' compensation costs and benefits since the 1993 reform legislation.
"The commission has determined that the workers' compensation community --employees, employers, insurers, evaluators, third-party administrators and benefit providers -- believes that the workers' compensation system is still too complex and needs further simplification and modification in certain areas," said Baker.
The commission is charged with evaluating the workplace 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 annual report and other commission publications are available on the Internet at the California Department of Industrial Relations' home page at www.dir.ca.gov. Information about the commission may be accessed by choosing either 'Occupational Safety & Health' or 'Workers' Compensation.