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The Commission on Health and Safety and Workers’ Compensation (CHSWC) has released the 2013 WOSHTEP Advisory Board Annual Report. WOSHTEP, the Worker Occupational Safety and Health Training and Education Program, 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 through inter-agency agreements with the Labor Occupational Health Program (LOHP) at the University of California, Berkeley, the Western Center for Agricultural Health and Safety (WCAHS) at the University of California, Davis, and the Labor Occupational Safety and Health Program (LOSH) at the University of California, Los Angeles.

The WOSHTEP labor-management Advisory Board guides the development of all activities, broadens partnerships with the employer, worker and insurance communities, and evaluates the program. In addition, the Advisory Board prepares an annual written report evaluating the use and impact of the programs developed.

From its inception in 2003 through 2013, WOSHTEP has served about 11,950 workers and about 1,150 employers, through close to 5,650 hours of instruction. In addition, participants in WOSHTEP trainings often provide training and resources to workers at their workplaces, thereby significantly broadening the program’s reach.

Pursuant to Labor Code Section 6354.7(a), insurance carriers who are authorized to write workers’ compensation insurance in California are assessed $100 or .0286 percent of paid workers’ compensation indemnity amounts, whichever is greater, for claims reported for the previous calendar year to the Workers’ Compensation Insurance Rating Bureau (WCIRB). This assessment is then deposited into WOSHEF. CHSWC uses these funds each year to develop and implement WOSHTEP through interagency agreements with the Labor Occupational Health Program (LOHP) at the University of California (UC), Berkeley, and the Labor Occupational Safety and Health Program (LOSH) at the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA). LOHP provides a subcontract to the University of California, Davis Western Center for Agricultural Health and Safety (WCAHS) to operate WOSHTEP’s Central Valley Resource Center.

To date, WOSHTEP has provided health and safety information and/or training to numerous industries including: janitorial; construction; small manufacturers; corrections and rehabilitation; health care; telecommunications; food service or restaurant; laundry; agriculture; transportation; schools; refineries; warehousing; garment; meat packing; recycling; and state and local government. WOSHTEP is gaining national recognition through CHSWC, LOHP and LOSH presentations at national and state conferences, such as the International Association of Industrial Accident Boards and Commissions (IAIABC), the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH), the American Society of Safety Professionals, and the American Public Health Association, the National Council for Occupational Safety and Health, and the Annual Conference of the California Community Health Workers Network, as well as through articles written for publications such as the IAIABC Journal, Public Health Reports, the Bureau of National Affairs SafetyNet monthly newsletter, New Solutions; a Journal of Environmental and Occupational Health Policy, and the quarterly magazine for Foodservice Consultants Society International (FCSI).