Center for Health and Safety in the Workplace Publications
RAND has conducted research related to workplace health and safety for several decades; recent reports are listed here.
Fee Schedule Options for Services Furnished by Hospitals to Outpatients under the California Workers' Compensation Program — 2014
This report presents an analyses of the policy options regarding allowable amounts for certain facility services provided by hospitals on an outpatient basis under California's workers' compensation system.
Identifying Permanently Disabled Workers with Disproportionate Earnings Losses for Supplemental Payments — 2014
In September 2012, California adopted legislation that includes a program to provide supplemental payments to injured workers whose permanent disability benefits are disproportionately low compared to their earnings loss. This report makes recommendations about the implementation of this program.
This paper studies whether newly created firms have higher injury rates than established firms.
We compare the rate of work injury fatalities identified by the US Census of Fatal Occupational Injuries in recent years with the number reported to the Health and Safety Executive in the United Kingdom (UK) and by other European Union (EU) members through Eurostat.
The Impact of Experience Rating on Small Employers: Would Lowering the Threshold for Experience Rating Improve Safety? — 2013
Examines the impact to injury and illness losses when small firms become subject to experience rating, the practice of insurers adjusting the premium they charge employers to reflect the loss experience of the firm.
Implementing a Resource-Based Relative Value Scale Fee Schedule for Physician Services: An Assessment of Policy Options for the California Workers' Compensation Program — 2013
RAND researchers used 2011 medical data to examine the impact of implementing a resource-based relative value scale to pay for physician services under California's workers' compensation system. Current allowances under the Official Medical Fee Schedule are approximately 116 percent of Medicare-allowed amounts and, by law, will transition to no more than 120 percent of Medicare payment amounts over four years. This report details the researchers' findings.
Inspection Targeting Issues for the California Department of Industrial Relations Division of Occupational Safety and Health — 2013
Examines the role of different inspection types in the enforcement program of the California Department of Industrial Relations Division of Occupational Safety and Health program and to identify changes that might be considered.
Testimony submitted before the California Department of Industrial Relations and the Governor's Task Force on Refinery Safety on June 11, 2013.
This paper uses a measure of severe injuries (fatalities) and of less severe injuries (non-fatal injuries with days away from work, restricted work, or job transfer–DART) to examine that issue.
Allowances for Spinal Hardware under California’s Official Medical Fee Schedule: Issues and Options — 2012
Testimony presented before the California State Senate Labor and Industrial Relations Committee on May 9, 2012.
Are There Unusually Effective Occupational Safety and Health Inspectors and Inspection Practices? — 2012
Examines the role of inspector style in influencing the effectiveness of inspections in reducing injury rates.
The Injury and Illness Prevention Program (IIPP) requirement has been the most frequently cited standard in California workplace health and safety inspections almost every year since it became effective in July 1991. This evaluation of the IIPP measures program effectiveness using information on citations for violations of the program and data on worker safety in California.
The Impact of Health Care Reform on Workers’ Compensation Medical Care: Evidence from Massachusetts — 2012
Health care reform can potentially affect the volume and cost of medical care received through workers' compensation (WC), but so far there has been little empirical evidence of this effect. This study used Massachusetts's health care reform experience to empirically estimate how reform impacts WC hospital care.
A prior study indicated that the effect of OSHA inspections on lost workday injuries had declined from 1979 through 1998. This study provides an updated estimate for 1998–2005.
This brief summarizes a study of how changes to the workers' compensation system have affected return-to-work rates in California, how return-to-work trends compare with policy changes, and recent trends in benefit adequacy.
Medical Care Provided Under California's Workers' Compensation Program: Effects of the Reforms and Additional Opportunities to Improve the Quality and Efficiency of Care — 2011
This book examines the impact that changes to California's workers' compensation (WC) system have had on the medical care provided to injured workers, synthesizes findings from interviews and available information regarding the implementation of the changes affecting WC medical care, and identifies areas in which additional changes might increase the quality and efficiency of care delivered under the WC system.
RAND/UCLA Quality-of-Care Measures for Carpal Tunnel Syndrome: Tools for Assessing Quality of Care and Appropriateness of Surgery — 2011
This study produced two unique tools for healthcare organizations to use to assess, monitor, and provide appropriate care for people with carpal tunnel syndrome (CTS). One tool assesses the quality of care received by a population of patients with CTS; the other identifies whether surgery is necessary, optional, or inappropriate for individual patients.
Use of Compound Drugs, Medical Foods, and Co-Packs in California's Workers' Compensation Program: An Overview of the Issues — 2011
Explores issues surrounding the use of compound drugs, co-packs and medical foods under the California workers' compensation program and assesses whether policy changes are needed to promote medically appropriate and efficient use of these products.
Provides a comprehensive analysis of the effects of several large changes to the workers' compensation system on return to work rates for California's injured workers.
The Frequency, Severity, and Economic Consequences of Musculoskeletal Injuries to Firefighters in California — 2010
The most common work-related injuries among firefighters are musculoskeletal disorders (MSDs). Understanding the frequency and severity of firefighter MSDs is more important with recent changes to California workers' compensation. This book describes the effect of work-related MSDs on firefighters' earnings and employment, the reforms' impact on disability ratings, and employment outcomes since the reforms to the medical delivery system.
Examines the effectiveness of employer-based return to work programs.
Analyzes factors that led to swings in the California workers' compensation insurance market after partial rate deregulation in 1995 and suggest ways to reduce market volatility and insurer insolvencies while maintaining the benefits of competition.
Examines the types of ambulatory surgical procedures performed on injured workers covered by the California workers' compensation system and whether they vary by hospital outpatient and freestanding ambulatory surgery settings.
California's Volatile Workers' Compensation Insurance Market: Problems and Recommendations for Change — 2009
Since partial rate deregulation in 1995, the California workers' compensation insurance market has seen dramatic swings in underwriting profits and the share of coverage written by private carriers. Many insurers have failed. This book considers why and looks at the regulatory system and its response, then makes recommendations to reduce market volatility and the frequency of insolvencies while realizing the benefits of a competitive market.
Demonstrating and Communicating Research Impact: Preparing NIOSH Programs for External Review — 2009
From 2005 to 2008, the National Academies conducted an external review of National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) research programs. This external review assessed programs' impact on and relevance to preventing work-related injuries, illnesses, and fatalities. This book describes the methodology that RAND researchers developed to help NIOSH programs prepare for the external review.