California Commission Hosts Forum on Catastrophe Preparedness

March 27, 2006

The California Commission on Health and Safety and Workers’ Compensation is sponsoring “Forum on Catastrophe Preparedness:
Partnering to Protect Workplaces” on Friday, April 7, 2006, at the South San Francisco Conference Center.

The conference will bring together leaders in homeland security, emergency response, and occupational safety and health to discuss individual, worker and employer preparedness for catastrophic risks, according to CHSWC. “One hundred years after the catastrophic earthquake of 1906, earthquake risk and the risk of other catastrophes including terrorism continue to loom large for Californians and the nation. And as we have learned from September 11, the risk of a catastrophe while people are at work, and the risks to the workers who respond, require the urgent attention of employers, workers and policymakers,” the commission stated.

The forum is being presented in cooperation with the Labor & Workforce Development Agency, the California Department of Industrial Relations, RAND Corporation, and the Center for Occupational and Environmental Health, University of California, Berkeley, Swiss Re, and Risk Management Solutions (RMS).

CHSWC is a labor-management Commission created by the 1993 workers’ compensation reform legislation to oversee the health, safety and workers’ compensation systems in California and recommend administrative or legislative modifications to improve their operation.
CHSWC developed the forum to provide an opportunity for the health, safety and workers’ compensation communities and the public to discuss and share ideas for safety in responding to terrorist attacks and natural disasters, learn lessons from others’ experiences, as well as consider areas where improvements need to be made.

Presenters include:
*John Garamendi, Insurance Commissioner, California Department of Insurance;
*Henry Renteria, Director, Governor’s Office of Emergency Services;
*Max Kiefer, Assistant Director for Emergency Preparedness, National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH);
*Hemant Shah, President and CEO, Risk Management Solutions (RMS);
*Phyllis Cauley, Chief, Preparedness Branch, Governor’s Office of Emergency Services (OES);
*Mary Lou Zoback, Senior Research Scientist, U.S. Geological Survey;
*Lynn Davis, Senior Political Scientist, RAND;
*Harvey Ryland, Former Deputy Director of the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA);
*Frances Edwards, Former Director, City of San Jose Office of Emergency Services;
*Vickie Wells, Director of Occupational Safety and Health, San Francisco Department of Public Health;
*Richard McCarthy, Executive Director, California Seismic Safety Commission; and
*David Keeton, Risk Manager, Swiss Re America.
Who should attend?

Selected agenda items include:
*Impact of a 1906 Earthquake Today;
*Profile of Risk to California Workers from a variety of Catastrophe Scenarios;
*Is California Prepared if a Disaster Strikes at Work;
*Employer and Worker Preparedness for Natural Disasters and Terrorist Attack;
*Workers Protecting the Workplace: The Safety and Health of Emergency Responders;
*Roles of Federal, State and Local Agencies in Disaster Preparedness and Response; and
*Recommendations for the Future.

For more information, contact Janice Yapdiangco at (510) 622-3965 or Or, contact Amy R. Coombe at (310)393-0411 ext. 6008 or

Registration is $50 and includes cover course materials and expenses.The conference has limited seating capacity. It will be held at the South San Francisco Conference Center, 255 South Airport Boulevard, South San Francisco, CA 94080.

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