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S.C.R. 2






Chief Sponsor: Karen Mayne

House Sponsor: Don L. Ipson

             8      LONG TITLE
             9      General Description:
             10          This concurrent resolution of the Legislature recognizes the Workers' Compensation
             11      Fund for its dedication to the safety of Utah workers.
             12      Highlighted Provisions:
             13          This resolution:
             14          .    recognizes the Workers' Compensation Fund for its efforts to improve the safety of
             15      workers in the state of Utah.
             16      Special Clauses:
             17          None
             19      Be it resolved by the Legislature of the state of Utah, the Governor concurring therein:
             20          WHEREAS, the Workers' Compensation Fund (WCF) insures Utah employers against
             21      liability for compensation-based, job-related accidental injuries and occupational diseases and
             22      assures payment of this compensation to Utah employees who are entitled to it;
             23          WHEREAS, WCF is a quasi-public corporation, owned by its policyholders and
             24      governed by a seven member board of directors;
             25          WHEREAS, for the last 95 years, WCF has been a reliable leader in Utah's workers'
             26      compensation system;
             27          WHEREAS, in 1917, the Utah Legislature passed the Workers' Compensation Act,

             28      requiring all employers to obtain workers' compensation insurance coverage;
             29          WHEREAS, that same year, the Legislature appropriated $40,000 from the state
             30      treasury for WCF to begin writing insurance;
             31          WHEREAS, this loan was repaid by WCF in four years, and from that time forward
             32      WCF has operated financially independent of the state;
             33          WHEREAS, WCF, then called the State Insurance Fund, was created to provide
             34      competitively priced insurance to Utah employers;
             35          WHEREAS, annually, WCF recognizes a group of policyholders who have successfully
             36      implemented a culture of safety in their businesses and are awarded the "Charles A. Caine
             37      Safety Award," named after WCF's first manager in 1917;
             38          WHEREAS, every year since 1992, WCF has paid a dividend to its policyholders, and
             39      during the past two decades this has resulted in $339,000,000 in dividends to WCF
             40      policyholders;
             41          WHEREAS, WCF's ability to pay dividends is a credit to its policyholders and their
             42      employees who have worked together to improve workplace safety statewide;
             43          WHEREAS, WCF has championed safety awareness in advertising campaigns such as
             44      "Be Careful Out There," and through such advertising encourages employees to "remember
             45      who's waiting for you" as a father, mother, or loved one when you come home from work;
             46          WHEREAS, WCF's efforts to promote safety awareness have been directed at Utah's
             47      English and non-English speaking communities;
             48          WHEREAS, during peak highway construction, WCF cooperated with the Utah
             49      Department of Transportation to promote safety through a media campaign encouraging drivers
             50      to "Slow down, these guys don't have airbags";
             51          WHEREAS, because coordinating medical care is critical in controlling costs and
             52      providing quality treatment, WCF's medical case managers evaluate injured employees'
             53      circumstances and coordinate care to help in their recovery;
             54          WHEREAS, WCF's certified counselors work with employers, injured workers, and
             55      physicians to confirm work capabilities, help with job modifications, and return injured
             56      workers to a productive environment;
             57          WHEREAS, for inpatient hospitalizations and many outpatient procedures, a team of
             58      registered nurses and physician consultants proactively reviews and approves proposed medical

             59      treatments;
             60          WHEREAS, partnering with its policyholders on workplace safety is one of WCF's
             61      most important priorities;
             62          WHEREAS, in 2011, WCF's Safety and Health Department introduced On Demand
             63      Seminars, which stream online, allowing WCF policyholders to train their employees at any
             64      time in any place;
             65          WHEREAS, in addition, WCF has more than 100 free safety seminars, numerous
             66      online safety resources, industry-specific safety round tables, and on-site training;
             67          WHEREAS, WCF's safety consultation services, which are customized to the needs of
             68      the policyholders, include industrial hygiene consultation, safety program evaluation, risk
             69      assessment, and lift safety;
             70          WHEREAS, WCF supports the Rocky Mountain Center for Occupational and
             71      Environmental Health (Rocky Mountain Center) at the University of Utah;
             72          WHEREAS, the mission of the Rocky Mountain Center is "protecting the worker and
             73      the environment through interdisciplinary education, research, and service";
             74          WHEREAS, the Rocky Mountain Center, one of seventeen Education and Research
             75      Centers in the United States sponsored by the National Institute for Occupational Safety and
             76      Health (NIOSH), trains graduate students in industrial hygiene, hazardous substances,
             77      occupational injury prevention, ergonomics and safety, as well as occupational medicine;
             78          WHEREAS, since the inception of the Rocky Mountain Center in 1977, over 450
             79      graduate students have received degrees, and a large number of these professionals remain in
             80      Utah and are working to improve the health and safety of Utah's workplaces;
             81          WHEREAS, over sixteen years, WCF has provided 102 Safe Workplace Scholarships
             82      to individuals doing graduate work to earn a master's degree or PhD at the Rocky Mountain
             83      Center;
             84          WHEREAS, WCF named its Safe Workplace Scholarship Program in honor of Utah's
             85      own 20th-century pioneer in occupational medicine and workplace safety, Dr. Paul S. Richards,
             86      a dynamic figure who cared for miners and local residents at the Bingham Canyon Hospital for
             87      nearly 30 years beginning in the 1920s;
             88          WHEREAS, nationally, Dr. Richards was among the first to recognize the relationship
             89      between silica exposure in the mines and lung disease, pneumonia, and other illnesses, and was

             90      instrumental in bringing about Utah's first Occupational Disease Disability Act in 1941;
             91          WHEREAS, WCF Legacy of Learning Scholarship Program has provided educational
             92      assistance to the spouses and children of workers who lost their lives in work related accidents
             93      insured by WCF;
             94          WHEREAS, since 1990, over 1,000 scholarships have been awarded, worth over $1.3
             95      million;
             96          WHEREAS, during 2011, WCF safety staff assisted policyholders by providing 1,418
             97      inspections, 3,828 consultations, 207 seminars, and 861 on-site training classes, training 18,139
             98      people in the process;
             99          WHEREAS, many Utah associations partner with WCF in providing WCF-approved
             100      safety courses, including the Utah Manufacturers Association, Associated General Contractors,
             101      Homebuilders Association of Utah, Utah Roofing Contractors, and the Utah Truckers
             102      Association;
             103          WHEREAS, WCF also partners with local trade unions in providing apprenticeship
             104      facilities and training, and programs have included scholarships for veterans in "Helmets To
             105      Hardhats" programs;
             106          WHEREAS, WCF employs highly qualified safety and health professionals, including
             107      sixteen board certified safety professionals, four board certified industrial hygienists, and six
             108      individuals with master's degrees;
             109          WHEREAS, the state of Utah is not liable for the expenses, liabilities, or debts of
             110      WCF;
             111          WHEREAS, in February 2012, the A.M. Best Company affirmed WCF's "A"
             112      (Excellent) financial-strength rating;
             113          WHEREAS, on an inflation-adjusted basis, Utah workers' compensation insurance rates
             114      today are lower than rates in the early 1990s, making the cost of workers' compensation
             115      insurance for Utah employers among the lowest in the nation; and
             116          WHEREAS, WCF has demonstrated a strong commitment to the safety of Utah's
             117      workers:
             118          NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED that the Legislature of the state of Utah, the
             119      Governor concurring therein, recognizes the Workers' Compensation Fund for its dedication to
             120      the safety of Utah workers.

             121          BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that a copy of this resolution be sent to the Workers'
             122      Compensation Fund.

Legislative Review Note
    as of 1-3-13 10:13 AM

Office of Legislative Research and General Counsel

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