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Workers' Compensation, Safety, and Prevention


Workers' Compensation, Safety and Prevention

Class Description

This session will explore best practices and emerging trends in the effective management of workers compensation cases.


Tim Castle

Tim Castle is a Manager II and is the Program Manager of the California Highway Patrol’s (CHP) Disability and Retirement Unit.  Tim started his career within the Workers’ Compensation arena in May of 1989 in the Sacramento State Fund Policy Office.  In this capacity, he held several positions, the final as an Assistant Claims Manager with oversight of one of the claims adjusting units, the internal and external investigations, and the Sacramento District Office fraud staff.  In 2001, Tim moved to the CHP’s Disability and Retirement Unit. While at the CHP, Tim has worked with their Health and Safety Section, Occupational Safety Unit, Employee Assistance Unit, and currently oversees the Workers’ Compensation, Uniformed Reinstatements, and Return-to Work functions.

Shawna Merkle

Shawna Merkle is a Manager I in the California Highway Patrol’s Disability and Retirement Unit. She started her Workers’ Compensation career in 2000 at State Compensation Insurance Fund in their State Contracts Sacramento office.  Although she initially started in a California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation unit, she soon transferred to the unit handling California Highway Patrol and adjusted their Central Division claims.   A few years later, she promoted to Senior Adjuster and was given a special caseload which included claims from across the entire state. She was identified as a subject matter expert in permanent disability ratings and death benefits, and provided training on these as well as other topics. In 2013 Shawna earned a promotion to Assistant Claims Manager, and focused on team building, customer service, and time management.

Robin Dewey

Robin Dewey is a program coordinator for the Labor Occupational Health Program (LOHP) at the University of California, Berkeley. Robin has more than 27 years of experience in the field of occupational health education. She provides participatory training programs on workplace health and safety issues around California, the U.S., and internationally, for workers, unions, joint labor management groups, community organizations, schools, and government staff.


Lauren Mayfield

Lauren Mayfield is the Safety and Health Services Manager for State Compensation Insurance Fund, responsible for the administration of loss prevention services to State Fund’s policyholders.  She has 34 years of insurance industry experience, 22 of which in the occupational safety and health field.  She holds an Associate in Risk Management designation and is a Certified Safety Professional.



Tracy Caldwell

Tracy Caldwell manages the statewide return-to-work training program at CalHR. Ms. Caldwell started her state career at the State Compensation Insurance Fund and has 21 years of workers' compensation experience. Each year hundreds of interested employees attend her free courses which include: a mandatory three day class for newly appointed return-to-work coordinators, a one day enhanced overview for experienced staff, quarterly forums, and special on-site training (by invitation). Ms. Caldwell is also actively involved in managing the workers’ compensation program, which includes guiding policy that affects all state employees.
Updated 5/26/2015
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