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Worsening Workers' Health by Lowering Retirement Age: The Malign Consequences of a Benign Reform
In 2003, the retirement age of Swiss construction workers was lowered from 65 to 60. This reform has been intended to improve their health. Our study shows the opposite outcome. The human capital theory suggests that investments in employees’ productivity by the employer and the employees themselves depend on the time remaining until their retirement. Hence, we hypothesize that pension reforms that reduce employees’ working horizon decrease investments in work-related human capital, which translates into a higher prevalence of sickness absences, a longer absence duration, and worse...
A health economic outcome evaluation of an internet-based mobile-supported stress management intervention for employees
Objective: This study aimed to estimate and evaluate the cost-effectiveness and cost-benefit of a guided internetand mobile-supported occupational stress-management intervention (iSMI) for employees from the employer's perspective alongside a randomized controlled trial. Methods: A sample of 264 employees with elevated symptoms of perceived stress (Perceived Stress Scale, PSS- 10 ≥22) was randomly assigned either to the iSMI or a waitlist control (WLC) group with unrestricted access to treatment as usual. The iSMI consisted of seven sessions of problem-solving and emotion-regulation techniques...
The Cost of Work-Related Stress to Society
A Systematic Review A systematic review of the available evidence examining the cost of work-related stress (WRS) would yield important insights into the magnitude of this social phenomenon. The objective of this review was to collate, extract, and synthesize economic evaluations of the cost of WRS to society. A research protocol was developed. Included cost-of-illness (COI) studies estimated the cost of WRS at a societal level, and were published in English, French or German. Searches were carried out in ingentaconnect, EBSCO, JSTOR, Science Direct, Web of Knowledge, Google, and Google scholar...
Safety at the workplace: accidents and illnesses
The topic of work safety is a very relevant and multifaceted problem for workers, firms and policy makers. Differing from other narrow-scope studies, this article aims to enrich the understanding of workplace safety as a whole by applying econometric techniques on data from the Italian Labour Force Survey. Findings show poor working conditions are the most significant determinants of accidents and illnesses occurring at work, while having a fixed-term (temporary) contract is not significant. Other significant determinants of work safety are: not being new to the workforce; dissatisfaction with...
Long-Term Cost-Effectiveness and Return-on-Investment of a Mindfulness-Based Worksite Intervention
Results of a Randomized Controlled Trial Objectives: The aim of this study was to conduct a cost-effectiveness and return-on-investment analysis comparing a mindfulness-based worksite intervention to usual practice. Methods: Two hundred fifty-seven governmental research institute employees were randomized to the intervention or control group. Intervention group participants received an eight-week mindfulness training, e-coaching, and supporting elements. Outcomes included work engagement, general vitality, job satisfaction, work ability, and costs. Cost-effectiveness analyses were conducted from...
The business case for safety and health: Cost–benefit analyses of interventions in small and medium-sized enterprises
This report examines the economic aspects of occupational safety and health (OSH) interventions in small and medium-sized businesses (SMEs). First, case studies in the existing literature were identified and examined. Second, 13 new case studies on OSH initiatives in European SMEs were developed, with a business case for each intervention prepared according to a common model. The OSH interventions studied were generally profitable, and these new case studies therefore provide a useful tool to allow owners and managers of SMEs an insight into the potential benefits of improving OSH and the key factors...
The Longitudinal Prediction of Costs due to Health Care Uptake and Productivity Losses in a Cohort of Employees With and Without Depression or Anxiety
Objective: To examine how various predictors and subgroups of respondents contribute to the prediction of health care and productivity costs in a cohort of employees. Methods: We selected 1548 employed people from a cohort study with and without depressive and anxiety symptoms or disorders. Prediction rules, using the RuleFit program, were applied to identify predictors and subgroups of respondents, and to predict estimations of subsequent 1-year health care and productivity costs. Results: Symptom severity and diagnosis of depression and anxiety were the most important predictors of health care...
Worker health is good for the economy: Union density and psychosocial safety climate as determinants of country differences in worker health and productivity in 31 European countries
Work stress is recognized globally as a social determinant of worker health. Therefore we explored whether work stress related factors explained national differences in health and productivity (gross domestic product (GDP)). We proposed a national worker health productivity model whereby macro market power factors (i.e. union density), influence national worker health and GDP via work psychosocial factors and income inequality. We combined five different data sets canvasing 31 wealthy European countries. Aggregated worker self-reported health accounted for 13 per cent of the variance in national...
Effect of safety investments on safety performance of building projects
The construction industry is increasingly reliant on the voluntary effort of contractors to reduce accidents on construction sites. This study aims to investigate the effects of contractors’ safety investments on safety performance and identify the factors influencing the effects of safety investments on safety performance. To fulfill the research aims, a regression/correlation research design was adopted. Data were collected using multiple techniques (structured interviews, archival data and questionnaires) with 47 completed building projects. Bivariate correlation and moderated regression...
Economic evaluation of a participatory ergonomics intervention in a textile plant
In this study we report on the economic evaluation of a participatory ergonomics process undertaken at a clothing manufacturer in Southwestern Ontario, Canada that employs approximately 300 workers. We undertake a cost-benefit analysis from the company perspective. Intervention costs amounted to $65,787 and intervention benefits $360,614 (2011 Canadian dollars). The net present value was $294,827, suggesting that the intervention was worth undertaking based on the costs and consequences over the measurement period spanning more than four years. Based on these costs and benefits, the benefit-to...
The incidence and impact of recurrent workplace injury and disease: a cohort study of WorkSafe Victoria, Australia compensation claims
OBJECTIVE : To determine the incidence and impact of recurrent workplace injury and disease over the period 1995-2008. DESIGN: Population-based cohort study using data from the state workers' compensation system database. SETTING : State of Victoria, Australia. PARTICIPANTS : A total of 448 868 workers with an accepted workers' compensation claim between 1 January 1995 and 31 December 2008 were included into this study. Of them, 135 349 had at least one subsequent claim accepted for a recurrent injury or disease during this period. MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES : Incidence of initial and recurrent...
The economics of health and safety at work: an interdiciplinary review of the theory and policy
This paper engages in an interdisciplinary survey of the current state of knowledge related to the theory, determinants and consequences of occupational safety and health (OSH). It first describes the fundamental theoretical construct of compensating wage differentials, which is used by economists to understand the optimal provision of OSH in a perfectly competitive labour market. The plethora of incentives faced by workers and firms in job and insurance markets that determine the ultimate level of OSH are discussed in detail. The extensive empirical evidence from the hedonic wage and stated choice...
International Symposium on the Challenges of Workplace Injury Prevention through Financial Incentives
On November 29 and 30, 2012, the Institute for Work & Health (IWH) hosted the International Symposium on the Challenges of Workplace Injury Prevention through Financial Incentives. More than 180 researchers, students, policy-makers, members of the injured worker community, employer representatives, worker representatives and other stakeholders—primarily from Ontario, but also from other parts of Canada, the United States, Europe, Australia and New Zealand—came together in Toronto to participate in the symposium. The aim was to provide a forum to discuss the social, economic and...
Understanding safety in the context of business operations: An exploratory study using case studies
This exploratory research employs a series of cases studies and a multi-stakeholder perspective to examine safety practices and outcomes in the wider context of business operations. The aims of the research include enhancing the understanding of the practices critical for safe workplaces and of the business value (positive or negative) of safety. Four research questions related to safety practices and outcomes and operational practices and outcomes were addressed. The results provide new and novel insights into safety's role in the organization and show that when safety is examined in the wider...
Evaluation of the effectiveness of occupational injury prevention programs at the company level
The objective was to evaluate the effectiveness of an occupational injury prevention program, known as the Preferential Action Plan (PAP), focused on companies with high incidence rates of occupational injuries. We studied 1189 companies in the industrial, construction and services sectors between 1999 and 2007 in the Valencia region (Spain). Our sample included 507,262 workers, among whom 44,250 non-fatal occupational injuries with at least a workday lost were registered. Companies included in a PAP program were divided into three intervention groups, according to the year that each company entered...
An empirical analysis on labor unions and occupational safety and health committees' activity, and their relation to the changes in occupational injury and illness rate
OBJECTIVES: To find out from an analysis of empirical data the levels of influence, which a labor union (LU) and Occupational Safety and Health Committee (OSHC) have in reducing the occupational injury and illness rate (OIIR) through their accident prevention activities in manufacturing industries with five or more employees. METHODS: The empirical data used in this study are the Occupational Safety and Health Tendency survey data, Occupational Accident Compensation data and labor productivity and sales data for the years 2003 to 2007. By matching these three sources of data, a final data set ...
Systematic review of the effectiveness and cost effectiveness of employee assistance programmes
Employee Assistance Programmes (EAPs) are common organisational practice. Recent estimates suggest that over eight million employees in the UK have access to EAP services and between five to ten per cent of those with access will use the services. The constituent services of EAPs vary. However, all tend to deliver a proportion of their services through individual counselling. A range of employee support services is claimed to offer a number of benefits to both employees and employers including improvements in such outcomes as sickness absence and staff turnover, employee psychological well-­...
How to create economic incentives in occupational safety and health: a practical guide
This Guide on Economic Incentives Schemes is intended to serve as a practical and user-friendly guide to help incentive providers to create or optimise their own economic incentive schemes. Incentives schemes should not only reward past results of good OSH management (such as low accident numbers), but should also reward specific prevention efforts that aim to reduce future accidents and ill-health. Therefore the expert group suggested the development of compilations of innovative and evidence-based preventive solutions, starting with the three sectors construction, health care and HORECA. Source...
L’investissement dans la sécurité et la santé joue un «rôle déterminant» dans les performances économiques, confirme une étude de l’AISS
Une étude pilote coordonnée par l'AISS sur les coûts et bénéfices économiques des investissements dans la prévention, qui a porté sur 300 entreprises implantées dans 15 pays différents, a comparé des données relatives aux mesures de prévention adoptées et analysé les pratiques mises en œuvre. Ses résultats montrent que le ratio coût-bénéfices des investissements dans la prévention peut atteindre 2,2, voire plus pour les mesures directes comme les investissements...
L’influence des conditions de travail sur les dépenses de santé
L'objectif de cette étude est d'estimer l'impact de certaines conditions de travail sur des indicateurs de dépenses de santé et de mesurer l'effet agrégé sur les dépenses de santé de la collectivité. Cette analyse empirique repose sur un échantillon de salariés âgés de 18 à 65 ans ; ces données sont issues de l'enquête Santé 2002-2003. Publié par l'IRDES (Institut de recherche et documentation en économie de la santé), mars 2011. Source : http...
Implementation of the Directives on Health and Safety at Work as a Cost Factor
The study aims at better understanding the importance of Occupational Health and Safety (OSH) as a contributing factor to the economic viability of an organisation and looks into the potential effects of the proposals currently on the table for reducing administrative burdens in the field of health and safety at work. It considers the costs and benefits of compliance with OSH obligations, new and emerging risks and the need for new prevention measures to address these. Source : http://www.europarl.europa.eu/meetdocs/2009_2014/documents/empl/dv/empl_study_healthsafety_/empl_study_healthsafety_en...
Economic Evaluation Workbook for Workplace Parties in the Healthcare Sector
Health and safety managers need information on the financial implications of health and safety interventions at their healthcare facilities in order to make informed resource allocation decisions. However, Institute for Work & Health (IWH) researchers have found that few economic evaluations of health and safety interventions have been conducted in healthcare or other sectors, so there is little information available to occupational health and safety (OHS) decision makers from external sources. To address this gap, the research team worked with partners to develop a step-by-step software tool...
Tackling bullying
This guide is intended for managers who are tackling bullying in their workplace. It describes bullying behaviours, examines the costs of bullying to staff morale and productivity, and identifies the perceived incidence and possible drivers of bullying in the Victorian public sector. The guide then goes on to show how to respond to bullying when it first occurs and the follow up action to prevent it from happening in the future. Along the way it offers quotes, facts, resources and a case study. Source : http://www.ssa.vic.gov.au/CA2571410025903D/WebObj/PSSC_TackBullying/$File/PSSC_TackBullying...
Health at Work
Indicators and Determinants In this paper, the current knowledge and issues regarding the economic impact of health at work in Germany is reviewed as a part of the EU project “An inquiry into health and safety at work: a European Union perspective” (acronym: HEALTHat-WORK). After a description of the German institutional framework for occupational safety and health (OSH), it presents indicators of health and safety at work – such as sickness absences, occupational accidents and diseases, disability rents, working conditions, and OSH policy. The paper's major contribution is...
Workplace mental injury creating 'perfect legal storm', report says
Financial rewards for damages caused by mental injury at work have increased over the past five years by as much as 700 per cent, according to a report released today by the Mental Health Commission of Canada (MHCC). The report warns that a “perfect legal storm” is brewing in the area of mental health protection at work, and points to emerging responsibilities for employers to provide a psychologically safe workplace. October is Canada's Healthy Workplace Month and next week is Mental Illness Awareness Week. The report entitled, Tracking the Perfect Legal Storm (2010), concludes...
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