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-cost ratio is 5.5. Overall, the findings from this study suggest that participatory ergonomics interventions can be cost beneficial from the company perspective. Even though the changes were typically low-cost and low-tech interventions implemented by the plant mechanics and maintenance personnel, benefits were realized on both the health and financial fronts.

Source : Emile Tompa, Roman Dolinschi, Julianne Natale. Economic evaluation of a participatory ergonomics intervention in a textile plant. Applied Ergonomics, Vol. 44, no 3, May 2013, p. 480–487. http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.apergo.2012.10.019

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