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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...
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...
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...
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...
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...
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...
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...
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...
Mental health problems in the workplace
Mental health problems affect many employees — a fact that is usually overlooked because these disorders tend to be hidden at work. Researchers analyzing results from the U.S. National Comorbidity Survey, a nationally representative study of Americans ages 15 to 54, reported that 18% of those who were employed said they experienced symptoms of a mental health disorder in the previous month. Source : http://www.health.harvard.edu/newsletters/Harvard_Mental_Health_Letter/2010/February/mental-health-problems-in-the-workplace
Combien coûte le stress au travail ?
2 à 3 milliards d'euros. C'est, selon une étude menée par l'INRS en collaboration avec Arts et Métiers ParisTech, l'estimation du coût social du stress professionnel en France en 2007. Ces chiffres, qui intègrent les dépenses de soins, celles liées à l'absentéisme, aux cessations d'activité et aux décès prématurés, constituent une évaluation a minima. Les coûts réels du stress sont vraisemblablement nettement supérieurs. Source : http://www.inrs...
Health Care Reform and the Health of Performing Artists in the US
Abstract: Health care in the United States is beset by three critical problems: cost, quality, and coverage. We have by far the most expensive health care in the world, spending about 17% of our Gross Domestic Product, or over $7,000/person; most other developed countries spend about 8 to 10% of their GDP on health care. Despite spending that much money, the health status of Americans is far from the best in the world. Underlying both problems is the fact that over 15% of the US population does not have health insurance,5 which means they do not have access to health care when it can be delivered...
Behavioural economics
A review of the literature and proposals for further research in the context of workplace health and safety Historically, economists can be accused of having ignored behavioural issues. However, recent times have seen an upsurge in interest generated by the failure of conventional economics to adequately address recent economic reality. As a consequence, research was commissioned by the Economics Analysis Unit of the Health and Safety Executive, with three main aims: to provide a detailed review of the current and emerging literature on the use of behavioural economics; to provide initial proposals...
Healthy Work - Challenges and Opportunities to 2030
The project that led to the production of this report was initiated in 2007 by Bupa as part of its drive to understand the potential impact of changes in the demography, economy and the burden of disease in the UK on the future health of the workforce. http://www.bupa.co.uk/about/pdfs/reports/health_at_work.pdf

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