Ergonomics and Economics : Dilemma's and Chances
In the Netherlands two studies were carried out to estimate the costs of (poor) working conditions nationwide respectively for the building and construction industry and a model was developed.
Many ergonomists feel the need to prove the economical benefits of their work. However, mathematical models are scarce, and calculations are not as simple as they should like. In the Netherlands two studies were carried out to estimate the costs of (poor) working conditions nationwide respectively for the building and construction industry. These studies learned a lot about possibilities and impossibilities for such calculations. A model was developed, in which are incorporated the work related costs of: absenteeism, occupational disability, medical care, the material damage as a result of occupational accidents, effects on productivity, prevention:
In the paper several aspects of approximations and calculations of these costs are described. Benchmarking of results of the Dutch construction industry versus the national data makes clear that the great expenses for prevention over the pas years have resulted in a substantial decrease of the costs of absenteeism and occupational accidents.
KONINGSVELD EAP, MOSSINK, JCM. The macro costs of working environment in the Netherlands (in Dutch: Kerncijfers maatschappelijke kosten van arbeidsomstandigheden in Nederland), VUGA, Den Haag, The Netherlands, 1997
KONINGSVELD EAP, THE K, VAN DUIVENBOODEN, JC. The macro costs of working environment for the building and construction industry. To be published by Elsevier in 1999.
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