An economic evaluation of a participatory ergonomics process in an auto parts manufacturer
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PROBLEM: We assess the costs and consequences of a participatory ergonomics process at a Canadian car parts manufacturer from the perspective of the firm. METHOD: Regression modeling was used with interrupted time series data to assess the impact of the process on several health measures. Consequences were kept in natural units for cost-effectiveness analysis, and translated into monetary units for cost-benefit analysis. RESULTS: The duration of disability insurance claims and the number of denied workers' compensation claims was significantly reduced. The cost-effectiveness ratio is $12.06 per disability day averted. The net present value is $244,416 for a 23-month period with a benefit-to-cost ratio of 10.6, suggesting that the process was worth undertaking (monetary units in 2001 Canadian dollars). DISCUSSION: Our findings emphasize the importance of considering a range of outcomes when evaluating an occupational health and safety intervention. IMPACT ON INDUSTRY: Participatory ergonomics process can be cost-effective for a firm.
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