Problem: Few methods exist for comprehensively examining the costs and benefits of ergonomic interventions applicable to a variety of economic sectors and settings.
Methods: An instrument for data collection and data analysis at the facility level is presented. In this net-cost model intervention costs are defined by equipment and labor costs for the interventions as well as the avoided costs of lost work time, medical care, and productivity improvements.
Results: Net-cost estimates for three case studies show that ergonomic interventions applied appropriately can result in substantial cost savings for the companies.
Discussion: It would be prudent to incorporate a protocol for collecting cost and effectiveness data in the standard operating procedures of companies introducing ergonomic interventions. Validation of the net-cost model through prospective studies is necessary.
Impact on industry: This model may be used to determine the net-cost of implemented or proposed ergonomic interventions in industrial facilities.