Net-cost model for workplace interventions

J Safety Res. 2005;36(3):241-55. doi: 10.1016/j.jsr.2005.06.006.


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.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Ergonomics / economics*
  • Humans
  • Low Back Pain / economics
  • Low Back Pain / prevention & control*
  • Models, Economic*
  • Occupational Health Services / economics*
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • Workplace