Costs of occupational injuries and diseases in Québec

J Safety Res. 2014 Sep;50:89-98. doi: 10.1016/j.jsr.2014.04.002. Epub 2014 May 9.


Problem: Occupational injuries and diseases are costly for companies and for society as a whole. This study estimates the overall costs of occupational injuries and diseases in Québec, both human and financial, during the period from 2005 to 2007.

Method: The human capital method is used to estimate lost productivity. A health indicator (DALY) is used in combination with a value of statistical life (VSL) to estimate, in monetary terms, the pain and suffering costs resulting from occupational injuries.

Results: The costs of occupational injuries and diseases occurring in a single year in Québec are estimated at $4.62 billion, on average, for the 2005-2007 period. Of this amount, approximately $1.78 billion is allocated to financial costs and $2.84 billion to human costs. The average cost per case is $38,355. In view of the limitations identified in the study, it can be argued that this is an underestimation of the costs. Result analysis allows the injury/disease descriptors and industries for which the costs are highest to be identified.

Practical applications: The results of these estimates are a relevant source of information for helping to determine research directions in OHS and prevention. The methodology used can be replicated for the purposes of estimating the costs of injuries and diseases in other populations.

Keywords: Burden; Human capital; Injuries; Value of a statistical life; Work.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Cause of Death
  • Cost of Illness*
  • Costs and Cost Analysis
  • Efficiency, Organizational / economics
  • Humans
  • Industry / classification*
  • Industry / economics
  • Industry / statistics & numerical data
  • Occupational Diseases / classification
  • Occupational Diseases / economics*
  • Occupational Diseases / epidemiology
  • Occupational Diseases / mortality
  • Occupational Injuries / classification
  • Occupational Injuries / economics*
  • Occupational Injuries / epidemiology
  • Quebec / epidemiology
  • Workers' Compensation / statistics & numerical data*