Occupational health and safety interventions with economic evaluations: a systematic review

Reasons for the study

Before employers invest in workplace health and safety interventions, they want to know the financial implications of their investment. The goal of this review was to explore whether such interventions are worthwhile from an economic point of view.
To find an answer, the Institute for Work & Health conducted a systematic review of studies of workplace-based health and safety interventions that also included an economic evaluation. An economic evaluation is a study in which a researcher or decision-maker assesses the costs and consequences of a particular intervention and its relevant alternatives. This review sought to answer the following question: What is the credible evidence that incremental investment in health and safety is worth undertaking?

Progress

This review, completed in 2007, was unique in that it was the first to examine this topic in a systematic and comprehensive fashion. It began to fill a gap in the research on the financial merits of OHS programs. It also provided insight into which sectors and types of interventions need to include economic evaluations in future studies.

Related scientific publications

Tompa E, Dolinschi R, de Oliveira C, Amick B, Irvin E. A systematic review of workplace ergonomic interventions with economic analyses. Journal of Occupational Rehabilitation. 2010;20(2):220-234. doi:10.1007/s10926-009-9210-3.
Tompa E, Dolinschi R, de Oliveira C, Irvin E. A systematic review of occupational health and safety interventions with economic analyses. Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine. 2009;51(9):1004-1023. doi:10.1097/JOM.0b013e3181b34f60.
Tompa E, Dolinschi R, de Oliveira C, Irvin E. Systematic review of OHS interventions with economic evaluations: appendices. Institute for Work & Health; 2007.
Tompa E, Dolinschi R, de Oliveira C, Irvin E. Systematic review of OHS interventions with economic evaluations: full report. Institute for Work & Health; 2007.
Tompa E, Dolinschi R, de Oliveira C. Practice and potential of economic evaluation of workplace-based interventions for occupational health and safety. Journal of Occupational Rehabilitation. 2006;16(3):375-400. doi:10.1007/s10926-006-9035-2.

Related research summaries

Is it worthwhile investing in health and safety programs?. Sharing Best Evidence: Institute for Work & Health, January 2007.

Project status

Completed

Research team

Emile Tompa, Institute for Work & Health (PI)
Roman Dolinschi, Institute for Work & Health
Claire de Oliveira, Institute for Work & Health
Emma Irvin, Institute for Work & Health

Funded by

Workplace Safety and Insurance Board of Ontario