NIOSH Economics Program
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      The Economics Program prevents worker injuries and illnesses through collaboration with partners and a f cused program of economic research and its transfer to practice. This snap-shot shows recent accomplishments and upcoming work. What are our priorities? The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) Economics Program works with partners in industry, labor, trade associations, professional organizations, and academia. The program focuses on these areas: 1. Characterizing the economic burden of worker injuries and illnesses, and its distribution among different groups, including vulnerable and contingent workers. 2. Assessing the economic value of prevention activities that lead to the biggest improvement in worker safety, health, and well-being for the least cost. 3. Identifying the economic factors that affect worker safety and health. What do we do? 1. Focus research on the broad consequences of worker injury that extend to family members. We use data to demonstrate the full scope of the burden suffered by injured workers and their families, as well as employers and society overall. 2. Explore the impact of access to benefits such as employer-sponsored paid leave and health insurance on worker safety and health. 3. Use survey data to better understand: a. The association between occupation and income level on worker health, health-related quality of life, and stress. b. How work organization and the quality of work supervision and work experience affect health, health-related quality of life, and stress. What have we accomplished? 1. Published a study that showed that family members of severely injured workers had an increased number of musculoskeletal disorder (MSD) insurance claims as well as increased cost of MSD-related claims, compared to family members of non-severely injured workers. The findings suggest that severe occupational injury would be associated with additional costs between $29 and $33 million for family member outpatient MSD claims nationwide. 2. Published an article on the percentage of currently employed adults who had access to paid sick leave, by industry. The report was reprinted by the New England Journal of Medicine, demonstrating high stakeholder interest in this topic. This work was related to a previous NIOSH study that showed workers with access to paid sick leave were 28% less likely overall to suffer nonfatal occupational injuries than workers without access to paid sick leave. 3. Presented three analyses that used Gallup data at the Work, Stress, and Health 2015 conference. The presentations focused on: a. How quality of work life, health, and health behaviors might vary by occupation and income level. b. The association between perceived job insecurity and productivity, and how quality of supervision might affect this association. c. The contribution of workplace psychosocial factors towards quality of life. What's next? 1. Study other potential consequences of worker injuries on family members, focusing on the incidence and cost of psychological disorders suffered by families. 2. Publish expanded research findings on paid sick leave to estimate potential benefits to employers, including reducing turnover costs and preventing infectious disease transmission at work. 3. Publish three manuscripts based on the 2015 presentations of work with Gallup data. 4. Use the NIOSH Quality of Worklife survey data to study the association of stress at work and health-related quality of life by employment arrangement. This includes workers who are independent contractors, on call, paid by a temporary agency, working for a contractor, or regular employees. NIOSHTIC No 20048148
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