NIOSHTIC-2 Publications Search

Using Economic Incentives to Improve Occupational Safety.

Bergman RI
NIOSH 1982 Feb:187-197
Economic incentives for the enhancement of worker safety were discussed. Topics included a conceptual model of economic incentives, and examples of economic incentives used successfully in other areas. Hindrances to the application of free market measures to workplace safety may include uncertainty, transaction costs, externalities, and paternalism; specific measures to reduce the effects of these hindrances were suggested. An example of the use of economic incentives involved the bubble concept of industrial emissions control. Within the workplace, the author recommends that the worker's compensation system be changed in order to allow a company to deduct the average cost of worker's compensation in their size firm, industry and state. This would roughly double the cost of worker's compensation paid by poor performing firms, and provide a bonus and give a competitive advantage to the better performing firms. Such a program would also not involve changes in income tax revenues. Targeted subsidies should be implemented to assist firms in hazardous industries.
Worker-health; Industrial-safety-programs; Safety-education; Industrial-safety; Safety-research; Risk-factors; Workplace-studies; Worker-motivation
Publication Date
Document Type
Conference/Symposia Proceedings
Fiscal Year
Identifying No.
DHHS (NIOSH) Publication No. 82-103
NIOSH Division
Source Name
Symposium on Occupational Safety Research and Education, Division of Safety Research and Division of Training and Manpower Development, NIOSH, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, DHHS (NIOSH) Publication No. 82-103
Page last reviewed: February 11, 2022
Content source: National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health Education and Information Division