Data was collected on the incidence of workplace injury and estimated average costs per case in 1989 dollars for medically related treatment, salary replacement payments to employees unable to work due to work related injuries, wage loses, lost household productivity, and administrative claims processing associated with occupational traumatic and occupational cumulative injuries as well as occupational diseases. Cost estimates were made for each of 656 body part/specific nature of injury combinations as well as for costs aggregated at the level of body region or by injury group. The estimated annual costs of medically related care, lost productivity, and administrative claims processing for Workers' Compensation lost workday injuries was 21.54 billion dollars. Occupational cumulative injuries had the highest total average per case cost at 14,726 dollars. Specific injuries that resulted in the highest average costs per case were ruptures, vision loss, dust disease, enucleation, and nonlimb dislocations/fractures. The authors emphasized that through additional similar research it may be possible to integrate cost estimation as part of regulatory economic analyses, program planning and evaluation of prevention strategies.
The Urban Institute, NIOSH Purchase Order Report 0009044165, 249 pages, 14 references