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Containing health and safety costs: health and safety risk management programs.

Moser R Jr.
Effective management of health and safety programs: a practical guide, 3rd edition. Moser R Jr., ed. Berverly Farms, MA: OEM Press, 2008 Mar; :203-223
Most senior managers in corporate, government, and other settings are well attuned to risk management programs structured to reduce legal liability exposure. The concept of health and safety risk management, as provided by a comprehensive health and safety program, is not so widely acknowledged or understood by senior executives. However, calculations using Health Care Financing Agency data indicate that total health care costs for occupational and nonoccupational illnesses and injuries for U.S. workers at the end of the last decade exceeded $1.25 trillion annually [1]. This translates into health care expenditures of over $10,000 per worker, considering both direct and indirect costs. The costs for only work-related illnesses and injuries were estimated at $171 billion [2]. The National Coalition on Health Care reviewed multiple studies and reported that total national health expenditures rose 6.9 percent, two times the rate of inflation, in 2005. Total health care spending was $2 trillion, an amount representing 16 percent of the gross domestic product [3]. Schulte reviewed the literature from 1990 to 2005 and noted that estimates of the costs related to occupational disease and injury ranged from $128 billion to $155 billion per year [4]. If successful in reducing corporate health cost risks by melding a number of diverse activities into a comprehensive corporate health and safety risk management program, the health and safety professional not only contributes to the corporation's profitability but also improves worker health, safety, and productivity. The program will probably increase the corporation's competitiveness as well. The same principles apply in developing and implementing health and safety risk-reduction programs as those applicable in other, noncorporate settings. DEVELOPING A PROGRAM FOR CORPORATE HEALTH AND SAFETY RISK MANAGEMENT: For purposes of discussion and illustration, this chapter focuses or methods that can be used to identify and reduce the costs of work-related illnesses and injuries - in essence, how to reduce the corporate health risk. These techniques are also applicable in other settings. Whether consultant, contractor, or corporate employee the health and safety manager can consider developing a corporate health and safety risk management program an appropriate health and safety effort. In many settings, developing such a plan will be established as a health and safety manager's responsibility during initial interactions with supervisors, as discussed in Chapter 3 and Appendix A. In other instances, however, it may be appropriate to obtain specific approval from supervisors or senior executives prior to developing a risk management proposal. The health and safety manager must judge the necessity for obtaining approval before the effort. If it is deemed necessary to obtain approval, and support, for the effort, some managers have found the approach discussed in the final portion of this chapter - Advocating a Health and Safety Program: The Costs of Not Having a Health and Safety Risk Management Program - useful in delineating the benefits of a comprehensive program.
Management-personnel; Occupational-health-programs; Occupational-safety-programs; Decision-making; Training; Education; Occupational-health; Environmental-health; Risk-analysis; Risk-analysis; Risk-factors; Safety-programs; Health-programs; Work-environment; Health-care; Health-services; Occupational-diseases; Injuries; Diseases; Workers; Medical-care; Medical-services; Professional-workers; Worker-health
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Moser R Jr
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Effective management of health and safety programs: a practical guide, 3rd edition
Performing Organization
University of Utah, Salt Lake City, Utah
Page last reviewed: March 18, 2022
Content source: National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health Education and Information Division