Total Worker Health Program: Risks
Inputs: Occupational Safety and Health Risks
As the nature of work in the U.S. changes, the limitations of a focus on occupational risks alone have become increasingly apparent. Clearly, the overall health of workers is influenced by factors both inside and outside the workplace: stress at work and home; unhealthful diet and limited exercise; smoking; chronic conditions such as hypertension, asthma, and diabetes, to name a few. The effects of these various factors cannot be artificially divided between “at work” and “non-work.” Just as workplace conditions can affect health and well-being at home and in the community, exposures and activities outside of working hours can substantially determine health, productivity, and well-being during work.
Illness and Injury in the United States—Workplace Statistics
- 5.840 fatalities from work-related injuries in 2006
- 4,000,000 occupational illnesses and injuries in the private sector in 2006
- $87.6 billion in employers’ workers’ compensation costs
Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics, 2006; National Academy of Social Insurance 2006.
Burden of Chronic Disease in the United States
- 553,000 deaths and 1.3 million new cases each year.
- Economic burden: $217 billion a year including $89 billion in medical costs and $130 billion for lost work days and productivity.
- Over 23.6 million cases and over 200,000 deaths from complications from the disease each year.
- Economic burden: $174 billion a year including $116 billion in medical costs and $58 billion for lost work days and productivity.
- Over 80 million cases and over 870,000 people who die of heart disease and stroke each year.
- Economic burden: $448 billion a year including direct and indirect costs.
- Approximately 438,000 deaths each year.
- Economic burden: Over $96 billion in medical costs and $97 billion in indirect costs
- More than one third of U.S. adults—more than 72 million people are obese
- Medical expenditures for obese workers, depending on severity of obesity and sex, are between 29%–117% greater than expenditures for workers with normal weight.
Sources: National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Control, 2008. National Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Obesity; Halting the Epidemic by Making Health Easier, At a Glance, 2009.