The Bottom Line: What’s the Economic Burden of Work Injuries and Diseases?

Recently, researchers quantified the economic burden of work injuries and diseases based on direct health care costs, indirect productivity costs, and intangible health-related costs. Director of Ergonomics Research Blake McGowan shares the findings in this month's Bottom Line video. Watch the video above.

In summary, the four findings are:

  1. The economic burden for a country ranges between 3% and 10% of all the goods and service produced by that country in a year.
  2.  The costs per work injury and disease ranges between $45,000 and $85,000 (USD) per case.
  3.  8% are direct health care costs; 62% are indirect productivity costs; and 30% are intangible health related costs.
  4. 68% of costs are absorbed by the worker and family; 18% of costs are absorbed by the employer; and 14% of costs are absorbed by the public sector or system.


References: Tompa, E., Mofidi, A., van den Heuvel, S. et al. Economic burden of work injuries and diseases: a framework and application in five European Union countries. BMC Public Health 21, 49 (2021).