Economic Decisions on Proposed Work Environmental Studies – a Theory for Cost and Value of Information
Science Journal of Public Health
Volume 4, Issue 1, January 2016, Pages: 11-19
Received: Dec. 28, 2015;
Accepted: Jan. 6, 2016;
Published: Jan. 25, 2016
Views 3190 Downloads 50
Mahmoud Rezagholi, Department of Occupational and Public Health Sciences, University of Gävle, Gävle, Sweden
Assessment studies of occupational exposures are retrospectively evaluated based on their achieved statistical efficiency and/or their imposed costs. However, any decision on the performance of such studies strongly requires an economic evaluation in advance. The economic evaluation of proposed work environmental studies needs, in turn, access to information on the socio-economic impacts of occupational exposures. The present article aims to help policy makers in their decisions on proposed work environmental studies by introducing a cost-value approach to the information to be produced during the studies. The cost-value approach is not exposed to subjective judgements, as in the approach of “willingness to pay”, nor to consideration of invaluable statistical efficiency as “output”, as in exposure assessment studies. The work environmental study investigated in this article contained three different groups of occupational exposures that caused sickness absences and impairments at work in a Swedish company, Sandvik Materials Technology. The results show that the suggested study would be acceptable to the policy makers in the company, as its estimated value was strictly greater than its estimated costs.
Economic Decisions on Proposed Work Environmental Studies – a Theory for Cost and Value of Information, Science Journal of Public Health.
Vol. 4, No. 1,
2016, pp. 11-19.
Safe Work Australia. The cost of work-related injury and illness for Australian employers, workers and the community: 2008-09. 2012 ISBN 978-0-642-33381-0.
Punnett L, Wegman DH. Work-related musculoskeletal disorders: the epidemiologic evidence and the debate. J Electromyogr Kinesiol 2004; 14: 13-23.
Piedrahita H. Costs of work-related musculoskeletal disorders (MSDs) in developing countries: Colombia case. JOSE 2006; 12: 379-386.
Lubeck DP. The costs of musculoskeletal disorders: Health needs assessment and health economics. Best practice & Research 2003; 17: 529-539.
Smith PM, Glazier RH, Lu, Mustard CA. The psychosocial work environment and incident diabetes in Ontario, Canada. Occupational Medicine 2012; 62: 413–419.
Paudyal P, Ayres JG, Semple S, Macfarlane GJ. Low back pain among textile workers: a cross-sectional study. Occupational Medicine 2013; 63: 129–134.
Tan HH, Teo S, Tseng HC. Work-related chemical exposures presenting to an emergency department in Singapore. Occupational Medicine 2014; 64: 113–119.
Xiang J, Bi P, Pisaniello D, Hansen A, Sullivan T. Association between high temperature and work-related injuries in Adelaide, South Australia, 2001-2010. Occup Environ Med 2014; 71: 246-252.
David GC. Ergonomic methods for assessing exposure to risk factors for work-related musculoskeletal disorders. Occup Med 2005; 55: 190-199.
Ignacio JS, Bullock WH. A strategy for assessing and managing occupational exposures. AIHA Press 2006; ISBN 1-931504-69-5.
Van der Beek AJ, Mathiassen SE, Burdorf A. Efficient assessment of exposure to manual lifting using company data. Applied Ergonomics 2013; 44 (3): 360–365.
Warheit DB, Borm PJA, Hennes C, Lademann J. Testing strategies to establish the safety of nanomaterials: conclusions of an ECETOC workshop. Inhalation Toxicology 2007; 19: 631-643.
Bourgkard E, Wild P, Gonzalez M, Févotte J, Penven E, Paris C. Comparison of exposure assessment methods in a lung cancer case-control study: performance of a lifelong task-based questionnaire for asbestos and PAHs. Occup Environ Med 2013; 70 (12): 884-891.
Takala EP, Pehkonen I, Forsman M et al. Systematic evaluation of observational methods assessing biomechanical exposures at work. Scand J Work Environ Health 2010; 36: 3-24.
Loomis D and Kromhout H. Exposure variability: concepts and applications in occupational epidemiology. Am J Ind Med 2004; 45: 113-122.
Rezagholi M, Mathiassen SE. Cost-efficient design of occupational exposure assessment strategies – a review. Ann Occup Hyg 2010; 54: 858-868.
Rezagholi M, Mathiassen SE, Liv P. Cost Efficiency Comparison of Four Video-based Techniques for Assessing Upper Arm Postures. Ergonomics 2012; 55:350-360.
Rezagholi M. Cost-Efficient Designs for Assessing Work-Related Biomechanical Exposures. Doctoral thesis; Uppsala University 2012; p 52-53, 55-57, and 57-59.
Rezagholi M, Bantekas A. Optimizing the Fraction of Expensive Direct Measurements in an Exposure Assessment Study. International Journal of Statistics in Medical Research 2014; 3: 44-45.
Rezagholi M. Deriving Cost-Efficient Strategies for Observational Assessments of Postural Loads. Occup Med Health Aff 2014; 2; 4.
Armstrong B (1996) Optimizing power in allocating resources to exposure assessment in an epidemiologic study. Am J Epidemiol; 144: 192-197.
Duan N, Mage DT. (1997) Combination of direct and indirect approaches for exposure assessment. J Exp Anal Environ Epidemiol; 7: 439-470.
Stram DO, Longnecker MP, Shames L, Kolonel LN, Wilkens LR, Pike MC, Henderson BE. (1995) Cost-efficient design of a diet validation study. Am J Epidemiol; 142: 353-362.
Whitmore RW, Pellizzari ED, Zelon HS, et al. (2005) Cost/variance optimization for human exposure assessment studies. J exposure analysis environ epidemiol; 15: 464-472.
Cochran WG. Sampling techniques. Wiley 1997; ISBN 0-471-16240-X.
Groves RM. Survey errors and survey costs. Wiley 2004; ISBN 978-0-471-67851-9.
Sukhatme PV, Sukhatme BV, Sukhatme S, Asok C. Sampling theory of surveys with applications. Iowa State University Press, Ames, IA 1984.
Reineholm C. Psychosocial work conditions and aspects of health. Linköping University Medical Dissertations 2013; No. 1366.
Lohela M, Björklund C, Hagberg J, Vingård E, Jensen I. Does a change in psychosocial work factors lead to a change in employee health? J Occup Environ Med 2009; 51: 195-203.
Yazdani A, Neumann P, Imbeau D, Bigelow P, Pagell M, Theberge N, Hilbrecht M, Wells R. How compatible are participatory ergonomics programs with occupational health and safety management systems? Scand J Work Environ Health 2015; 41(2): 111-123.
Cantley LF, Taiwo OA, Galusha D, Barbour R, Slade MD, Tessier-Sherman B, Cullen MR. Effect of systematic ergonomic hazard identification and control implementation on musculoskeletal disorder and injury risk. Scand J Work Environ Health 2014; 40(1): 57-65.
Yogeswara T, Siddiqui NA, Hamsagar RS, Muenster RN. Industrial noise pollution and its effects on hearing capacities of workers: a research study of noise reduction from long product mill. J Industrial Pollution Control 2013; 29 (2): 185-191.
Feltham GA. The value of information. The Accounting Review 1968; 43: 684-696.
Davenport T. H. Saving IT’s soul: human centred information management. Harvard Business Review 1994.
Newell A, Simon H. A. Human problem solving. Prentice-Hall 1972.
Rezagholi M, Bantekas A. Making economic decisions for improving occupational health – a predictive cost-benefit analysis. Occup Med Health Aff 2015; 3:6.
Ijiri Y. A. A defence for historical cost accounting in R. R. Sterling (ed.): asset valuation and income determination. Scholars Book Co 1971; 1-14.