In high-income countries, employer spending on occupational health and safety (OHS) can be substantial. But what are the financial benefits of these expenditures? An Institute for Work & Health (IWH) team recently developed and applied a transparent methodology to estimate the return on investment (ROI) of OHS spending for Ontario employers. In this presentation, IWH Associate Scientist Dr. Basak Yanar and IWH Adjunct Scientist Dr. Cameron Mustard, also former IWH president and senior scientist, share the methodology they used to arrive at the ROI estimates in three important economic sectors: construction, transportation and manufacturing.
The team’s method builds on three phases: establishing an accurate estimate of the average direct cost of disabling work injury or illness; identifying employers in the construction, transportation and manufacturing sectors with a low incidence of work-related injury and illness; and applying a set of plausible assumptions to estimate the financial benefits of OHS expenditures in this sample of employers with strong OHS performance. The presenters share the ROI estimates they arrive at with this methodology and discuss how these compare with other findings from research in this field.