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Occupational Health and Safety Economics (Ecosh)
Start date: 01 Feb 2008, End date: 28 Feb 2010 PROJECT  FINISHED 

Occupational health and safety (OSH) of workers is at the heart of the production process. The economic dimension is therefore an important but not clearly defined aspect. The current projects objective is to clarify the economic dimension of OSH. It will bring together researchers and stakeholders and present the results of their discussions in the following three different international workshops. 1. The impact of OSH and OSH-interventions on productivity. It has been argued that OSH can have a big impact on productivity with large potential gains. We will focus on underpinning this statement with evidence and case-studies. In addition, we will improve the calculation of costs and benefits resulting from impact on productivity. 2. Economic evaluation of OSH-interventions. Economic evaluation has been elaborated for health care interventions as cost-effectiveness-analysis. In contrast to cost-benefit analyses in companies, it relies more heavily on evidence of effectiveness. We will combine both approaches, provide better tools for calculations and better integrate evidence of effectiveness. 3. Economic incentives for enhancing the uptake of preventive OSH-interventions. For these incentives, instruments such as taxes, subsidies, penalties or insurance-premiums are used. The workshop will give an overview of instruments and their effectiveness. All workshops will elaborate the topic of interest against the background of the changes in working life in Europe. The results will be reported on a website and in an scientific journal. The current proposal builds on previous work of the EU Agency for Safety and Health at Work and combines it with the latest findings from scientific research on effectiveness and economic evaluation of OSH interventions. In addition, the proposal focuses both on the problems of the old and the newly accessed member states. This is a novel approach from which we hope to bring forward the discussion on the economic dimension of OSH.
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