Costs of Occupational Injuries and Illnesses

J. Paul Leigh, Steven Markowitz, Marianne Fahs, and Philip Landrigan


As the debate over health care reform continues, costs have become a critical measure in the many plans and proposals to come before us. Knowing costs is important because it allows comparisons across such disparate health conditions as AIDS, Alzheimer's disease, heart disease, and cancer. This book presents the results of a major study estimating the large and largely overlooked costs of occupational injury and illness—costs as large as those for cancer and over four times the costs of AIDS.

The incidence and mortality of occupational injury and illness were assessed by reviewing data from national surveys and applied an attributable-risk-proportion method. Costs were assessed using the human capital method that decomposes costs into direct categories such as medical costs and insurance administration expenses, as well as indirect categories such as lost earnings and lost fringe benefits. The total is estimated to be $155 billion and is likely to be low as it does not include costs associated with pain and suffering or of home care provided by family members.

Invaluable as an aid in the analysis of policy issues, Costs of Occupational Injuries and Illness will serve as a resource and reference for economists, policy analysts, public health researchers, insurance administrators, labor unions and labor lawyers, benefits managers, and environmental scientists, among others.

J. Paul Leigh is Professor in the School of Medicine, Department of Epidemiology and Preventive Medicine, University of California, Davis.

Stephen Markowitz, M.D., is Professor in the Department of Community Health and Social Medicine, City University of New York Medical School.

Marianne Fahs is Director of the Health Policy Research Center, Milano Graduate School of Management and Urban Policy, New School University.

Philip Landrigan, M.D., is Wise Professor and Chair of the Department of Community Medicine, Mount Sinai Medical Center, New York.

Praise / Awards

  • "The book is largely descriptive in nature, and provides a wealth of information on the magnitude of occupational illness and injury in the United States. . . . A useful resource for someone looking fore information on the magnitude of costs in an occupational setting."
    ---Philip Jacobs, Inquiry , Summer 2001
  • ". . . an eye-opening examination of data that the health and safety community relies upon. Perhaps most startling is that the book contradicts official government statistics pointing to declines in occupational injuries and illnesses. . . . [A]n important and interesting book filled with thought-provoking findings. It deserves a careful review by occupational safety and health professionals and a careful consideration by anyone who still thinks that the 'data' we have are the 'facts' we should rely on."
    ---Lisa Cullen, Occupational Hazards, October 2000

Product Details

  • 6 x 9.
  • 328pp.
  • 2 drawings, 71 tables.
Available for sale worldwide

  • Hardcover
  • 2000
  • Available
  • 978-0-472-11081-0

Add to Cart
  • $94.95 U.S.