Workers’ compensation costs may not reflect the true cost of work-related illness and injury, according to two new studies that crunched the numbers on how work-related injuries affect companies’ health care costs – even when workers comp is available. Key finding: the usual method of studying reported injuries using workers comp records may underestimate the true number of injuries due to underreporting and use of group health insurance.
To understand the actual cost of workplace injuries and illnesses, NIOSH-supported researchers at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health study the cost of health insurance and patterns of underreporting. The following summaries present findings from two of their studies. The first appeared in the Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine and the second in the Scandinavian Journal of Work, Environment & Health.