Musculoskeletal pain prevention program associated with savings
Management of musculoskeletal pain in the workplace. Melhorn JM, Wilkinson L, Riggs JD. J Occup Environ Med. 2001. 43: 83-93.
To investigate the financial impact of a musculoskeletal pain prevention program.
199 new employees of a large US aircraft manufacturer who received an initial musculoskeletal health risk appraisal followed by a tailored intervention program; a group of 240 employees (matched for age, sex and job type) who did not participate in the program were used as a control.
Outcome measures (including injury rates, injury severity, compensation costs, and productivity) were compared for the risk assessment group, the matched control group, and the total company between 1998 and 1999.
- Employees who took part in the program had lower injury rates, less severe injuries, lower compensation costs, and better productivity than the control employees.
- Musculoskeletal problems that did develop in the intervention group cost less to treat than those in the control group (US$2,468 vs $3,800, respectively).
- The net direct cost saving per musculoskeletal pain case was $1,332, giving an overall benefit-to-cost ratio of more than 34:1.
What does this mean?
The musculoskeletal pain prevention program was associated with substantial employer benefits; direct dollar savings of $2.42 million and estimated indirect dollar savings of over $13.5 million.