Strong link between health risks and absence costs
To assess the full costs associated with absenteeism and to investigate the impact of different health risk factors on time away from work.
6,220 hourly employees of Steelcase Incorporated (US) who participated in a wellness program and took at least one health risk appraisal between 1998 and 2000.
- Health risk appraisal data were used to categorize individuals as low (0-2 risk factors), medium (3-4 risk factors) or high (≥5 risk factors) risk, and costs associated with time away from work were compared.
4,090 employees were absent from work at some point and the associated costs totalled US$14.3 million.
Proportion of employees who had time away from work (%)
Mean annual costs related to time away from work ($)
What does this mean?
The association between health risk level and costs related to time away from work is strong. If absence costs follow risk reduction, a potential annual savings of $1.7 million could be achieved in this study.