Workplace illness, injury and death impose large costs on workers, businesses and national economies due to the costs associated with treatment, compensation and lost time. While there has been a trend of declining number of claim incidences in Australia, the estimated total economic cost of work-related injury and illness have been increasing. Musculoskeletal disorders (MSDs) are the most common mechanism of injury, therefore, addressing the number of work-related MSD incidences may significantly reduce the economic burden associated with workplace injury and illness.

Return on investment (ROI) has been used as a common economic evaluation tool to determine whether or not an intervention is effective. However, a comprehensive ROI analysis that addresses the impact of variables on a high ROI is lacking for ergonomic interventions tackling MSDs in Australia. Thus, performing such an analysis would be highly valuable to help determine the drivers and barriers of implementing such interventions in the workplace.

A practical return on investment (ROI) tool that calculates and quantifies the benefits gained and costs incurred resulting from a workplace health and safety (WHS) investment could aide in justifying the investment of WHS. By demonstrating that the chosen WHS intervention has successfully eliminated or minimised risk(s) in the workplace, and that it has also reduced the business’ bottom line, an indicative WHS ROI figure would be a valuable tool in the decision making process of investing in WHS controls.

Funding: OIR UQ PhD Scholarship

Advisors: Dr Margaret Cook, Dr Kelly Johnstone

Project members

Olivia Yu

Olivia YU

PhD candidate