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Costs and Benefits of Preventing Workplace Accidents: The Case of Participatory Ergonomics


  • Paul Lanoie
  • Sophie Tavenas


This paper provides a cost-benefit analysis of a participatory ergonomics program conducted at the beginning of the 1990s to reduce back-related disorders among packers at a warehouse of the Société des Alcools du Québec in Quebec City. After evaluating the costs of the program, we present a rigorous econometric analysis to assess how many accidents have been prevented by the program so as to compute the direct and indirects costs avoided as a result of such accident reduction. We show that the program has indeed been profitable for the firm. Les auteurs de cet article ont effectué l'analyse coûts-avantages d'un programme ergonomique mis en oeuvre en 1990 pour diminuer, avec la participation des intéressés, les problèmes liés aux maux de dos chez les manutentionnaires d'un entrepôt de la Société des Alcools du Québec situé dans la ville de Québec. Après avoir estimé les coûts du programme, ils ont conduit une analyse économétrique rigoureuse pour déterminer le nombre d'accidents évités grâce au programme. Ils ont pu ainsi calculer les coûts directs et indirects qui n'auront pas à être subis à cause de la réduction du nombre des accidents. Ils en concluent que le programme a réellement été rentable pour la S.A.Q.

Suggested Citation

  • Paul Lanoie & Sophie Tavenas, 1995. "Costs and Benefits of Preventing Workplace Accidents: The Case of Participatory Ergonomics," CIRANO Working Papers 95s-38, CIRANO.
  • Handle: RePEc:cir:cirwor:95s-38

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Krueger, A.B., 1988. "Moral Hazard In Worker'S Compensation Insurance," Papers 31, Princeton, Woodrow Wilson School - Discussion Paper.
    2. repec:fth:prinin:239 is not listed on IDEAS
    3. Dionne, Georges & Gagne, Robert & Gagnon, Francois & Vanasse, Charles, 1997. "Debt, moral hazard and airline safety An empirical evidence," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 79(2), pages 379-402, August.
    4. Bernard Fortin & Paul Lanoie & Christine Laporte, 1995. "Is Workers' Compensation Disguised Unemployment Insurance?," CIRANO Working Papers 95s-48, CIRANO.
    5. Peltzman, Sam, 1975. "The Effects of Automobile Safety Regulation," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 83(4), pages 677-725, August.
    6. Fortin, Bernard & Lanoie, Paul, 1992. "Substitution between unemployment insurance and workers' compensation : An analysis applied to the risk of workplace accidents," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 49(3), pages 287-312, December.
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