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Costs and Benefits of Preventing Workplace Accidents : Going from a Mechanical to a Manual Handling System


  • Paul Lanoie
  • Louis Trottier


This paper provides a cost-benefit analysis of the passage from a mechanical to a manual handling system that took place at the beginning of the 1990s at a warehouse of the Société des Alcools du Québec in Montreal. In particular, this change was aimed at reducing workplace accidents among packers. After evaluating the costs of the program, we present a rigorous econometric analysis to assess how many accidents have been prevented by the change so as to compute the direct and indirects costs avoided as a result of such accident reduction. We show that the demechanization of the handling system has indeed been profitable for the firm. Les auteurs de cet article ont effectué l'analyse coûts-avantages du passage d'un système de manutention mécanisé à un système manuel mis en oeuvre en 1990 dans un entrepôt de la Société des Alcools du Québec situé à Montréal. Après avoir estimé les coûts du programme, ils ont conduit une analyse économétrique rigoureuse pour déterminer le nombre d'accidents évités grâce à ce changement. 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 changement a été rentable pour l'entreprise.

Suggested Citation

  • Paul Lanoie & Louis Trottier, 1995. "Costs and Benefits of Preventing Workplace Accidents : Going from a Mechanical to a Manual Handling System," CIRANO Working Papers 95s-45, CIRANO.
  • Handle: RePEc:cir:cirwor:95s-45

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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. Alan Krueger, 1988. "Moral Hazard in Workers' Compensation," Working Papers 619, Princeton University, Department of Economics, Industrial Relations Section..
    4. Viscusi, W Kip, 1993. "The Value of Risks to Life and Health," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 31(4), pages 1912-1946, December.
    5. W. Kip Viscusi, 1979. "The Impact of Occupational Safety and Health Regulation," Bell Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 10(1), pages 117-140, Spring.
    6. Peltzman, Sam, 1975. "The Effects of Automobile Safety Regulation," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 83(4), pages 677-725, August.
    7. Johnson, William G & Ondrich, Jan, 1990. "The Duration of Post-injury Absences from Work," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 72(4), pages 578-586, November.
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