J.J.Collins et al: The Assessment of Chronic Health Conditions on Work Performance, Absence, and Total Economic Impact for Employers

J.J.Collins et al, JOEM, Volume 47, Number 6, June 2005

Study: Dow Chemical, 5 locations, 7797 respondents (64% of included), work impairment and absenteeism based on self-reported primary chronic health conditions.


Results: Almost 65% of respondents reported having one or more of the surveyed chronic conditions. The most common: allergies, arthritis/joint pain or stiffness, back and neck disorders. The total cost of chronic conditions was estimated to be 10.7% of the total labor costs due to absenteeism (4%) and work impairment (7%).


Conclusion: Costs associated with performance based work loss or ‘presenteeism’ greatly exceeded the combined costs of absenteeism and medical treatment. Many CEOs have made statements that their employees are their companies’ biggest assets and that ‘creativity and productivity of the workforce is the engine for corporate success’. Yet, most of the management attention has focused on direct medical costs and absenteeism, even though the study demonstrated that there is far greater loss of productivity resulting from on-the-job work impairment. Improved workers’ health represents a significant opportunity for management to increase workforce productivity.


Read the full article at: The Health Project.

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