SJWEH Supplements are open access, (mostly) non-peer-reviewed articles usually published in theme issues or as part of a series of papers from a conference or workshop. Scand J Work Environ Health stopped publishing SJWEH Supplements in 2009.


SJWEH Supplements 2005;(no 1):38-42    pdf

Health and economic impact of occupational health services

by Lim MK

The benefits of occupational health services are obvious and objectively demonstrable. But investments in their expansion are limited since all money spent on worker health and safety is deflected from alternative uses. Economic evaluation (cost–benefit analysis, cost–effectiveness analysis, and cost–utility analysis) of such services is thus important as a guide to rational choices, the dependency on the validity of assumptions made being the main limitation, along with the nonconsideration of social and ethical objectives if decisions are based on costs and benefits alone. Its unidimensional perspective has the strength of providing the clarity needed, however, especially in developing countries resisting moral suasion. Although monetary resources are what decision makers understand and respond to, it has been deeply held societal values that have persuaded more enlightened governments and firms of industrialized countries to invest a priori in comprehensive occupational health services. Ultimately, the formulation of policies on occupational safety and health must be both economically and ethically sound.