Health, Safety, and Productivity in a Manufacturing Environment : Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine

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Health, Safety, and Productivity in a Manufacturing Environment

Bunn, William B. III MD, JD, MPH; Pikelny, Dan B. MA, CEBS; J. Slavin, Thomas MS, MBA; Paralkar, Sadhna MBBS, MPH

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Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine 43(1):p 47-55, January 2001.


The Health and Productivity Management model at International Truck and Engine Corporation includes the measurement, analysis, and management of the individual component programs affecting employee safety, health, and productivity. The key to the success of the program was the iterative approach used to identify the opportunities, develop interventions, and achieve targets through continuous measurement and management. In addition, the integration of multiple disciplines and the overall emphasis on employee productivity and its cost are key foci of the International Model. The program was instituted after economic and clinical services’ analyses of data on International employees showed significant excess costs and a high potential for health care cost reductions based on several modifiable health risk factors. The company also faced significant challenges in the safety, workers’ compensation, and disability areas. The program includes safety, workers’ compensation, short-term disability, long-term disability, health care, and absenteeism. Monthly reports/analyses are sent to senior management, and annual goals are set with the board of directors. Economic impact has been documented in the categories after intervention. For example, a comprehensive corporate wellness effort has had a significant impact in terms of reducing both direct health care cost and improving productivity, measured as absenteeism. Workers’ compensation and disability program interventions have had an impact on current costs, resulting in a significant reduction of financial liability. In the final phase of the program, all direct and indirect productivity costs will be quantified. The impact of the coordinated program on costs associated with employee health will be analyzed initially and compared with a “silo” approach.

© 2001 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.

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