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The Shell Disability Management Program: A Five-Year Evaluation of the Impact on Absenteeism and Return-on-Investment

Wendt, Judy K. MPH; Tsai, Shan P. PhD; Bhojani, Faiyaz A. MD, DrPH; Cameron, Derrick L. MD, MPH

Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine: May 2010 - Volume 52 - Issue 5 - p 544-550
doi: 10.1097/JOM.0b013e3181dbc8c2
Original Articles

Objective: To evaluate the impact of the Shell Disability Management Program (DMP) on U.S. manufacturing employee absenteeism.

Methods: We estimated absence episodes and days lost per employee from 2004 to 2008 compared to pre-program values in 2002, and productivity gains from transitional duty (TD).

Results: Between 2002 and 2008, absence episodes/100 employees decreased from 37.4 to 25.7 among hourly workers but increased from 9.7 to 13.1 among staff employees. Days lost per employee decreased from 7.4 to 5.2 for hourly employees and were virtually unchanged for staff employees. TD resulted in 6042 days saved in 2006 and 11,438 days in 2008, with direct cost savings of more than $4.1 million from 2006 to 2008.

Conclusions: The Shell DMP emphasizes absence tracking, timely return-to-work, and facilitation of TD. Absenteeism decreased significantly after DMP implementation, particularly among hourly employees, with an estimated 2.4:1 return-on-investment.

From Shell Health Americas, Shell Oil Company, Houston, Tex.

Address correspondence to: Judy K. Wendt, MPH, Shell Oil Company, Shell Health Americas, One Shell Plaza, P.O. Box 2463, Houston, TX 77252-2463; E-mail:

©2010The American College of Occupational and Environmental Medicine