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Research

HSE undertakes and commissions economic research to inform its policies. Recent HSE economic research reports and papers can be accessed below.

Title Year published Summary
The costs to Britain of workplace injuries and work-related ill health in 2006/07 - Workplace fatalities and self reports 2011 This research report presents an updated method for estimating the aggregate 'costs to Britain' of workplace injuries and new cases of work-related ill health, along with updated unit costs associated with an individual workplace injury or new case of ill health ('appraisal values').
Behavioural economics - A review of the literature and proposals for further research in the context of workplace health and safety 2009 Research was commissioned by the Economics Analysis Unit of the Health and Safety Executive, with three main aims: to provide a detailed review of the current and emerging literature on the use of behavioural economics; to provide initial proposals relating to the sorts of policies that could be both feasible and effective in changing favourably the health and safety behaviour of both employers and employees; and to offer recommendations on priorities for further research.
HSE strategy launch - Background paper: the economic evidence 2009 This paper presents the evidence in three key areas: the picture from past recessions; what we know so far about the current downturn; and what may happen when the economy recovers.
An empirical analysis of the effect of health on aggregate income and individual labour market outcomes in the UK 2008 This paper investigates whether health in general, and ill-health caused by work in particular, has an impact on various measures of economic performance: GDP growth, productivity and employment levels.
The determinants of compliance with laws and regulations with special reference to health and safety 2008 This report presents a review of the extensive body of socio-legal literature that exists to explain and understand the nature of compliance with regulation.
Human costs of a nuclear accident 2007 This report looks at how to value the health effects of a possible nuclear accident. However, the research has a potentially much wider application. It attempts a formal reconciliation of the value of a life-year (VOLY) applied in health policy and the value of a prevented fatality (VPF) applied in safety regulation. It proposes, for adults, a VPF schedule that falls substantially with age, the annual rate of decline being equal to the VOLY. For most life expectancies the rate of decline in the VPF, and hence also the value of the VOLY, is constant, the VOLY being valued at around the £30,000 or so widely accepted for medical applications. However for those with life expectancies of less than ten years the rate of decline is less sharp and the implied value of the VOLY for such individuals correspondingly increases.
Health and safety management and business economic performance. An econometric study 2006 This study explores the relationship between the scale of health and safety activity undertaken by businesses and their economic performance. The objective is to measure whether increased health and safety activity encourages investment in human and physical capital, thereby leading to an increase in productivity at both firm and industry levels.
The True Cost of Occupational Asthma in Great Britain 2006 This report presents detailed estimates of the costs of occupational asthma to employers, taxpayers, and individuals diagnosed with occupational asthma.
The costs and benefits of active case management and rehabilitation for musculoskeletal disorders 2006 This study identifies evidence on cost-effective case management and rehabilitation principles for MSDs that could be applied by employers and healthcare providers to help those with MSDs stay in work or return to work.
Perceptions of the cost implications of health and safety failures 2005 This report presents findings of research undertaken within organisations of varying size and sector to explore perceptions of costs incurred due to health and safety failures.
An evidence based evaluation of how best to secure compliance with health and safety law 2005 This research builds on previous studies by delineating companies into discrete groups and mapping onto each type of organisation “levers” which influence compliance with health and safety law.
Trends and Context to Rates of Workplace Injury 2005 In the context of overarching targets for the reduction of workplace injury rates, the aim of this report is to provide an assessment of what factors within the broader economic environment may contribute towards changes in the incidence of workplace injuries over time.
Cost of compliance with health and safety regulations in SMEs 2003 This report details the findings of a study to assess whether the costs of compliance with health and safety regulations are disproportionate across different sizes of organisations, what the nature of expenditure is and how effective the activities have been in improving health and safety performance.
Analysis of compensation claims related to health and safety issues 2003 Research project to collect and analyse health and safety (accident and injury-related) compensation claims conducted via trade unions and law firms.
Changing business behaviour - would bearing the true cost of poor health and safety performance make a difference? 2002 This report examines the use of workers’ compensation arrangements and insurance costs to motivate improved health and safety management and encourage rehabilitation
Valuation of benefits of health and safety controls 2000 This report presents the results of research that had two main aims: to estimate an absolute value per statistical fatality (VPF) for roads, and to estimate the ratios of the VPFs for other contexts relative to roads.
Updated 2016-02-25