Background Work-related fatal and serious non-fatal injury rates in New Zealand are static and a number of prevention initiatives are being developed. The Department of Labour's State of Workplace Health and Safety 2011 report presents three different estimates of the cost of work-related injury ranging from $1.35 billion to $20.9 billion. A consistent estimate is required.
Aims/Objectives/Purpose To develop an agreed estimate of the cost of work-related injury that can be applied consistently.
Method The New Zealand Injury Prevention Strategy (NZIPS) estimate of the total social and economic cost of injury provides a conservative estimate of work-related injury that can be compared over time. Furthermore it allows the costs of work-related injury to be placed within the context of total costs from injury.
Results/Outcome The Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment now has an estimate of the cost of work-related injury based on an agreed methodology. The total cost is NZ$1.0 billion. This comprises of $236 million of treatment and rehabilitation costs, $462 million of lost economic contribution and $349 million of human costs. Work-related injury makes up 10% of the total costs of injury.
Significance/Contribution to the Field The NZIPS estimate will be used in the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment's injury prevention work and offers the opportunity to improve consistency across government with regard to injury prevention investments.