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Int J Epidemiol. 1983 Mar;12(1):77-83.

What should be done about occupational accidents and diseases?


This paper argues that the perspective of economics is valuable in assessing the desirability, purpose and effectiveness of public intervention to reduce occupational accidents and diseases and suggests that the concept of efficiency provides one (although not the only) important criterion by which to judge policy in this field. Despite the incentives to adopt preventive measures that risk premia on wages in hazardous occupations will give to firms, it is argued that, without public intervention, these will be insufficient to bring down occupational accident and disease rates to their optimal levels. The paper then analyses the various methods by which the state might intervene in order to reduce these rates, such as by providing information on risks and stipulating legally enforceable standards, and suggests that a tax on employers for accidents and diseases that arise at work may also have advantages.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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