Costs of occupational injuries and illnesses in Croatia

  • 1 Institute of Public Finance, Smičiklasova 21, 10000 Zagreb, Croatia

Abstract

Apart from influencing the quality of life, occupational injuries and illnesses can pose a large economic burden to a society. There are many studies that estimate the costs of occupational injuries and illnesses in highly developed economies, but the evidence for other countries is scarce. This study aimed to estimate the financial costs of occupational injuries and illnesses to Croatian government and employers in 2015. Workers were excluded due to the lack of data. Costs were estimated by analysing available data sources on occupational health and safety. Financial costs were grouped in several categories: medical costs, productivity losses, disability pensions, compensation for physical impairment, administrative costs, and legal costs. Unlike in other studies, the costs of compliance with occupational safety and health regulations were also investigated. In 2015, financial costs to employers were twice higher than costs to the government (HRK 604.6 m vs HRK 297 m). Employers additionally covered around HRK 300 m of compliance costs. Taking into account that financial costs of occupational injuries and illnesses are significant, even without including the costs to workers, policy makers should put additional efforts into their prevention. A prerequisite is transparency in Croatian Health Insurance Fund’s expenditures, as well as more detailed data on lost days from work by industries, causes of injury etc. Organisations in charge of occupational health and safety and policy makers should observe relevant statistics in monetary terms too.

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