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Strong workplace wellness programs can help prevent work-related illnesses and injuries — but there’s more you can do to protect your business and your bottom line. By aligning both your safety and wellness initiatives under one central workforce health strategy, you can greatly reduce your overall costs while maximizing employee engagement and your company’s long-term health.
The high cost of poor health
- Smoking can increase workplace injuries by 40%.1
- Average retail price of a pack of cigarettes is $5.17 in CA but medical costs and productivity losses per pack are about $27.07.2
- Diabetes costs employees $4,413 more a year in medical costs on average.3
- Diabetes makes employees five times more likely to have higher workers’ compensation costs when injured.4
- Obesity makes it twice as likely for employees to have a work injury. It can also make them miss 13 times the number of work days and have 7 times higher workers’ comp costs.5
- Medical expenses related to obesity are 42% higher,6 increasing:
- the total cost per claim ($68,000 vs. $35,000)
- missed workdays (35 weeks vs. 19 weeks)
- permanent disability and attorney involvement7 (both 68% vs. 15%)
Three benefits of integrating occupational health with wellness initiatives
- Reduce the risk and impact of chronic conditions by minimizing occupational hazards and encouraging healthier behaviors.
- Increase employee awareness and understanding of your strategy — contributing to better program participation and healthy, lasting behavior changes, even among your highest-risk employees.
- Make it easier to build a culture of health throughout your work environment and apply policies that protect and enhance the health of your employees and your business.
- 1 “San Francisco Launches Citywide ‘Make Today the Day’ Quit Smoking Campaign,” American Lung Association press release, January 5, 2010.
- 2 Jill S. Rumberger et al., “Potential Costs and Benefits of Smoking Cessation for California,” Pennsylvania State University, April 30, 2010.
- 3 Diabetes: Costs and Opportunities, NBCH Action Brief, National Business Coalition on Health, February 2012.
- 4 “The Impact of Comorbid Conditions on Workers Compensation Costs,” Coventry Workers’ Comp Services, 2010.
- 5 “Obesity Increases Workers’ Compensation Costs,” Duke University Medical Center, April 23, 2007.
- 6 “New Community Recommendations Show Ways to Reduce Burden,” Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, July 27, 2009.
- 7 Bob Young and Alex Swedlow, “Obesity as a Medical Disease: Potential Implications for Workers’ Compensation,” California Workers’ Compensation Institute, August 7, 2013.
Services covered under your health plan are provided and/or arranged by Kaiser Permanente health plans: Kaiser Foundation Health Plan, Inc., in Northern and Southern California and Hawaii • Kaiser Foundation Health Plan of Colorado • Kaiser Foundation Health Plan of Georgia, Inc., Nine Piedmont Center, 3495 Piedmont Road NE, Atlanta, GA 30305, 404-364-7000 • Kaiser Foundation Health Plan of the Mid-Atlantic States, Inc., in Maryland, Virginia, and Washington, D.C., 2101 E. Jefferson St., Rockville, MD 20852 • Kaiser Foundation Health Plan of the Northwest, 500 NE Multnomah St., Suite 100, Portland, OR 97232 • Kaiser Foundation Health Plan of Washington or Kaiser Foundation Health Plan of Washington Options, Inc., 320 Westlake Ave. N, Suite 100, Seattle, WA 98109 • Self-insured plans are administered by Kaiser Permanente Insurance Company, One Kaiser Plaza, Oakland, CA 94612
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