Human Resource Management and Safety: Technical Efficiency and Economic Incentives

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Upjohn Institute Press Book Chapters

Upjohn Research home page

2005

Human Resource Management and Safety: Technical Efficiency and Economic Incentives
Richard J. Butler
Brigham Young University

Yong-Seung Park
Kyung Hee University

Citation
Butler, Richard J., and Yong-Seung Park. 2005. "Human Resource Management and Safety: Technical Efficiency and Economic Incentives." In Safety Practices, Firm Culture, and Workplace Injuries. Kalamazoo, MI: W.E. Upjohn Institute for Employment Research, pp. 1-12. http://research.upjohn.org/up_bookchapters/33

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1 Human Resource Management and Safety
Technical Efficiency and Economic Incentives

More U.S. workers die each year on the job than were killed in the U.S. military cumulatively from 1998 through November 2004, even after including self-inflicted and accidental military deaths (DIOR 2005). In 2001, there were 8,786 job-related fatal injuries (5,900 not counting the fatalities caused by the terrorist attacks of September 11), or about 3.7 fatal injuries per 100,000 workers. Workers made 2.1 million trips to the emergency room for injuries sustained from accidents at work (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention 2004). Workers’ compensation insurance, which covers all medical expenses and part of lost wages associated with injuries, cost employers $63.9 billion in 2001 (Williams, Reno, and Burton 2003). The indirect costs of accidents—lost wages, damage to equipment, and training and rehabilitation expenses—were several times this amount. Human resource management (HRM) is usually viewed as an auxiliary function in a firm, contributing nothing to that firm’s output—a cost tolerated because payroll, benefits, and certain types of human resource activity must be organized before the real job of…...

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