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Difficulties in quantifying financial losses that could be reduced by ergonomic solutions

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Human Factors and Ergonomics in Manufacturing & Service Industries

Published online on


There is currently a significant amount of discussion regarding new ways to insert ergonomics into the business community through adding financial benefits; however, analysis must be performed to justify this type of investment. Occupational problems that could be reduced by ergonomics solutions can be expressed as financial losses. Although the impact and importance of these losses are high, the difficulties in their quantification prevent adequate cost‐benefit analysis. This article aims to document evidence of the difficulties encountered when quantifying the financial losses that are caused by problems that could be reduced by ergonomic solutions. In this study, we performed a literature review concerning the financial costs related to occupational problems from the perspective of ergonomics. The results indicate that losses that occur mainly concern the productivity of the working process or the workers. The chief barriers documented in the scientific literature are the information cost, the multifactorial nature of the problem, the absence of information, and the methods of measurement. © 2012 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.