Occupational Health and Safety

RAND explores how to improve workplace safety as well as both physical and mental health in such diverse sectors as mining, health care, refineries, factories, construction, and corporate or white-collar work.

  • High angle view table of hands typing on laptop computer while writing on paperwork

    Project

    Health, Wellbeing and Productivity in the Workplace

    RAND Europe and the University of Cambridge collected a large-scale dataset based on a survey of UK employers and workers to understand the relation between a broad set of health and lifestyle risk factors and workplace productivity.

    May 22, 2015

  • San Francisco 49ers linebacker Chris Borland signals a first down after an interception against the New York Giants at MetLife Stadium, November 16, 2014

    Commentary

    Traumatic Brain Injury Isn't Just an NFL Problem

    Chris Borland retired early out of concern for his long-term mental and emotional health as a result of football's well-documented link to traumatic brain injury. Hopefully, his bold move will lead to better prevention and treatment of brain trauma in football, but it is also an issue for young athletes, military veterans, and others.

    Apr 30, 2015

  • Busy manager working in corparation and eating lunch

    Project

    RAND Europe Research on Work and Wellbeing

    RAND Europe has undertaken numerous studies that look at the interface between employment and health and wellbeing in the workplace. Some common themes emerge from these pieces of work

    Apr 24, 2015

  • Events @ RAND Audio Podcast

    Multimedia

    Sleep's Role in Society and Policy

    In this podcast, learn about current RAND research on sleep and the social environment and why it should factor into such policy decisions as setting school start times, scheduling workers' shifts, and ensuring the health and readiness of U.S. military personnel and their families.

    Mar 10, 2015

  • Couple getting counseling

    Commentary

    Putting UK Mental Health Services on the Road to Recovery

    If mental health problems are the most significant barrier preventing people on benefits from taking up employment, then why not transform how the system supports them? Policymakers could redirect some of the resources available to the benefit system towards improving mental health outcomes, and put more evidence-based interventions in place. The savings to the benefit system should logically pay for this investment.

    Feb 20, 2015

  • ballistic missile submarine USS Louisiana returns home to Naval Base Kitsap-Bangor

    Commentary

    Quality Sleep at Sea

    The Navy's own science now recognizes that tampering with natural sleep cycles can result in a fatigued crew. Applying scientific research on the biological underpinnings of sleep has resulted in a re-examination of a decades-old workday scheduling protocol.

    May 8, 2014

  • Report

    Identifying Permanently Disabled Workers with Disproportionate Earnings Losses for Supplemental Payments

    A new California program would provide supplemental payments to injured workers whose permanent disability benefits are disproportionately low compared to their earnings loss. This report makes recommendations about implementation of this program.

    Feb 10, 2014

  • stressed woman at work

    Report

    UK Should Pilot Interventions to Improve Employment Outcomes for People with Common Mental Health Problems

    The benefits system and employment services in England are under pressure from an increasing number of clients with anxiety and depression. Piloting four interventions that address mental health and employment outcomes together would provide much-needed evidence on what works best.

    Jan 30, 2014

  • depressed woman at work

    Commentary

    Finding Work for Those with Common Mental Health Problems

    Employment has distinct health and wider personal benefits for people with common mental health problems and it is also associated with lower healthcare utilization, benefit savings, and income tax gains for the UK Government.

    Jan 20, 2014

  • News Release

    UK Government Should Pilot Four Interventions to Improve Employment Outcomes for People with Common Mental Health ...

    The benefits system and employment services in England are under pressure from an increasing number of clients with anxiety and depression. Piloting four interventions that address mental health and employment outcomes together would provide much-needed evidence on what works best.

    Jan 20, 2014

  • Journal Article

    Is Occupational Injury Risk Higher at New Firms?

    This paper studies whether newly created firms have higher injury rates than established firms.

    Jan 1, 2014

  • construction, extension, people, tower crane

    Journal Article

    Comparing Occupational Fatality Risks in the United States and United Kingdom

    Although work fatality rates have declined in the U.S., fatality rates are much lower and have declined faster in recent years in the UK. Efforts to find out the reasons for the much better UK outcomes could be productive.

    Dec 10, 2013

  • Journal Article

    Using OSHA Inspection Data to Analyze Respirator Protection Program Compliance

    This article uses the OSHA inspection data base to examine all inspections in manufacturing in 47 states from 1999 through 2006 and identifies all inspections and all establishments at which respiratory protection (RP) violations were cited, and it compares the prevalence of violations by industry with the prevalence reported in a recent Bureau of Labor Statistics survey of respirator use.

    Dec 1, 2013

  • stressed office worker sitting at his desk

    Solution

    Improving Workers' Compensation Policies for Workers, Businesses, Government

    Many state workers' compensation systems face significant challenges as medical and administrative costs have risen. California sought RAND advice in improving its system to save both public and private funds, while also improving the quality of care for injured workers.

    Sep 10, 2013

  • Stressed businessman getting headache

    Commentary

    Under Pressure: How Europe Manages Psychosocial Risks in the Workplace

    During an economic downturn, employers are unlikely to put the mental health of their workers at the top of the agenda. But it is precisely in these circumstances that employers cannot afford to ignore the mental well-being of employees.

    Jul 17, 2013

  • stressed woman at work

    Project

    Psychological Wellbeing and Work in the UK

    Poor mental health is associated with high economic and social costs and represents a significant policy challenge in the UK. RAND Europe is identifying approaches to improve the effectiveness and alignment of health and employment services to achieve better employment outcomes for individuals with mental health problems.

    Jul 16, 2013

  • quality engineer

    Testimony

    Refinery Process Safety Performance and Models of Government-Industry Relations

    U.S. safety performance at refineries has not been good by international standards. However, Cal-OSHA inspections of refineries typically find so few hazards that they contribute relatively little to refinery safety.

    Jun 12, 2013

  • Garments factory in Bangladesh

    Commentary

    What Bangladesh — and US Retailers — Must Do to Prevent Man-Made Tragedies

    Perhaps most tragic of all are the disasters that are wholly preventable: the deaths, maimings, and crushed livelihoods that result from human callousness or indifference, writes Jonah Blank.

    May 17, 2013

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    Journal Article

    States with Low Workplace Nonfatal Injury Rates Have High Fatality Rates and Vice Versa

    States with low nonfatal injury rates and high fatality rates tend to be in the South, have lower workers' compensation benefits, be less unionized, and pay lower wages—while states with high nonfatal injury rates and lower fatality rates tend to be in the West, pay higher benefits and wages, be more strongly unionized, and carry out more workplace inspections.

    May 1, 2013

  • Journal Article

    American Medical Association Impairment Ratings and Earnings Losses Due to Disability

    Impairment ratings are accurate predictors of disability severity on average, but their ability to measure disability could be improved with additional information on how the relationship between ratings and earnings loss varies according to patient and injury characteristics.

    Mar 1, 2013