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Materias (6796,875): health costs, technological innovation, safety

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Keywords (GIS/901a) 7046,875: safety regulations|technological innocation

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IPHS (7078,125): oai:dspace.mit.edu:1721.1/1585

The Importance of Taking Technological Innovation Into Account in Estimating the Costs and Benefits of Worker Health and Safety Regulation

AbstractRegulation of worker health and safety is acknowledged to result in health benefits to workers andeconomic costs to employers

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AbstractRegulation of worker health and safety is acknowledged to result in health benefits to workers andeconomic costs to employers. The latter are sometimes shared by workers and consumers in the form oflower wages/salary increases and higher prices. However, the history of occupational health and safetyregulation in the United States over the last twenty years reveals that this simplified view of regulationneglects the important role that technological innovation plays in (1) reducing the actual costs ofcompliance with a new regulation to a fraction of pre-promulgation estimates, (2) yielding a benefit interms of savings in material, water, and energy costs, and (3) changing the nature of process and producttechnology, resulting in reduced environmental damage and its associated costs and compliance burden.The U.S. Office of Technology Assessment recently completed an investigation of the technology-forcingaspects of standards promulgated by the U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA)over the last twenty years and found that (1) technological innovation usually resulted from stringentregulation and (2) traditional cost-benefit analysis performed prior to a standards implementation failed toanticipate significant economic benefits accruing to the innovating industrial firm. Research done by theauthor and his colleagues at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology over the last 15 years suggeststhat there is a strong theoretical, as well as an empirical basis, for predicting that technological innovationwill result from stringent standards, and further, that cost-benefit analysis should be revised to include itseffects

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the importance of taking technological innovation into account in estimating the costs and benefits of worker health and safety regulation (Responsables)

Ashford, Nicholas

Keywords (901a / 7078,125)

Keywords

safety regulations
technological innocation

Vincular (851 / 7078,125)

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