Worker Illness and Injury Costs U.S. Employers $225.8 Billion Annually

New Business Pulse Focuses on Improving Organizational Health, Safety and Productivity, Lowering Business Costs
Claire Greenwell,, 404.443.1126

January 28, 2015 – The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reports that productivity losses linked to absenteeism cost employers $225.8 billion annually in the United States, or $1,685 per employee. Promoting safe and healthy work practices boosts profitability and productivity among employers of all sizes. Business Pulse: Healthy Workforce, launched today by the CDC Foundation, provides employers and workers with access to resources and information to help improve workforce health and safety, attract and retain high-performing employees and minimize healthcare costs. 

According to the Harvard Business Review, more employees are working when they are sick, costing employers about $150 billion to $250 billion or 60 percent of the total cost of worker illness. Additionally, chronic diseases, a rapidly-aging workforce and factors like stress, fatigue and depression all affect employers’ revenue.

CDC plays a critical role in helping U.S. businesses remain competitive and productive through guidance to encourage safer, healthier workplaces. Business Pulse: Healthy Workforce provides information and practical tools from CDC to help employers prevent injuries and illnesses and promote employees’ health and well-being. 

“The health and safety of the American workforce is vital to the U.S. economy,” said L. Casey Chosewood, M.D., M.P.H., director, Office for Total Worker Health™ at the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health at CDC. “CDC plays a critical role in helping U.S. businesses remain competitive and productive through guidance to encourage safer, healthier workplaces.”

This issue of Business Pulse highlights specific workforce health challenges faced by businesses as well as a question and answer feature between a CDC workforce health expert and a mid-sized employer, Lincoln Industries. Employers will learn about CDC programs that aim to create organizational cultures of health and safety and gain valuable tools, guidelines and resources through an interactive infographic.

Business Pulse: Healthy Workforce is the sixth in a series of quarterly business features created by the CDC Foundation, an independent nonprofit organization. Other Business Pulse topics to date include business continuity, safe healthcare, global health security, travelers’ health and flu prevention.

About the CDC Foundation
Established by Congress, the CDC Foundation helps the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) do more, faster, by forging public-private partnerships to support CDC’s work 24/7 to save lives and protect people from health and safety threats. The CDC Foundation currently manages more than 250 CDC-led programs in the United States and in 73 countries around the world. Since 1995 the CDC Foundation has launched 760 programs and raised more than $450 million to advance the life-saving work of CDC. For more information, please visit