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August 10, 1940


JAMA. 1940;115(6):463. doi:10.1001/jama.1940.02810320043014

The fundamental objective of industrial hygiene is to reduce loss of time, absenteeism and short work spans in industry. In a recent report before the Air Hygiene Foundation, Lanza and Vane1 called attention to the importance medically and economically of industrial absenteeism in this country. Employers have on the whole been indifferent about lost time from sickness or injury not associated with work as a cause, since disability of this type is not compensable under the law and the costs are difficult to assay. However, evidence from a variety of sources indicates that losses in wages and through disruptions in production schedules must be estimated in billions of dollars each year. Records of sickness benefit associations provide the best available statistical information on lost time in industry. Even these records are frequently of limited value either as an index of incidence or for purposes of comparison. Bookkeeping methods in

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