Purpose – Bradford formula (index) or factor (BF) was originally designed for use as part of the overall investigation and management of absenteeism. Work ability index (WAI) is an instrument that has been used to evaluate work ability. The purpose of this paper is to evaluate retrospectively, the properties of the WAI, the BF and their combination – the sickness absence probability factor – in predicting future sickness absence. Design/methodology/approach – Data on sickness absences of shipyard employees for the period 2002-2006 were utilized for the calculation of the relevant BFs. The Greek version of the WAI questionnaire was also used. The sickness absence probability factor was calculated by summing up the scores of the two other tools, after transforming them into categorical variables. Findings – Increased BF values are positively and strongly correlated to increased sickness absenteeism levels in the following years ( p <0.001), especially for the immediate following years. WAI score is also strongly negatively correlated to absence. The combination of BF and WAI acted even better. Originality/value – The use of tools, like the BF and the suggested sickness probability factor, should be considered by occupational health personnel in order to act proactively on sickness absenteeism, since they were found to be related to future absenteeism. Actions should follow health and safety rules and ethics and should be undertaken by competent health personnel.
International Journal of Workplace Health Management – Emerald Publishing
Published: Jun 8, 2015