Leslie Boden

Leslie I. Boden, PhD

Professor, Environmental Health - Boston University School of Public Health


Les Boden is an economist, and much of his research has focused on finding ways to highlight the economic and human consequences of injuries and illnesses and to identify ways of minimizing those consequences. Over the past several years, Dr. Boden has published studies measuring the income lost by injured workers, the adequacy of workers compensation benefits, and the the impact of work-related injuries on mortality. With BUSPH colleague Lee Strunin, he has also published several studies of the post-injury experiences of injured workers and their families. Most recently, he has published on the impact of occcupational injuries on opioid use disorder and mortality from drug overdose and suicide. Dr. Boden has also published the results of studies that estimate underreporting of workplace injuries. He has also written on occupational safety and health regulation, medical screening, gender- and race-based inequality, and the legal and public health use of scientific information. Since 2010, he has collaborated on studies of the health and safety of patient care workers as an investigator at the Center for Work, Health & Well-Being, a multi-institutional collaboration centered at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health. From 1988 to 1997, Dr. Boden served on the Mine Health Research Advisory Committee of the Department of Health and Human Services, which he chaired for six years. In 2001-2002, he was a member of the Worker Advocacy Advisory Group, which advised the Department of Energy on occupational disease. He has also co-chaired a group advising the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health on its research agenda on the social and economic consequences of workplace illness and injury. In 2016-2018, he served on the Advisory Board on Toxic Substances and Worker Health, advising the U. S. Department of Labor on benefits to nuclear weapons workers who became ill from exposures to toxic substances at work. Currently, he is Chair of the Workers’ Compensation Study Panel of the National Academy of Social Insurance.

Other Positions

  • - Boston Medical Center


  • Massachusetts Institute of Technology, PhD Field of Study: Economics
  • Brandeis University, BA Field of Study: Economics


  • Published on 7/11/2020

    López Gómez MA, Williams JAR, Boden L, Sorensen G, Hopcia K, Hashimoto D, Sabbath E. The relationship of occupational injury and use of mental health care. J Safety Res. 2020 09; 74:227-232. PMID: 32951787.

    Read At: PubMed
  • Published on 5/1/2020

    Boden LI. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration at 50-the Failure to Improve Workers' Compensation. Am J Public Health. 2020 05; 110(5):638-639. PMID: 32267756.

    Read At: PubMed
  • Published on 4/24/2020

    Asfaw A, Boden LI. Impact of workplace injury on opioid dependence, abuse, illicit use and overdose: a 36-month retrospective study of insurance claims. Occup Environ Med. 2020 09; 77(9):648-653. PMID: 32332060.

    Read At: PubMed
  • Published on 1/1/2020

    Murphy G, Patel J, Weiss E, Boden LI. Workers' compensation: benefits, coverage, and costs, 2018. National Academy of Social Insurance. Washington, DC. 2020.

  • Published on 12/1/2019

    López Gómez MA, Sabbath E, Boden L, Williams JAR, Hopcia K, Hashimoto D, Sorensen G. Organizational and Psychosocial Working Conditions and Their Relationship With Mental Health Outcomes in Patient-Care Workers. J Occup Environ Med. 2019 12; 61(12):e480-e485. PMID: 31651598.

    Read At: PubMed
  • Published on 7/12/2019

    Applebaum KM, Asfaw A, O'Leary PK, Busey A, Tripodis Y, Boden LI. Suicide and drug-related mortality following occupational injury. Am J Ind Med. 2019 09; 62(9):733-741. PMID: 31298756.

    Read At: PubMed
  • Published on 2/21/2019

    Sabbath EL, Yang J, Dennerlein JT, Boden LI, Hashimoto D, Sorensen G. Paradoxical Impact of a Patient-Handling Intervention on Injury Rate Disparity Among Hospital Workers. Am J Public Health. 2019 04; 109(4):618-625. PMID: 30789763.

    Read At: PubMed
  • Published on 1/1/2019

    McLaren CF, Baldwin ML, Boden LI. Workers' compensation: benefits, coverage, and costs, 2017. National Academy of Social Insurance. Washington, DC. 2019.

  • Published on 12/1/2018

    Sabbath EL, Hashimoto D, Boden LI, Dennerlein JT, Williams JAR, Hopcia K, Orechia T, Tripodis Y, Stoddard A, Sorensen G. Cohort profile: The Boston Hospital Workers Health Study (BHWHS). Int J Epidemiol. 2018 12 01; 47(6):1739-1740g. PMID: 30107500.

    Read At: PubMed
  • Published on 8/1/2018

    Sabbath EL, Williams JAR, Boden LI, Tempesti T, Wagner GR, Hopcia K, Hashimoto D, Sorensen G. Mental Health Expenditures: Association With Workplace Incivility and Bullying Among Hospital Patient Care Workers. J Occup Environ Med. 2018 08; 60(8):737-742. PMID: 29538275.

    Read At: PubMed

News & In the Media