Making an applicant undergo a pre-employment physical exam before hiring is fast becoming the norm in countless industries, as many employers are seeing its advantage. More than a way to keep accidents and injuries at bay, a pre-employment physical also helps companies find the best candidates for the job.
The risk of not having a pre-employment physical exam
In a recent article, ErgoScience.com has this to say about the importance of requiring a pre-employment physical for every potential employee:
Competent background screening identifies those applicants who misrepresent their employment history, hide their criminal records and deny a habit of substance abuse – each of which is associated with shorter tenure, worse performance and increased incidence of on-the-job injury. And that goes double for employers who hire for physically demanding jobs.
Ergoscience also adds that its customers encounter a 67 percent reduction in workers’ compensation expenses within the first year of the implementation of such a program. This is a significant amount, regardless of how many workers’ compensation claims you face in a year.
What does a pre-employment physical exam cover?
A pre-employment exam can range from a general physical to more specific tests for strength, cardiovascular health, and drugs or alcohol. The tests included depend on the abilities and capacities that the job demands. As such, an employer can request special tests to be performed on an applicant. For instance, if the job requires heavy lifting, an employer can request the inclusion of a test that checks an applicant’s pull and grip strength.
What a pre-employment physical does not test for
Due to the need to make tests non-discriminatory, a pre-employment exam should not include tests that identify a person’s disability, pre-existing medical condition, or anything that invades an individual’s right to his own privacy. The exception is if their conditions directly affect his or her ability to perform the requirements of the job competently. For instance, if the individual is applying for a position in the medical industry, then he or she must undergo a check for diseases that may put patients at risk.
If you want to implement a pre-employment testing program for your company, you may discuss your needs with a provider such as U.S. HealthWorks.
(The Risk of Hiring When You Don’t Know What They’re Hiding, ErgoScience.com)
(Pre-Employment Testing: Making It Work for You, EHSToday.com)