Frequently Asked Questions
Pre Employment, Post Offer Physical Abilities Testing
ErgoScience physical abilities testing is a systematic, science-based and validated means of objectively evaluating physical capabilities of a person to determine whether those capabilities are well-matched to the physical demands of a specific job. The purpose of this testing is to take the guesswork out of employment placement decisions for physically demanding positions.
A physical abilities testing program can improve workplace safety, reduce the number and costs of employee injuries, increase productivity and decrease employee turnover rates. Each of these factors delivers a meaningful benefit to the bottom line, contributing to the measurable return on investment our testing programs provide.
Pre hire physical abilities testing benefits potential employees by ensuring they can meet the physical demands of the jobs for which they're being considered, avoiding a mismatch between candidate and occupation that could result in injuries or dissatisfaction with their employment. Pre employment physical ability testing also benefits current employees, ensuring that the new hires who will work among them are able to perform the essential functions of the job safely and efficiently.
The more common indications that physical ability testing may benefit your company are:
Injury rates that are higher than desired, especially sprains, strains, and slips, trips and falls
Higher than desired workers’ compensation costs.
High turnover rates, especially if many employees cite the strenuous nature of the job as a reason for leaving
Effective physical abilities testing, especially when it is designed to screen candidates for strenuous jobs, generally includes monitoring of factors like heart rate and blood pressure during tests. Under EEOC guidelines, those are considered to be medical examinations, which can only be administered after a conditional offer of employment has been extended. Additionally, post offer screening is more cost effective for the employer, since companies test only those candidates they actually want to hire. Should a candidate prove unable, via post offer testing, to perform the essential functions of the job in question, the conditional offer can be revoked.
Designing a physical abilities testing program begins with identifying jobs within an organization that should be screened – those with high turnover or injury rates, for example. A thorough job demands analysis is then performed to identify the essential functions of those jobs and the physical demands of those functions. Based on that information, a test that accurately reflects the specific physical demands of each job will be developed, based on an evidence-based, reliable and validated testing protocol.
To be legally defensible and in compliance with the EEOC, ADA and other federal, state and local employment regulations, a physical abilities testing program must be able to meet the following criteria:
Testing must be based upon a thorough job analysis
All tests performed must be closely related to job requirements
Clear evidence is available as to the value of the test in predicting job performance
Test validity is reevaluated periodically
ErgoScience physical abilities testing programs use proven, defensible, peer-reviewed methodologies. Employers can be assured that testing will meet those requirements.
Other Injury Prevention Services
Post hire physical ability testing is about ensuring that existing employees remain fit for duty. It can be beneficial under a number of circumstances, including internal transfers, where testing can help ensure that a new position is suitable for an existing employee before a final decision is made. Testing can also be of great benefit in cases where a long-time employee seems to be struggling to keep up with job requirements, perhaps due to newly developing health issues. If that employee is no longer fit for duty, finding out via testing, rather than a serious injury or health incident benefits everyone involved. Post hire testing can also be administered to employees who have been away from work for a long while – on FMLA, for instance – and who may have gotten out of shape. Testing can bring that to light before an accident or injury occurs. Lastly, periodic fitness for duty testing of all existing employees can help ensure your workforce remains fit and able. Time can take a toll on fitness: there is no guarantee an employee who was in great shape several years ago at hiring still is today.
The ergonomics program identifies high risk or stressful work practices, allowing our experts to develop a comprehensive plan to improve workplace safety. That plan may include recommendations for modifying the work environment and education of employees on body mechanics, work behaviors and proper positioning, each of which can reduce risk of injuries. The program is highly cost-effective, since most recommended changes are easy to implement and quite inexpensive when compared to the costs associated with common workplace injuries.
Post Injury Services
ErgoScience offers return to work screenings that begin with a thorough understanding of the employee's injury and the demands of his or her specific job. With this information, our screenings take the guesswork out of return to work decisions, providing an objective determination as to whether an employee is capable of safely returning to full duty. If not, a safe, meaningful transitional duty program can be developed, allowing a quicker, safer return to work that minimizes costs and maximizes productivity. Other services that can aid the process include work site rehabilitation services, which bring rehabilitative therapy right where it is needed for the safest, most successful work reconditioning and rehabilitation.