Minimize costly work-related injuries and mitigate financial risk with one easy step

[fa icon="calendar'] Dec 7, 2016 2:51:43 PM / by Deborah Lechner

The bottom line is ultimately one of the most important things a business organization considers with every decision. As such, risky financial moves are often avoided. If your organization requires a labor force capable of physically demanding work, there is an easy way to mitigate financial risk: the implementation of Physical Abilities Testing.

The entire package includes pre-hire Physical Abilities Testing, return-to-work Physical Abilities Testing and periodic Physical Abilities Testing. This type of testing is also often referred to as fitness-for-duty testing. These tests are administered at three critical points in the employee life-cycle:

  1. Pre-hire: This test, administered post-offer, is used to ensure the applicant has the physical capabilities necessary to safely carry out the daily requirements of the job.
  2. Return-to-work: If injuries occur, which they inevitably will, this test ensures that once the employee has healed, they are physically able to safely return to the job.
  3. Periodic: As the needs of the business change, so too might the job requirements and the physical abilities of the workforce. Periodic testing is used to ensure employees can safely carry out new job requirements and that they are maintaining their physical abilities over time.

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If you are utilizing physical abilities testing, then you are making sure the employees’ physical abilities match the job requirements; this one action can significantly minimize the costly expenses of work-related injuries. Injury expenses go beyond the direct costs.  There are also significant indirect costs – from the administrative work of managing the claim to the productivity losses that result when an injured worker is off work – that can add up to anywhere between one to five times more than the direct costs. So the total costs of an injury are significant. If you are doing Physical Abilities Testing, you are hiring healthier workers and ensuring they are staying healthy and fit throughout their career by doing periodic testing and then if they are injured, doing a test to make sure they are ready to come back. These employees will not only cost less in terms of workers’ compensation claims, they will also be less expensive in terms of health care costs as well.

Without use of Physical Abilities Testing, an organization is at significant financial risk. It is similar to hiring an accountant. You want one who is a CPA because you know they are qualified to do the job. Accounting principles and tax laws change, and in order to keep up with certifications, they have to have a number of continuing education courses each year to keep up with the profession and stay current. For employees who take a Physical Abilities Test, their profession requires physical work. Warehouses, for example, have so many changes taking place within them - most thanks to technological advances, such as automation and RFID scanning – that employees have to be continuously trained. Continuing education is the cognitive side to maintain competency. Employees need to maintain physical competency as well, and a Physical Abilities Test can ensure that they meet those needs.

The financial risk of ignoring physical competency expands to the entire your workforce. If one person cannot do their job, their associates will have to work harder to help them and then there are significant consequences for the organization, such as low morale and higher turnover rates. All of this affects the bottom line.

If you implement this testing, utilizing experts can further ensure you mitigate financial risk. If an FCE is not implemented correctly – then you can be facing an Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) or Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) violations and associated charges. If you do government work, the U.S. Department of Labor’s Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs (OFCCP) will levy fines if they believe your organization discriminates in hiring choices based on the Physical Abilities Test results. The safest choice is working with the professionals, who will implement validated and job-related Physical Abilities Tests that will help you hire and maintain the right people in the right jobs.

Learn more about the return-on-investment companies can realize after the implementation of a Physical Abilities Testing program by downloading our free whitepaper.

Physical Abilities Testing ROI Whitepaper

Topics: Pre Employment Screening, Risk Management, Workers' Compensation Costs, Return to Work, Physical Abilities Tests

Deborah Lechner

Written by Deborah Lechner

Deborah Lechner, ErgoScience President, combines an extensive research background with 25-plus years of clinical experience. Under her leadership, ErgoScience continues to use the science of work to improve workplace safety, productivity and profitability.