Pre-Hire Testing in the Time of Social Distancing:  How can you safely test?

[fa icon="calendar'] Apr 13, 2020 4:15:18 PM / by Deborah Lechner

Four Steps to Keep Your Driver Safe During COVID 19.

Even in this time of the COVID-19 Crisis, you need to hire employees who can safely perform the physical requirements of their jobs.  

Pre-hire Physical Abilities Testing (PAT) can help you do just that by testing your employees on the most difficult physical aspects of their job.   But how can your employees get the much-needed pre-hire Physical Abilities Testing (PAT) without getting additional exposure to COVID-19?   For some, the idea of going to an outpatient clinic, even one that’s practicing the recommended cleaning processes, appears risky.  And maybe you, as their potential employer, don’t want to expose them to that risk either.  In a previous blog we introduced ErgoScience’s WebPAT ReMote, an online platform that allows ErgoScience to remotely test your job applicants without ever setting foot onsite or having your applicant head into a clinic – exposing both your workforce and the clinician. 

So, you may ask, “How do I go about setting this up? What will I need to do to make this happen?”  Four easy steps are all it takes to launch the program:

Step 1:  Provide a relevant current job description.  If you don’t have one, stay tuned for a forthcoming blog on our remote Job Analysis platform.

Step 2: Find an area that will be used for testing.  The exact space you will need depends on your test. But most remote tests can be done in a 5 x 5 area with enough space to step back for the camera enabled device.  Make sure the area has high speed internet.

Step 3:  Gather testing equipment.  Exact testing items will be determined by your work and will be things used for the job.  You’ll also need an automatic digital blood pressure/heart rate monitor. 

Step 4:  Do a practice run.  

Four easy steps and a few days and you’re off to the races… or to the testing, I should say. 

If you think that pre-hire physical abilities testing is too much of a hassle for your organization, especially if you’re an essential organization and in a time of increased hiring, consider these facts: 

  • The average lost time injury that you incur because the applicant isn’t strong enough to do the job will cost you $40K in direct costs alone!
  • And the indirect costs – which are very real – will cost you at least 1.2 times the direct cost. So now that lost time injury will cost you more like $80K.
  • As a hypothetical example: If your profit margin is 3%, your company would have to create $2,800,000 in additional sales just to cover the direct and indirect costs of a lost time injury! Click on this link to OSHA where you can provide your own numbers.
  • Not to mention the lost productivity for your safety team, a team that needs to be focusing on other things right now.
  • And even if workers don’t go off on an injury, the average worker who works with pain loses about 10% productivity.

Without doing pre-hire Physical Abilities Testing, what have you really gained by hiring all those additional people and doing all that additional work?  If you’re merely covering your additional workers compensation costs, how does that make sense? 

At ErgoScience, we think the work might not be worth the effort if you have physically demanding jobs., especially since we have an easy to implement, easy to use, remote Physical Abilities Testing option.  Contact us today at



Topics: WebPAT ReMote

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.