Transportation: Are you in the top 24%?

[fa icon="calendar'] Aug 19, 2015 8:30:00 AM / by Deborah Lechner

If you're in the transportation industry, there is no doubt that safety is a priority for your business. As tightly regulated as the industry is, you're probably already doing plenty of pre employment testing. However, moving your company into the top 24 percent means going a bit beyond the mandatory testing required by regulators. So just what "top 24 percent" are we talking about, and what exactly do transportation companies have to do to be part of it? It's all about safety and productivity – which benefits your bottom line – and how physical abilities testing can help you get there.

According to some estimates, about 24 percent of transportation companies are using physical abilities testing as a routine part of their pre employment testing program. Physical abilities testing goes beyond the standard mandated health screenings that transportation industry regulations require. These tests evaluate the physical capability of potential employees to perform the essential functions of the job (lifting, carrying, pushing, pulling, squatting, bending, etc.) safely and efficiently, helping employers reduce the risk of work-related injuries by ensuring that potential new hires are well-matched with the physical requirements of the positions for which they've applied.

Why is this so important to employers in the transportation industry? Because of the strenuous nature of many jobs within this industry and, perhaps most importantly, the candidate pool available to these employers. Trucking companies, for instance, are uniquely challenged in terms of the health and well-being of applicants.

Truck drivers are the least healthy in the US population; obsesity, diabetes, and hypertension are prevelant. 

According to Corporate Wellness Magazine, truck drivers are one of the least healthy segments of our population. More than half are obese, diabetes prevalence among truckers is 50 percent higher than average, and while about 58 percent of the general population has hypertension or pre-hypertension, 87 percent of truck drivers suffer from these conditions. This poor health and fitness status, according to Corporate Wellness, can be largely attributed to factors that include the long days commercial drivers work in high-stress environments, the long periods that drivers remain sedentary, and lack of quality food options while on the road, factors that contribute to shorter life spans in truck drivers – 61 years on average.

A candidate pool that is likely to include individuals with significant health and fitness challenges means bigger hiring risks for employers, as well as higher risks in terms of worker and public safety. This is why the transportation companies that make physical abilities testing a key component of their pre employment screening programs are referred to here as the top 24 percent. These companies go above and beyond to ensure safety and productivity in the workforce, taking measures that benefit employees, the public, and their companies by reducing on-the-job accidents and injuries, as well as the costs associated with them – both human and financial.

If your company isn't among that top 24 percent, here's one more thing to think about: When those companies screen out candidates who aren't fit enough to handle the physical demands of the job, where do those applicants go next? The most likely answer is that they'll turn up to apply for jobs at companies – like yours – that they know aren't using pre hire physical ability screens. Companies with pre hire screening programs in place are getting top driving talent – are you?

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Topics: Pre Employment Screening

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.