Why Post Offer Testing?
Physically demanding jobs pose a risk of injury to each employee. An employer that can utilize a variety of strategies to reduce their employee’s risk of injury is proactive and prepared. With unemployment numbers significantly higher, one strategy that may be gaining thoughtful attention from employers is Post Offer Testing. This testing shows if an employee is physically capable of performing a job before extending a job offer. This can help the employer reduce potential costs due to injuries.
According to the journal Work in 2011, Post Offer Testing resulted in an overall decreased in shoulder injuries and a 37% decrease in shoulder-related medical costs. That’s impressive! The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reports the median number of days away from work to recover from a musculoskeletal injury is 12 days. And, the World Health Organization reports that these injuries account for the greatest proportion of lost productivity in the workplace. An employer can see the effects of such injuries in employee satisfaction, experience mod rate, work comp costs, and health care costs.
Post Offer Testing works like this:
A skilled evaluator will perform a job analysis of the physically demanding job, noting what job tasks are “essential functions”. The evaluator also assesses related physical requirements such as lifting, pushing, carrying, standing and walking. Frequency, duration, distances and heights are measured and compiled into a report. From this comprehensive analysis, a test is generated that is based on the essential functions and physical demands. As close to working conditions as possible are simulated during the test, preferably with the actual equipment the employee would be using on the job.
When a conditional offer of employment is extended to a job applicant, the individual must perform the post offer test. Commonly, the test is administered at a third party location. The results of the test are communicated back to the employer who must decide to either rescind or continue with the job offer. Similar testing may also be used when an employee is returning from an injury to ensure they are ready and able to return to the physical nature of their job. They may also require a return to work plan to improve strength, range of motion, or increased physical tolerances.