The need for physical testing for workers in manual materials handling jobs has been recognized by risk managers, personnel specialists, physiologists, occupational physicians and ergonomists increasingly over the past few years.
The need for physical testing for workers in manual materials handling jobs has been recognized by risk managers, personnel specialists, physiologists, occupational physicians and ergonomists increasingly over the past few years. Each of these groups have independently come to recognize the benefits to both the individuals being tested and the organizations themselves. Risk managers have an interest in job safety and reducing workers' compensation costs. Human resources specialists seek to hire the most qualified individual available, reduce absenteeism and sick leave, and yet comply with state and federal EEO mandates. Physiologists and physicians seek to reduce unnecessary injuries and find ways to better predict in advance those most likely to become injured. Ergonomists seek to study individual jobs and find ways through either job redesign or job selection systems that can better match the worker to the work.
Cognizant of these issues, MED-TOX Health Services has developed an approach to assist employers in the validation of physical ability tests for new hires. Since overexertion injuries account for a large number of all work-related back injuries, it makes sense to reduce the potential for overexertion. Hiring workers with the adequate strength to perform the job is one way of reducing these injuries. A valid strength test, therefore, can reduce injuries in jobs for which high levels of strength are required. The MED-TOX approach has three goals:
- Provide employers with a valid and legally defensible job analysis of the critical and essential, frequently performed, and physically demanding tasks associated with the occupation.
Provide employers with a physical ability test that is job-related, valid, and reliable that can confidently be used in the selection of individuals for physically demanding jobs.
Provide employers with the means to perform tests or contract for testing services in the most cost-effective manner available.
MED-TOX offers services in the criterion-related validation of physical ability tests. The tests are based on a comprehensive job analysis and field testing of workers performing work samples and their scores on valid strength tests. Passing the tests permits the inclusion of individuals most likely to be able to perform the tasks without undue risk of injury to themselves and to screen-out persons who do not possess sufficient physical ability to adequately perform the job.