July 2018 Newsletter:

Post Offer Employment Testing - What to Consider?

post offer employment testing ergonomics

The cheapest and best injury is the one that never occurs. Post-Offer Employment Testing (POET) strives to prevent injuries, by enabling a company to determine whether a candidate is physically suited to perform a specific job or job task. Since a candidate’s resumé is a summary of their life experience and does not speak to their physical capabilities we need a different way to evaluate whether they are a good fit for the position. Enter, the POET. Companies use POET to assess this prior to the commencement of employment but there are many factors to consider, ensuring it is a fair and ethical process.

WHAT TO CONSIDER

1: Apply Change Controls

A POET is meant to ensure candidates can do work that is physically demanding and cannot be designed out of the process. Which means that companies should first start by making ergonomic changes to reduce the physical demands of the job and then design the POET to the adjusted job demands. If you can demonstrate that even with ergonomic changes, the physical demands of the job are still above ‘average’ physical capabilities, then ensuring the staff you hire can perform the work makes sense.

2: Focus on Job Demands

A Physical Demands Assessment (PDA) should be used to accurately document the physical requirements of the job prior to developing the POET. It should break down the job into individual tasks, while quantifying as much detail as possible such as weights, forces, frequencies, and durations of each task. Once documented, the POET is designed to simulate the objective job demands and ensure that the applicant’s physical abilities match these requirements.

3: Clear Acceptable Criteria

The acceptable testing criteria must be strictly defined to ensure there is no unfair advantage between candidates. For instance, if the PDA has defined a 20-pound lift from the floor, which occurs 2 times per minute, it is important to measure that, and only that. Asking a candidate to perform 5, 20-pound lifts in a minute is above and beyond the required job demands. Failure to abide by these criteria, and ensure they match the job demands, could be a violations of the candidate’s human rights.

A well-designed and thought out POET can make a difference on a company’s injury rates and the resultant injury costs by ensuring your higher physical jobs are performed by persons that can do so. However, the process is important in order to protect the company from any human rights violations.

Contact PROergonomics today to discuss how we can help with the development and delivery of a POET program at your facility.

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