Fit for Duty Exams: How They Can Prevent Worker’s Compensation Claims
You can avoid many worker’s compensation claims if you hire the right employee.
Taking a fitness-for-duty test can help you identify employees who are physically incapable of performing their duties. In doing so, it can also prevent injuries among your employees—and protect you from a future worker’s compensation claim.
The following tests are considered fitness for duty tests:
- Return to work: This is done if you are unsure whether a worker is ready to return to work after an injury, even if their doctor has given the employee the go ahead.
- Job performance: When an employee fails to meet the standards of other employees, or when you are concerned they cannot perform the job functions.
- Post-offer physical examinations: – Include a detailed questionnaire that employees must complete, a musculoskeletal assessment, and a drug screen. Physical abilities testing is one form of post-offer screening.
Functional capacity evaluations, fitness for duty exams and enhanced physical are interchangeable terms that are used to describe screening a worker’s health.
Whatever you call it, preempting a worker’s compensation claim is the right thing to do.
How do fitness for duty exams work legally?
Fitness for duty exams are legal for employers to perform.
This type of screening tool can be utilized by employers. In accordance with the Family and Medical Leave Act as well as workers compensation laws, employers can request an independent medical opinion to determine whether a worker is fit for work.
If candidates are otherwise qualified for the job, nothing in the ADA prohibits you from hiring them. You can’t discriminate against disabled workers when hiring, according to the ADA. In other words, you cannot refuse to hire someone based on the fact that he walks with a limp.
There are two primary guidelines for fitness for duty exams in the Americans with Disabilities Act:
- Is the worker capable of performing the essential functions?
- Are there any medical conditions which pose a direct threat to the worker’s safety and health, or the safety and health of those around the worker?
If an employee answers these questions appropriately, it can be decided whether or not he or she is ready for work.
Take the example of a driver who suffers from chronic back pain. It could be provided that the driver has the option of sitting more comfortably for longer periods of time with a suspension seat and vibration-absorbing vehicle cushion.
It’s important to consider these types of reasonable accommodations when conducting fitness for duty tests.
Where Can Fit For Duty Tests Be Conducted?
PCP Works helps employers determine if their employees are fit for duty. As a result, they can provide accurate and timely medical evidence used to answer complex medical questions within fitness for duty evaluations. A medical team uses the PCP Testing System for pre-employment testing, post-employment testing, and fit-for-duty testing. Today’s pre-employment medical examinations are very similar to this process. PCP Works offers medical services with expert care from board-certified medical evaluators. Contact them today!