Exactly what is Fit for Duty testing?

OSHA defines fit for duty as being in a physical, mental, and emotional state that enables a worker to work without endangering him- or herself, their coworkers, the workplace, property, or the general public.

It is often required of workers by their employer to pass a fitness for duty test, to make sure they can safely perform essential job functions. The test also turns up potential workers’ compensation claims, as it identifies at-risk employees before they are placed.

Employees with physical limitations, who can’t perform essential job functions, should be given a fit-for-duty exam by a physician. These doctor’s exams are designed to prevent injury to employees and employers from other workers’ compensation claims.

Several different exams that check for job fitness falls into the category of fit-for-duty tests, including:

  • Post-offer, pre-placement testing gives employers the chance to collect information about candidates before a job offer is made and accepted. This allows employers to get a sense of the employees’ medical history, which can help them determine whether or not to hire someone who might be at risk if placed in certain types of work. The test may identify accommodations that would enable successful job performance if a disability is present.
  • Post-employment fit for duty testing provides useful information about deficits that may have occurred as a result of performing a specific job. 
  • The results can be used to determine the earliest date the employee can return to work, to provide a safe and supportive environment for the employee’s return, and to maximize their productivity and minimize lost time due to injury. 
  • Return to work programs combine transitional duties and company policy so that the employee does not have to wait for formal medical release.

Fit for Duty Exams: Are They Legal?

The EEOC’s Uniform Guidelines to Employee Selection Procedures advise employers that they do, in fact, have the right to give job applicants a fitness for duty exam.  After workers complete their rehabilitation, post-employment fit for duty testing can offer valuable information about any areas of deficit so employers can intervene before an injury occurs. Everyone benefits..

The EEOC suggests that employers can require existing employees to participate in fit-for-duty testing if they believe this may help assess the employee’s ability to perform job tasks.

There are certain essential functions you seem to be having some difficulties with. PCP Works are here to help you improve your work performance.

Out of concern for your health, “PCP works” are requesting medical documentation showing how you are able to safely perform essential job functions.

When the employee returns to work, he or she will be happy to have the job to come back to.

Fitness for duty examinations help protect both the employee and their employer. Whenever a worker could have avoided the physical demands of a job, the employer must conduct due diligence to determine if he or she can perform those demands safely.

To learn more about how you can reduce your Workers’ Comp exposure and save you money, then visit at PCPWorks. Their PCP testing system helps employers match their employees’ physical abilities to their new job, which helps prevent workplace injuries. In as little as 30 minutes, a computerized system using state-of-the-art, proprietary software collects multiple strength measurements, and the results are available to employers within minutes.


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