There are some people who are confused about the meaning of these terms. Is it a condition of pre-employment? Is it about drug and alcohol screening?
This type of medical screening is done as part of pre-employment assessments conducted on new hires or job transfers in safety-sensitive positions, and it is what most people think of when referring to being “Fit for Duty test”. Medical screening to assess “Fitness for Work Test” as part of the pre-employment process is also becoming more popular. These programs often include pre-employment D&A requirements which are conducted at a certified testing center.
Being fit for work
Some types of medical screening are legislated based on specific hazards in the workplace. Other medical screens are based on your employer’s policy. For example, if the work is physically demanding, then a function fit test may be required to evaluate strength, lifting capability and more. A new hire or transferred employee may also be required to complete a full battery of testing including blood pressure, respiratory function testing and even psychological testing depending on what type of work you’re doing.
How far can a company go? Do they have the right to address my physical health as a condition of employment?
This means that in the event this testing has proven an employee or potential employee unfit or in need of modified duties, according to the company standards, the company still must try to accommodate that individual. They cannot use this testing to “rule out” individuals based on discrimination.
Some companies have pre-hire “fit for work” procedures in place and a “return to work”
By having a policy that establishes what “fit for work” looks like at your company, you may be able to avoid a costly claim by making your employees aware of the modified work or duties they can perform safely within your organization.
A good fit for duty
Under the BC Occupational Health and Safety regulations, impairment refers to physical, mental and substance use factors which may prevent a worker from safely performing their duties and/or which may create an undue risk to the worker or anyone else at a work site. These factors may include physical and psychological fatigue which can lead to a decrease in mental alertness; stress; mental distractions; substance use which can affect mental and physical abilities, etc. Programs are being developed to address this potential hazard in the workplace that have similar goals to “Fit for Work” and “Return to Work” programs. All of these programs focus on helping an employee perform their work activities safely, and minimize the risk of harm to the employee or others at a worksite. The activation of these programs is dependent on individual circumstances or hiring criteria for companies.
Where Can An Evaluation Of Fitness For Duty Be Conducted?
PCP Works provides accurate and prompt medical evidence that helps answer complex medical questions in fitness for duty evaluations. Their board-certified medical evaluators offer services with expert care and professionalism. Contact them today to schedule your fitness for duty evaluation.