Post Offer Evaluation Test – An Invaluable Tool *
presented by Chris Lynch, MS, OT, CSCS;
Sidney Scarborough, MBA, PT; and Elisabeth Bernier, PTA
The Cost of Work-Related, Preventable Injuries
- The National Safety Council estimates the cost incurred from work-related injuries in 2019 was $171 billion.
- The Bureau of Labor Statistics reported there were approximately 2.8 million non-fatal workplace injuries in 2017. This included wage and production losses of $53.9 billion, medical expenses of $35.5 billion, and administrative expenses of $59.7 billion.
With the expense of work-related preventable injuries on the rise, employers are looking for ways to prevent such injuries. One way to reduce the occurrence of these injuries is through the use of a Physical Demand Screen or Post Offer Evaluation Test.
What is a POET and how can this test can help?
The key purpose of a Physical Demand Screen or Post Offer Evaluation Test (POET) is to ensure an employer that an appropriate candidate for the job is being hired. By testing the applicant against each critical job demand, the employer receives objective data showing that the applicant can do the job safely. POETs are also helpful in identifying previous injuries that may place an employee at risk and preventing the company from being liable for injuries that occurred prior to employment.
Specific physical demands tested include but are not limited to: lifting, carrying, pushing/pulling, coordination, sustained or repetitive postures, squatting, kneeling, bending, climbing, etc. In addition, baseline musculoskeletal screens determine the range of motion and strength of the employee.
A large manufacturing company utilizing a post offer screen has seen an 80% reduction in the number of work-related injuries with the implementation of ergonomic screens and, where appropriate, job rotations. Reductions in injuries lead to savings, increased productivity, and better job satisfaction.
When and where to perform a POET?
A POET can only be completed following a conditional job offer and not in the interview or pre-employment process. An employer has the right to be specific in which jobs to test, enabling the employer to test where on-the-job injuries occur most frequently. During the hiring process, companies must adhere to the guidelines established by the ADA and EEOC.
Is testing required company wide?
Testing does not have to be required company wide. However, testing must be done for every employee seeking to fill a certain position or job title. For example, a nursing home may complete POET testing on all the nursing assistant job positions but opt not to test dietary job positions. This enables the company to pinpoint where testing is most cost effective.
Use of POET as a Fit for Duty test
The POET or Physical Demand Screen can also be used as a “Fit for Duty” test prior to an employee returning to work after a non-work-related injury. This will ensure the employee can safely perform his/her job and assist in making reasonable accommodations if necessary.
Encore Work Zone Team Members are experts in the field, preventing and reducing injuries
The Encore Work Zone Team is ready to help you create the safest work environment, hire the most qualified employees, and create a culture of health and wellness for all of your employees through the following services:
- Ergonomic Job Site Analysis
- Functional Job Descriptions
- Post Offer Conditional Pre-Placement Screenings (POETs)
- Fit For Duty Evaluations
- Injury Prevention Programs
- Acute Rehab/Early Injury Intervention
- Onsite Rehab/First Aid Screenings
- Work Conditioning/Job Simulations
- Functional Capacity Evaluations (FCEs)
Contact Encore Work Zone today to schedule POETs and other industrial rehab services! Our Encore Work Zone team has 350+ years of experience in the industrial market and is ready to help create a stronger, safer work force. To get started with services, contact Industrial Rehabilitation Coordinator Elisabeth Bernier at 205-447-7234 or firstname.lastname@example.org. To see a complete list of Encore Rehabilitation outpatient therapy clinics, visit www.encorerehab.com .
About the Authors
Chris Lynch is an Occupational Therapist and Certified Strength and Conditioning Coach with Encore Rehabilitation-Vestavia. With over 30 years of experience of Industrial and Workers’ Compensation Rehab, he is a proven leader! He provides Encore Work Zone Industrial Rehabilitation Services in Bessemer, Clanton, Hayden, Montgomery, Tuscaloosa, and Vestavia, Alabama, as well as travels to other locations.
Sidney Scarborough is a Physical Therapist with Encore Rehabilitation, Inc. with almost 35 years of experience in the healthcare industry both as a clinician and an administrator. Sidney provides Industrial Rehab Services in Mobile-Baldwin County, Alabama and Fort Walton Beach, Florida. He is a Regional Vice President-Business Development with Encore.
Elisabeth Bernier is the Encore Work Zone Industrial Rehabilitation Coordinator. She has been a Physical Therapist Assistant for over 25 years. She also serves as the Encore Rehabilitation Regional Rehab Director for the greater Birmingham area.
*The National Safety Council website has been referenced in the creation this article. To visit their website, go to https://www.nsc.org/