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Back Problems Message Board

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My former employer used physical capacity tests for all new employees and any employee returning to work after being off sick for more than 5 days job related or not. As a result I have been through the capacity test several times. I was also the manager that implemented the policy at the request of our insurance carrier.

Where we are a specific organization is used, they came in when the policy was put in p,ace one any time a job description was changed to evaluated the position. The position was then graded on a scale of 1 to 5, 5 being the most physically demanding work in the company. Not every organization/ company has jobs that are a level 5 job, some examples of jobs on a level 5 would be fireman, electrical lineman, high rise construction worker etc. my job as a manager was a level 2 job meaning I needed to be able to lift up to 25 lbs at least once a week in my position, bend over tables/counters and stand/ walk for at least 15 minutes at a time.

Once the job is rated the employee being considered for that position or returning to that position is asked to go through a series of tests. Most of the tests are done using a machine that measures resistance strength other tests included how far I could bend over toward touching my toes, and in 10 pound increments how many times I could safely lift the wait to waist high in a 30 second period. The weight went up 10 lbs each 30 second period until I or the tester said to stop.

A complete health profile is also completed identifying any major injuries, accidents or surgeries that you have had. I have undergone over 8 major surgeries, been in 4 roll over car accidents and am a chronic pain patient. My position required a level 2 physical capacity, my last test taken ironically 1 month before I was terminated placed me at a 3.9 level well qualified to do my job physically.

I tell you all of this because the tests are not there to find a way for the company to get rid of you nor are they there to hurt you. Our policy was that if an employee did not pass their return to work physical they were put on light duty and refered back to their physician to enable them to work with their dr to finish rehabilitating them to a point that they could do their job. If that was not possible through further rehab, we found a different position in the company for them at their new physical capacity level. This protects you from straining and getting hurt further or again at work they really are not punishments taking the test.

I hope all this information helps

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