Pre-employment Medical Assessments

Pre-employment Medical Assessments


It is increasingly common in the Australian workplace to ask for a pre-employment medical assessment from a qualified physiotherapist. When a job has physical demands, a pre-employment assessment can demonstrate whether or not a potential employee is well suited to the task.

It is important that the pre-work assessment is tailored specifically to the job requirements. By customising the test to the specific needs of the job, employers can rest easy in the knowledge that relevant injury risks have been identified. It’s a great way of ensuring employer safety, increasing productivity, and avoiding the nightmare scenarios of workplace accidents and compensation costs.

During a pre-employment medical assessment, the prospective employee undergoes a physical examination, including tests that are related to functioning in the required job. A detailed medical history is also compiled, with an in-depth medical questionnaire to establish fitness for the job.

Other factors that might be documented in a pre-employment medical assessment, if they are deemed relevant to the job, are:

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Functional Assessments

What are functional assessments, and what role do they play in a pre-employment medical assessment?

As well as the other physical data points, there may be job-specific functions that a qualified physiotherapist can test for. These include things like:

Range of motion

How much a person can move their joints

Joint integrity

Ascertaining the health of the joints

Hand Grip Strength

Important for jobs that involve lifting.

Push and pull tolerance

A necessary test for jobs that involve pushing and/or pulling

Balance and strength

Testing relevant parts of the body for stability and power

Flexibility, endurance, and postural tolerance

Whether or not an individual will be able to hold the correct position for their job


What are the risks of not carrying out pre-employment medical assessments?

If the wrong person is hired for a physical job, the outcome can be disastrous: injury, death, lawsuits, and complicated workcover claims. A pre-employment can keep employees, candidates, businesses, and budgets safe, by stopping accidents before they even have a chance to happen.

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