Safetip #11: Fit-to-Work Assessments Prevent Incidents

January 13, 2016
By Jean-Grégoire Manoukian

In this week’s Safetip, we highlight the usefulness of performing fit-to-work assessments in some cases, as a measure to prevent potential incidents and improve safety.

What is a Fit-to-Work Assessment?

A fit-to-work assessment is a series of medical, musculoskeletal, mental and physical tests that a worker, or potential employee, goes through at the request of the employer. The objective of the assessment is to determine if the worker would be able to perform a specific job or task. Following the assessment by a medical professional, the employee is deemed fit for the job or task, unfit, or fit pending changes to working conditions.

When is a Fit-to-Work Assessment Performed?

Health Canada has come up with a good list of reasons for which a fit-to-work assessment may be done. They include, but are not limited to:

  • A significant change in working conditions has taken place.
  • A job has been modified and the worker is still undergoing physiotherapy and/or rehabilitation for a past incident or event.
  • A worker’s health has changed (e.g. returning to work after recovery from a serious illness or injury).
  • A medical condition may limit, reduce or prevent someone from performing a new or current job effectively (e.g. musculoskeletal conditions that limit mobility).
  • A medical condition is likely to make it unsafe for someone to perform the job (e.g. a person may unpredictably become unconscious in a hazardous situation).
  • A medical condition is likely to make it unsafe for a worker, as well as co-workers or the public (e.g. driving is essential to the job but the person is subject to unpredictable and sudden unconsciousness, or a food product inspection by an inspector with deficient color vision).
  • A medical condition may be made worse by the job (e.g. excessive physical exertion by an employee with a heart or lung problem).

A Solution for Occupational Health Manages Medical Records

Global corporations with thousands of employees and hundreds of facilities and work sites can quickly become overwhelmed by the task of managing fit-to-work assessments through manual processes. An that is part of an enterprise-wide EHS platform can help companies gain a real-time view of medical records of employees, plan visits and manage prescriptions and treatments. By gaining such visibility and being able to track and analyze trends in health issues or absences, employers can determine which employees present medical conditions that would make fit-to-work assessments necessary.

Additional Resources

Here are links to additional resources on fit-to-work assessments, some of which were used for this post:

Visit Enablon Insights again next Wednesday for a brand new Safetip!