The workplace is not a one-way street. Measures aimed at preventing workplace injuries can only be effective if both employers and employees are involved. When an employee is seriously injured at work, it not only adversely affects the ability of the worker to earn, but also impacts on the productivity of the company, which eventually trickles down to profitability. Therefore, it is in the interest of both employers and employees to promote a safe working environment.
Of course, workers’ compensation insurance, which is required for most employers in the U.S., can make it a little easier for an injured employee to recover some of the costs for loss of income and medical bills. There is also Social Security to provide permanent disability benefits for eligible workers. Employers are also free from liability for workplace injuries, although workers’ comp claims tend to increase premiums that the employers have to pay. Overall, however, it is much better to keep the worker working and the employer paying a salary.
One way that employers have used to keep workplace injuries down and worker productivity up is to due functional employment testing. This is a way for employers to ensure that eligible applicants have the skills and capability to perform the essential functions of a job prior to hiring. It is also a way for employers to find out if a workplace injury claim is authentic, and if an employee is fit to go back to work after an injury.
Functional employment testing is typically outsourced to a firm specializing in employment evaluation geared towards improving productivity, measuring functional ability and reducing injury, absenteeism, and employee turnover. This can translate to increased profitability from reduced premiums for workers’ compensation and employee health insurance, lower attrition, and better worker attendance and efficiency. Because of these improvements, it is well worth the time, effort and money to have the functional capacities evaluation program in place where appropriate.