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Can post-offer testing reduce workplace injuries?

With employers looking for ways to reduce costs associated with workplace injuries, some are turning to what is known as post-offer physicals.

What's a post-offer physical? It's a screening process for final applicants for physically demanding jobs. The post-offer tests are designed to show that applicants will be able to handle the demands of the position.

By weeding out prospective employees who might be most likely to suffer an injury while on the job, employers hope to reduce their workers' compensation costs.

In 2010, the Bureau of Labor Statistics said there were more than three million nonfatal occupational injuries in the U.S.

One large insurance company estimated that injuries related to overexertion is such activities as pulling, pushing, lifting, carrying, throwing or holding objects are the top causes of work-related disabilities. The direct costs of these injuries is estimated to be about $12.8 billion annually. (Direct costs include workers' compensation benefits, medical payments and legal services.)

According to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, the leading causes of construction worker injuries are:

  • Struck-by accidents: workers are hit struck by mobile equipment
  • Overhead struck-by accidents: workers are struck by materials being lifted into the air or by materials being dropped from a crane or similar equipment
  • Trench and excavation wall accidents: cave-ins and collapses are far too common
  • Incidents involving workers' eyes: welding sparks, dropped nails or bolts, insulation fibers, dust, etc.
  • Falls from heights: often happen in stairwells without guards, from roofs (especially those not outfitted with fall protection)
  • Ladders: the ladders fail or topple
  • Scaffolding: collapse or failed rails or failed fall protection

Our law firm represents clients injured on the job. For more information, visit our New York City workplace injuries page.

Source: Wichita Eagle, "Post-offer screening can reduce workplace injuries," Sept. 13, 2012

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