Physical Examinations Preplacement Physical Examinations

The basis of any physical hazards program is the preplacement evaluation. In the 1980s, the American Disability Act described the rationale for preplace-ment evaluations. They are meant to ascertain whether the worker has any medical condition that might put the worker or someone else at risk for injury in the workplace. To put it another way: Does the applicant meet the minimum physical requirements for the job? In generating reports, physicians must give to supervisors and managers only the work restrictions or accommodations to allow the prospective employee to complete his or her job safely.

Preplacement evaluations may be done by a physician, physician assistant, or nurse practitioner. Evaluations can vary in price from around $30 (for a review of a health questionnaire) to hundreds of dollars for an exhaustive examination with testing. Most small businesses do not offer preplacement evaluations, so the agricultural worker would be well served to discuss the occupational hazards in their workplace with their physician (1).

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