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What a fitness for work assessment checklist can do for you

Regular screenings using a fitness-for-work assessment checklist can help keep your employees healthy and productive. Learn how you implement a proper fitness check system in your company to help your staff and your business stay healthy.

What does the fitness for work assessment checklist get used for?

Work-related illness and injuries cost countries billions every year in worker’s compensation payments and lost productivity. In the United States, the estimated cost is about $250 billion dollars per year – $192 billion from injuries and $58 billion from illness. Regular medical screenings can help prevent these losses, reduce costs, and increase employee satisfaction and retention.

A fitness-for-work assessment checklist is a great tool to help you keep track of your employees’ health. Studies have proven that a good level of physical fitness decreases the likelihood of injury. For instance, when someone gets fatigued, they often change their movement patterns, putting unaccustomed stress on vulnerable parts of the body, leading to injury. A fitness-for-work assessment checklist can help you assess your employees’ cardiorespiratory health and muscular endurance to make sure they’re fit for work.

In this article, the following points are explained:

1. The importance of fitness assessment for every company

2. What is on a fitness assessment form

3. How to prevent work-related injuries and disorders with fitness assessment

4. Safe data simpler with a digital fitness assessment

Why fitness for work assessment checklist is important for every company

Regular medical screenings using a fitness assessment form also allow employers to evaluate their worker’s exposure to toxic materials and practices as mandated by government regulations. The U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) regulates exposure to hazardous chemicals such as formaldehyde, lead, and benzene, as well as biohazards and radiation.

And you don’t have to be an industrial worker to be exposed to toxic materials at the workplace. Construction materials, paints, carpets, even furniture, and office appliances can outgas harmful compounds that may cause a variety of health effects, such as the following:

  • Irritation to the eyes, nose, and throat
  • Respiratory issues
  • Headaches
  • Loss of coordination (and increased risk of injury)
  • Nausea
  • Damage to the liver, kidneys, and central nervous system
  • Some chemicals may even cause cancer

Not only that, working in a sick building decreases cognitive function and productivity. Test subjects performed 61% better when working under clean conditions for one day and 101% better on their second day with clean air. Regular screenings of employees using a fitness assessment form can allow you to catch and fix issues before they become a real problem.

What’s on a fitness for work assessment checklist?

When filling out a medical fitness assessment form, a medical professional might perform some or all of the following tests:

  • Take the patient’s work and medical history
  • Check the patient’s blood pressure and pulse
  • Check the ears and perform a hearing test
  • Check the eyes and perform an eye exam
  • Examine the nose and throat for signs of inflammation
  • Check if the lymph nodes on the throat are swollen
  • Check cranial nerves by asking the patient to make faces, raise their eyebrows, puff out their cheeks, and so on
  • Examine the heart and lungs with a stethoscope
  • Do an abdominal exam
  • Palpate the internal organs, such as the spleen and liver
  • Check spinal function by asking the patient to bend over

Depending on the type of job and the potential exposure to hazardous materials, a fitness for work assessment checklist may also include the following, depending on the OSHA regulations governing certain occupations.

  • Chest x-rays
  • Pulmonary function tests
  • Evaluation of the patient’s ability to wear a respirator
  • Blood tests
  • Check for necessary vaccines, such as the hepatitis-B vaccine
  • Urinary tests for toxic materials and heavy metals, as well as sugar, albumin, and blood
  • Sperm count tests for men and estrogen levels for women

Prevent Work-Related Injuries and Disorders with a Physical Fitness Assessment Form

Work-related musculoskeletal disorders (MSDs) cause a lot of lost productivity in the workplace, accounting for about 33% of worker illness and injury cases. Regular physical fitness assessments of employees can help prevent MSDs and increase worker comfort. A physical fitness assessment form might include the following tests:

  • Physical measurements such as the patient’s height and weight, as well as waist and hip measurements
  • Blood pressure and resting heart rate
  • Body fat percentage using calipers or bioelectrical impedance analysis
  • Muscular strength and endurance tests
  • Cardiorespiratory (heart and lung) fitness tests
  • Flexibility tests
  • Mobility and stability tests
  • Assessments of the patient’s posture

OSHA mandates that employers make medical exams available to employees at no cost. However, employees aren’t required by the government to take the exams, and OSHA doesn’t force employers to examine their workers. That said, employers can require medical examinations and participation in medical surveillance programs as conditions of employment. A fitness-for-work assessment checklist is an excellent tool to help employers keep their employees healthy and comply with government regulations.

OSHA requires employers to perform both medical screening and medical surveillance. While these two things might seem to be the same, they’re actually quite different.

Medical screenings are medical examinations designed to catch diseases and dysfunctions before they become a major problem for the patient and employer. Medical screenings are usually performed on people who may not show symptoms but may be at risk for health issues.

Medical surveillance, on the other hand, involves analysis of the data gained from the medical screenings and other health information. An employer can use medical surveillance to catch and prevent problems from occurring in the workplace. You can track groups of employees using their fitness assessment forms and look for trends in their health statuses. In this way, you can look for potential problem areas and evaluate the effectiveness of your health and safety programs. You can also monitor specific individuals who may be in danger or exposed to more issues.

Laptop open on a white desk with fruits and vegetables next to it

Safe data simpler with a digital fitness assessment

A fitness for work assessment checklist is a great way to track the health of your employees and offer them the best deal to stay healthy. However, recording the data on paper can be a hindrance. Documents can get lost more easily, information sharing can be slow, and documentation can take up much space.

A digital app like Lumiform can remove these obstacles, making fitness assessments more efficient and more manageable. The mobile app and desktop software allow digital forms to be filled out on the spot and shared instantly. Plus, the data is always securely stored in the cloud and no longer take up shelf space. Employers and occupational physicians can move to digital forms management with Lumiform using the following:

  • Get started digitally right away by using one of our fitness risk assessment templates from the Lumiform library, or digitize your existing paper forms.
  • Perform fitness risk assessments from your smartphone or tablet via the app – it is possible offline and online.
  • Schedule fitness assessments and receive notifications about upcoming or missed appointments.
  • Generate reports on assessments automatically to share with other responsible employees.
  • Evaluate your collected information with the help of the analysis dashboard and derive measures for stress management in your company from your results.
  • See if an employee’s health has improved or worsened in the analytics dashboard. Inform your employee about their results.
  • Care for data security and privacy by storing everything securely in the cloud, preventing access by third parties.

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