Hiring the Right Worker

December 14, 2018 | Healthcare in Iowa Steve Cassabaum, MSPT, DPT, President and Founder, 21st Century Rehab PC, steve@21stcenturyrehab.com

Iowa is facing a worker shortage with unemployment at an all-time low and a surging economy. We have noticed some companies implementing changes in their pre-employment, post-offer tests with the assumption they will get more positions filled.

Our advice is to keep your pre-employment tests strong. Businesses should always strive to hire the right workers and to keep them safe and productive at work. This is hopefully a no-brainer for improving the bottom line for all businesses.

The cost of turnover, or training or hiring an unfit or unsafe employee, can far outweigh getting more positions filled. No one wants to hire the next ticking time bomb/severe workers’ comp injury.

Here are recommendations for hiring the right workers and keeping them safe and productive at work:

  • Pre-work screening: Reduce the risk of musculoskeletal disorder injuries (MSDs) by hiring workers whose physical abilities match the physical demands of the job (essential job functions).
  • Detailed functional job descriptions/physical job demands: Accurately define essential physical job functions by validating them with current employees.
  • On-site or off-site triaging: Identify discomfort and use of conservative treatment/recommendations early to prevent significant recordable injuries/illnesses from occurring.
  • Reduce OSHA 300 Log Recordable Injuries/Illnesses: Accomplish this through thorough early triage and a thorough understanding of “first aid” under OSHA regulation 1904.7 (b).
  • Create and implement a proactive return-to-work policy: Proactively implement a restricted duty return-to-work policy, within three days or less (standard threshold for the State of Iowa), to help prevent escalating MOD Rates.
  • Education and stretching programs: Educate employees that the way they sit, stand and move can affect their physical and mental well-being. Promote positions and movements prior to and during work that reduce discomfort and improve productivity.