Preemployment Health Checks Every First-Time Job Seeker Should Know

During your quest to find the perfect job, you may be asked to pass not just the interview process and a series of technical exams but also a series of preemployment health checks. Doing so helps the employer to identify potential health risks as well as improve the staff’s well-being.

When employee health is initially assessed and constantly monitored, it benefits the company in more ways than one. Aside from the fact that it promotes higher levels of productivity, conducting preemployment health screening can greatly help improve an employee’s life and health as an individual.

What to Expect from the Employer

There are conditions pertaining to the preemployment health checks that employers should implement. Under the Americans with Disabilities Act, companies may require a medical examination before hiring the applicant, but only after a conditional job offer is handed out and as long as all applicants of the same job category are to undergo the screening. This is to prevent discrimination and to promote equality in the entire workforce.

Employers cannot discriminate the worker based on the results of the exam and his or her medical records, which should be kept confidential at all times. Moreover, the organization is expected to fully understand a certain job’s description to determine whether or not a potential employee is competent to complete the duties required by that certain position. Hired applicants with disabilities are also entitled to free accommodation from their employers when deemed necessary.

Physical Assessment and Examination

The most common requirement that every applicant can expect when looking for a job is an overall physical assessment and examination. This includes the checking of one’s body weight, height, BMI, blood pressure, and other vital signs.

This process may also include a full musculoskeletal examination to check for range of movement, abdominal exams, urinalysis, respiratory tests that may involve the use of medical oxygen sensors, central nervous system tests, and vision assessment to test for color blindness and other relevant disorders.

Health checks like these are also usually done annually among all employees in the workplace, regardless of the health and safety risks involved of the occupation. Yearly workplace medical check-ups often identify health issues and urge the individual, and even the company, to take action in order to protect one’s health in the long run.

Drug and Alcohol Testing

Alcohol and drugs are a bad combination in the workplace. Not only does it do no good for the health of the individual, but it also holds down a job. The National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence found out that over 70 percent of Americans who are abusing illegal illicit drugs are employed, and this costs companies about $81 billion every year.

This is also the case among binge drinkers. While some of these drug and alcohol abusers may be considered “high functioning,” this does not qualify them as healthy.

Because of the side effects of drug and alcohol abuse at work, such as a decline in job performance and a negative change in one’s state of mind, companies are legally allowed to have drug and alcohol testing as a preemployment requirement or as a condition of hire.

Employers can choose from numerous drug-test types and the specific drugs you can be tested for. These methods may be through blood, urine, sweat, saliva, breath, or hair drug tests.

Meanwhile, a breathalyzer is usually used to measure an applicant’s blood-alcohol level, which is only done if an applicant or employee is suspected of alcohol intoxication within the work premises. However, a breathalyzer cannot test for past use of the substance.

Physical Ability Tests

Physical ability tests may be required for those applying for a job in the physical- or manual-labor sectors. These tests are conducted to measure one’s physical ability to perform a certain task or to identify one’s strength and stamina in general. For instance, potential employees for a construction company may be asked to lift a particular amount of weight similar to what’s involved in that particular job.

A physical ability test can be divided into parts, which may include endurance, balance, flexibility, muscular tension and power, cardiovascular health, and mental fortitude under physical stress. Physical ability tests may be a common basis for many legal battles in the employment sector, yet they should be able to benefit not just the company but also the job seeker, minimizing any future health and safety risks in the workplace as much as possible.

Preemployment health checks are not conducted to discriminate anyone; rather, they are done for the benefit of both parties involved: employees and employers. In order to have a better shot at job hunting, it is best to comply with the rules of the company and to watch out for your health, as this can greatly determine your chances of landing that dream job of yours.

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