Functional Assessment of the Worker Pre and Post Injury
This is the second in a series of courses on Occupational Health. When the words functional assessment and workers are used in the same sentence, most physical therapists think of the traditional 3 to 4-hour Functional Capacity Evaluation along with the negative associations with a lengthy exam and the issues of cooperation that sometimes accompany that assessment. The role of functional assessment for workers, however, can and should be much more than the traditional FCE. Starting with pre-hire, job applicants for physically demanding jobs should have a post-offer/pre-hire functional screen to make sure they have the physical ability to perform the job in the first place. As they remain employed, they need periodic fitness for duty functional assessments to determine if their physical abilities to perform the job have changed. If they transfer to a more physically demanding job, a functional screen can ensure they have the abilities for their new position. If an injury occurs, then a post-injury return-to-work functional screen is essential to make sure they are not thrown back into work for which they don’t have the physical abilities. All of these functional screens can be brief yet effective tools for making sure the workers’ abilities match job requirements throughout their lifecycle of employment. In addition, this webinar will discuss the EEOC, ADA and OFCCP compliance issues to be considered as these tests are administered.
Review the other courses in the series:
- The Role of the Physical Therapist in Treatment and Prevention of Workers' Compensation Injuries
- Job Analysis, Ergonomics and Worksite Early Intervention
Meet our Speaker
Deborah Lechner, PT, MS is a leading expert in the field of industrial injury prevention and rehabilitation. Through research she conducted at the University of Alabama at Birmingham, Deborah has developed and validated a functional capacity evaluation and pre-hire screen, the Physical Work Performance Evaluation (PWPE). She has also developed a systematic process for quantifying the physical demands of work, the Quantitative Job Demands Analysis (QJDA) and studied the reliability of that protocol with the US Department of Labor. Ms. Lechner has published her work and literature reviews in international journals and has presented numerous workshops on functional capacity evaluation, job demands analysis, pre-hire testing, ergonomics, return-to-work and industrial rehabilitation, both nationally and internationally. In addition to her academic career, she is founder and President of ErgoScience TM, Inc., a company that provides job analysis, ergonomic consultation, pre-hire and return-to-work functional screening, worksite physical therapy treatment, functional capacity evaluations, employee training and impairment ratings to employers throughout the US and Canada.
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- Understand the various points at which functional assessment is used to match the worker with their work in the worker’s lifecycle of employment.
- Describe a process for developing and administering functional testing throughout the worker lifecycle.
- Identify the ADA, EEOC and OFCCP rules and regulations that must be considered as these tests are developed and implemented.
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