What Is Fit for Duty?
What does Fit for Duty mean? Fit for Duty (FFD) consists of an exam in which an employee’s physical, physiological, and psychological state is tested to evaluate how to perform assigned tasks safely. Therefore, the Fit for Duty definition determines whether the employee can cope with the assigned tasks.
The safety-sensitive position is any duty, which if not completed safely, poses a risk to the following:
- The general public
- The environment
- The Workplace
The safety-sensitive jobs include but are not limited to:
- At-height work
- Dealing with the hazardous material
- Operating equipment and heavy machines
Fit for Duty Policy
According to OSHA (Occupational Safety and Health Administration), the Fit for Duty exam determines if the worker is emotionally, physically, and mentally ready to do the job. Fit for duty assessment is necessary for all employees, especially those who perform safety-sensitive tasks. By OSHA, conducting examinations for job candidates before hiring is illegal. An employer can only request a fit-for-duty medical examination after the candidate is hired for the selected position.
What Are the Reasons for Requesting a Fitness for Duty Evaluation?
Fit-for-duty evaluations aim to determine whether a worker can meet a job/duty’s demands. Employers must protect themselves and the employee and prevent possible risks by determining if an employee can safely perform the job’s requirements.
What Does the Fit for Duty Examination Evaluate?
A Fit for Duty test is a series of medical and physical testing designed to match a candidate’s physical and mental abilities with the intended job. In the Fit for Duty examination, the following items are assessed:
- Physical requirements: vision, hearing, etc
- Physiological conditions: fatigue, alcohol and drugs, workplace exposures, etc
- Psychological condition: risk tolerance, culture, emotional state, etc
Different Types of Fitness for Duty Exam in Las Vegas
1.) Going back to work: Implemented to know if an employee is ready to return the work after an injury.
2.) Job performance: Implemented to know if an employee can perform the job’s essential functions.
3.) Post-offer physical examinations: also called pre-placement exams, include a comprehensive questionnaire for employees to complete a drug screen and physical testing.
What Are the Potential Outcomes of a Fitness for Duty Evaluation?
By hiring employees who are qualified for the job, employers can enjoy many benefits, such as:
- Reducing the cost of employee turnover
- Reducing injuries
- Gathering baseline data
- Increase employee retention
- Optimize productivity
Why Fit for Duty Test Need to Be Done?
By doing this test, the employer will determine if the worker can work safely and not endanger herself or others.
Is Fit for Duty (FFD) Exam Legal?
Fit for Duty testing is legal. Employers have a legal right to ensure employees will perform the tasks safely.
It should be noted, however, that according to the Americans with Disabilities Act, disability cannot prevent a worker from doing the job’s essential functions, and employers cannot discriminate against hiring a disabled worker.
When Is a Fit for Duty Exam Conducted?
By EEOC regulation, the employer can ask the employee to take a fit-for-duty exam if one of the below items is true:
- The employee has a medical problem prevents them from performing the job safely.
- After a leave of absence, the employee returns to work.
- Increasing carelessness.
- Increased mistakes.
How Is the Fit for Duty Testing Done?
Usually, the employee will visit a medical professional to determine if the selected employee can do the tasks. The medical professional may examine the following:
- Mental or physical abilities
- Sensory acuity
- Level of skill
- Functional limitations
Signs Showing an Employee is not Fit for Duty.
Various reasons make an employee impaired and unable to work safely, depending on the employee’s job duties.
The following may be signs that an employee is not fit for duty:
- Uncontrollable crying
- Severe trembling
- Notable problems with coordination
- Markedly diminished memory or concentration.
- Suicidal or threatening statements
How to Have a Successful Fitness for Duty Exam?
The final goal of fitness for duty exams is to determine whether a worker is up to the physical demands of a position. You need to know each case is a separate individual. Just because a person has a particular medical record (like an organ transplant) doesn’t necessarily mean the worker can’t perform the job.
Who Pays for the Fitness for Duty Exams?
The employer must pay the cost of the fit-for-duty screening. When you go to perform the exam, having a job description with essential job functions is necessary. The information you provide in the test should be limited to the medical conditions associated with your job.
How Fit For Duty Exams Are Performed at SNOHC in Las Vegas?
As explained, OSHA defines a Fit for Duty as an individual who is mentally, physically, and emotionally fit to do the job. The employee can complete the assigned job in a way that does not endanger the safety of herself/himself, the public, or other colleagues.
OSHA orders this examination if there is a situation where an evaluation of the employee seems necessary. Fit-for-duty tests are not to determine a person’s disability. There is a wide range of fit-for-duty physical exams performed at Southern Nevada Occupational Health Center (SNOHC), such as:
1. Return to Work Physical Exam
This exam is usually performed by the employee who was on leave. This test can be conducted to see if the employee can continue after the absence.
2. Job Performance Physical Exam
This test is conducted to evaluate an employee’s physical and mental performance on a job. It ensures the employee has the intellectual and physical capabilities to handle the physical and psychological work pressure. It also evaluates the job performance of an employee in comparison with other employees.
3. Post-offer Physical Exam
They are also known as pre-placement assessments. Candidates who have been selected for a job position must take this exam. This exam determines if the candidate can handle the job’s physical demands.
SNOHC has performed occupational health services in Las Vegas for more than ten years. With a comprehensive understanding of DOT, CDC, OSHA, and MSHA regulatory mandates, our philosophy is to prevent injury, provide cost-effective services, and raise awareness of workplace safety measures.
Frequently Asked Questions About Fit for Duty Exam
What does it mean to be fit for work?
Fit Four Duty is a set of tests that show whether a worker can perform the assigned tasks safely.
What does a fit for work medical involve?
Different types of Fitness for Duty Exam includes: 1. Going back to work
2. Job performance 3. Post-offer physical examinations
Who pays for the fitness for duty exams?
The employer must pay the cost of the fit for duty screening.