Fit for Duty – Return to Work
What is a Fit for Duty Exam?
According to OSHA, “fit for duty” means that an individual is physically and/or psychologically able to perform the essential tasks of his or her work assignment safely. Thus, Fit for Duty exams are a commonly used tool that employers use to determine whether an employee is able to safely complete essential job functions. While these specialized exams are commonly reserved for more labor-intensive jobs, Fit for Duty exams are unique to each employer and their positions. The scope of the examination can be tailored to the employee’s role and individual circumstances. For example, a Fit for Duty exam may test one’s ability to lift heavy objects overhead, maneuvering into small spaces, and bending for extended periods of time.
Fit for Duty exams are also a good way to prevent an easily avoidable work-related injury (and the subsequent workers’ compensation claims) by identifying an at-risk employee prior to them engaging in work. The at-risk individual is anyone who is physically unready or unable to perform essential job functions.
One of the most common Fit for Duty examinations is a “Return-to-Work” exam. Just as the name implies, an employer may want a Fit for Duty exam for an employee who is completing treatment and is ready to return to work after a serious illness or injury. A Return-to-Work exam provides foundational information that assists employers in understanding if the employee can safely return to their job again without risking re-injury. A Return-to-Work exam program may involve a combination of transitional duties and company policies that aim for the employee to return to work as soon as they can perform meaningful and productive work in any capacity.
Why Select MFP Work Wellness for your Fit-for-Duty Exam Needs?
Having worked with a variety of businesses, MFP Work Wellness knows that an employer’s Fit for Duty exam needs come in all shapes and sizes. That is why our health professional team works with each specific client to learn about the physical demands of each role and then crafts an objective medical evaluation that suits those needs. With two decades of experience, MFP Work Wellness has performed thousands of Fit for Duty exams and we stand ready to serve our clients at both of our area offices. Additionally, we can perform Fit-for-Duty exams at your business location as part of an on-site health screening session.