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Does preemployment screening, strength testing and placement reduce on the job injuries?

1 May 1993


The primary focus of this study was to examine the validity of one particular preemployment screening program in reducing injuries on the job. Retrospective data from claims between April 1986 and April 1992 was obtained from insurance claim records of a large Northwestern United States plant nursery. The nursery represents a work force largely comprised of seasonal employees that deal with manual materials handling jobs of varying degrees of physical demand. The screening program is designed to assess an individuals physical capabilities and advise the employer how to place employees in accordance with their physical abilities to avoid overexertion. The early data, from 1986 through 1988, represents an employee base in which some screening was done but little effort was made to place persons in accordance with their physical capabilities. The later years represent a continued increase in the screening and subsequent placement of employees with their physical abilities considered. Statistical regression analysis shows an overall significant reduction in both the incidence and cost of strain/sprain type injuries and back injuries, while the number of employees and number of hours worked increased.


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