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O H & S | Skills Training

April 26, 2007

Test helps ensure applicant meets physical needs

TORONTO

Human resources departments must often walk a fine line between considering the suitability of an applicant for a particular position and the appearance of discrimination.

Specialized testing can help to ensure that job applicants will be able to meet the physical qualifications of their jobs in an objective manner, says Elizabeth Chapman, business development manager with BTE Technologies, a company providing injury prevention and management services.

Post offer of employment testing (POET) helps to determine if an individual has the physical abilities to perform a particular set of job functions.

If an injury occurs, the data collected can be used to objectively show that a screening process was used to determine the employee’s suitability for the position.

The results of the test can also be used to compare the level of the worker’s ability at the time of screening to the worker’s ability after a workplace injury.

“Computerized tests are the best option,” says Chapman. “Hardware can be developed specific to the employer’s needs and artificial intelligence ensures adherence to the testing protocol without bias.”

A construction-specific test, for example, could measure different aspects of strength, tolerance and mobility in a standardized work-specific application.

"Computerized tests are the best option."

Elizabeth Chapman

BTE Technologies

Chapman notes that the standardization of the test is an important legal consideration because it must be consistent from candidate to candidate and must accommodate candidates of all ages, genders and levels of ability to avoid the appearance of discrimination.

Chapman spoke at the recent Industrial Accident Prevention Association’s annual conference in Toronto.

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