Employment Physicals

Job Interview

What Is a Pre-Employment Physical?

A pre-employment physical is part of the onboarding process for most companies. It involves the potential employee getting a medical exam to ensure that he or she is physically and mentally fit for the job. 

Overall, the pre-employment test ensures that the employee’s health complies with his or her future job-related duties, especially if they are physically demanding. Depending on the nature of the job, the pre-employment physical can be a long or short process.

A pre-employment physical helps companies get an overview of the prospective employee’s overall health status as well as make better choices when it comes to selecting new hires. The physical can also be used for record-keeping based on established metrics. This helps the company track any changes in the employee’s health over time.

Drug Screening Tests

Before starting at a new workplace, potential employees might be asked to take an alcohol and drug test.

Jobs that are considered high-risk are likely to require drug and alcohol tests, specifically in situations where employees must lift heavy equipment and handle dangerous chemicals. Being intoxicated on the job raises the risk of injury to the employee or coworkers. Drug and alcohol tests vary depending on how quickly the employer needs the results.

Most employers from larger companies require its employees to remain drug- and alcohol-free while on the job during the workweek. Initial, incident based, and random drug testing are the way employers typically evaluate employees compliance with company drug policies.


Frequently Asked Questions

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Types of Pre-employment Tests

General pre-employment physical tests include measuring the employee’s weight, temperature, pulse, and blood pressure. In addition to the standard physical checks, the nurse practitioner will examine the employee’s vision, hearing, cardiovascular and respiratory health, along with reflexes and range of motion.

In addition, the provider will note anything such as bruises and swelling, and ask questions about how they happened, if known. More questions may follow the physical exam, such as medications taken, behavioral or mood changes, or the employee’s ability to handle stress.

Physical Ability Tests
Pre-employment physicals test the strength and flexibility of the potential employee. A physical ability test ensures that a potential employee will be able to withstand the manual labor and other demands of the job. It helps employers to also choose people who are less likely to get hurt while on the job.

Hoping to decrease the chances of injury on the job, companies may request that job seekers be able to lift a certain amount of weight, especially if it’s relevant to the job. The premise of a physical ability test is to review for the following:

  • Cardiovascular health 
  • Respiratory health
  • Balance
  • Flexibility

Moreover, pre-employment exams test a worker on functional tasks such as pushing and pulling, lifting, and carrying heavy loads. For this specific test, an employer may send the worker to test based on the physical demands of the job. The provider will also ask questions about family history, lifestyle, diet and exercise to give the employer an overall profile of the employee’s health status.