Why do I Need to have a Pre-employment Medical?
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“I have applied for a job and at the interview I was told that I would have to have a pre-employment medical if I was short-listed. I’ve never needed to do this before and don’t understand why this company is asking for it.”
Pre-employment medicals have become more popular in recent years. This type of health check helps employers to assess applicants against the attributes that are necessary to perform the essential requirements of the job. A pre-employment medical assessment is not simply a general health check; it is conducted to ascertain that you have what it takes to do the job, from a workplace health perspective.
Employers are generally taking their obligations under OH&S and duty of care more seriously these days. There is a bigger focus on both workplace health and corporate health, which is where the pre-employment medicals come in. Companies want to make sure that potential employees are capable of working within the physical demands of the job. The aim is to avoid workplace injury and illness.
In some industries, there are legal requirements that demand workers meet certain health and fitness standards. Obviously, the best way to determine whether an individual worker meets these standards is through a comprehensive and tailored medical examination. Some of the industries that have this type of legal requirement include rail and tramways, mining, aviation and diving.
Not all pre-employment medicals are requested because of legal obligations. Often the prospective employer simply wants to be sure that the candidate has no underlying health issue which could affect their ability to work to the capacity required by the position. Pre-employment medicals are not something to fear, unless you are trying to hide something. Discrimination laws prevent employers from using non-related health issues as a reason not to hire an applicant.
What can I expect at a pre-employment medical?
Firstly, you will probably be required to attend a doctor designated by the employer although some companies are happy with a report from your own doctor. In this case, the company would supply a list of tests they require to be done.
If you are seeing a company-designated doctor, a full medical and work history will be taken, including current medications. You need to be honest and include everything that is relevant when completing your medical history. Any omissions could go against you in the future.
A complete medical examination will then be conducted and could include any or all of the following – height, weight, pulse, blood pressure, vision, hearing, balance, flexibility, hand strength, ability to lift weights, lung function, urine test, drug and alcohol testing, chest X-rays, pathology and fitness test. After the examination, a full written report will be sent to the employer and usually a copy is also sent to the applicant.
Often, employers use the services of a specialist health company to carry out their medicals for potential employees, as well as existing staff. One such highly reputable company is Era Health Work Solutions in Melbourne. Trained and experienced practitioners carry out thorough and inclusive pre-employment medicals which are often specially tailored to the specific workplace and industry. If you need to have a medical as part of the job application process, contact Era Health for an appointment.