Pre-employment medicals manage workplace risk by ensuring employees can meet the physical demands of a job. They help identify health and safety risks early on so that preventative measures can be taken before it’s too late, saving employers and insurance companies both time and money.
The insurance industry has a vested interest in the health and safety of your workforce. Insurance companies want to know more about the health of your employees so that they can mitigate illness and injuries before a claim is required. The good news is preventing workplace insurance claims is a benefit to everyone involved—the insurance company, your business, and your employees.
Continue reading to learn more about pre-employment medicals, the cost of work-related injury, illness, and death, and why insurance companies want to know more about your team.
What is a Pre-employment Medical?
Pre-employment medicals are crucial to the safety and health of a workforce. The assessment lets employers know if any given candidate is medically suited for a position. It also informs employers about how they can best accommodate a prospective employee throughout their time with the company.
The pre-employment medical is arranged and paid for by the employer before a candidate is hired. Since pre-employment medical assessments prevent and mitigate future health and safety risks, they are an investment in the overall health of a business.
What you include in your pre-employment medical varies based on the industry and the role that the candidate will fill, as well as the physical demands of the job. Pre-employment medicals are made up of a range of tests which can include drug and alcohol screening, driving assessments, hearing tests, vision tests, and other general fitness tests.
Pre-employment medical assessments are critical for industries in which workplace injuries and deaths are high. Safe Work Australia says the highest number of worker fatalities (over a ten-year span) occurred in:
- Transportation, postal, and warehousing
- Agriculture, forestry, and fishing
Jobs where employees are required to operate dangerous machinery, drive vehicles, or handle hazardous equipment, are more at risk of workplace accidents. At risk workers need to be in good health both physically and mentally for their own protection and the protection of those around them. Learn more about Pre-Employment Medicals for the Transportation Industry and Pre-Employment Medicals for the Building and Construction Industry.
The Insurance Cost of Illness and Injury
Work-related illness and injury cost the insurance industry considerably. The total annual cost of work-related injury and illness to the Australian economy is a staggering $61.8 billion. Each year, $543 million of workers’ compensation is paid for work-related mental health disorders alone.
It’s no wonder then why insurance companies want to know more and more about your team. Investing in preventative measures is much less expensive than fulfilling an insurance claim. And when paired with ongoing employee health checks, pre-employment medicals can reduce downtime, workplace injuries, workers’ compensation claims, and insurance costs.
Pre-employment medical assessments benefit employers, employees, and the insurance industry. If you can prevent an insurance claim before it happens, why wouldn’t you?
Why the Insurance Industry Wants to Know More About Your Team
As insurance companies ask more questions about your team’s health, it’s your responsibility, as the employer, to provide that information. Pre-employment medical assessments provide you with all of the relevant information you and insurance companies need to know about a potential worker before they begin their employment.
Whether a pre-employment medical is an insurance requirement varies by industry. What’s clear is that the insurance industry is investing time and energy into asking more questions about the health of your employees.
Beyond the preventative health and safety measures, pre-employment medicals set a baseline of health for you, your employees, and the insurance company. Understanding a prospective employee’s medical standing before they come into your care as a worker helps mitigate future misunderstandings.
Did your employee develop hearing loss because of their employment, or were they already losing their hearing before you hired them? Is the back pain your employee is experiencing due to a work-related injury, or is it the result of a previous injury?
Pre-employment medicals provide a record of employee health at the time of employment so that any changes in an employee’s health can be measured. The medical test sets a baseline and identifies any health concerns before an employee begins their job. This saves all parties both time and money. Disputes are costly and leave everyone involved with a sour taste in their mouth, instead of a positive partnership between employee and employer. When the facts are recorded right from the beginning, disputes are minimised.
Exit medical assessments provide another added layer of protection for employers, employees, and insurance companies. An exit medical sets another baseline of employee health as the employee leaves your workplace. Acquiring health data as an employee leaves will protect your business from future misunderstandings. You’ll also be able to send your employee off with a better understanding of their own health and any potential health risks they need to monitor. It’s a win-win for everyone involved.
💡 Learn more about The Benefits of Employee Exit Medical Assessments.
Additional Benefits of Pre-employment Medicals
The insurance benefits of pre-employment medicals are only the tip of the iceberg. Pre-employment assessments benefit employers, employees, insurance companies, and the community in a number of ways.
Pre-employment medicals help businesses find the best-matched candidates. They ensure employees are physically and mentally prepared to fulfil the requirements of the role they are applying for. An unfit worker can endanger themselves or others while on the job.
Pre-employment medicals minimise long-term absenteeism from illness and injury. Conducting health assessments safeguard a business against future health concerns since any potential health risks can be identified early on. The sooner a health concern is found, the better equipped you and your employee will be to manage it.
Pre-employment medicals increase loyalty and morale.An investment in the health and safety of your workforce demonstrates that you care about your team’s wellbeing. Employees want to work for businesses that see them as individuals rather than tools. If this compassion and humanity are displayed consistently by the employer, the employee will invest that same care and concern into the company.
Pre-employment medicals improve a business’ brand and corporate image. Demonstrate corporate social responsibility for your employees and for your brand. An investment in the health of your current and prospective employees illustrates compassion and lets the public know you value more than only making a profit.
Pre-employment medicals help businesses attract the best talent.The top, most qualified talent wants to work for the best businesses. Attract top talent by continually investing in the health and safety of your workforce.
Regular Onsite Employee Health Checks
Ensure your workforce remains healthy as your employees grow and age with your business. Workforces are aging. 13% of working Australians are over the age of 65, and that number is growing. Pre-employment medicals only assess an employee at the beginning of their employment. Regular health checks help businesses keep up with workplace health all year round. These checks support an aging workforce. They also reduce insurance costs and workers’ compensation claims along with a long list of employee and employer benefits.
Routine on-site employee health checks:
- Reduce workplace-related injuries and illness
- Reduce employee sick days and downtime
- Support an aging workforce
- Support and monitor mental health in the workplace
- Promote a happy and healthy workforce
- Help businesses retain top talent
- Save businesses money long-term
💡 Learn more about these benefits in The Importance of Employee Health Checks.
Pre-employment Medical Resources
Workforce Health Assessors offer comprehensive and detailed pre-employment medical, pre-placement, and periodic medical assessments that can be tailored to suit your business needs. WHA carries a long-standing track record with over 200,000 health assessments performed across 18 countries.
We organise, perform, and report on all health assessments and medicals to help you mitigate risks and determine the suitability of candidates for your business. Each of our tests is carefully designed and varies depending on the type of role a candidate will fill. Learn more about our pre-employment medical and other health assessment services.
Continue Supporting Your Workforce
Mandatory holidays, company-paid lunches, and work balance all contribute to building a healthy place to work. Learn more in our list of the Top 10 Ways to Create a Safe and Healthy Workforce.
Signs of Fatigue in the Workplace: How to Prevent and Manage Symptoms. Mistakes due to fatigue are preventable when businesses take the time to invest in workforce health and safety.
Low productivity comes at a considerable cost for employers. In Australia and New Zealand, Gallup reports that 71% of workers are not engaged. Learn how your business can Increase Motivation in the Workplace.