Testing Existing Employees - Physical Abilities or Fit for Duty Testing
A PAT (Physical Ability Test) or FFD (Fit for Duty) test are both modified versions of an FCE which can be done immediately after an injury and as soon as the patient is medically stable. These tests are designed to identify the patient's current physical abilities, which may indicate a return to full duty or a return to transitional or modified duty.
For those employers who do post-offer testing, any injured worker can be sent for a Physical Abilities Test to determine if there are any changes in the employee's condition from the time of hire to the post-injury stage.
You Can Legally Test Your Existing Employees When:
- There is reliable, objective evidence that an employee is having difficulty performing the essential functions of their job.
- There is a reasonable belief that an employee cannot do their job.
- An Employee is returning to work after a leave.
- An Employee is returning to work with a specific problem (e.g., back, shoulder, knee)
- An Employee is requesting an accommodation.
- Medical providers need objective information regarding physical capacities (e.g. for Maximum Medical Improvement after an injury).
- A wellness program identifies an employee with a potential injury risk.
Doing these tests at periodic intervals in the treatment process can provide invaluable information and direction for healthcare providers and prevent unnecessarily lengthy treatment with undefined goals.