Essential Function Testing

Matching the worker to the work

At the foundation of any hiring program is the ability to match an applicant’s physical abilities to the demands of the job. Cascade Health┬ácan help you make an informed hiring decision through essential function testing. This screening also teaches your employees about body mechanics, proper lifting, and posture, so that their daily tasks are carried out safely. The test complements the pre-placement physical exam performed by our occupational medicine physicians. To ensure equal opportunity, standard hiring procedures should be followed.

Job function analysis

Our expert team can help you assess and define the essential functions of individual jobs through a job analysis. As part of the assessment, we would tour your worksite, meet your employees, and gain a better understanding of how they perform their jobs. Once the analysis is complete, we’ll develop a test to assess employees’ abilities.

Test development

A trained therapist will develop a 5-8 hour test based upon the essential functions of the job. To validate it, current employees are asked to take the test and provide written feedback. The test is then modified based on management and employee feedback.

In addition to essential function testing, we can determine:

  • Range of motion (flexibility)
  • Strength (lifting, carrying, pushing, pulling)
  • Agility and balance
  • Endurance, as measured during functional, realistic simulations of the job

Important considerations

The pre-placement essential function test is considered a medical screen according to the Americans with Disabilities Act.

The test is developed for a particular job and cannot be used for employees applying for other positions.

All applicants who have been offered a position must take the test; the employer cannot choose who takes the test.

The test is considered pre-placement in nature. That is, the test is completed after an offer of employment has been made but prior to employment. The offer of employment is contingent upon the applicant passing the test, and can be revoked if the applicant is not able to safely complete the test based on the essential functions of the job.