Understanding the physical demands of your business, and specific roles within the business, provides you with the ability to better match candidates with the requirements of the role, prevent injuries and identify appropriate alternate roles for injured employees.
A Job Dictionary is a tool that provides detailed specific information regarding the physical demands of each task within a worksite or organisation. A good Job Dictionary will look at each task within a worksite and break it down step by step into the process, the physical demands (such as lifting, push pulling, walking), the postural demands (such as height of bending, reaching) and will then consider the frequency of these demands. The Job Dictionary then provides a detailed description of the level of physical ability and fitness required to complete a task and will also highlight the exposure to physical risks inherent to the role.
Many employers engage a provider to develop a Job Dictionary so they have an internal resource to assist them to identify suitable duties that can be performed safely for injured employees to improve their return to work outcomes. However, a Job Dictionary can offer so much more value – if understood and utilised correctly it can be the cornerstone to an employer’s injury prevention program.
Injury Prevention, Recruitment and Training:
Understanding a person’s capacity for work, ideally both in aptitude and physical ability, provides employers with the ability to place their employees in to safe, suitable and sustainable roles within their organisation. Employers therefore often engage providers to undertake pre-employment assessments to determine if a potential recruit can safely perform the physical demands of the role. The pre-employment assessment will assess the candidate’s medical history, health, and functional capacity and will then compare the results to the physical requirements of the workplace.
To accurately determine if an individual is capable of performing a job, the assessment must determine if the individual’s capacity is equal to or greater than the job demands. This requires a detailed understanding of the workplace and its physical demands, which is most accurately captured in a Job Dictionary. The provider performing you pre-employment assessments can utilise the Job Dictionary to identify the physical demands of each job that need to be tested.
In situations where a recruit has not met the physical capacity required for the specific role they applied for, the Job Dictionary can be used to identify other roles that may be suitable within that persons assessed capacity.
This information provided in a Job Dictionary can also be utilised in induction training, manual handling training, and onsite risk analysis.
Injury Management and Suitable Employment:
The Job Dictionary provides an employer with immediate information regarding
the workplace and an injured employee’s job demands, enabling a more efficiently and effectively assist the employee to return to work.
Firstly the Job Dictionary can immediately identify alternate duties that the injured employee can undertake within their certified medical capacity. It also provides the treating GP and physiotherapists with an accurate measurement of the capacity the employee needs to build in their recovery to gain full capacity for work again. It provides clear and objective information to enable better communication between the injured employee, treatment providers and employers.
The Job Dictionary can provide enough detail to allow an assessing occupational therapist to identify areas of a job that could be modified with manual handling techniques, modified work processes or equipment to identify suitable employment options within an injured employee’s capacity that could enable a full return to work without full original capacity. If an employee’s capacity is equal to or greater than the work demands, the role is considered as physically suitable employment.
Having such information readily available can assist employers identify suitable employment that can enable redeployment of employees with permanently modified capacity into new roles within the workplace. It can also be a valuable tool when considering employing previously injured workers, with a current workers compensation claim, as suitable employment options can be identified within a workers current capacity.
To learn more about the possible benefits of a Job Dictionary in your workplace please contact your local Konekt office.