5 Facts about Functional Fitness Evaluations
5 Facts about Functional Fitness Evaluations

5 Facts about Functional Fitness Evaluations

Blog and Opinions Red Slashes Feb 24, 2023
By: Kendra Lawrysyn

So, you’re considering adding a Functional Fitness Evaluation program to your organization. Or you already have one but are looking for more facts! It’s always valuable to expand your knowledge of occupational health testing. Check out these 5 facts about functional fitness evaluations below!

What is a Functional Fitness Evaluation?

A functional fitness evaluation (FFE) is a series of tests, conducted in a clinical setting, that mirror the physical demands of a specific position. We develop these tests based on a customized analysis that documents all the physical requirements of the position.

To discover more about this occupational health test, check out our service page or read our What is a Functional Fitness Evaluation blog.

5 Facts about Functional Fitness Evaluations (FFEs)

  • Fact 1: Organizations use FFEs multiple times during the work cycle.
    • Most often, industries use an FFE as a post-offer employment condition, otherwise referred to as pre-employment testing. Testing helps reduce the chance of injury by ensuring the right person is able to perform all essential tasks of a job. It also establishes a baseline for the physical abilities and functions required for a job, and provides appropriate accommodation where necessary.

      Organizations can utilize FFEs at other points in the work cycle as well. Two other work cycle occurrences include pre-transfer testing and post-injury return to work testing. Pre-transfer testing makes sure employees can handle the different functional fitness demands of a new role before injuries happen. Post-injury return-to-work testing ensures that team members are ready to return to work after injury and that the organization is providing proper accommodation. This is important to prevent the risk of re-injury.

  • Fact 2: There are four potential evaluations.
    • Fit
    • Fit with recommendations
    • Medical clearance required
    • The rate at which evaluations identify candidates as unfit varies from position to position. Across industries, the average range is 5%–12%.
  • Fact 3: An FFE is a proactive tool to reduce the risk of injury. Yet, it can also be a reactive tool to ensure that team members have proper accommodation if injured.
    • An FFE is a partnership between the employer and employee to provide a safe and foreseeable work environment.
    • Did you know that the largest category of lost-time injuries has been musculoskeletal injuries? The physical capacity of an employee is linked to the likelihood of that employee developing a musculoskeletal injury. Once a musculoskeletal injury occurs, the likelihood of a repeat occupational injury taking place is significant. Repeat injuries can lead to compounded costs for employers as the duration of lost time extends and the injuries entail ongoing medical, administrative, and rehabilitative costs.
  • Fact 4: Functional fitness evaluations are based on a Physical Demands Analysis (PDA).
    • A PDA is job specific for the tasks being performed. It is used by one of our certified professionals to have a fair analysis of the candidate’s capabilities. For more information on PDAs, check out our What is a Physical Demands Analysis blog.
  • Fact 5: Financial Return is one of the benefits of implementing an FFE program.
    • There has been lots of research done on the financial benefits of implementing an FFE program. A financial business case for a safety program requires that the reduction in total costs and liability arising from a lost-time injury outweigh the cost and liability of the preventative measure. Build a business case on safety to help identify the true cost of an injury.

      The return on investment is proportional to the number of lost-time injuries avoided. Therefore, even if 10% of evaluations identify candidates as being unfit, but an injury is prevented from occurring, employers can expect a return on investment of $3 saved for every $1 spent. In other words, a single injury prevented over a two-year period results in a 300% return on investment.*

      *With a workforce of 1,000 and average turnover.

Looking to learn more about Functional Fitness Evaluations? Reach out to our team of subject matter experts today!

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