Stop wasting money on pre-employment medicals

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Is your company shelling out millions for no real reason? It can be quite costly when a worker gets injured.

Pre-employment medical assessments are crucial to determine the safety of workers. They are an indicator of potential costs that will incur if an employee gets injured and has a pre-existing injury or underlying condition.

A worker may have an undetected pre-existing injury or underlying pathology that leads to an injury and your business is left to foot the bill.

Preventing injuries in the workplace will not only mean a happier and more productive workforce but also assists with higher retention rates which in turns lead to recruitment savings. Preventing injuries is also a sure way to save costs from workers’ compensation premiums, sick leave, and replacement labour.

Research shows pre-existing musculoskeletal injuries such as damage to joints, bones, and muscles, are vastly under detected in pre-employment medicals.

According to Suremploy, the average rate for detecting pre-existing musculoskeletal injuries is between 0% and 3% in Australia.

According to Tom Aune, the Founder and Director of Suremploy, detection rates should be much higher than this.

“A lot of pre-employment providers do not detect the risk of injury and therefore make everyone fit for the job,” he said. “The only way you can save money via pre-employment screening is to detect pre-existing injury and stop those people walking into a job that’s going to injure them.”

Investing in a thorough pre-employment medical assessment will reduce both short- and long-term costs, said Aune.

In the first 12 to 18months of implementing high quality pre-employments screening, employers should see a drop of up to 50% in Lost Time Injury Frequency Rate (LTIFR).

As time goes on, savings would come from reducing workers’ compensation premiums.

“This drop in premiums happen in the third and fourth years as a company’s LTIFR drops and insurance companies see less financial liability and adjust premiums accordingly”, said Aune.

Reducing injuries has a flow on effect to further savings by lowering replacement costs. When an employee is injured and takes time off work, their work still needs to be done so replacement labour has to be called in. Some states include replacement wages in the workers’ compensation terms, some don’t.

“Within 12 months, the entire pre-employment medical cost is more than offset by the reduction in workplace injuries and replacement labour for injured workers,” said Aune.

So how can you tell which pre-employment assessment provider will save me money?

You should change your pre-employment medical provider if:

  • Your LTIFR is not below the industry standard
  • Your workers compensation premiums have not reduced
  • Your current pre-medicals find everyone suitable for the role.

When looking for a provider:

  • Don’t look for provider with the lowest price. True savings don’t come from a cheaper test but rather from long-term injury reduction.
  • Ask about their detection rates of underlying pathology.
  • Seek out providers that use physiotherapists – specialists in detecting, assessing and treating musculoskeletal injuries.
  • Ask for testimonials and references