What are physical demands analysis reports used for?

Q:

What are physical demands analysis reports used for?

A:

A physical demands analysis (PDA) is a study of all the physical requirements associated with a particular job. This analysis is then used to generate a physical demands analysis report (PDA report). The PDA report provides an employer with a uniform, and objective, list of the physical capabilities necessary for a person to perform a specific job. A PDA report will identify the job functions for a particular position. These tasks are often categorized as essential or non-essential. A PDA may include required physical tasks such as lifting, bending, standing for long periods, or overhead reach requirements.


After the job’s functions have been identified, the physical demands for each task are determined. The PDA report can then be used to design fitness-to-work testing or an employment entrance examination for a job.


When used as a screening measure, tests based on the PDA report ensure that employees who have been offered that job are safely able to perform its necessary tasks. A PDA report may also be used as an evaluation tool to determine if an employee who has suffered an injury is sufficiently rehabilitated and can return to work.


A PDA report may also be used to communicate the requirements of the job to employees and other interested parties. The report may be used to categorized jobs and to identify jobs that are suitable for employees with physical or other limitations. Additionally, PDA reports can be used to identify ergonomic risks or other hazards in the workplace, or for training purposes.

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Written by John Hawes
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John Hawes is the CCO and co-founder at SureHire Occupational Health Testing. John graduated in 2001 from the University of Alberta with a Bachelor of Science degree in physical therapy. As a former physical therapist, John uses his knowledge of physical therapy and interest in ergonomics and biomechanics to devise fit for work testing.

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