Company physicals are an important part of maintaining good employee health, reduce absenteeism, and cut costs of chronic illness. The employee can also benefit from the physical by obtaining valuable information on their health status. Early detection of health concerns is key to successful management. Company physicals have been shown to improve employee health awareness and productivity while reducing health care costs and absenteeism.
Many companies require a pre-employment physical. Some are regulated by agencies such as DOT (Department of Transportation), OSHA (Occupational Safety and Health Administration), or local Departments of Health. Companies may also require a pre-employment physical to establish a baseline of physical health and fitness.
On your mark, get ready
While the basic elements of the company physical are normal readings such as height, weight, blood pressure, blood sugar and cholesterol levels, other elements will vary but could include a work fitness assessment, hearing test, or even drug or alcohol screening. When preparing for the physical there are a few basic things that will help make it more comfortable as well as successful.
Get a good night’s sleep the night before.
Refrain from alcoholic beverages or drugs for a period of time preceding the physical; remember cannabis can show up for several weeks if used routinely.
Wear comfortable clothing and shoes if the physical includes a work fitness assessment.
Take a list of all medications taken routinely; sleeping tablets may show up in a drug screen so make sure you have proof of a prescription for it.
Avoid loud noises, including loud music, for up to 16 hours prior to the physical to prevent negative effects on the auditory testing.
If a lung function test is involved, don’t smoke just before the physical.
Take information on all medical history including surgeries.
Getting the physical exam
When time for the physical arrives there’s no need to stress. Take all the necessary information along and be honest with the medical provider. It’s always better to be open upfront than to hope that something isn’t revealed. Also be sure to reveal medical history that might cause an on-the-job injury later. Lastly, remember that the medical provider will likely need to perform a physical exam that requires a state of undress, so wear underwear that won’t be embarrassing.