Work First Pro Tips #9: Consider Utilizing a Pre-Employment, Post-Offer Medical Questionnaire

The #1 Underutilized Injury Reduction Tool

How much do you really know about your employees that you dispatch? Sure, you can review their work history, test them for skills, and check references, but what do you know about their physical ability to do the job?

True Story

A temporary employee who was assigned to be a caregiver for a quadriplegic was en route to a doctor’s appointment for the patient when an accident occurred.

The vehicle had to brake suddenly to narrowly avoid a small dog in the middle of the road. This resulted in the patient’s wheelchair sliding forward and physically slamming into the back of the driver’s seat. Notably, the employee failed to secure the man in the wheelchair in preparation for the trip to the doctor’s office, which was a failure of safety protocol.

As the claim was investigated, relevant facts regarding previous medical history were brought to light that immediately marked the placement of this particular worker as being a poor choice by the staffing company.

The claimant had a long medical history that included a cervical fusion surgery, a degenerative disc, and complaints of pain along her neck and back.  With this kind of a medical history, the employee was quite literally a claim waiting to happen.  Even if the car accident had not occurred, the employee was physically a poor match for the job of caring for a quadriplegic.  Caring for a quadriplegic entails significant physicality to lift, move and perform other essential functions for the patient.

Luckily, there is a very effective tool for ensuring a staffing company selects an employee that is physically capable to do the job in question.  That tool is called the “Pre-Employment, Post-Offer Medical Questionnaire.”

Pro Tip

You should seriously consider adding a pre-employment, post-offer medical questionnaire to your operation.  A pre-employment, post-offer medical questionnaire does two things. The first thing it will do is help you discover the medical history of your new employee, which helps you place her only with clients where she will remain safe.

The second thing a pre-employment, post-offer medical questionnaire will do is provide a defensible position to deny a workers’ compensation claim in those cases where an employee fails to accurately disclose her medical history.

Flash back to our true story. Had the employer required a pre-employment, post-offer medical questionnaire, the entire claim could have been avoided.

If the employee was honest in responding to the questionnaire, the employer would have found a different candidate as a suitable caregiver. If the employee was to be dishonest in her responses, the firm could then use this as a defense to deny the claim.

Pre-employment, post-offer medical questionnaires must be tailored to the regulations on a state-by-state basis.  You must also ensure that the staff member making the final placement decision using the medical questionnaire information is properly trained on its use and fully informed of the requirements of the particular placement.

Work First will help our insureds put in place a compliant pre-employment, post-offer medical questionnaire program. If your insurance company doesn’t have this resource, please give us a call – we would be happy to discuss your insurance needs or simply point you in the right direction if you are happy with your current insurance carrier.

Work First Casualty Company is proud to announce that we’ve added expanded our borders! We are prepared to begin serving in North Carolina with the same high-quality service that you come to expect from us. Discover what a Work First Casualty Company policy can do for you by contacting Bruce Winterrowd, Vice President of Underwriting and Marketing at (630) 416-7594 or by email at

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