You are here: Home Employee Health Testing FAQ What can an Employer test for in a Preplacement Medical?

Preplacement medical testing can include a number of tests that check on the state of the Employee's Health and help an Occupational Health physician or Medical Director determine whether an employee is medically fit to do a specific job.

A preplacement medical typically includes:

  • a physical exam (like the medical an employee gets at their family doctor),
  • a health assessment questionnaire, and
  • other clinical tests like hearing test, vision screening, pulmonary function test (spirometry), and a Back Test or Lift Test.

In Canada, the contents of an occupational health 'employee medical' (otherwise known as Preplacement Medicals) are generally limited by the policies of various Human Rights commissions, which generally state that employers & occupational health clinics like Occu-Med can only conduct employee health tests that meet a "bona fide" job requirement.   So for example:

  • a back fitness test & lift test would be allowed for a production employee whose job will require lifting of parts
  • a lifting test is not generally deemed appropriate for sales people, unless of course the employee is going to be lifting samples in and out of a vehicle.    (Example: a salesperson of water pumps might need to lift them out of their trunk, so lift tests are ok; but this would not be true for an Insurance salesperson).
  • an employer could argue that a back fitness test would be reasonable for an office worker who would spend their work day twisting and turning in a wheeled office-chair.


Note that we say 'generally' above because there are minor variations in technical details from province to province.

Further, readers should know that Medical Surveillance Medicals (like those done for employees exposed to Silica and Asbestos, Lead, Mercury) have different rules since the tests to be included and the information to be collected in the Silica Medical or Asbestos Medical are prescribed or laid-out in legislation.

You are here: Home Employee Health Testing FAQ What can an Employer test for in a Preplacement Medical?

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