Prevent It

WorkWell's Workplace Injury Prevention Blog

The Foundation - Functional Job Descriptions Video Series #3

Dealing with existing workplace injuries can often be a challenging task, taking away valuable time that could be better spent on being proactive and preventing injuries altogether. This shift in organizational and cultural thinking may require some time, but it is crucial to take action in order to make a difference.

In this video, we will delve into an essential component that forms the bedrock of a robust work injury prevention program and culture - Functional Job Analysis and Job Descriptions. 


To effectively prevent workplace injuries, it is imperative to have a comprehensive understanding of the physical demands associated with each job.  Physical demands encompass the specific actions performed by the body to accomplish the job, including body positions such as forward bending or crouching, body movements like walking or standing, and material handling such as lifting, carrying, pushing, and pulling.

Conducting a functional job analysis and compiling the findings into a document creates the foundation for understanding the physical demands of the job.  At WorkWell, we employ a meticulous approach to identifying and evaluating each job's core essential functions and tasks, as well as measuring the critical physical demands inherent in these tasks and functions. Through an in-depth process, a trained professional with deep knowledge of ergonomics and MSK documents and measures various aspects of the job. The resulting functional job description, or FJD, is then reviewed and validated by individuals who actively perform and supervise the job.

Validated FJDs form a solid foundation for your work injury prevention and management program. They are utilized by employers, doctors, and insurance carriers to make return-to-work decisions based on genuine job demands. As part of medical management, FJDs assist in facilitating the return of injured employees to work or identifying transitional or modified duties to enable injured employees to continue working while they recover. Additionally, FJDs aid incoming workers in understanding job expectations and can be used to identify ergonomic risks or develop general fitness or job-specific exercise programs. These represent just a few ways FJDs serve as a fundamental framework for building comprehensive programs.

If you currently lack functional job descriptions, getting these done may be an excellent starting point for you. By conducting a thorough analysis of the physical demands associated with each job, you can gain a comprehensive understanding of the specific actions, body positions, movements, and material handling required for each role. This project typically entails a few days of onsite work, depending on the number of jobs to be analyzed.

Investing in functional job descriptions is undoubtedly worthwhile and guarantees long-lasting benefits for your organization. This versatile tool will not only help you better manage the needs of injured workers, but it will also help efforts to prevent workplace injuries.

FJDs are the key to how WorkWell delivers programs. Let us know how we can help you get started.


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