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July 6, 2022

An Essential Guide to Pre-employment Medical (2022)

  • March 1, 2022
  • 6 min read
An Essential Guide to Pre-employment Medical (2022)

Has an employer just asked you to get your pre employment medical assessment?

Congrats, you’re just a step away from getting hired.

But you might wonder:

  • Why does he want to get your medical assessment?
  • Will you be able to pass it?
  • What if you fail?

Take a deep breath now because we will cover everything bothering you about the assessment right away.

Let’s dive in.

What does Pre-employment Medical Mean?

Pre-employment medical is a vital part of the recruitment process in lots of workplaces and industries.

Because it helps an employer to hire a physically fit employee that fulfils the safety and health-related requirements of a job.

A company commonly requests for the pre-employment medical and a complete examination of occupational health in the recruitment stage to evaluate various body functions engaged in office activities, like hearing and vision.

Examination components and medical history also cover general health.

A candidate needs to show his/her ability to meet certain safety and health requisites, whether completely or with aid.

This may include the use of prescription lenses to improve poor eyesight.

In high-risk industries especially, a candidate has to think over how his/her personal choices and health can affect his/her ability to fulfil the job requirements before applying.

Why is a Medical Check Needed?

Legal Requirement:

Some jobs entail legal standards and requirements that must be met, for instance:

  • Rail safety workers medical
  • National standards for commercial and heavy vehicle driving
  • Queensland coal board medical and lots more.

The pre-employment medical assessment is a part of an employment and deployment process in a company to check a potential employee’s physical compatibility with the work environment.

That helps an employer to figure out whether a potential employee is at high risk of injury to himself/herself or other employees during the job.

To sum up:

An employer tries to ensure that a potential employee has no medical issues that will put him/her or his/her colleagues at risk.

Risk Assessment:

A professional employer takes serious care of his workforce, including knowing about the potential risk their existing and prospective employees may have.

With pre-medical assessment, an employer manages the risk in the workplace to keep fellow employees and applicants from any injuries or illness.

What does It Entail?

Depending on a job and the organisation you’re applying for, each occupational health assessment includes different aspects.

A qualified healthcare professional will conduct your medical examination, and you’ll have to fill out a health assessment questionnaire.

Medical Examination

You may need to undergo a complete medical examination, including:

  • Blood pressure
  • Vision
  • Abdomen
  • Spine
  • Heart
  • Limbs
  • Urine


Wear appropriate underwear in case you get to strip to your underclothes.

Work Fitness Assessment

You may need to undertake a work fitness assessment, also known as musculoskeletal assessment or functional capacity assessment, if the job is physically demanding and in a hot and remote environment.

So, wear closed in shoes, preferably runners, and suitable loose-fitting clothes.

Other Assessments:

Depending on the job, the assessment may comprise:

  • Blood tests
  • Alcohol breath test
  • Chest x-ray
  • Urine drug screen
  • Hearing test
  • Lung test
  • Fitness test
  • Handling assessment
  • ECG
  • MRI


Ask your employer beforehand to confirm the required tests.

How to Get Ready for the Pre-employment Medical

You’ll be notified beforehand about how you need to get ready for the assessment.

In general, a candidate has to:

  • Arrive on time.
  • Provide a valid photo ID, such as a passport or a driver’s license.
  • Bring bronchodilator or Ventolin puffer (if needed, e.g. asthmatic).
  • Avoid consuming caffeine and/or smoking for 8 hours just before the scheduled assessment.
  • Avoid loud music and/or noises.
  • Come with corrective glasses.

Pre-employment Functional Assessments

To determine the candidate’s ability to meet the physical requirements of a role, an accredited physiotherapist, occupational therapist or exercise physiologist conducts a pre-employment functional assessment.

The assessor looks into a candidate for:

  • Grip strength
  • Range of motion
  • Lifting and carrying capacity
  • Positional tolerance
  • Cardiovascular fitness


Various companies ask for both pre-employment medical and functional assessments together.

What if They Discover a Health Issue?

If necessary, your practitioner will provide you with a referral to your GP.

The assessment is in no way to treat your health problems.

Will They Screen Me for Drugs & Alcohol?

You’ll be tested for drugs and alcohol if it’s a statutory requirement of a job..

On the other hand, if your job doesn’t require it legally, you will not be examined for them.

Details about Drug & Alcohol Testing

In lots of industries, effective drug and alcohol screening improves workplace safety because their use can be a hazard in the work environment.

Based on an employer’s requirements, drug and alcohol screening services entail:

  • Random or for cause screening
  • Pre-employment screening
  • Laboratory-dependant screening
  • Instant screening

Besides, your employer may need your urine drug screening to test you for:

  • Opiates (heroin)
  • Benzodiazepines (sleeping tablets and antidepressants)
  • Cannabis
  • Methamphetamine
  • Cocaine and alcohol
  • Amphetamines

What if I Fail?

Most candidates worry whether they will be able to pass the pre-employment medical examination because of their past medical issues and an injury.

Employers don’t say no to employees based on those matters because a lot of workers have strains and sprains and yet work in a physical role.

The main reason an employee conducts the examination is to find out whether you have any ongoing risks that must be managed in the workplace and to see whether you went through an appropriate rehabilitation from the injury.

Some jobs do require you to adhere to certain medical standards, and they are quite prescriptive in terms of certain medical conditions.

If you feel mixed up about something, ask your hiring manager beforehand.

An employer is not entitled to reject a candidate because of a medical test showing some medical issues that have nothing to do with the job requirements and performance.

Only those health aspects are considered that relate to the particular requirements of a job.

Considering the test results, an employer may make reasonable adjustment to the workplace to help an employee do the job.

Final Word

With the pre-employment medical assessment, your potential employer just wants to figure out whether you are physically fit to deliver what he looks forward to hiring you for.

In addition, it’s to make sure whether you and other employees stay safe in the workplace to avoid any sort of injuries there.

Are you still confused about something? Please comment below now.

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