Identifying a candidate’s ability to safely undertake a role helps to reduce the risk of illness
or injury to the candidate or their fellow employees in the workplace. In plain English:
employers want to make sure that you don’t have any medical issues that could leave you at
risk of hurting yourself or others in the job.
Some jobs also have legal requirements and standards that need to be met, such as the
national standards for Commercial and Heavy Vehicle driving and Rail Safety Workers
Different roles will require different components of the pre-employment examination to be undertaken and this is determined relative to the individual role and workplace. As a minimum, you will be required to provide photo identification, fill out a health assessment questionnaire and undergo a medical examination.
A medical examination:
You may be required to undergo a comprehensive medical examination process – from your blood pressure to your vision, heart, abdomen, limbs, and spine. You may also have your urine checked for sugar and blood.
A work fitness assessment:
For physically demanding jobs and those that are in remote and hot environments, you might be required to undertake a work fitness assessment (otherwise known as a functional capacity or musculoskeletal assessment), so appropriate loose-fitting clothing and closed in shoes (preferably runners) should be worn.
The assessment may (depending on the job) involve an x-ray, blood tests, urine drug screen, alcohol breath test, audiometry (hearing test), spirometry (lung test), manual handling assessment, fitness test and ECG.
The most common cause of non-negative results is prescribed medications such as those that include codeine, ADHD medications, heart medications such as Viagra, anti-depressants and sleeping tablets. If you are taking any medications that are prescription only in Australia, please bring the medication container or packaging that identifies the prescribing practitioner and the pharmacy that supplied it, or provide a note from your usual medical practitioner or a pharmacist dated within the last 12-months confirming your eligibility to be on these products.
A common cause of non-negative results to drug and alcohol screening is the use of over the counter and pharmacy-only medications for headaches, back pain, allergies, common colds, coughs and a variety of other conditions.
Much less often but still of concern is the use of steroid or hormone creams on the skin can cause a non-negative result.
We ask candidates where practical to avoid the above-mentioned items in the days prior to a pre-employment examination however in the event that they are necessary medications or unwittingly have consumed these products it is essential that a candidate identifies what and when these items were used to the examiners prior to the drug and alcohol screening.
Note that cannabis can stay in your system for days after occasional use, and weeks after regular use.
If you wear spectacles, contact lenses or hearing aids, you must bring them with you.
You should wear loose fitting comfortable clothing and closed in shoes (preferably runners) in case you are asked to undertake a work fitness assessment.
So that the results of your audiogram (hearing test) will not be affected, avoid exposure to loud noise in the 16 hours prior to the medical – this includes industrial work sites, loud music and aircraft travel.
Spirometry (lung function test) may be required. Don’t smoke before the medical, or whilst
you are waiting.
It is important that you prepare for your pre-employment medical. Here are some tips that
will assist you prior to your appointment: