Putting safety first

3 vital considerations when implementing a medical screening program
By Ken Jenkins
|Canadian HR Reporter|Last Updated: 05/30/2019
Screening
Employers can mitigate risk and liability during candidate selection through effective and timely pre-employment medical screening. Credit: Khakimullin Aleksandr (Shutterstock)

Hiring right the first time is a common goal for all HR departments, but for roles in safety-sensitive environments, the hiring process can pose particularly high stakes. Fortunately, employers can mitigate risk and liability during candidate selection through effective and timely pre-employment medical screening.

When implementing such programs, however, candidates’ privacy and even their human rights can hang in a delicate position — meaning organizations must tread carefully.

While it is unacceptable during the hiring process to ask questions about candidates’ physical or mental health, appearance or medical history, it is permissible to require a job-related medical examination — a pre-employment medical screening — after an applicant has accepted an employment offer. This will ensure she can meet the demands of the job physically and mentally, and help the employer gain awareness of any accommodations that will need to be made.