Weekly Feature



2018-02-22 / Business

Local physical therapist offering state-of-the art job performance testing

by ALAN RIZZO Reporter


Daisy Doherty, a physical therapy intern at Howard Physical Therapy in Depew, performs a push-pull strength test on Monday to demonstrate the practice’s new state-of-the-art Post-Offer Employment Testing equipment. 
Photo by Chuck Skipper Daisy Doherty, a physical therapy intern at Howard Physical Therapy in Depew, performs a push-pull strength test on Monday to demonstrate the practice’s new state-of-the-art Post-Offer Employment Testing equipment. Photo by Chuck Skipper When considering applicants, many businesses that do materials handling rely on some form of Post-Offer Employment Testing to evaluate a person’s physical ability to do a job and to reduce medical expenses and the risk of workplace injury.

According to Howard Physical Therapy founder Mark Howard, his Depew-based practice recently installed equipment to offer the most technologically advanced version of POET testing, giving businesses in the region a new option to evaluate those applying for jobs.

Howard said the newer option goes beyond standard testing by using computer technology to gather a significant amount of data from heart rate monitors, force gauges, blood pressure tests and other measures, in turn providing a more objective assessment of an applicant’s physical abilities.

“It’s just very legally defensible, it’s very objective, and it gives you a much better picture of the person’s functional capabilities, or work capabilities, as opposed to just filling out a paper application,” he said. “Not only are we testing their capabilities, you can determine their effort. ... If their heart rate is spiking during testing you’re aware of it. We’re taking blood pressure at the beginning of the testing, so if they don’t meet a minimum blood pressure level, they can’t test because they’re borderline hypertensive.”

Howard said the technology comes from Baltimore based workforce assessment company BTE, which recently approached his practice to evaluate workers being considered for positions at a manufacturing company in Batavia.

According to BTE’s website, Post Consumer Brands, (no connection to Post-Offer Employment Testing) was able to reduce workers’ compensation incidents by 81 percent after employing BTE’s POET testing and other injury prevention solutions at one of its facilities in 2013. Post was able to reduce related workers’ compensation costs by 90 percent.

Howard said the technology is typically used by materials handling businesses such as Post, where employees need to physically lift, carry, push and pull boxes.

Physically testing to see if someone can lift a 75-pound object, for example, can help weed out those whose applications look good but who can’t physically do the work.

“Identifying them is beneficial for the employer, because on paper they may have looked like a qualified candidate, but physically they may not be able to do the task,” he said. “That’s what it’s identifying.”

Howard said the cost of the newly available service varies based on the employer and the extent of testing desired, but it typically ranges from $75 to $150 per applicant.

“You can make the test as simple or as complex as you need it to be, depending on the job requirements,” he said.

To learn more about Howard Physical Therapy and POET testing, visit the practice’s website at www.howardpt.com/poet. To contact the business by phone, call 656-1880.

Return to top