Functional Capacity Evaluations are an accurate measure of an individual’s physical capabilities. It allows employers to see what work the individual can carry out and what they can’t carry out. It can be used for employees who are in long-term absence or employees unable to carry out their current role.
As an employer, a Functional Capacity Evaluation provides guidelines as to what difficulties an employee may experience upon return to work, whether there are any restrictions or reasonable adjustments to the workplace that may be necessary and whether further rehabilitation may be required, such as Physiotherapy and/ or Psychological support. This is because other factors such as health anxiety or the fear of returning to work aggravating the employee’s problem can also contribute to nonattendance at work. A Functional Capacity Evaluation will assess not only the employee’s physical capabilities but the psychological effects that may be creating a barrier to return to work.
Physical problems that are commonly referred for a Functional Capacity Evaluation are back pain, neck pain, whiplash, repetitive strain injury, upper limb disorders, arthritis of the hip or knee joint, shoulder pain and after orthopaedic surgery. The Functional Capacity Evaluations assess physical ability including movements, strength, posture, balance, coordination, lifting, pushing pulling and grip strength. They also have a dual benefit to both the employee and the employer, ensuring a return to productive and supported work as quickly as possible, as effectively as possible.