Job descriptions are one of the fall-through-the-cracks type administrative chores (at least for me).
It really should be done, but hasn’t yet. Then the article below came from our Workman’s Comp clinic and it made me re-think the whole process.
I had always assumed job descriptions were intended for hiring, employee training or for disputing unemployment claims. Perhaps, but also essential in objectively determining when an injured employee can safely return to work. Too soon and there could be another injury that the Wealthy Company Owner will likely pay for.
The article mentions the Dictionary of Occupational Titles as a source for job descriptions. Although it’s excessively complete, there were aspects of a painter’s job description I had not considered. If you’re brave enough to take a look, this might save some time: Painter (construction) 840.381-010
An easier option is to use the Job Descriptions in the Members area of this web site. Not only Job Descriptions, but a trove of essential forms – all created and used by top-notch painting companies.Yet another reason why Forum membership will grow your business.
A complete and accurate job description helps aid in the recovery of an employee from a work injury.
The sheepish look on supervisor Glen Baker’s face told manager Mike Davis a problem was about to be laid on him.
“You know I like to handle this stuff myself,” Glen began, “but this is a tricky situation.
“You remember Scott who was in that car accident?”
“Sure,” Mike said. “What a shame. The other car ran a red light, slammed into Scott’s car. He’s had, how many surgeries, three, four?
I understand he’s come back to work.”
“Right,” said Glen. “We’re real glad to see him. He’s a great guy who’s been through hell. But …”
“But what?” asked Mike.
“Scott can’t get around like he used to. He’s walking without the cane now, but he’s slowed down a lot. I didn’t think he could return to his old position, so I’ve got him doing some lighter stuff.
“He keeps pushing to return to his old job. It obviously means a lot to him. But I don’t think he can move quickly enough if he needed to. I don’t want something else to happen to him on the job – or worse to him and someone else.”
Mike knew a decision had to be made about whether Scott could return to his previous tasks without affecting safety.
If you were Mike, what would you do next?
When given the above scenario 3 safety experts were asked what they would do and the unanimous decision was to have Scott evaluated by a physician familiar with the workplace and his job description.
Why a job description?
A job description outlines the responsibilities of a position as well as the employee’s work environment. Job descriptions are critical for a variety of legal and business-related purposes in companies of all sizes but did you know job descriptions also help the physician return an injured employee back to work safely? It is important to verify an employee can safely perform the tasks of their job without injuring themselves further.
An accurate job description allows the physician to determine if an employee can safely return to the workplace or if modified duty is more appropriate. Physicians and physical therapists experienced in workers’ compensation injury care often use functional testing that parallels the job description to help determine the employees’ physical ability to return to the job safely.
If you don’t have a current job description for your employees’ positions, the Dictionary of Occupational Titles is a good place to start. The Dictionary of Occupational Titles (DOT) was created by the Employment and Training Administration, and was last updated in 1991. The Dictionary of Occupational Titles can be found at http://www.oalj.dol.gov/libdot.htm..