Background Medical Investigation
A recent trend amongst many employers has been to conduct “pre-employment medical screening” on their new hires. Unfortunately, even though a thorough physical examination and history may make it appear that the applicant is capable of fulfilling the demands of his future job, information gathered during the medical interview may be bogus, and, through no fault of the Medical Examiner, must be taken at face value.
Many employers have been financially BURNED by hiring apparently healthy individuals who easily passed both history, physical examination, and diagnostic testing, but concealed serious past medical histories which subsequently resulted in millions of dollars in WSIB payouts, sick leave, and general loss of productivity. Our statistics show that over 70% of new hires either purposely falsified or omitted crucial data from their medical questionnaires.
Furthermore, some applicants may be suffering from medical conditions which would make it unsafe for them to fulfill the tasks of their future jobs, such as an individual with a history of seizures or dizzy spells operating a piece of heavy machinery or a fork lift; a person with a serious back impairment doing heavy lifting; a person with an untreated, potentially unstable psychiatric condition dealing directly with the public; or an untreated alcoholic/drug addict trying to reliably perform any type of job.
With the Canadian employee pool shrinking, many employers are taking a dangerously lax attitude toward hiring, not realizing that hiring an unfit worker would put both their existing workers and the general public in danger. Clearly, the responsibility for preventing this potentially disastrous situation lies squarely in the hands of the employer and his Examining Physician or Occupational Health Nurse.
However, the job applicants described above must be differentiated from those new hires with medical problems or disabilities who are still able to fulfill the demands of their prospective jobs. In such cases it would be completely inappropriate, and quite frankly speaking illegal, to deny an otherwise qualified person employment just because he has a medical condition.
The SECOND OPINION® Medical-Legal Consultants Group Inc. is the only company in Canada offering employers Pre-Employment Forensic Medical Investigations. All of our experienced Medical Investigators are both Canadian-trained Medical Doctors and members of THE COLLEGE OF MEDICAL INVESTIGATORS OF ONTARIO.
A trained, experienced Medical Investigator works closely with the Examining Physician or Occupational Health Nurse, verifying all of the information provided to the examining practitioner by conducting a thorough, detailed Forensic Medical Investigation in keeping with the strictest standards. The Medical Investigator would contact the job applicant’s regular Family Physician to confirm that there are no contraindications to hiring him. If it appears that the “Family Physician” only came on the scene recently, we would conduct a search for the true Family Physician, and pose the same questions to him.
If any hospital or clinical records of significance exist, we would thoroughly review them for signs that the applicant is not capable of fulfilling the demands of his future job. The Medical Investigator would also contact the WSIB and other insurers to confirm that the job applicant has never submitted any significant claims to them.
All of the above information would be relayed back to the employer’s Examining Physician or Occupational Health Nurse in the form of a written report, in order to confirm that it does not in any way change his original medical opinion that the applicant was fit to be hired.
And if at any future time your worker submits a WSIB claim for either an injury exacerbated by a pre-existing condition, or a recurrence of an old accident-related injury, then your Examining Physician or Occupational Health Nurse would have DOCUMENTED PROOF of it. Such information is extremely valuable because it offloads the disability costs of a Schedule 2 employer back onto the WSIB, and it would also provide substantial cost-relief to a Schedule 1 employer.
The SECOND OPINION® Medical-Legal Consultants Group Inc.’s turnaround time, from the receipt of your task assignment to the delivery of our written report, is less than 24 hours in most cases. However, if the job applicant had gone to great lengths to conceal his medical past, complex Forensic Medical Investigations must be commenced, requiring up to 72 hours to complete.
In addition to Pre-Employment Forensic Medical Investigations, The SECOND OPINION® Medical-Legal Consultants Group Inc. offers Human Resources Managers many services, including:
If your company does not have a Medical Examiner, we will provide one to you which will service your employees at a nearby office, or on-site at one of your facilities.
Advanced Employee Health and Safety programs, including the utilization of Job Site Analyses, to identify potential problems.
Community-based absenteeism reduction programs, including sick note audits.
Employee drug and alcohol screening/counseling.
Confidential psychological wellness programs and help lines.
Forensic background medical investigations for WSIB/STD/LTD abuse.
Rigorous medical, psychological, IQ and EQ testing, for new applicants or those being promoted to management and executive positions. We can also arrange for Physical Demands Analyses and FCE’s to be performed on any employee.