Work ability Assessment Reports
A key part of vocational rehabilitation is assessing the work place, work station and analysing the job description to match that to the person’s abilities and make recommendations with regards to their ability to return to work.
A work site assessment will include the following aspects:
- Assessment of the physical work environment to ensure accessibility for persons with mobility / physical disabilities
- Assessment of work stations to ensure correct ergonomic setup
- Assessment of the organisational structure and interpersonal / social requirements within the work place
- Assessment of work flow and work tasks to provide recommendations on alteration of tasks or use of strategies if required.
- Observing colleagues or the person with the illness / disability performing key tasks within the job to analyse the need for adaptations or reasonable accommodations
- Observation of other jobs within the work place to assess for the possibility of an alternate job / position.
- Analysis of the full job description to match with the person’s functional abilities
- Meeting and discussion with the employer to determine their ability and willingness to provide reasonable accommodations within legal allowances.
A work site visit or assessment may occur at any stage in the rehabilitation process and at times a meeting without an assessment of the environment is sufficient to manage the process and provide the recommendations.
The person’s abilities (physical, cognitive or social) with regards to the demands of their job will need to be assessed in addition to the work site assessment. This assessment may at times be able to be conducted within the workplace to trial actual components of the job.
The occupational therapist is usually the team member best equipped to conduct this assessment and provide the recommendations. To do this, they require an understanding of the legislation with regards to employment and reasonable accommodations as both the person with the illness / injury and the employers have rights and responsibilities. They are skilled at balancing these rights and responsibilities to find a tailored made solution for each case and facilitate the return of the worker into the work place where possible.