Original article

Scand J Work Environ Health 1991;17(6):392-397    pdf


Preemployment medical examinations in a large occupational health service.

by de Kort WL, Fransman LG, van Dijk FJ

Several hundreds of thousands of preemployment medical examinations are performed in The Netherlands each year, with the objective of screening for obvious risks for the applicants or others. Neither the efficacy of these examinations nor determinants for rejection are known. Altogether 101,754 preemployment medical examinations of applicants for governmental functions were analyzed. For one-fifth of the applicants some medical diagnosis was recorded. The overall rejection percentage was 0.6%, being highest for job categories involving public safety and high physical demands, but never exceeding 4%. Age was positively correlated with rejection percentage. Except for the diagnostic category "disorders of the musculoskeletal system" no relation between diagnostic category and job demands was apparent. Medical diagnoses frequently encountered among rejected applicants were also common among successful applicants. If selection aiming at reducing absenteeism or work disablement is considered to be the only goal of preemployment medical examinations, then their efficacy appears to be low for many job categories.

The following article refers to this text: 2010;36(4):299-304