As we have indicated previously, it is smart practice to include a “Fit for Duty” aspect in many occupational health and safety management systems. So what is Fit for Duty? It basically revolves around assurance and verification that an employee or employees are physically and intellectually capable of performing their job tasks effectively and with no harm to themselves due to strain, over exertion, and so on. A good ergonomics program will include job fitness information and instruction to employees. But it is also the duty of the supervisor to ensure that their employees are prepared and able to perform their job functions. This may mean ergonomic accommodations achieved through assessments and also perhaps certain tools and equipment meant to make the tasks less demanding and strenuous to perform.
Fit for Duty also have physical and mental components that hinge on the ability and readiness of the employee to successfully perform their job functions. Being physically unfit, mentally distracted or perhaps dealing with a short-term deficit such as being hung-over can contribute to occupational accidents and possibly injury especially. So it is important to make effective fitness assessments of employees (mindful however of any intrusive methods that may conflict with employment law) to ensure their ability to perform work effectively and safely. Another aspect of job fitness is pre-employment physicals which can detect underlying injury or medical conditions that could adversely affect the employee and/or workplace safely.
In summation, being fit for duty is a responsibility shared between the employee and the employer.