Pre-hire screening reduces injuries at Harley-Davidson

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Harley-Davidson Motor Co. has implemented a new hire screening program that tests job candidates’ physical ability to complete tasks before making offers to hire.

The goal of the program, launched in Milwaukee, is to reduce musculoskeletal injury claims among workers.

The OEM has spent less than $5,000 on musculoskeletal workers compensation claims reported by new employees screened under the post-offer employment testing program (POET) launched in 2008, Caroline O'Connell, the company’s human resources process improvement project manager in Milwaukee, told Business Insurance.

“That is significant for us, because we were spending a lot of money on workers comp costs on new employees,” O'Connell told the Disability Management Employer Coalition's annual conference.

Before implementing the POET program, 43 percent of Harley-Davidson's employees suffered an injury within one to five years after they were hired, Ms. O'Connell says. “So spending less than $5,000 on all of our work comp costs for musculoskeletal claims for candidates tested was significant for us. That is huge dollar savings.”

POET testing, provided by Hanover, Md.-based BTE Technologies Inc., also helped improve return-to-work rates.

Harley-Davidson has tested more than 500 job candidates; about 18 percent of those potential employees failed the test.

Posted by Holly Wagner

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