This investigation was performed to determine if isometric strength tests can be used to select workers for strenuous jobs and to reduce occupational injuries which are caused by a mismatch between worker strength and job strength requirements. Twenty jobs in a tire and rubber plant were studied biomechanically to identify critical strength-demanding tasks. Four strength tests were designed to simulate these tasks, and performance criteria were established for passing the tests. New applicants were administered the tests during their preplacement examinations to determine if they possessed sufficient strength to qualify for the jobs. The medical incidence rate of employees who were selected using the strength tests was approximately one-third that of employees selected using traditional medical criteria. It was concluded that isometric strength tests can be used to reduce occupational injuries and should be considered for implementation in industries with strenuous jobs.
©1980 The American College of Occupational and Environmental Medicine