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The Impact of Heavy Physical Demands.

Since the start of the pandemic, the turnover rate has skyrocketed to 47.5%, meaning almost half of all positions filled will need to be refilled.

And to make matters worse, newly hired employees are significantly more likely to experience a work-related injury within the first months of employment. A review of federal accident data showed that employees in their first year on the job account for 40% of all workplace injuries, and half of that 40% occurred within the first 90 days on the job.

In a study of 3,752 employees, 31.2% terminated their employment within the first 2 months. The risk of early resignation was significantly higher among those who had visited the occupational health clinic for a work-related injury during that time period.


With 14 workplace injuries happening every second, you can bet that workplace injuries impact turnover.


It's not just injuries that create an early exit. In a study published in 2020 involving 2351 employees, heavy physical requirements such as awkward body postures, heavy lifting, and high work pace were associated with an early exit. People who have never done physically demanding work or have not done it in a while get easily overwhelmed with heavy lifting and highly repetitive work. The exit strategy is often not showing up for work the next day.

Turnover is Expensive.

According to the Department of Labor, turnover is expensive, adding up to about a third of the replaced worker's annual salary in lost productivity, recruiting, retention, and replacement costs. Suppose the turnover is due to a lost-time injury. In that case, the company is incurring an additional $40K in direct injury costs and (according to OSHA) another $44K in indirect costs for a total injury cost of $84,000.


So, what can you do?

New Hire Testing of Physical Capabilities.

A logical first step for preventing injuries is hiring individuals capable of performing the physical requirements of the work. The DataFit New Hire Physical Capabilities Assessment addresses two birds with one approach – not only are employees capable of performing the work less likely to be injured, but they are also less likely to depart early from their jobs. The current severe workforce shortage, however, makes eliminating job candidates for any reason difficult. Not to mention that recruiters are incentivized on the number of positions filled or the time required to fill positions (shorter is better). So, employers today are hiring just about anyone they can find.


But is this the way to hire? Let's look at some more numbers.


Without New-Hire Physical Capabilities Assessments, research shows that approximately 10% of those you hire will experience a lost time injury. If you hire 100 warehouse workers and each lost time strain or sprain requires the company to increase sales by $3M, suddenly, sales must be increased by $30M to make up for those wrong hires. Did the company gain $30M worth of business by making those 10 bad hires? Only you and your organization can answer that…but, likely, the math does not add up.


The Bottom Line.

There's no question that injuries and turnover are sucking the life out of our businesses. Just think what you could do with the resources spent on the $3M/injury turnover! Raises? New Equipment? Research and development of new products and services? But it's not hopeless. DataFit services can have a significant impact on both injuries and turnover.

About the author

Philip Stotter, MS, CEP

Philip Stotter, MS, CEP has over 25+ years of experience in the medical, health, wellness, and professional sports industries. Clinician turned business developer, Philip is a sought-after industry speaker and professional consultant. His ground-breaking work in injury prevention, paired with the science of human movement, has put him at the forefront of product development with a multidisciplinary approach that integrates physiology, biomechanics, cutting-edge technologies, and data-driven research.