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What to Expect from a Physical Demands Analysis

Posted on March 24th, 2016 by Don Kunkel

Physical Demands AnalysisAs laws around workplace accommodations become more specific, employers are always looking for ways to accommodate employees and maximize safety, efficiency, and productivity.

A Physical Demands Analysis (PDA) clarifies and documents the precise functions associated with a given role, evaluating and quantifying a job’s physical and environmental demands. A PDA can help ensure that an individual’s physical capabilities are in line with what is required to perform the work safely and without risks.

When to Request a Physical Demands Analysis

PDAs are often conducted when an issue arises and are required for benefit coverage claims, accommodation purposes, or return to work clearance.  A PDA can also be used to enhance role clarity for hiring purposes or for the WSIB.

PDA’s are also extremely useful when completing a Functional Ability Evaluation (FAE), as the PDA will enable an exact comparative analysis of an employee’s capabilities against the specific job requirements.

Having a complete PDA on file can help medical professionals make appropriate recommendations regarding permanent accommodation requirements, modified work, or an appropriate gradual return to work. This can help facilitate an employee promptly and safely resuming their job duties.

What a Physical Demands Analysis Can Achieve

Ultimately, the results of a PDA will:

  • Help a medical professional make recommendations
  • Support the employee in finding compatible work placements or alternatives
  • Guide employers in placing an employee in a suitable role or modifying the role to suit the employee’s needs

Accuracy and compliancy are crucial when undertaking PDAs. It is important that the provider completing them be knowledgeable about task analysis and identifying risk factors to guarantee the process and deliver reliable results.


AssessMed has been providing Independent Medical Examination (IME) services across Canada since 1991. Contact us today to learn more about our range of CARF-accredited offerings. 

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About Don Kunkel

I am the President of AssessMed, a company that specializes in providing unbiased, evidence-based medical assessments and file reviews. I have over 25 years of experience, and many years of leadership in the insurance industry, working as an insurance adjuster and representative before moving into the Independent Medical Evaluation area in 2001. The continued success of AssessMed relies on our focus and dedication to our clients; adjusters, legal professionals, and HR consultants all of whom have very different requirements. We pride ourselves on our commitment to exceptional customer service to help make the process simpler for every individual involved.

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