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Subjective job task analyses for physically demanding occupations: What is best practice?

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Workers in physically demanding occupations (PDOs) are frequently subjected to physical selection tests. To avoid legal ramifications, workplaces must be able to show that any personnel selection procedures reflect the inherent requirements of the job. A job task analysis (JTA) is fundamental in determining the work tasks required for employees. To date, there are no published instructions guiding PDO researchers on how to conduct job task analyses. Job task analysis research for non-PDOs offers some insight into the expected reliability and validity of data obtained on the most prevalent task domains in job analysis (importance, frequency, time spent and difficulty). This review critiques such research, and the existing published material on JTA of PDOs, and provides recommendations for future research and practice.

Practitioner Summary: There are no published guidelines for physically demanding occupation (PDO) researchers conducting job task analysis (JTA). Given the legal consequences of improperly conducted JTA, scientifically valid instructions for JTA practitioners are required. This review critiques existing research which analyses reliabilities of JTA data, and provides guidelines for PDO researchers conducting JTA.
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Keywords: inherent requirements; physical selection tests; reliability; task domains; validity

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: Centre for Exercise and Sports Science, School of Exercise and Nutrition Sciences, Deakin University, 221 Burwood HighwayBurwood,VIC 3125,Melbourne, Australia

Publication date: October 1, 2012

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