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Journal Article


Jamnik V, Gumienak R, Gledhill N. Eur. J. Appl. Physiol. 2013; 113(10): 2447-2457.


Faculty of Health, School of Kinesiology and Health Science, York University, Room 355 Norman Bethune College, 4700 Keele Street, Toronto, ON, M3J 1P3, Canada,


(Copyright © 2013, Holtzbrinck Springer Nature Publishing Group)






Canadian court decisions and human rights legislation impose strict legal criteria for developing applicant and incumbent physiological employment standards to qualify as a bona fide occupational requirement. These legal criteria compel researchers and employers to ensure that the standards are criterion-based and validly linked to the critical life threatening physically demanding tasks of the occupation, and this has led to the establishment of a systematic research process template to ensure this connection. Validation of job-related physiological employment standards is achieved using both construct and content procedures and reliability is established via test-retest procedures. The 1999 Supreme Court of Canada Meiorin Decision also obliges employers to demonstrate that it is impossible to accommodate an individual applicant or employee who is adversely impacted by lowering the physiological employment standards without imposing undue hardship on the employer. Recent evidence has demonstrated convincingly that familiarization opportunities, motivational feedback/coaching during test performance, and participation in a 6-week job-specific physical fitness training program can overcome the adverse impact of a physiological employment standards on a sub-group of participants, thereby providing "de facto" accommodation. In this article, the authors review the physiological employment standards for prominent Canadian physically demanding public safety occupations; police, correctional officers, nuclear emergency personnel, structural fire fighters, and wildland fire fighters, to illustrate the steps, challenges, and solutions involved in developing and implementing physiological employment standards designed to meet the requirements to qualify as a bona fide occupational requirement.

Language: en


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