A task analysis methodology for the development of minimum physical employment standards

Richard D.M. Stevenson, Andrew G. Siddall, Philip F.J. Turner, James L.J. Bilzon

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Objective: The aim of this study was to develop a systematic task analysis process for determination of minimum acceptable job performance in arduous safety-related occupations. Methods: A task analysis using modifications on established methods was completed in UK firefighters. Subject-matter experts (all male) identified critical, physically arduous tasks generic to all UK firefighters and developed individual, role-specific task simulations. Video footage and blinded voting were used to determine minimum acceptable task performance. Results: Eight tasks were identified in combination with role-specific variations, task simulations suitable for use in a physical demands analysis, and corresponding minimum acceptable performance. Conclusions: The bespoke steps highlighted here allow structured identification of task-specific minimum performance standards and simulations from which physical employment standards could be based. However, including a more divergent expert panel with respect to age, sex, and race would strengthen the applicability of this framework in future practice.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)846-851
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine
Issue number8
Early online date14 Jun 2016
Publication statusPublished - 31 Aug 2016


  • Physically demanding occupations
  • task analysis
  • physical demands analysis
  • physical fitness
  • physical employment standards

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health


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