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Hard Work


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Table of Contents

Part I: The Job and the WorkerChapter 1: Physically Demanding Occupations
Hard Work
Work Requirements
Work Capacity
SummaryChapter 2: The Worker
Physical Characteristics of Workers
Aerobic Fitness
Muscular Fitness
Demographic Trends
SummaryChapter 3: Employment Opportunity
Employment Laws
Uniform Guidelines on Employee Selection Procedures
SummaryPart II: Test Development and ValidationChapter 4: Job-Related Tests
Why Test?
Testing and Legal Issues
Test Development
SummaryChapter 5: Test Validation
Content Validity
Criterion-Related Validity
Construct Validity
Validation Options
Reliability and Cross-Validation
Bona Fide Occupational Qualification
Absolute Standards
Test Standards
Suboptimal Selection Procedures
SummaryChapter 6: Test Implementation
Seeking Professional Assistance
Personnel Issues
Implementation Strategies
SummaryPart III: Employee Selection PracticesChapter 7: Testing New Employees
Medical Standards
Safety Considerations
Pretest Training
Work Hardening
SummaryChapter 8: Testing Incumbent Employees
Age and Performance
Physiological Age
Periodic Testing
Providing Adequate Notice
Medical and Safety
Fitness Training
Test Results
SummaryChapter 9: Program Evaluation
Surveillance System
Analysis: Quantitative and Qualitative Information
Cost-Benefit Analysis
Reporting Results
SummaryPart IV: Employee Health, Physiology, and PerformanceChapter 10: Employee Health
Developing Medical Standards
Employee Health Programs
Costs and Benefits of Employee Health Programs
SummaryChapter 11: Physiology of Work
Muscle Fibers
Muscle Contractions
Energy Sources
Oxygen and Energy
Supply and Support Systems
The Training Effect
SummaryChapter 12: Job-Related Fitness
The Job-Related Fitness Programs
Aerobic Fitness
Muscular Fitness
Core Training
Periodizing the Training Plan
Body Composition
Program Issues
Risks and Benefits
SummaryPart V: Job-Related IssuesChapter 13: Environmental Impacts
Heat Stress and Heat Disorders
Preventing Heat Disorders
Cold Conditions
Altitude Acclimatization
SummaryChapter 14: Respiratory Protection
Respiratory Hazards
Respirator Selection
Medical Evaluation
Work Performance
APRs and Women
SummaryChapter 15: Lifting Guidelines
Lifting Standards
NIOSH Lifting Equation
Selection and Training
SummaryChapter 16: Legal Issues
Legal Challenges
Unintended Consequences
Court Decisions
Alternative to Litigation

About the Author

Brian J. Sharkey, PhD, is a physiologist in the Technology and Development Center at the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) Forest Service in Missoula, Montana, where he researches fitness, health, and work capacity. Previously, Sharkey served as director of the University of Montana's Human Performance Laboratory and remains associated with the university and lab as professor emeritus. As a leading fitness researcher, educator, and author, Sharkey has more than 40 years of experience in both exercise and work physiology, including research with wildland firefighters. For contributions to the health, safety, and performance of firefighters, Sharkey received the USDA's Superior Service Award in 1977 and its Distinguished Service Award in 1993. Sharkey is a past president of the American College of Sports Medicine and served on the NCAA committee on competitive safeguards and medical aspects of sports, where he chaired the Sports Science and Safety subcommittee, which uses research and data on injury to improve the safety of intercollegiate athletes. He also coordinated the United States Ski Team Nordic Sports Medicine Council.In his leisure time, Sharkey enjoys cross-country and alpine skiing, road and mountain biking, running, hiking, and canoeing. He lives near his grandchildren in Missoula, Montana.Paul O. Davis, III, PhD, is the president of the First Responder Institute in Burtonsville, Maryland, where he has conducted job and medical standards development for hundreds of public safety and military organizations. He is a former firefighter/paramedic and as a member of the Fire Board of Montgomery County, responsible for the development of definitive medical care outside of the hospital. As an expert witness, Davis has made more than 60 appearances in federal and state court and was recruited by the FBI to participate in legal defense of physical standards. He was also selected by the United States Marine Corps to validate the physical fitness test (PFT) and to conduct certification of the physical training unit staff at the FBI Academy at Quantico, Virginia. Most recently he was engaged by the Department of Homeland Defense to develop hiring and retention standards for the reorganized Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE-D). He is the creator of several TV sports productions including the Firefighter Combat Challenge providing color commentary on ESPN, A&E, and the Versus network. Davis is a fellow of the American College of Sports Medicine. He received his PhD in exercise science in 1976 from the University of Maryland.


"In Hard Work: Defining Physical Work Performance Requirements, Drs. Brian J. Sharkey and Paul O. Davis have now provided an excellent scientific examination of the role of physically intense work on the worker who performs arduous and often dangerous occupations. How to test prospective employees and incumbents as well as legal issues are dealt with in a very professional and valid manner. This text is useful for supervisors and workers who wish to understand hard work in the physically demanding performance professions."Dr. Al Morris, FACSM, Director of Health Improvement and Physical Fitness Programs for the United States Border Patrol

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