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From The CriticsReviewer: J. Thomas Pierce, MBBS PhD(Navy Environmental Health Center)
Description: This is an athletic-based (or exercise-based) means of looking at the features of hard, physical work. It asks the most central of all occupational questions, "What is required to perform a series of physical tasks in order to maintain one's job?" While this question may seem obvious, it has only rarely been raised in any sort of logical manner and even less frequently addressed. This book's subtitle provides an additional view of what it is all about.
Purpose: The authors have sought to write the first book of its kind in order to educate broad groups of professionals and other workers about the best means of evaluating demanding jobs, the process of test development and validation, and the principles of employee selection. They go on to provide additional data and useful approaches to employee health, physiology, and subsequent job-related performance.
Audience: They have attempted to appeal to physiologists, physicians, and other healthcare providers, managers and employees, the government and legal communities and legislative staffs.
Features: The book is divided into five major sections of three to four chapters that move through job description, employee testing and selection, physiology, and certain job-related issues. Part IV is representative of the authors' approach. This part addresses employee health in terms of standards development, program costs, the physiology of work (written in terms of the properties of muscles, oxygen, and energy sources) and issues of job-related fitness. The appendixes pass along information for readers who want to know more about a specialized topic, such as work output as a function of selectivity in the hiring process.
Assessment: This is the best scientific book I have read in five years. It masterfully describes what is known about physical work requirements, but defers what is not well understood to future research efforts. What is best about the book is that its authors don't back off complexities because medicine, law, and exercise science must be blended, along with other subjects. The photographs, along with the boxed case studies and vignettes, are outstanding. The authors' broad experience level is unmistakable in this book's execution.