The benefits of job dictionaries

The benefits of job dictionaries

The benefits of job dictionaries and why your workplace needs them

When navigating the return to work process, or simply reviewing workplace safety, it helps to have a resource to refer back to.

Job dictionaries are an accessible and versatile tool that can be used by relevant employers, employees, and health professionals.

You don’t need to be navigating the workers’ compensation process to benefit from what they can offer.

They can improve employee retention, workplace culture and improve your hiring practices.

Which is why we’ve put together a comprehensive list of the benefits of this resource.

What is a job dictionary?

Different from a job manual or job description, a job dictionary provides an overview of a role.

A job manual outlines how the job is to be performed to an acceptable industry company standard.

A job dictionary gives a quantified perspective of the critical physical demands for a company’s range of roles.


  • Core responsibilities and what tasks are involved
  • Key performance indicators
  • Any qualifications required to perform the job

A job dictionary follows a comprehensive job task analyses which consists of a detailed quantified analysis of the physical demands of the jobs within an organisation.

They provide an objective analysis on the critical physical demands of the job’s usual tasks, specifically:

  • How they are manually performed
  • When they are performed
  • Identifying key physical risks involved with the task

How are they used?

Occupationally trained physiotherapists will create a job dictionary for a specific purpose.

They can be used for risk mitigation in return to work planning, pre-employment physical screening, periodic medicals and directs decision making into injury prevention strategies and investment decisions.

They can be used by employers and treating professionals.

Furthermore, they are an incredibly beneficial resource for injured workers as they return to work.

They provide an objective reference point to implement accurate pre-employment or periodic assessment processes.

Job dictionaries can also be created to guide and justify implementation of injury prevention strategies.

Shared benefits

Both employers and workers can tangibly benefit from this valuable resource.

Job dictionaries can be fully tailored to your role, industry and encompass a range of specific factors.

For example, consider a worker with an injured shoulder, who can only move in a set range of motion and lift a particular amount of weight.

A job dictionary will help inform which tasks can be done, and which roles are most suitable.

  • Benefit: This can bridge gaps in knowledge of the role in the decision-making process for treating professionals and employers.
  • Benefit: They reduce the burden of subjective decision making and enable more consistent results in recovery for the employee.
  • Benefit: With a dedicated resource like this, decision making is made simpler and quicker for employers and treating professionals.
  • Benefit: They provide a professionally approved list of suitable duties for the injured worker, which can be updated as their rehabilitation and recovery progress.

All of which build a strong foundation of injury (and re-injury) prevention.

Job dictionaries are also useful for workplace safety and improving the culture at work.

Improving occupational knowledge helps create a more transparent relationship between employers, employees and health professionals.

  • Benefit: A more open and less adverse culture of reporting safety issues and injury.
  • Benefit: They show proactivity by the workplace, and shows employees there is a legitimate process or set of options through which they can return to work if injured.
  • Benefit: Reduces, with the goal of eliminating malpractice.
  • Benefit: Providing a legitimate guide for workers to be matched with a job that suits their capacity, over time increasing employee retention and job satisfaction.
  • Benefit: It better informs and improves your hiring practices for your business.

Find out more

To find out more about job dictionaries and the benefits for your workplace, contact our team on 1300 424 679 or email [email protected]

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