The right way to address this issue is to have identified ahead of time specifically what the physical requirements for each job are. Then, show the physical requirements to the individual you are interviewing and ask him if he feels confident that he can do the job. You may still encounter some people who think that they can do the work required -- but actually cannot. However, having new hires sign-off on the physical requirements before coming on board will help to prevent this from happening very often.

Using the following criteria as a template may help:

PHYSICAL REQUIREMENTS:

How often does this position engage in the following functions (sometimes, recurrently or never)?

- Bracing or balancing
- Walking or running
- Sitting
- Speaking or listening
- Using feet or hands to grip, hold, push, climb
- Bending, stooping, kneeling or crawling
- Lifting: Up to 15 pounds, 16 to 30 pounds, 31 to 60 pounds, 61 to 100 pounds, more than 100 pounds.