Quoted from The Bristol Post:
REMOVALS can be a strenuous business. Lifting, loading and climbing umpteen stairs, removal workers need to be in good shape. The Small Move Company in Avonmouth is setting the bar high for its staff and has enlisted the services of a former Bristol Rovers player - now personal trainer - to test their fitness.
Lee Archer's tests are similar to those used by the fire brigade and will be used on existing and all new staff at the company based on Avonmouth Way.
Owner Calvin Groves said: "I was amazed at how hard the job of a removal man can be. These guys go for eight to ten hours a day and in that time can carry and load between one and two tonnes of furniture."
"Everything they lift is of value to the customer, so it is important nothing gets broken or is dropped."
Midfielder Mr Archer, who played 200 games for Rovers and scored 26 goals up to 1998, said: "The fitness tests are aimed at finding out what is needed as a base fitness level to perform the daily tasks in a safe and healthy way and will include a beep test and a step test with equipment to monitor heart rates of the removal team."
The first tests were held in December and the average bleep test result was 9.4. People will not be sacked if they fail to reach that standard, but it will be an expected and motivational bench mark they must all now aim for when they are tested every three months.
Mr Groves added: "We are trusted with thousands of pounds worth of furniture every single day and I feel it is our duty to be as professional as possible and deliver a service that not only takes the stress out of the move for our customers, but also ensures that nothing gets damaged during the long days our teams face.
"The fitter and stronger our removal teams are, the less chance of breakages or injuries to the removal guys, which results in happy customers and healthy workers."
"January is also the month that diet and fitness becomes fashionable so there is no better time to get everyone at the company up to speed."
Source: Bristol Post