Unless the county's industrial accident insurance carrier backs off on requiring a pre-hire physical evaluation of prospective employees, Utah County will look elsewhere for industrial compensation insurance.

"I won't approve something like that if they don't back off on it. That's the stupidest thing in the world," Commission Chairman Malcolm Beck said of the policy. "We'll just shop around if they don't like it."Beck said he objects to the Utah Local Governments Insurance Trust dictating whom the county will hire and which physicians will examine prospective employees. "It seems to me they're doing a lot of dictating in Utah County," he said.

Had the new policy been in effect this year, it would have cost more than $8,000 to give required physical examinations to hired employees, said Deputy County Attorney Guy Burningham. Lab costs, if required, would have run another $15,000, he said.

The cost and delay would be intolerable, Beck and Commissioner Gary Anderson said.

"You're right," Burningham said. "They're imposing something."

Under terms of the evaluation program, handicapped workers "will not be employed" if they're unable to do a job at "an acceptable level of performance after reasonable accommodations have been made." Nor will they be hired if doing so would require "unreasonable" costs and accommodations.

"Who's going to determine what's acceptable?" Beck said. "That's none of their business. We're not interested in that type of policy."