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Seeking a new way to detect human impairment in the workplace.
Heitmann-A; Bowles-H; Hansen-K; Holzbrecher-Morys-M; Langley-T; Schnipke-D
Proceedings of the 2009 International Conference on Fatigue Managment in Transportation Operations: A Framework for Progress, March 24-26, 2009, Boston, Massachusetts. Washington, DC: United States Department of Transportation, 2010 Mar; :64
Human impairment in the workplace can have various causes, including fatigue, alcohol and drugs, with fatigue being the leading cause of accidents in the transportation industry. Traditional fitness-for-duty screening mostly targets alcohol and drug abuse through testing of urine, blood, hair, or breath analysis. These traditional tests are expensive, invasive and don't give instant results. They also require staff supervision and cannot be applied on a daily basis. However, newer concepts of impairment testing target fatigue and impairment, regardless of its cause, with instant results. Related development efforts include technologies based on cognitive and ocular measures. Here, we present a new cognitive impairment test. The BLT impairment test (developed by Bowles-Langley Technology, Inc.) is a brief, inexpensive, computerized shape recognition test (SRT) that requires the user to make a Yes/No decision about whether all items in a given screen are the same. After a series of 50 screens the resulting speed/accuracy-based score is compared to the user's baseline. For refinement and evaluation of the SRT, three studies were conducted: 1) a stability trial, 2) a laboratory sleep deprivation trial, and 3) a workplace feasibility trial with emergency department doctors. The goals were to optimize test design, to assess validity, reliability and sensitivity of the SRT, to refine the scoring algorithm, and to evaluate feasibility and acceptability in a workplace situation.
Fatigue; Injury-prevention; Accident-prevention; Computer-software; Circadian-rhythms; Sleep-deprivation; Drugs
Proceedings of the 2009 International Conference on Fatigue Managment in Transportation Operations: A Framework for Progress, March 24-26, 2009, Boston, Massachusetts
Bowles-Langley Technology, Inc.
Page last reviewed: March 11, 2019
Content source: National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health Education and Information Division