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The benefits of managing fatigue and monitoring for impairment are becoming more widely recognized, especially as technological innovations like AlertMeter® make the benefits easily accessible.

These benefits result from the way alertness testing fills certain needs that today’s employers have but that are not otherwise met by existing and traditional safety equipment and practices.

What employers need

For instance, legal marijuana use and prescription opioid abuse complicate workplace drug testing policies while also demonstrating drug testing’s shortcomings both as a daily safety measure and as a method to prevent drug abuse. Plus, employers understand that cognitive impairment can arise from sources other than drugs, like fatigue or illness, and this understanding means that employers need better visibility on the employees who may be struggling with alertness, whatever the cause. This means that a more relevant way to test for impairment is needed in order to affect safety performance daily.

Having better visibility on non-alert employees, of course, is only part of the solution. Affecting safety performance requires implementing standardized methods for applying countermeasures and interventions when an employee’s alertness may be compromised.

Employers also need ways to better identify and understand the causes of incidents and productivity issues when they occur. A method for measuring employees’ performance could improve this understanding through correlating the performance data against incident cause analyses.

Alertness testing with alertmeter®

Alertness testing with AlertMeter® shows an employee’s present performance condition and is sensitive to impairment from all sources. This is unlike traditional workplace drug screens, which can only suggest potential impairment at some point in the indeterminate past, and they involve only certain intoxicating substances. Plus, measuring present performance condition with AlertMeter® is non-intrusive, requiring no biological specimen. As a result, it respects employees’ privacy—details of their personal lives and medical conditions are not disclosed to the employer. While drug testing’s narrow scope tends to facilitate punitive responses in response to positive results, AlertMeter® facilitates communication between employee and supervisor, leading to responses appropriate for the situation.

Alertness testing benefits not only the employers but also the employees. In a survey, an overwhelming number of employees believed that alertness testing enhanced safety in their workplaces and was more fair than traditional drug testing. These findings are further supported by the statistics and feedback we’ve received from our clients. 

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