ENVIRONMENT IN FOCUS compliance. Once an employee has hit the number of hours that become illegal or against code, they or their supervisor are notified via SMS or e-mail. The program also has auditing software making sure that overtime is kept down to a minimum, saving money for the employer and preventing job burnout to the employee. It was invented by Dave Nash, CEO of Chrono Engineering and third- tallest chronobiologist — as he jokes. Solutions to absenteeism We have a solution for assisting with absenteeism but how do we manage the bad days where the employees have to work short-staffed? Is the technology able to ensure the employees we are working in an overtime situation are not a ticking time bomb ready to create our next mine accident? PRISM is a software system that calculates time and attendance showing the hidden dangers of that schedule. PRISM takes the last 14 days of an employee’s work schedule and analyses that with the overtime they are working. It thereafter prints out an MS Excel list showing you from employees numbered one to 500, who your most fatigued employee is. It is then up to the employee and lower management to manage that employee with countermeasures such as cold water on the face or five minutes of stretching. PRISM has been in use for over eight years now and is currently in use in South Africa and the US. Now we have tried to manage absenteeism through: • Schedules; • Overstaffing software to manage the right worker for the right time; and • Software that manages an employee’s schedule. But how do we know the employee coming through the gate is as fresh and alert as he or she can be? Introducing the Alertmeter, invented by Henry Bowles and Ted Langely and approved by NIOSH (the National Institute of Occupational Safety and Health). This system, through the use of a 60-second test taken on a tablet or smart device, will let one know the employee’s alertness level. The Alertmeter is a software solution that has roughly nine to 12 shapes per screen and asks, are these shapes the same, YES or NO? In the case of an employee being impaired from dagga, fatigue, or even cold medicine, this system will let you know at the gate that every employee going to their job station or driving a vehicle is within their baseline and fit for duty. There are many ripples that absenteeism affects and at least we know there is also technology to handle and assist us in the effects of those ripples. Rest well my friends. ABOUT THE AUTHOR Dr Douglas Potter is a director of company Predictive Safety South Africa. He was voted among the top 10 doctors in fatigue in 2012 and headed the team that built Africa’s first Fatigue Centre. The team has won seven international awards on fatigue — two of these awards are Gold Quills.