Accidents can shatter lives


The Fatigue-o-meter human alertness monitoring system has been in ongoing development since 2006. The product recognizes a need for the development of human risk management tools the behavioral and psychological field. The system is used by the client organization to identify employees who may be temporarily mentally or perceptually fatigued. For many years it has been acknowledged that accident prevention programs should address three important variables which interact dynamically in the occurrence of an undesirable incident or occupational accident:

The working environment, task methodologies, materials and equipment.

The competencies, knowledge and skills of the worker.

The mental state, health, fatigue, well being and stress levels of the worker

The first two variables are abundantly addressed by the legal framework governing safety in the working area. Only recently has the third variable received serious attention in South Africa, and a significant step has been taken by the Minister of Labour issuing a notice in terms of section 87(1)(a) of the BCE Act (1997), which addresses a code of good practice which attempts to provide guidelines in this area.

According to these guidelines, attention should be given to the assessment of risks to the health of employees, the implementation of appropriate control measures to deal with fatigue, stress, health related conditions, etc and providing employees with information so as to take action in these areas. In the above notice a significant onus is placed on the employee to take reasonable steps to protect their own health and safety, as well as that of other employees.