From PotPourri, a publication of The National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws, February 1995

Daily Skill Test System checks hand-eye coordination in under 1 minute

A computer game-like device that weeds out employees impaired by drugs or alcohol has been devised by Performance Factors. Before the workday begins, Factor 1000 tests a worker's judgment and response time through his or her ability to manipulate a cursor on a computer screen. Each exam is measured against the employee's personal baseline score established in an earlier test. By checking hand-eye coordination, the test is less intrusive and cheaper than urine testing and is also effective in detecting impairment from stress and fatigue.

"The employee enters an identification number onto a pad to the far left of the control panel to initiate the test, the screen comes up, and he or she presses a red button to begin. The object is to keep the diamond centered as it tries to move to each side of the screen. The employee turns the silver knob left or right to correct the erratic movement of the diamond, which becomes more and more unsteady. As the swaying becomes more extreme, the corrections become trickier. The test ends when the diamond hits either the left or right boundary, usually 30-60 seconds into the test. The computer compares present and past performance and indicates a passing or failing mark. It is up to each company to establish policies regarding a failing grade.

"Random drug testing in the workplace is getting a lot of attention lately, much of it negative," says Performance Factors Vice President Terry Watson. "Many employees and union leaders believe it is inaccurate, costly, and an invasion of privacy. Factor 1000 tests whether the worker is impaired at the time he or she is being asked to perform a job - it doesn't judge off-the-job behavior."

Performance Factors
1746 Cole Blvd., Suite 265
Golden, CO 80401
(303) 271-0505



Back to the Articles directory

This URL: