Monday, June 01, 2015

By the end of May 2015, some 815 000 test results have been recorded on the Fatigue-o-meter site since it's inception.

These test results represent drivers from South Africa, Malawi, Mozambique and Madagascar and may arguably be one of the biggest local test data bases, containing the results of individual driver reaction time and accuracy, as well as individual and group variance on these dimensions.

These results are used by the FOM management team, to report individual site progress on the rated dimensions and enables site management to take decisions about:
  • the effectiveness of test administration,
  • optimized distribution of driver cautions for reaction time and accuracy,
  • effectiveness of corrective feedback to drivers,
  • driver competence gains in reaction time and accuracy.
Probably the biggest single benefit which extensive testing and monitoring offers, is the stimulation of improved eye - hand - cognitive driver alacrity.

Tuesday, August 02, 2011


The Fatigueometer assessment can now also be run on a specially developed Android application. According to Fortune (July 2011) 300 new Android phones were launched last year as opposed to a handful of Blackberries iphones and Windows phones. We will be running tests on specific hardware, but early tests indicate that it will be compatible with any devices running Android 1.5, 1.6, 2.1, 2.2, 2.2.1, 2.2.2, 2.3 and verions 3.0 and 3.1. Contact us for download and implementation details.

The result from any mobile device assessment is available (for review) on the internet immediately - failure alerts to supervisors are emailed immediately as well.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Mobile phone versions

We are quite excited about the new mobile versions of Fatigue o meter.
It makes the system extremely portable, and addresses a lot of issues such as busy bottlenecks at testing stations, testing in remote sites, or even next to the road etc. The new possibilities that Fatigue-o-Meter Mobile opens up are numerous.

At this time we have a Blackberry version - that will run on all devices running OS5 or OS6. If you have a new Blackberry it will be OS6; a somewhat older one will be OS5 Both versions are 100% compatible. We implemented both a touch screen and a keyboard interface - and these can be used interchangeably.

We also have a version that runs on Java enabled devices such as most Nokia phones. Currently we have tested it on the following Nokia phones: X7-00, C6-01, C7-00, E7, E65, and 6730 series. We will be adding to this list as we test it on more devices.

Please contact us if you are interested in trying out the Mobile version - and we will direct you to the appropriate download url.

Wednesday, March 09, 2011

New version - much faster connection times

We have just released version 5.04. Most of this upgrade has focused on cutting down on the time that the system needs for connecting to the Fatigue-o-meter server. The system now does most of the work "behind the scenes", so you don't have to wait for it to connect anymore. In addition we have optimized the way data is exchanged. We trust that the user experience will be much improved. Obtain your upgrade by going directly to You should download this file, and then run it. It will try to detect where your system is installed, and then update the relevant files. If you are running the system on a Local Area Network (LAN), you will only need to run the update once for the entire LAN.

Only existing registered users should try to run this upgrade. For installation instructions or to register as a new user, please contact us by email or telephone. Details can be obtained on our website at

To check which version you currently have - click on and then click on .


Friday, June 18, 2010

Virus Warning in Download

We came across a Virus Warning in Norton Anti Virus/ Internet Security, when downloading updates and installations from our websites.

The software that you are trying to download will be cautioned as a virus with a description of


This is not a Virus within the Fatigue Update and Installation Setups.

This is a programming Bug within Norton Anti Virus.

For more information regarding this please click on the link below to visit the Norton website regarding this issue.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

MySQL and Fatigue

The Fatigue system is currently running on a Microsoft Access Database. This database is easy to configure and install, so naturally we picked it as our default choice when starting up with Fatigue.

However, as usage of the Fatigue-o-Meter increases and the rate against which databases grow we need a more powerful and stable database engine. We have decided on the MySQL database engine specifically because of its minimal system requirements, easy configuration and faster installation.

We have designed a Complete Installation wizard which allows you on a step-by-step basis to install MySQL and Fatigue. This installation package is quite big in size, which means if you have a slow internet connection it can take a while to download this file. The alternative is to request an installation disc from Psi Systems.

With MySQL, we can schedule backups of your database on regular intervals. This will ensure a more effective disaster recovery turn-around time. If the whole system including all backups has been lost, we can effectively rebuild databases and simply send a recovery file to the client which will restore your database to its previous state.

Wednesday, July 01, 2009

Fatigue-o-meter in the news

Monday, May 04, 2009

Fatigue on the web

Another new Java release, another small adjustment to fatigueometer needed... This time version 1.6 release 13. However, its all sorted out already, you can safely upgrade your Java, and continue using Fatigueometer.

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Java web runtimes

The Fatigue-o-meter assessment on the web has been updated to work correctly with the latest Java release from Sun (Java 6 update 12). It seems that the images take a while to load - but at least the assessment will not commence untill they are all in the buffer (so that the assessment can still be accurately timed !). The good news is that if you will be assessing multiple people, the loading will only be slow for the first candidate.

Thursday, March 05, 2009

Web Site

The web-site has been updated again. I think the new-look is a great improvement. I also tried to make the home page simpler, to give the first-time visitor a quick sense of what it is all about.
Take a look:
Thanks Thato !

Monday, February 23, 2009

The Fatigue-o-meter vigilance monitoring system and
Psychometric testing instruments

The following notes are provide to assist decision makers in understanding the basic design difference between the Fatigue-o-meter vigilance monitoring system and traditional psychometric tools used for employee evaluation and selection:

The primary design objective of psychometric instrumentation used for the selection and evaluation of human ability, is to perform a reliable and valid comparison between the tested individual and a fair sample of comparable individuals who make up the statistical norms for the test. Therefore the following questions are important issues which the instrument should address:

· What would represent good performance on the test?
· Where does the tested individual lie relative to the normal distribution of

test result as recorded by the sample making up the norms tables?

Amongst the many basic human assumptions included in psychometric instrument design, is the assumption that the tested human property is normally distributed.

The Fatigue-o-meter instrument starts with the same design assumption as described above and it is quite clear that the human capabilities assessed by means of this instrument are generally normally distributed amongst the tested population. This is borne out by the declared statistics describing the internal consistency of the Fatigue-o-meter instrument, as well as all empirical data collected over the last number of years.

The primary design objective which guided the developers of the Fatigue-o-meter was however, quite different from the traditional selection and assessment instruments, in that it is clearly acknowledged in accident research that the normal individual abilities of the tested individual may vary quite significantly as a result of emotional or physiological fatigue, illness, stress loads induced by anxiety, chemical substances, etc.

Fatigue-o-meter measures these individual variances in human reaction and decision making and is only concerned with one question:

“ What is the current state of the tested individual, compared to their own normal performance ranges on the instrument?”

The designers of the Fatigue-o-meter instrument believe strongly that whereas traditional instrumentation should be used to select and place the employees who meet the best psychometric profile given the requirements of the job, this decision which is taken at a specific point in time cannot provide a guarantee that the tested individual does not TODAY suffer from a serious debilitation as a result of any of the above temporary states.

The only reliable norm to base this decision on, is the normal performance of the individual and NOT the norm population.

Dr P J van der Merwe
Manspec Selection and Development Services (Pty) Ltd
February 2009


Friday, February 13, 2009

Fatigue-o-meter involved with Gautrain Project

We are proud to be associated with the Gautrain project.
Induna Tippers is contracted to remove rubble from the Gautrain excavation sites. To ensure the safe operation of their vehicles, Induna uses the Fatigue-o-meter system to monitor the vigilance of their drivers.
The above pictures show the Induna office staff on a recent trip to see how the Gautrain project is coming along.


Thursday, February 12, 2009

Accident Risk Management System

The above photographs show the carnage as a truck ran out of control in Pretoria recently.
Fatigue-o-meter is a system which monitors the mental alertness of the driver before he gets behind the wheel of his vehicle and cautions the manager if the driver is found to lack in his vigilance.
Fatigue is reported as the cause of 60% of heavy vehicle accidents in South Africa

Actual reduction in accident cost and seriousness

Over the last 21 months the Fatigue-o-meter driver monitoring system has been run on a site employing 80 bulk carrier drivers. The site tests each driver daily (it takes about 1 minute per driver). Drivers have to achieved their baseline conditions before being released to drive.

An analysis of their accident statistics over 4 months, compared to a sister site where drivers are not managed in the same fashion, shows the following:

6% of drivers recorded accidents as against 28% on the unmanaged site.
80% less accident cost on the managed site over 4 months.
26% less cost per accident on the managed site.

Tuesday, February 03, 2009

South African road accident rates and the problem with fatigue

A lack of alertness on the part of drivers has been cited as the cause of about 60% of heavy vehicle accidents by Drive Alive.

It is therefore not quite rocket science to work out that you can reduce your accident rates by the same percentage by making sure that your drivers are as alert as they should be.

This has indeed been the experience of the current users of the Fatigue-o-meter system. The only reason more people are not using it, is because more people do not know about it.

Go figure.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Web and hybrid version

Users of the first version of Fatigueometer can now be upgraded to the latest version without the need of a "manual" data transfer. We simply install the new version - and connect it to the existing database. Upon the first connection to the system, it will copy all data to the new server. Although this process may require several hours to complete (depending on the volume of data gathered), this is far preferable to having to be off-line for a day.

Another feature of the web version is that it allows the creation of "super reporting" users. You can setup any number of these. They are people within the organisation who need to monitor the Fatigueomer results. Typically a super user would receive emailed reports. But they can also request a simple sms alert that can be sent whenever someone has been cautioned.

The feature can also be implemented by users of the windows version. If this is done we refer to the site a a "hybrid site" - since it runs on windows and uses some of the web features. Note, however, that the reports and sms's will only be sent out when the system next connects to the internet server.

Friday, June 20, 2008

web version

The web version is now up and running. Everything that can be done with the windows version can be done with the web version.

In addition, the self-testing feature can be used, where incumbents are emailed with a link that they follow in order to do their daily (or other) types of testing.

Super reporting-only users can be setup. These users can then configure a profile for themselves to receive periodic reports on results. They can also log incidents themselves (on incumbents).

They can also setup their profiles to request sms'es to be sent to them upon anyone failing an assessment.

Another feature of the latest version (windows and web) is that it can now accommodate multiple locations per company. This means that an employee can be registered at one location - where he or she is typically assessed; but can also be assessed at any other registered location of that company. It was specifically designed to accomodate employers who operate multiple depots, and have drivers who clock in at anyone of these depots, depending on the shifts or schedules assigned to them.

Finally, users of the windows version, can at any time also log onto the web, and obtain reports, and/or assess any of their (or other locations') candidates.

In order to upgrade existing windows version users, we will need to migrate their data, upgrade their software, and re-connect them to the new server. We will be contacting all existing clients over the next several weeks to schedule a convenient time to effect the upgrade of their data to the new server.

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

What to do if someone fails....

Please review the pages on the website for the official recommendations around candidates who fail. The purpose here is to establish a more informal discussion around this issue. ( )

Some of our clients caution people who fail; the logic being that when the person is aware of the fact that they are not functioning optimally, they could compensate by being more cautious. Others insist that their drivers who initially fail, may only leave the premises once they have managed to pass the assesssment.

Recent research suggests that mental fatigue and drowsiness resulting from repetitive and continuous work can often be arrested and reversed by doing a mentally challenging task like that in the system. Therefore, simply by just assessing candidates, (and insisting that those who fail keep on doing the excercise untill they reach their normal optimal level of alertness - before being allowed to return to work), serious accidents could be avoided.

Driver fatigue in particular is a cause of many serious accidents and deaths. Instead of just taking a break, and a short walk around, supplementing this with an actual fatigue-ometer assessment could therefore add a lot of value.

Feel free to give us your ideas.

Thursday, December 07, 2006

Server Version upgrade

We now have a new automatically internet-verified server component. So you never have to manually connect again. Below is a discussion of what this upgrade entails:

It has come to our attention that users want to run the server component - to connect with us on the internet - but do not want to use it on an assessment computer as well. It is therefore a bit of a problem for them to repeatedly establish a connection over the internet for the server component, especially in the middle of the night. To make the problem worse, some users, have the server component installed on a completely different location to the assessment workstations !

In response to this we have made a new option on the server - to repeatedly connect on the internet automatically. When the option is initially invoked a connection is established, and the system verified. The connection is then broken, and the time when it will re-establish a connection is displayed on-screen. This will be 24 hours later.

It is therefore now possible to run the server component indefinitely on the server, without ever manually establishing an internet connection. As a result the workstations will always remain enabled.

The update will be available for download next week - or contact Myself or Pieter if you want it mailed.

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

Assessing outside candidates (ver 1.20)

We have just released version 1.20 of the fatigue-o-meter system.

The fatigue-o-meter system measures mental fatigue by comparing an employee's typical historical performance on a moderately involving timed mental task to their current performance on the task. In this sense people's performance in terms of accuracy and reaction time is available, and users of the system have pointed out that comparing new applicants to this reference group would be a natural process, given the ready availability of the data.

To facilitate this process, we have decided to incorporate an "outside testee" function into the system. Outside candidates can thus be registered, and quickly assessed, and a report generated that compares their measured performance against the users own group (employees assessed on the system), as well as the population group that is periodically updated by Alertness Systems and automatically downloaded to the users system when they connect to our servers.

To upgrade your system - simply open the help - and follow the update links. Alternatively you can obtain the update at

Or you can contact your service representative.

New users need to enter into a subscription agreement with Alertness Systems, and should obtain an installation CD from Alertness systems. Installing the update without first installing the system from CD will not work !

Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Fatigue and the Basic Conditions of Employment Act


The Minister of Labour recently issued a notice in terms of section 87(2) of the Basic Conditions of Employment Act, that has significant implications for Fatigue:
The notice specifically identifies the risks attached to long working hours, shift work and working stress.
The key aspects of the notice include:
  1. That employers must conduct a risk assessment and identify hazards which pose risks for the health of employees...Fatigue provides ongoing risk assessment and the reports we generate can certainly fall under the heading of a risk assessment.
  2. Employers must implement measures to elliminate or control these hazards..Fatigue provides a pro-active measure to do this.
  3. Employers must train and supply information to employees about the risks to their health and safety and the measures to control these...Fatigue provides an early warning signal and if supported by wellness counselling complies.
  4. Employees have a duty to take reasonable steps to protect their own health and safety and that of other employees...Fatigue provides the feedback of poor perceptual alertness which may lead to an accident.

Interesting requirements which are included in the notice...

  • That a Health professional could assess the employee's health (psychological?) at the point of employment and then at regular intervals thereafter.. these assessments may cover psychological problems resulting from adapting to working hours, health problems, emotional or social stressors, insomnia, chronic fatigue, medication, etc.
  • That strategies enabling the employee to cope with these conditions may be provided.
  • That the examination should include educational input and coping strategies (see Fatigue)

Pieter van der Merwe

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

Fatigue - o - meter

Fatigue-o-meter was launched in September 2006. It is a unique system that rapidly assesses an employee's level of alertness, and uses sophisticated statistical techniques to compare it to the person's typical/usual levels in order to determine if unacceptable levels of fatigue have been reached. Because of the short administration time the system can be used frequently (for example before every shift).

The purpose of this blog is to allow the developers and other stakeholders to share information about new developments, implementations and related issues with interested parties.