Aware4Duty Guide for Supervisors

The Aware4Duty test is a general indicator of employee alertness, derived from the comparison of an individual's daily score to a pre-established personal baseline level.

What a Low Score Means?

Aware4Duty is sensitive to a number of issues that might cause a person's alertness to be diminished. Examples include:

  • Exhaustion from staying up all night with a sick child
  • Coming down with the flu
  • Medication or another substance that is impeding concentration or causing drowsiness
  • Distraction from a relationship crisis or from receiving bad news

Because the detection is general, no immediate conclusions should be made on why an employee has produced a low score or on how to proceed. A low score does not automatically imply that punitive action should be taken.

Knowing the general cause for a lack of alertness can help determine the next steps, if any. Consistent with general HR policy, there may be matters of confidentiality and personal information that will prevent the employee from sharing factors with the supervisor that may affect alertness. The goal of a discussion with the employee is to learn more about what can be done to keep the employee and the work environment safe. The following process is suggested if it is in compliance with your company’s policies.

5-Step Process

A Supervisor can follow these 5 steps to understand the nature of the employee’s lack of alertness and the subsequent actions that should be taken.

Step One

Before approaching the employee, a Supervisor should take a moment to ensure that he or she is in the right frame of mind for a discussion with the employee. Supervisors should:

  • Note if they are harboring any pre-determined attitudes that may block problem solving.
  • Realize that the employee may already have a reasonable solution to the issue if they are asked.
  • Maintain their leadership position and be prepared to make decisions required to keep the employee safe

Step Two

Hold the discussion in a private setting

Step Three

The Supervisor should ask the employees if he or she is aware that the alertness test score was lower than normal. The Supervisor should assure the employee that he or she is not being accused of wrongdoing, and that the reason for the discussion is to make sure the employee is in a safe state of mind to proceed to work. Tell the employee that the conversation is confidential, but that they are not required to disclose personal information to the Supervisor.

Step Four

Ask the employee if he or she is aware of why they may have scored low on the test.

  • If the employee states that he or she is not feeling well or this is otherwise apparent, refer the employee to seek medical attention. The employee is not required to disclose the underlying medical condition to the Supervisor.
  • If the employee states that he or she is emotionally distracted by problems such as relationship difficulties, financial worries, or other personal issues, ask the person if there is anything immediate and reasonable that can be done to help them refocus on the work at hand. This might include making a phone call or taking half a day off to deal with a personal crisis. The judgment of the supervisor will be required to determine what kind of accommodations are necessary and appropriate to keep the employee and others safe.
  • Upon personal observation, if the Supervisor has reasonable suspicion that the employee may be exhibiting signs of alcohol or drug impairment, the Supervisor should follow the guidelines put forth by company policy on proceeding to the next step of their Reasonable Suspicion process for drug and alcohol testing.
  • If the employee states that he or she is tired or distracted but they feel they can “pull it together” and the Supervisor agrees, the Supervisor should check back with the employee to make sure that he or she was able to focus and are now alert. The employee may also be asked to take the Aware4Duty test again after an hour or two.
  • If the employee is unaware of any reason why he or she might have scored low on the test, the Supervisor should use his or her judgment in concluding the conversation and allowing the employee to continue to work.

Step Five

The Supervisor should use his or her judgment in alignment with company policies. Companies can discuss possible scenarios with their Supervisors and identify reasonable adjustments ahead of time regarding consequences that can be delivered to support Supervisors’ decisions and execution of company policy to maintain a safe work environment.