Employees' Attitudes Toward Fitness-For-Duty Testing.Although workplace drug testing has become a common organizational practice (Greenberg et al., 1995), there is a lack of definitive evidence of its effectiveness at achieving organizational safety or productivity (see Cropanzano and Konovsky, 1993; Harris and Heft, 1992; Macdonald, 1997; Morgan, 1991; Normand et al., 1994; Thompson et al., 1991). That is, despite conventional wisdom, drug testing has not been shown to have predictive validity In psychometrics, predictive validity is the extent to which a scale predicts scores on some criterion measure.
For example, the validity of a cognitive test for job performance is the correlation between test scores and, for example, supervisor performance ratings. as a measure of organizational effectiveness Organizational effectiveness is the concept of how effective an organization is in achieving the outcomes the organization intends to produce. The idea of organizational effectiveness is especially important for non-profit organizations as most people who donate money to non-profit (Hoffman and Lovler, 1989; Vodanovich and Reyna, 1988).
A fundamental problem with drug tests is their inability to detect drug use in time to prevent it from causing harm. Testing can only distinguish between someone who has used or been exposed to a drug and someone who has not; it cannot tell when the former took the drug, how much was taken, how frequently this person has taken this drug, or the effect of the drug on the user (Axel Axel: see Absalon. , 1990; Lundberger, 1986; Morgan, 1987). By the time an employee's test result has been interpreted as positive, any drug-impaired behavior would already have taken its toll. On the other hand, the metabolites Metabolites
Substances produced by metabolism or by a metabolic process.
Mentioned in: Interactions in a person s urine that produce a positive test result do not necessarily mean the person cannot work, as any effects of the drug could have long worn off by the time the test was administered. As explained by Orentlicher, "a test that is positive for drug use may be falsely positive for drug impairment Impairment
1. A reduction in a company's stated capital.
2. The total capital that is less than the par value of the company's capital stock.
1. This is usually reduced because of poorly estimated losses or gains.
2. " (1990: 1039).
In addition to the inability of drug tests to determine impairment, testing has raised moral questions. Specifically, it has been argued that even if employees are using drugs, so long as they perform responsibly their organizations need not know about their drug use, and that if employees' performance is compromised by drugs, employers may rightfully discipline or dismiss them, but still do not need to know the root of their impeded performance (DesJardins and Duska, 1987). Many have criticized drug testing for intruding in·trude
v. in·trud·ed, in·trud·ing, in·trudes
1. To put or force in inappropriately, especially without invitation, fitness, or permission: on employee privacy (see, for example, Caste caste [Port., casta=basket], ranked groups based on heredity within rigid systems of social stratification, especially those that constitute Hindu India. Some scholars, in fact, deny that true caste systems are found outside India. , 1992; Flaig, 1990; Haas, 1990; Hanson, 1988; Lewis, 1990; Maltby, 1990; Orendicher, 1990; Pavlovich, 1989). Indeed, research suggests that drug testing may especially lead to negative attitudes and behaviors when it is perceived as invasive (Hanson, 1990; Latessa et al., 1988; Masters et at., 1988; Murphy et al,1991; Murphy et al., 1990; Smith, 1988; Stecher and Ross, 1992; Stone and Kotch, 1989; Stone and Vine, 1989).
Because there is considerable evidence that drug testing can have a potentially negative impact on employees' attitudes and behaviors, and that it cannot detect impaired performance, its usefulness as a management tool is arguable ar·gu·a·ble
1. Open to argument: an arguable question, still unresolved.
2. That can be argued plausibly; defensible in argument: three arguable points of law. . Some have asserted that workplace drug testing prevails in the United States--despite the absence of evidence of its usefulness for enhancing safety and productivity--for sociopolitical so·ci·o·po·li·ti·cal
Involving both social and political factors.
of or involving political and social factors and symbolic reasons, rather than rational practical ones (see Borg and Arnold, 1997; Cavanaugh and Prasad Prasāda (Sanskrit: प्रसाद), prasād/prashad (Hindi), Prasāda in (Kannada), prasādam (Tamil), or prasadam , 1994; Guthrie and Olian, 1991; Karper et al,1994; Thompson et at., 1991; Wisotsky, 1987; Zimmer and Jacobs, 1992). Indeed, drug testing is markedly less common in Canadian organizations (Jain et al., 1998).
This article explores fitness-for-duty testing as a possible alternative to drug testing. After describing fitness-for-duty testing and contrasting two commercial tests, manufacturers' and journalists' praise of these tests is assessed by examining the results of a field study in which employees who take fitness-for-duty tests at their workplace responded to questionnaires about their attitudes toward these tests.
Compared with biological testing, performance-based fitness-for-duty (FFD FFD
film-focal distance. ) testing is potentially less invasive to employees and better suited to identifying the substandard substandard,
adj below an acceptable level of performance. work that should ultimately concern managers, before it occurs. In organizations that use FFD testing, the ability, or fitness, of employees performing safety-sensitive jobs (those whose mistakes can have tragic as well as expensive consequences) is checked at the beginning of their work shift. Employees whose tests indicate impairment are sent home or reassigned to tasks that are not safety-sensitive. Because FFD testing has only recently been adapted for the workplace, it is not widely known. In fact, just 1% of the 1,151 organizations answering one survey on workplace drug testing reported that they used FFD testing (Greenberg et al., 1995). Likewise, not one of 50 drug-testing organizations in a second survey practiced FED testing, and representatives of the 84 nontesting organizations in the sample generally viewed such testing as l ess appropriate than drug testing (Comer and Buda, 1996). Also, human resources The fancy word for "people." The human resources department within an organization, years ago known as the "personnel department," manages the administrative aspects of the employees. scholars are, apparently, as unfamiliar with FFD testing as their counterparts in industry. A review of the advantages of computerized tests over more traditional paper-and-pencil tests made no mention of the application of the former to determine FFD (Drasgow et al., 1993).
Commercial FFD Tests: Delta-WP and Factor 1000
Delta-WP. The seven tests in the Essex Company's Delta-WP repertoire measure different factors important for cognitive, perceptual per·cep·tu·al
Of, based on, or involving perception. , and psychomotor psychomotor /psy·cho·mo·tor/ (si?ko-mo´ter) pertaining to motor effects of cerebral or psychic activity.
1. skills by having test-takers select on their keyboard the correct answer about the images on their screen. Tests are combined into various batteries to match the skill and educational levels of the client's test-takers. A test-taker's score is the sum of the scores on the subtests in the battery.
There is empirical evidence of the reliability, stability, and criterion validity The introduction to this article provides insufficient context for those unfamiliar with the subject matter.
Please help [ improve the introduction] to meet Wikipedia's layout standards. You can discuss the issue on the talk page. of Delta-WP tests to detect such risk factors as drugs, stress, lack of sleep, etc. (Turnage and Kennedy, 1992; Turnage et al, 1992). However, because Delta-WP, which has been developed to be applicable for a variety of jobs, measures impairment broadly, it lacks job-relevant criterion validity (i.e., it is not able to predict a test-taker's job performance). Nonetheless, the product's manufacturers contend that implementing Delta-WP in a workplace may reduce the number of accidents because (1) impaired employees who are detected will not have an opportunity to make mistakes or perform in a hazardous fashion and (2) daily FFD testing will discourage employees from arriving at work in an impaired state.
A passing score depends on an employee's own baseline as well as the standard set by the company. The latter is derived by weighing the costs of preventing employees who are actually fit from working (false positives) against the costs of potential damage caused by employees who pass but are actually unfit unfit
not properly prepared, e.g. physically incapable of performing hard work as in racing, because of lack of training. Said also of food prepared unhygienically.
unfit for human consumption to work (false negatives). Essex asserts that it would be difficult for an employee to deflate (file format, compression) deflate - A compression standard derived from LZ77; it is reportedly used in zip, gzip, PKZIP, and png, among others.
Unlike LZW, deflate compression does not use patented compression algorithms. performance artificially on the baseline-setting trials so as to pass later when impaired, because it would be too tough to repeat the pattern of continued depression, and because it is highly unusual for a test-taker to give more than a very few incorrect responses per test. Doing so would alert test administrators.
Factor 1000. Factor 1000, manufactured by Performance Factors, Inc. (PFI PFI Pay for Inclusion (web search engines)
PFI Private Finance Initiative
PFI Private Finance Initiative (UK)
PFI Prison Fellowship International
PFI Port Fuel Injection (engines) ), is a version of the critical tracking test (CTT CTT Correios (Portuguese Postal Service)
CTT Certified Technical Trainer
CTT Charity Technology Trust
CTT Cholesterol Treatment Trialists' (collaboration)
CTT Common Task Training ), which measures hand-eye motor skills. There is extensive empirical evidence of the risk-factor criterion validity of the CTT (Allen et al., 1981; Allen et al, 1990; Belleville et al., 1979; Burns and Moskowitz, 1980; Klein and Jex, 1975; O'Hanlon, 1981; Stoller and Bellville, 1976). There is also evidence of its job-related criterion validity for work requiring hand-eye coordination hand-eye coordination Eye-hand coordination Surgery Oculomanual synchronization, required by surgeons, especially for laparoscopic surgery. See Laparoscopic surgery, Paradoxical movement. (Allen et al., 1981).
A test-taker uses a control knob to try to keep a randomly careening The careening of a sailing vessel is laying her up on a calm beach at high tide in order to expose one side or another of the ship's hull for maintenance below the water line when the tide goes out. cursor (1) The symbol used to point to some element on screen. On Windows, Mac and other graphics-based screens, it is also called a "pointer," and it changes shape as it is moved with the mouse into different areas of the application. centered between markers on his or her screen. Each time the cursor is returned by the test-taker to its position between the markers, it accelerates, until, finally, the test-taker can no longer control it. As the brief testing session progresses, it becomes increasingly difficult to control the cursor. Scoring depends on how far the cursor veers from the center each time, how long the test-taker takes to regain control of the cursor each time, and how long the cursor is kept centered. An employee has eight attempts to meet his or her baseline, which is set so that the test-taker has a 60% chance of passing any given trial. The computer algorithm can detect if an employee is purposely pur·pose·ly
With specific purpose.
USAGE: See at purposeful.
Adv. 1. underperforming, and will alert test administrators. Like Essex. PFI asserts that use of Factor 1000 deters risky behavior because employees know they will have to pass a performance test.
Popular press accounts have praised FFD testing with Delta-WP and Factor 1000 as less invasive and better able than urinalysis urinalysis (yr'ənăl`ĭsĭs), clinical examination of urine for the purpose of medical diagnosis. to determine impairment that may or may not stem from drug use (Fine, 1992; Frieden, 1990; Hanson, 1990; Maltby, 1990; McGinley, 1992; The New York New York, state, United States
New York, Middle Atlantic state of the United States. It is bordered by Vermont, Massachusetts, Connecticut, and the Atlantic Ocean (E), New Jersey and Pennsylvania (S), Lakes Erie and Ontario and the Canadian province of Times, 1991; Stevens, 1990; Warshauer, 1991).Journalists have, moreover, described FFD tests as fun for employees to take. On the other hand, Gilliland and Schlegel (1993) have expressed concern that employees may resent re·sent
tr.v. re·sent·ed, re·sent·ing, re·sents
To feel indignantly aggrieved at.
[French ressentir, to be angry, from Old French resentir, the intrusion of having to take FFD tests, which are administered daily. Because FFD testing seems promising for organizations that care more about their employees' readiness to perform than the cause of any impairment, it merits attention (Gilliland and Schlegel, 1993; Harris and Heft, 1992; Normand et al., 1994). In particular, in that reactions to personnel systems and procedures have an impact on individual and organizational outcomes (e.g., Robertson et al., 1991), employees' views about FFD testing need to be consid ered. Although the manufacturers of Delta-WP and Factor 1000, as well as journalists, have depicted FFD testing as noninvasive non·in·va·sive
1. Not penetrating the body, as by incision. Used especially of a diagnostic procedure.
2. Not invading healthy tissue. and inoffensive to employees, there has been no study of either FFD test in an actual workplace setting. To ascertain how employees who take FFD tests view them, the author conducted a field study of Delta-WP and Factor 1000.
A key distinction between these two FFD tests is that Factor 1000 has been designed to measure impairment specifically for those whose jobs require hand-eye coordination, whereas Delta-WP has been developed to gauge impairment more broadly. That is, both of these FFD tests have been developed to detect the presence of risk factors, such as exhaustion or drug use (risk-factor criterion validity), but only Factor 1000 also assesses one's ability to perform one's job (job-related criterion validity). As a result, Factor 1000 should have greater face validity face validity (fāsˑ v·liˑ·di·tē),
n than Delta-WP. A hypothesis was thus proposed:
Hypothesis 1. Factor 1000 test-takers, compared to Delta-WP test-takers, will perceive FFD testing as better able to determine if an employee is too impaired to work.
Employees' perceptions of their FFD test's ability to assess whether they and/or their co-workers are too impaired to do their jobs are important. Indeed, Rynes and Connerley (1993) and Schuler (1993) observed that applicants have more favorable attitudes toward selection devices they deem job-relevant. Further, Comer and Buda (1996) reported that awareness of the inability of drug tests to assess impairment was related to more negative views of drug testing. Therefore, a second hypothesis was proposed:
Hypothesis 2. To the extent that test-takers perceive an FFD test as able to determine if an employee is too impaired to work, they will have more favorable views of FFD testing.
ATTITUDES OF EMPLOYEES WHO TAKE FFD TESTS
As reported, only a few organizations conduct FFD testing. Delta-WP and Factor 1000 users were identified through trade publications or conversations with the test manufacturers.
A questionnaire sent to employees in five organizations using FFD testing solicited general information (number of years worked at the organization,job title, gender, age, and education) and used five-point Likert-type questions to assess employees' views of FFD testing (see Table 1). The items pertaining per·tain
intr.v. per·tained, per·tain·ing, per·tains
1. To have reference; relate: evidence that pertains to the accident.
2. to employees' perceptions of 1) the ability of FFD testing to determine if a person is too impaired to work, 2) the invasiveness of FFD testing, 3) the ability of FFD tests to enhance safety in the workplace, and 4) the experience of taking FFD tests were pre-tested with employees who had taken FFD tests daily for about a year until their organization discontinued dis·con·tin·ue
v. dis·con·tin·ued, dis·con·tin·u·ing, dis·con·tin·ues
1. To stop doing or providing (something); end or abandon: testing. These items were adapted from drug testing studies (Coiner and Buda, 1996; Konovsky and Cropanzano, 1991; Stone and Vine, 1989) by substituting the word "performance" for "drug." Respondents were also invited to explain their responses and record any other comments. Each respondent received a cover letter explaining the purpose of the res earch (to learn about employees' views of FFD testing), a copy of the questionnaire, and a self-addressed postage-paid envelope in which to return the completed questionnaire directly to the investigator. Follow-up materials (another copy each of the questionnaire and envelope, accompanied by a modified cover letter) were sent two weeks later. The contact person at one organization provided the names of all employees who took FFD tests, enabling the investigator to send questionnaires directly to these employees. At the other organizations, however, the contact person distributed questionnaires to employees.
The data analysis includes responses from 132 individuals (an overall response rate of 38.2%). Seventy-one employees of companies on the West Coast of the U.S. responded about Factor 1000. At a resort, 43 of 100 employees returned the questionnaire (43%); at an ambulance service, 17 of 35 (45.6%) did; and at a petroleum distributor, 13 of 35 (37.1%) did, but two questionnaires were unusable. Sixty-one employees of companies on the East Coast of the U.S. responded about Delta-WP. At a pharmaceuticals concern, 11 of the 20 (55%) responded to the questionnaire. At a contractor of security guards, 65 questionnaires were returned. (The company president, who had taken several months to decide about participating in the study, suddenly, without notifying the investigator, reproduced and distributed the sample questionnaire to his employees. He estimated an n of 200, for a response rate of 32.5%.) However, only 50 of these were usable; one was completed incorrectly and 14 were completed by individuals who personall y had never taken an FFD test (their organization administers FFD tests on a random basis).
The mean age of the 29 females and 103 males in the sample was 43.72 years (s.d. = 14.45). All but 18 (86.15%) had at least a high school diploma A high school diploma is a diploma awarded for the completion of high school. In the United States and Canada, it is considered the minimum education required for government jobs and higher education. An equivalent is the GED. . Seventy-eight (60.00%) had completed at least some college, and 30 (23.08%) had completed an undergraduate degree “First degree” redirects here. For the BBC television series, see First Degree.
An undergraduate degree (sometimes called a first degree or simply a degree . This subset of employees who returned the questionnaire was not observed to be demographically different from the total set that received the questionnaire. Respondents represented such safety-sensitive jobs as childcare workers, drivers of motorized mo·tor·ize
tr.v. mo·tor·ized, mo·tor·iz·ing, mo·tor·iz·es
1. To equip with a motor.
2. To supply with motor-driven vehicles.
3. To provide with automobiles. vehicles, inspectors, machinery/equipment operators, paramedics, scientists, and security guards. Eighty (60.61%) respondents wrote comments in the space provided (see Appendix). Eight comments were purely positive; 13, ambivalent; and the remainder, negative.
Although employees, on average, perceived FED tests as somewhat noninvasive, they perceived them as slightly unable to determine impairment for work or to enhance workplace safety and viewed the experience of taking them somewhat negatively (see Table 2). Nonetheless, the somewhat high standard deviations In statistics, the average amount a number varies from the average number in a series of numbers.
(statistics) standard deviation - (SD) A measure of the range of values in a set of numbers. for the attitudinal variables indicate a range in respondents' views toward FED tests.
Effect of Test Type on Perceived Ability of FFD Testing to Determine Work Impairment
The first hypothesis was not supported. Although respondents from Factor 1000 organizations perceived FED testing as less able to determine if an employee is too impaired to work than did those from Delta-WP organizations (respective means = 2.56 and 3.22; t = -3.17, 130 d.f., p[less than].0019), simultaneous regression analysis In statistics, a mathematical method of modeling the relationships among three or more variables. It is used to predict the value of one variable given the values of the others. For example, a model might estimate sales based on age and gender. indicated that test type does not significantly predict perceived ability to determine impairment for work, once other variables are also considered (see Table 3). Apparently, the significant relationship between test type and perceived ability to detect impairment for work is due to each variable's high relationship with employees' age.
Effect of Perceived Ability of FFD Testing to Determine Work Impairment on Attitudes toward FFD Testing
Thirty-six employees (27.3% of the sample) remarked that they believed that FFD tests do not determine impairment. Referring to their own and co-workers' behavior, they reported that individuals under the influence of alcohol or illicit drugs illicit drug Street drug, see there can pass their tests, and further noted that individuals too impaired to do their jobs can pass while fit individuals may fail. Also, despite test manufacturers' claims that test-takers cannot purposely depress de·press
1. To lower in spirits; deject.
2. To cause to drop or sink; lower.
3. To press down.
4. To lessen the activity or force of something. their scores without being noticed, some employees commented that it is possible to fail one's FFD test deliberately.
The data do support the second hypothesis. Respondents who perceived FFD testing as better able to determine impairment for work also perceived FFD tests as less invasive, better able to enhance workplace safety, and more pleasant to take. Perceptions of the ability of FFD testing to determine impairment for work significantly predicted each of these three attitudinal variables (see Table 3). Moreover, hierarchical regression analysis indicated that when perceived ability of FFD testing to determine impairment for work was added to the regression equation Regression equation
An equation that describes the average relationship between a dependent variable and a set of explanatory variables. of each of these variables after the other variables had already been entered, it created a change in [R.sup.2] of 5% (at p[less than].05), 28% (at p[less than].00l), and 19% (at p[less than].001) of the variance, respectively, for perceived invasiveness, perceived ability to enhance safety, and experience of taking a test. It may be noted that age was a significant predictor of the perceived invasiveness of FFD testing and of its perceived safety-enhancing abilities. Younger respondents viewed FFD testing as more invasive and less able to enhance workplace safety. None of the other demographic variables (years at the organization, gender, and education) was significantly related to attitudes toward FFD tests, nor were attitudes toward FFD tests a function of job type.
The popular press has touted FFD tests as effective and employee-friendly, an ideal alternative to biological drug tests for preventing substandard and unsafe work behavior Work behavior is a term used to describe the behavior one uses in the workplace and is normally more formal than other types of human behavior. This varies from profession to profession, as some are far more casual than others. . Further, laboratory research has supplied evidence that these tests are psychometrically solid. But a field study of FFD testing programs had heretofore been conspicuously absent.
The research presented here was undertaken to assess real employees' views about FFD testing. The results depict two commercial FFD tests (Factor 1000 and Delta-WP) in a less idealized i·de·al·ize
v. i·de·al·ized, i·de·al·iz·ing, i·de·al·iz·es
1. To regard as ideal.
2. To make or envision as ideal.
1. way than do journalists. In general, test-takers do perceive FFD tests as noninvasive, but they question the ability of these tests to determine impairment for work or to enhance workplace safety. Also, in contrast to journalists' claims, the employees in this study by no means viewed their experience of taking FFD tests as enjoyable. No relationship was observed between FFD test type and the perceived ability of the test to determine impairment for work, despite the fact that only one of the two tests (Factor 1000) assesses employees' ability to perform their job. As predicted, respondents who perceived FFD testing as able to determine if someone is too impaired to work also perceived FFD tests as less invasive, less unpleasant to take, and better able to enhance safety in their workplace. Age also emerged as a predictor of v iews toward testing, with younger respondents more likely than their older coworkers to report that FFD tests are invasive and unable to determine work impairment or to enhance workplace safety. These findings are consistent with those reported about the impact of age on attitudes toward drug testing (Latessa et al., 1988; Stone et al., 1989). Perhaps older workers are more tolerant of personnel assessment decisions imposed by their superiors in the organizational hierarchy, whereas their younger coworkers are more likely to question and doubt authority.
A minority of respondents remarked that fit individuals fail FFD tests while patently impaired ones pass. Unimpaired Adj. 1. unimpaired - not damaged or diminished in any respect; "his speech remained unimpaired"
undamaged - not harmed or spoiled; sound
uninjured - not injured physically or mentally individuals may fail as a result of severe test-taking anxiety. But how do impaired employees pass their FFD tests? They may acquire tolerance to their drug of choice, enabling them to perform their well-learned FFD test and the more routine facets of their jobs (see Alcohol Alert, 1994; Chesher and Greeley, 1992; Grinspoon and Balakar, 1993), but remain incapable of performing complex or unfamiliar tasks (see Glencross et al., 1995). It has also been posited that individuals who are too impaired even to perform the most basic aspects of their job may still be able to concentrate for the moments required to pass an FFD test (see Gilliland and Schlegel, 1993). Likewise, complex novel tasks are noticeably more susceptible to the effects of alcohol consumption than are simple routine tasks (Streufert et al., 1994). FFD test manufacturers need to address these detection deficits, which limit the c apacity of their tests to promote workplace safety.
That some respondents admitted they could pass or fail at will is also disconcerting dis·con·cert
tr.v. dis·con·cert·ed, dis·con·cert·ing, dis·con·certs
1. To upset the self-possession of; ruffle. See Synonyms at embarrass.
2. . It has been suggested that an FED test (such as Delta-WP or Factor 1000) that aims to measure changes in voluntary responses, which test-takers can "fudge 1. fudge - To perform in an incomplete but marginally acceptable way, particularly with respect to the writing of a program. "I didn't feel like going through that pain and suffering, so I fudged it - I'll fix it later."
2. fudge - The resulting code. ," is inferior to a test that gauges involuntary changes (R. Attwood, biochemical engineer at Exxon, personal communication). Test manufacturers' claims that faking faking
improper alteration of the appearance of a horse for purpose of fraud. Refers usually to teeth. See also bishoping. is detectable need not be summarily dismissed; it could be that faking occurs because test administrators have insufficient time to interpret all available feedback from the testing apparatus. Nonetheless, the labor required to conduct FFD testing properly is an expense companies should consider before initiating a testing program.
Limitations of this study cannot be overlooked. First, because all data were collected at the same time with the same research instrument, common method variance may be a possible explanation for some of the observed relationships between variables. Second, the investigator's lack of control over the distribution of questionnaires and the need to depend upon the two test manufacturers to identify some of the organizations in the sample compromised sampling rigor rigor /rig·or/ (rig´er) [L.] chill; rigidity.
rigor mor´tis the stiffening of a dead body accompanying depletion of adenosine triphosphate in the muscle fibers. . Relatedly, the resulting sample size fell short of the number indicated by power analysis (about 165). Because it is reasonable to assume that the manufacturers sampled might have blocked access to their less contented clients, employees in this study may be more positively disposed toward FFD testing than the slightly larger population of all FFD test-takers of which they are a subset.
To assess the usefulness of FFD testing, future research needs to move beyond attitudinal responses by examining the relationship between employees' FFD test results and their work behaviors. Notwithstanding the difficulty of persuading FFD-testing organizations to allow employees to perform their jobs after failing a test, this design is important for ascertaining the degree to which a testing program contributes to reduced accidents and mistakes. Indeed, the validity of workplace urine testing has been assessed (and found to be problematic) by comparing the job performance of individuals who failed their pre-employment drug tests with that of their counterparts who passed (Normand et al., 1990; Parish, 1989; Zwerling et al., 1990). It is also left for future research to examine employees' views toward FFD vs. drug tests, which could not be considered in the present study because the organizations investigated in the present study did not conduct drug testing.
Meanwhile, the results of this study can inform human resources practitioners who want to enhance workplace safety but are aware of drug testing's inability to detect impairment and its intrusiveness to employees. Although employees generally do not embrace FFD testing, they do perceive it as noninvasive, which contributes to its viability for organizational adoption. However, to the extent that employees have doubts about the ability of FFD tests to assess impairment for work, they will likely perceive them as unfair, which is problematic insofar in·so·far
To such an extent.
Adv. 1. insofar - to the degree or extent that; "insofar as it can be ascertained, the horse lung is comparable to that of man"; "so far as it is reasonably practical he should practice that employees respond negatively to personnel procedures and systems they deem unfair (Cawley, Keeping and Levy, 1998; Kidwell and Bennett, 1994; Latham and Seijts, 1997; Richard and Kirby, 1998; Summers, 1995; Thornton, 1993). Indeed, because employees' perceptions of FFD tests' ability to determine impairment for work are related to their attitudes toward these tests, it behooves human resources managers who do plan to implement an FFD testing program to assure employees of the capacity of these tests to detect risk factors. They may, for example, wish to provide training to address the test-taking anxiety that can cause fit employees to fail their FFD tests. They should also be prepared to devote necessary resources to the testing process. In particular, proper use of an FFD testing program requires sufficient testing stations and program coordinators to monitor employees' test results. That some employees pass their FFD tests while under the influence poses a particularly daunting daunt
tr.v. daunt·ed, daunt·ing, daunts
To abate the courage of; discourage. See Synonyms at dismay.
[Middle English daunten, from Old French danter, from Latin hurdle to employers seeking to introduce FFD testing. Even if substance users can, due to drug tolerance drug tolerance Psychiatry Repeated use of some substance or drug, often narcotics, so that ever larger doses are required to produce the same physiologic and/or psychologic effect obtained previously by a smaller dose. , perform their work duties, co-workers who observe them pass their FFD tests while intoxicated in·tox·i·cate
v. in·tox·i·cat·ed, in·tox·i·cat·ing, in·tox·i·cates
1. To stupefy or excite by the action of a chemical substance such as alcohol.
2. will become resentful re·sent·ful
Full of, characterized by, or inclined to feel indignant ill will.
re·sentful·ly adv. and will doubt the appropriateness and validity of these tests.
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_____, _____, _____, and J.C. Miller. 1990. "Performance Testing Performance Testing covers a broad range of engineering or functional evaluations where a material, product, or system is not specified by detailed material or component specifications: Rather, emphasis is on the final measurable performance characteristics. as a Determinant determinant, a polynomial expression that is inherent in the entries of a square matrix. The size n of the square matrix, as determined from the number of entries in any row or column, is called the order of the determinant. of Fitness for Duty." Paper presented at the Society for Automotive Engineers Noun 1. automotive engineer - an engineer concerned with the design and construction of automobiles
applied scientist, engineer, technologist - a person who uses scientific knowledge to solve practical problems Aerotech Conference, Warrendale, PA.
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Scales and Items Assessing Views toward FFD Tests" [a]
Perceived Ability of FFD Tests to Determine Impairment for Work ([alpha] = .78)
Performance tests can measure if an employee is fit to perform his or her job. 3.07 (1.36)
The result of an individual's performance test indicate weather or not the individual is too impaired to work. 2.66 (1.38)
Perceived Invasiveness of FFD Tests ([alpha] = .63)
Performance [*] testing is an invasion of an employee's privacy. 3.47 (1.34)
The [*] results of a performance test reveal personal information that someone's employer has no right to know. 3.76 (1.22)
Perceived Ability of FFD Tests to Enhance Workplace Safety ([alpha] = .89)
Knowing that my company conducts performance testing makes me feel safe when I'm at work. 2.71 (1.34)
I feel more secure because my company conducts performance testing. 2.91 (1.31)
Experience of Taking FFD Tests ([alpha] = .72)
Taking a performance test is fun. 2.49 (1.30)
Taking a performance test is a pleasant experience. 2.41 (1.20)
(a.) The items referred to "performance testing" because this term was more familiar to respondents. Responses range from 1 (I disagree strongly) to 5 (I agree strongly). Factor analysis of the four scales demonstrated the unidimensionality of the items within each scale (see Cortina, 1993). Within each scale items were averaged to derive the scale score.
(*.) These items are reverse-coded; higher values indicate more positive views toward FFD tests.
Descriptive Statistics and Correlation Matrix 2 3 4 5 6 7 1. TEST TYPE  .27 [b] .06 .27 [b] .22 [b] -.19 [a] .12 2. IMPAIRMENT .22 [b] .66 [d] .47 [d] -.08 .00 3. INVASIVENESS .33 [d] .35 [d] -.10 .03 4. SAFETY .63 [d] -.04 .02 5. EXPERIENCE OF TEST-TAKING -.08 -.02 6. YEARS  -.02 7. GENDER  8. AGE 9. EDUCATION 8 9 1. TEST TYPE  .52 [d] -.38 [d] 2. IMPAIRMENT .30 [c] -.22 [a] 3. INVASIVENESS -.05 -.05 4. SAFETY .38 [d] -.24 [c] 5. EXPERIENCE OF TEST-TAKING .14 -.19 [a] 6. YEARS  .20 [a] -.01 7. GENDER  .29 [c] -.20 [a] 8. AGE -.32 [c] 9. EDUCATION 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 mean --- 2.86 3.59 2.80 2.46 2.92 --- 43.72 2.77 s.d. --- 1.24 1.12 1.26 1.12 1.38 --- 14.45 1.09
Note: Higher values for measures 2-5 indicate more positive views toward FFD testing.
(a.)p [less than] .05
(b.)p [less than] .01
(c.)p [less than] .001
(d.)p [less than] .0001
(1.)Factor 1000 test-takers were coded as 1; Delta-WP test-takers as 2.
(2.)From 1 (less than a year) to 5 (10 years or more).
(3.)Females were coded as 1; males as 2.
(4.)From 1 (some high school) to 7 (doctorate).
Results of Regression Analyses Dependent variable Independent variable b s.e. t p [less than] Perceived ability test type .12 .26 .44 .66 of FFD testing years at company -.12 .08 -1.42 .16 to determine gender -.40 .26 1.54 .13 impairment age .02 .01 2.58 .01 for work education -.14 .10 -1.39 .17 Perceived impairment .24 .09 2.72 .008 invasiveness test type .14 .25 .57 .57 of FFD testing years at company -.02 .08 -.32 .75 gender .26 .26 1.01 .31 age -.02 .01 -1.65 .10 education -.03 .10 -.34 .73 Perceived impairment .57 .07 7.68 .0001 ability of test type -.05 .22 -.21 .83 FFD testing years at company -.04 .07 -.66 .51 to enhance gender -.19 .22 -.87 .39 safety age .02 .01 2.56 .01 education -.08 .09 -.94 .35 Experience impairment .42 .08 5.49 .0001 of taking test type .25 .22 1.12 .27 FFD test years at company .01 .07 .16 .87 gender -.03 .23 -.14 .89 age -.00 .01 -.49 .63 education -.08 .09 -.91 .36
Representative Comments about FFD Testing
To me, performance testing is a good thing, because it allows someone with the knowledge of reading the results of an individual's testing to pick out how alert, responsive, and responsible that person is.
Since its use began, those thought to be "on drugs" are no longer here. Those who in the past would drink alcohol in the off duty hours prior to working tend (I think) to not do so, because of fear of failing.
Although I'm not real fond of performance testing, I do think there is a need for it . . . . [W]hether it works or not, [it] is at least a means of trying to be proactive in safety concerns.
Performance testing is a valid way to assess my fitness for work and is much more palatable pal·at·a·ble
1. Acceptable to the taste; sufficiently agreeable in flavor to be eaten.
2. Acceptable or agreeable to the mind or sensibilities: a palatable solution to the problem. than drug testing. As with any method, I don't think it is 100% foolproof.
I have seen workers hung over to the extent that [they] can't do their jobs well, but can pass Factor 1000.
I have failed the computerized fitness test when there was no reason for me to be "unfit" -- no controlled substances controlled substance n. a drug which has been declared by federal or state law to be illegal for sale or use, but may be dispensed under a physician's prescription. , plenty of rest, no undue stress. I have also seen people come to work extremely hung over and pass.
I have seen people drink three beers and two shots of hard liquor hard liquor A popular term for beverages with a high–often > 30% by volume–ie, 60 proof alcohol content–eg, gin, rum, vodka, whiskey; HLs are preferred by alcoholics as a steady state of low-level inebriation is easier to maintain. See Standard drink. and pass. This is not a foolproof system.