Send to

Choose Destination
Ind Health. 2005 Jan;43(1):186-92.

The impact of sustained wakefulness and time-of-day on OSPAT performance.

Author information

The Centre for Sleep Research, 5th Floor Basil Hetzel Institute, The Queen Elizabeth Hospital, Woodville Rd, Woodville SA 5011, Australia.


Fatigue associated with shiftwork is a key contributor to human error in the workplace. One way to prevent fatigue-related errors from occurring is to identify fatigue in employees using fitness-for-duty measures. The Occupational Safety Performance Assessment Test (OSPAT), an unpredictable tracking task that measures hand-eye coordination, is currently being used as a fitness-for-duty measure in a variety of industries, but has not yet been validated as a test sensitive to the effects of fatigue. Consequently, the aim of this study was to systematically examine the impact of sustained wakefulness and time-of-day on OSPAT performance. Twenty individuals (10 male, 10 female), aged between 18-25 yr (M=20.90, SD=2.29) participated in the study, which was conducted in Australia. The study had a repeated measures design, whereby participants completed the OSPAT and measures of sustained attention (i.e., the psychomotor vigilance task: PVT), and subjective alertness (i.e., the Visual Analog Scale: VAS) every 2 h during 24 h of sustained wakefulness, beginning at 07:00 h. Results revealed that VAS ratings of alertness, PVT performance, and OSPAT performance declined significantly as hours of wakefulness increased during the night-time (all p<.01). Furthermore, a positive correlation between OSPAT and PVT performance was observed (r=0.40, p<.01). Overall, these findings suggest that OSPAT is sensitive to sustained wakefulness during the night-time, and builds the case for OSPAT being a suitable measure for determining fitness-for-duty in workplace environments.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free full text

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for J-STAGE, Japan Science and Technology Information Aggregator, Electronic
Loading ...
Support Center