||Issue No. 212||12 March 2004|
Interview: Baby Bust
Safety: Dust To Dust
Bad Boss: Shaming in Print
National Focus: Work's Cripplin' Us
International: Bulk Bullies
History: The Battle for Kelly's Bush
Economics: Aid, Trade And Oil
Review: The Art Of Work
Poetry: Sew His Lips Together
Seven Good Reasons To Save Medicare
Naked Leading The Blind
Dodgy Tests Cost Drivers
Doubts have been cast on Psychometric Testing, or PMT, by experts who studied the tests used by State Rail to measure driver abilities.
One driver, who asked not to be named for fear of retribution by State Rail management, claims that the tests are being used to discipline drivers who are standing up for genuine safety on the state's rail system.
"They are just doing it to some of us," says the driver. "They should do it to everyone, not just those who have allegedly done an offence."
"It is just another instrument for management to accept or refuse an individual."
The driver was forced to do the PMT test five months after an incident he was involved in. The driver had been cleared of any blame for the previous incident.
Drivers also challenged the qualifications of those conducting the tests, which must be conducted by qualified neuro-psychologists.
"If State rail is serious about driver safety then they would invest in a test to accurately measure workers ability to do their job,' says Mark Morey from the NSW Labor Council. "We don't believe these tests measure the workers ability to do their job."
PMT involves a series of tests that are claimed to measure a drivers suitability, but experts found that one of the tests, the Safe Concentration And Attention Test or SCAAT, has poor psychometric properties and there is "a lack of evidence that it does predict driver vigilance, concentration and attention".
Another test, the Mackworth Clock Test, was initially designed to test fighter pilots during World War II.
A report by registered psychologists found that there was no evidence that the Mackworth Clock Test could predict, with any accuracy, driver propensity for train accidents. The report also found that the test might unfairly discriminate against older Train Drivers who, while still being capable of driving trains safely, may not react as quickly to younger persons on the Mackworth Clock test.
"We don't believe the tests should be used to discipline workers," says Morey. "We have information that this is what is going on."
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