Bill 1352 (64 KB, .pdf) has been put forth in the Idaho Senate to define texting and to amend the Idaho Code “…to provide that texting while driving shall constitute inattentive driving.”
Texting is defined as “…engaging in the review of, or preparation and transmission of typed messages via wireless devices.” Inattentive driving is a misdemeanor and can result in one being “…sentenced to jail for not more than ninety (90) days or may be fined not more than three hundred dollars ($300), or may be punished by both fine and imprisonment” if convicted.
The co-sponsors (4 KB, .pdf) include Senators McGee, Werk, Bock, and Schroeder and Representatives Wills and Wood.
If passed, Idaho would join 19 other states that ban text messaging while driving.
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Yesterday, I read ”Can’t We All Just Get Along? Some Alternative Views of the Knowledge Worker in Complex HCI Systems” written by Marvin J. Dainoff and published in the International Journal of Human-Computer Interaction.
The article starts by quoting the October 1999 article, “Beyond the Information Revolution,” written by Peter Drucker. This set the stage for examining different perspectives of how human factors and ergonomics professionals understand knowledge workers. The three perspectives (Macroergonomics; Cognitive Systems Theory; and Human Systems Integration) have a fourth perspective, Sociotechnical Systems Theory, as an underlying foundation.
The author goes onto discuss several subtopics including:
- Balance Theory
- Joint Cognitive Systems
- Cognitive Task Analysis
- Situation Awareness
- Resilience Engineering
- Cognitive Work Analysis
- Ecological Interface Design
The article closes with a couple cogent comments and questions that human factors and ergonomics practitioners should strive to answer:
“Too often we perceive the benefits of the work we do as obvious, and get upset when the rest of the world does not agree. Would a shift in framing the outcomes of HFE research and intervention to correspond with higher level goals of the “customer” organization improve the current impact factor?” (p. 345)
“A basically entrepreneurial/individualistic worldview among the practitioners and researchers concerned with knowledge work has lead to an explosion of methods, approaches, and techniques. Are we, as a community of practice embodying both macroergonomics and cognitive systems engineering, ready to develop the “trading zones” that maximize the opportunity to come to some consensus/convergence within the HSI model? Can we harvest this profusion of insights to enhance individual and system performance and to have a real impact on health, safety, and satisfaction?” (p. 345)
Dainoff, M.J. (2009). Can’t we all just get along? Some alternative views of the knowledge worker in complex HCI systems. International Journal of Human-Computer Interaction, 25, 328-347.
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On April 28th, I’ll be attending the 2010 Highway Safety Summit, put on by the Idaho Transportation Department Office of Highway Safety. I’m interested to see what “…innovative, results-oriented solutions to help save lives and reduce serious injuries from motor vehicle crashes” will be presented.
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One of the more serious consequences of chronic stress in the workplace is burnout. Quick, el al. (2006) identified several signs and symptoms of burnout including:
Early Warning Signs and Signals
1. Work performance
Risk of errors and mistakes
Reduced efficiency and energy
Lowered level of motivation
2. Physical and somatic symptoms
Fatigue and exhaustion
Headaches and/or digestive problems
3. Behavioral indicators
Irritability and anger
More easily frustrated
Advanced Symptoms of Burnout
4. Self-medication, such as with alcohol or tranquilizers
5. Cynicism, sarcasm, and attitudinal negativity
6. Serious self doubt
7. More and more time working, with less getting done
To determine the level of stress you’re currently experiencing, you can complete the Perceived Stress Scale. The 10-item scale asks questions pertaining to stress you’ve experienced during the last month.
Quick, J.C., Saleh, K.J., Sime, W.E., Martin, W., Cooper, C.L., Quick, J.D., & Mont, M.A. (2006). Stress management skills for strong leadership: Is it worth dying for? The Journal of Bone & Joint Surgery, 88, 217-225.
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Stress is endemic in the US – both in one’s personal life and in the workplace. In a 2001 telephone poll of 751 American workers, when asked “In general, how stressed do you feel at work?,” the participants responded:
- 6% = “extremely”
- 12% = “quite a bit”
- 34% = “somewhat”
- 30% = “a little”
- 18% = “not at all”
A follow up question revealed that 28% of respondents reported that “workplace demands” were a major source of stress in their lives. Understanding the impact of stress on one’s life is important first step in learning to control its negative effects.
People are stressed by a wide variety of things. What may drive one person to the breaking point might hardly be noticed by another. Sonnentag and Frese (2003) have identified several categories of stressors with corresponding examples. They include:
- Physical (e.g., noise, heat, cold, vibrations, chemical, toxic substances, dirt, etc.)
- Task-related (e.g., time pressure, work overload, work complexity, monotonous work, disruptions, etc.)
- Work-schedule (e.g., night work, shift work, long hours, overtime, etc.)
- Social (e.g., interpersonal conflicts, harassment, bullying, etc.)
- Role (e.g., ambiguity, conflict, etc.)
- Career-related (e.g., job insecurity, poor career opportunities, etc.)
- Organizational (e.g., mergers, downsizing, reorganization, technology implementation, etc.)
- Traumatic (e.g., disasters, major accidents, dangerous activities, etc.)
Stressors can cause a variety of short- and long-term reactions in individuals at the physiological, emotional, and behavioral levels. Some reactions include:
- Alcoholism and drug abuse
- Cardiovascular disease
- Changes in appetite
- Memory loss
- Physical illness
- Sexual dysfunction
- Trouble concentrating
Stress reactions can lead to a variety of organizational problems including absenteeism, decreased worker performance, increased turnover rate, increased heath care costs, temporary or permanent disability, and work-place violence – just to name a few.
Gallop Poll (2001). Attitudes in the American Workplace VII. Wallford, CT: The Martin Company. http://www.stress.org/2001Harris.pdf
Sonnentag, S., & Frese, M. (2003). Stress in organizations. In W.C. Borman, D.R. Ilgen, & R.J. Klimoski (Eds.), Handbook of psychology: Volume 12 – Industrial and organizational psychology (pp. 453-491). Hoboken, NJ: John Wiley & Sons.
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