Recognising the lack of a standardised test in New Zealand for workplaces to assess employee impairment, Wellington based Ora is developing an app and service that tests employee impairment and work-readiness in real time, before accidents happen. According to co-founder Jackson Wood, many workplaces today use drug testing as a proxy for impairment testing. However, these are generally arbitrary or ineffective and not always reflective of potential employee impairment at the workplace. Further, recent major accidents in forestry and adventure tourism industries have prompted questions about the risks in other safety critical sectors. According to Wood, Ora's technology will paint a more accurate picture of employee impairment than current drug testing enables.
Ora's more accurate testing for impairment technology will make workplaces safer by effectively ensuring people have their "heads in the game" while working on hazardous job sites. "A large number or workplace accidents are caused by impairment - from fatigue, stress, drugs and alcohol, or dehydration - so it makes sense to sense to ensure we are testing for the right thing to keep people safe," says Wood.
Wood and his co-founder Catherine McCullough collectively bring experience from the political communications, justice, drug and health policy arenas. Lauchpad participation will enable Ora to build a core team with technical experience and bring partner companies on board for testing the initial product concept.