It’s well known that shift work and irregular or long working hours can adversely affect the health, safety and wellbeing of workers. Strategies for alertness management are increasingly important, and everyone in the workplace is responsible to ensure impaired alertness – or fatigue – doesn’t create a work health and safety risk.

Now a new system, developed in Australia and called AlertSafe, is available to track alertness and design, build and manage rosters using artificial intelligence. In doing so, the developers believe AlertSafe will achieve better outcomes for staff and management.

The AlertSafe platform was created in a collaboration with the Faculty of Information Technology (IT) and the Turner Institute for Brain and Mental Health at Monash University, the Institute for Breathing and Sleep at Austin Health and the University of Sydney.

The algorithms use a sophisticated mathematical model based on the underlying biology of sleep to estimate the impact of work schedules on alertness levels.

“AlertSafe generates rosters using artificial intelligence-based optimisation, which infers the consequences of each assignment of a shift to a person who can and cannot be assigned to other shifts,” said Professor Mark Wallace from the Faculty of IT. “The platform then determines smarter ways to improve a roster time until it meets the preference needs of the roster and the people working within it”.

Director of Engagement and Translation at the Turner Institute for Brain and Mental Health and Chair of the Sleep Health Foundation, Professor Shantha Rajaratnam, said, “Sleep is integral to optimal health, productivity and safety in the workplace. Interventions, like the AlertSafe, that improve sleep, can significantly reduce accidents and improve the health and wellbeing of shift workers”.

Dr Alan Dormer, Managing Director of Opturion which has commercialised the platform, says it has applications across a number of sectors.

“The AlertSafe system makes irregular working hours and shift work safer and more productive by dramatically reducing incidents and improving service outcomes. This means the platform can be applied across a variety of industries including healthcare, the police force, emergency services, airlines, trucking, construction and mining,” said Dr Dormer.

Already, it has been used in various construction projects, engineering applications and medical transport.

AlertSafe was developed alongside a personalised sleep schedule app, called Zest, which optimises individual sleep to improve mental health outcomes. The mobile phone app, which is currently in the testing phase, has already shown improvements amongst shift workers who have reported improved sleep and overall mental wellbeing.

You can find out more about AlertSafe at:


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