With virtually everyone now owning a cell phone, most organizations have accepted employee cell phone usage as the new norm. While cell phones have many benefits to workplace communications, such as easy access to email, they can also pose a threat to employee safety for a multitude of reasons.
Distractions constitute a significant issue created by workplace cell phone usage, especially in an industrial or manufacturing workplace. Cell phone distractions can significantly decrease employees’ spatial awareness and recognition of hazards while operating equipment or large pieces of machinery, putting them at risk of serious and potentially fatal accidents. Regardless of how experienced your workers may be, cell phones can instantly divert their attention away from work tasks.
In these instances, it’s common for workers to become unaware of the movement of forklifts or other vehicles in the area, putting themselves and others at risk of getting struck – not to mention the potential for serious property damage!
In addition, cell phone battery defects have been known to result in fires and explosions at industrial plants of all types, potentially affecting the operations of equipment. Also, depending on the type and sensitivity of equipment used at your workplace, cell phone transmissions can interfere with your equipment’s ability to function properly.
If a major accident or fatality occurs on site, your organization’s reputation could suffer from long-term damage. For these reasons, it’s best to completely ban the use of cell phones on the floor of your industrial or manufacturing site.
Though preventing cell phone usage may seem extreme, your employees’ physical well-being should always be your top priority. Your employees deserve to be part of an organization in which they feel safe and secure at all times. Being aware of how cell phone usage can affect your organization is critical for creating fair employee policies and ensuring the most optimal work environment possible.
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