According to a recent study, the average person checks their cell phone 100 times a day. While there is a time and a place for cell phones, job site cell phone use can be extremely dangerous.
If you’re distracted for just a second while operating a power tool, working on a roof or driving a forklift, you can injure yourself or a co-worker. You can also face civil or criminal liability for damages you cause by operating a motorized vehicle while using a cell phone.
It isn’t only operators of machinery who need to be mindful of the dangers of cell phone use on the job site. Simply looking down at your cell phone and not paying attention to your surroundings could put your life in danger.
Cellphone Safety Tips When On-site
The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) prohibits cell phone use by operators of cranes and similar equipment. Most organizations prohibit any kind of cell phone use on the job site—not just for crane operators. It is your responsibility to know how your company’s rules apply to you and follow them accordingly.
If you struggle with the temptation to check your phone while working on a job site, consider the following safety tips:
- Get in the habit of sending and receiving text messages before or after your shift, or during one of your breaks.
- Remind family and friends that you may not be able to respond to their messages right away. Provide them with your workplace contact information in case of emergencies.
- Turn off push notifications so you’re not distracted by any apps.
- Don’t carry your cell phone on you if the temptation to check it is too much. Instead, leave it in a safe place where it won’t distract you from your job.
- Follow your workplace policy for cell phone use at work and on the job site. Be aware of any cellphone-free zones.
Besides creating enormous safety risks, employees who are texting at work are not doing what they are getting paid to do. For this reason, these workers may be subject to disciplinary action.
If you have questions about ’s workplace cell phone policy, or if you notice inappropriate cellphone use on the job site, don’t hesitate to discuss it with your supervisor or HR.