Mobile Devices

What hazards are associated with using mobile devices while on the job?

The National Safety Council’s annual injury and fatality report for 2014 states that the use of “cellphones” causes 26% of the nation’s car accidents. Many of these cases lead to fatalities.
Only 5% of these accidents occur due to texting while driving, while the rest are due to general handling, hands free talking, application use, music use and other mobile device activity that is widely accepted as “safe”. Therefore, it is reasonable to assume that mobile device use of any type can contribute to at least “some” non-driving occupational injuries and illnesses if performed while working at the same time. Therefore, we must also be aware of the hazards associated with mobile device use outside the motor vehicle.

Some key hazards that are presented when people use mobile devices while performing other activities at the same time are:

1. Motor vehicle accidents while using a mobile device
2. Slips, trips and falls by walking and using a mobile device
3. Struck by incidents from lack of situational awareness while walking and using a mobile device
4. Caught in incidents from using machinery or equipment while using a mobile device

What can you do to prevent incidents related to mobile device use?

1. Never use a mobile device while driving (this includes hands free talking, texting, using applications, playing music, or any other activity)
2. Never walk and use a mobile device simultaneously to avoid slips, trips and falls
3. Avoid mobile device use while performing any work activity unless you are certain it will not risk your safety or the safety of others
4. Report others who use mobile devices while operating machinery, vehicles, tools or equipment

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