According to ithe National Safety Council (NSC), Employers are responsible for ensuring their employees adhere to applicable federal agency regulations.
Employers should also ensure that employees follow all state and municipal laws. However, our Greensboro worker’s compensation lawyers know following the letter of the law is not always enough
In addition to following federal, state, and municipal laws and regulations the National Transportation Safety Board issued a recommendation that all commercial drivers should be completely banned from using portable electronic devices.
The NSC encourages employers to institute bans on talking on their phones as well as texting and other uses because according to research even talking on the phone may greatly reduce the ability of a driver to concentrate on the road.
The human brain cannot multi-task. Since driving and talking are two thinking tasks that require many areas of the brain, the brain must switch rapidly between the two cognitive activities.
Implantation and enforcement of total bans during work hours will only be effective if they are include banning all non-work related devices, calls, and vehicles.
Companies often exempt individuals in mobile sales positions due to productivity concerns. But these employees are often more heavily exposed to danger due to the large number of work-related miles they travel.
Recent surveys have indicated that companies who have implemented total bans on handled and hands-free devices have not experienced a marked decrease in productivity:
• A 2009 survey revealed that of 469 NSC members who had implemented total bans, only 1% reported that their productivity had decreased as a result.
• In 2010 a survey of Fortune 500 companies that had implemented total cellphone bans only 7 percent of those that responded reported a decrease in productivity. In fact, 19 percent thought that productivity had actually increased as a result of the ban.
• A survey completed by AMEC revealed that after instituting a total cellphone ban 96% of the employees felt productivity had stayed the same or increased.
In addition employers should set their policies in a way that exceeds existing rules, regulations and laws. NSC explains that companies who are known for their safety often exceed the minimum government regulations.
Cellphone policies should apply to all handled and has-free devices, all work-related communications – even when they occur a personal vehicle or on a personal cellphone, all company vehicles, all company cellphones, and all employees.
It is the responsibility of the employer to educate the employees, monitor compliance, enforce the policy, and address violations.
The National Safety Council estimates that a workplace automobile crash will cost an employer over $24,000. If the crash involves injuries to the employee the cost may increase to more than $125,000.
Contact our Carolina worker’s compensation attorneys today by calling 800-887-1965.
More Blog Posts:
Misclassification: North Carolina Proposes New Penalties for Employers, North Carolina Workers’ Compensation, June 16, 2013
Airport Work Safety: OSHA Cites TSA, North Carolina Workers’ Compensation Lawyers Blog, August 27, 2013