Cell Phones, Blackberries, MP3 Players & Workplace Safety

‘My job is primarily a desk job. I update the website, write documents, do graphic and desktop publishing work and more. While I am in an office setting with co-workers and customers around my safety does not depend on being able to hear them so I sometimes wear an MP3 player with an ear piece in one ear (in order to hear what’s going on with the other). I sometimes will text or use my cell phone during the day. The nature of my job doesn’t make this an unsafe practice.

This is not necessarily the case for everyone. Auditory distractions can be a safety issue in most plants and construction sites. MP3 players, while nice to relieve the boredom of monotonous tasks, can interfere with a worker being able to hear what’s going on around him or her. Cell phones can ring and cause distractions at crucial moments. Texting can distract as well.

While this technology isn’t that new, most safety plans haven’t been updated to reflect the companies’ policy regarding the use of these devices. It might be time to look at your documentation to make sure that employees are clear as to your companies’ policies regarding these devices so that there is no ambiguity. Preemptive planning, after all, is the name of the game in the world of safety.

So here’s the question… What is the policy regarding mobile devices and MP3s at your company? Are they banned all together? All the allowed with certain restrictions? Post a comment and let us know.