Linking Mobile Devices and Workplace Safety [Webinar Transcript]

Two safety workers look at plans on a tablet.
Category: Industry Insights

By Matt Rowley
Posted on

According to CareerBuilder research, mobile devices can reduce overall productivity at work, surpassing surfing the internet and gossiping. According to the survey, 1 in 5 employers think workers are productive less than five hours a day. When looking for a culprit, 55% say that workers’ mobile phones/texting, gaming, etc., are to blame.

Outside of productivity decreases, mobile device distractions can impede employees’ spatial awareness, recognition of hazards and operation of equipment. Employees may face civil and criminal liability for damages that result from accidents caused by texting while driving, engaging in other work, answering personal communications on devices and otherwise being distracted from their work.

What can safety professionals do to help companies avoid litigation and keep their employees safe? How can mobile device distractions be remedied without infringing on employee privacy and rights? What policies and practices should employers implement? What are the liabilities for each party?

Columbia Southern University hosted “Linking Mobile Devices and Workplace Safety,” a webinar discussion and Q&A session about these topics. CSU’s occupational health and safety professor Ralph Blessing led the discussion. The following is a transcript of the webinar.

Transcript Introduction

First of all, I'd like to welcome you. Today we're going to be discussing cellphones and other electronic distractions that affect the workplace. Our particular interest will be the distracted driving aspect of cellphone usage – we would call that a work zone – and then in the construction industry.

We'll talk about:

  • Cellphone Usage in the World
  • Mobile Devices and Workplace Safety
  • How to Manage Cellphone Hazards on the Jobsite
    • Distracted Driving
    • Construction Machinery
    • Distracted Employees
    • Other Issues
  • OSHA and Cellphones on the Jobsite
  • Positives of Cellphones in Construction
  • Developing a Mobile Device Safety Policy

Cellphone Usage in the World

According to GSMA Intelligence, there are roughly 9 billion mobile connections worldwide, and there less than 8 billion people in the world. We know there are individuals who have multiple cellphones.

66.72% of the world population are unique subscribers. This is since 1973, when mobile device connections were conceived. It has, as indicated, surpassed the world population. It is the fastest growing man-made technology in the history of the world. Nothing else has ever been like this.

China has the largest population of users in the world, but only half of their population actually uses a cellphone. This indicates that many of them have two cellphones. The United Arab Emirates has the largest user market in the world with over 82% of the population using cellphones. The United Arab Emirates is small when it comes to population, but two, three or four cellphones for one person is not unheard of.

Within our country, the United States, we have 235 million users, representing 71.5% of the population, of which 94% of the users are between 18 and 29 years old.

Mobile Devices and Workplace Safety

The exposure from cellphones or mobile devices can be put into various categories. We have user safety hazards, which include distracted driving and distraction on jobsites. When considering distractions on jobsites, we have texting, talking and gaming.

When we talk about how this affects the employees, we're looking at spatial awareness. What is happening around you? Do you hear things? Do you see things? Do you smell things? These are all important. If you're focused on a cellphone – we all know this because we're on them all day long – you lose track of what's happening around you. You lose that spatial awareness.

As we've seen online, people on cellphones have fallen into water fountains, run into trees, run into poles and more. What about when you’re operating hazardous equipment, or any equipment, while you're using a cellphone?

We also have the possibility of fire or explosion from cellphones that are left in cars, set on dashboards while driving, under direct sunlight and more. There are many things that we need to worry about.

Remember that 94% of cellphone users in the U.S. are between the ages of 18 and 29 years old. Video gaming is one of the fastest-growing entertainment industries in the United States. In 2018, 29% of all video gamers were between the ages of 18 and 35 years old, and this represented the largest group. That's something to consider. How many of your employees may be playing a game on a cellphone while they're supposed to be working? Or are they working and not paying attention like they should be?

Distracted Driving

In 2017, the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration put out statistics about distracted driving. There was a total of 3,166 fatalities from distracted driving, of which 434 can be directly attributed to cellphone usage. That equals 14% of the fatalities.

2017 NHTSA Distracted Driving Statistics
Description Crashes Drivers Fatalities
Total 34,247 52,274 37,133
Distraction-Affected (DA) 2,936 (9% of total crashes) 2,994 (6% of total drivers) 3,166 (9% of total fatalities
Cellphone in Use 401 (14% of DA crashes) 404 (13% of distracted drivers) 434 (14% of fatalities in DA crashes)

Financial Impact of Distracted Driving

In 2010, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration and then-Secretary of Labor Solis signed into law, with the cooperation of a Department of Transportation, an initiative to combat distracted driving. This is where OSHA really started putting their teeth into cellphone usage.

On a personal note, I had a good friend in Atlanta, who is a senior VP for a construction company. One day he was dropping his children off at the local school and got back into his van. As he was driving out of the school area, he got a phone call from work. He was talking to somebody from work, and unfortunately he ran into the back of another vehicle. The driver of the other vehicle was left a paraplegic. When it was settled in court, the complete ruling turned out to be about $15 million, of which his insurance company would cover only $7.5 million because he was on a cellphone. The other $7.5 million he had to get himself, and that included putting his house up for mortgage. That is a very expensive cellphone call.

OSHA has issued a number of notable citations. On April 14, 2014, an employee was killed because he was listening to music on his cellphone and did not hear the backup alarm on a bulldozer. OSHA cited the employer under the General Duty Clause $11,408, and that's just the citation to the employer. Imagine how the employee felt that killed this other employee even though it was the other employee's fault.

On September 10, 2015 an employee was struck by a dump truck because he was talking on a cellphone and not paying attention. OSHA cited the employer $7,000 under the General Duty Clause.

On April 1, 2016, a dump truck struck a superintendent and killed him. The driver of the truck was on his phone. OSHA cited the employer $11,224 under the General Duty Clause.

OSHA Distracted Driving Initiative

In 2010, OSHA distributed a letter about its Distracted Driving Initiative to companies that employ drivers, stating:

“It is your responsibility and legal obligation to have a clear, unequivocal, and enforced policy against texting while driving … Companies are in violation of the Occupational Safety and Health Act if, by policy or practice, they require texting while driving, or create incentives that encourage or condone it, or they structure work so that texting is a practical necessity for workers to carry out their jobs. OSHA will investigate worker complaints, and employers who violate the law will be subject to citations and penalties.”

In many instances, OSHA's standards are ambiguous. They don't put their finger directly on it because there are instances or issues that may arise that you cannot get around. In this case, OSHA is more finite with exactly what they're looking for. They can use a General Duty Clause to cite companies for their employees texting while driving, even if the employers have no texting policy. If we have policies – and most employers will have a policy – it doesn't mean that our employees are always following those policies. We, as the employer, are required to ensure the employees do so.

If you're caught, or your employees are caught, violating that policy, you will be cited and your employees can be cited. Under the new policies and new changes to citations, a willful violation could be up to $124,709. Again, that’s very expensive for a cellphone call.

Construction Machinery

Probably the largest area of exposure exists in heavy equipment operations. Under 29CFR1926.1417(d), OSHA specifically prohibits the use of mobile phones in cranes. OSHA will investigate and, when necessary, issue citations and penalties to end this practice.

I myself am currently involved in the demolition of a retired coal-burning power plant, and they have seven union operators running very large pieces of equipment. My number one priority is to monitor the usage of cellphones by having safety sweeps watch out for those different operators. I did have one operator that was using his hands-free cellphone, and in doing so, actually did not realize that his piece of machinery was running out of fuel. Of course, then it was difficult to try and refill that piece of machinery. It can happen. People aren't paying attention. Common sense should be playing a role in this area.

Distracted Employees

What is it that we're looking for in distracted employees? We already know mobile phones impair employee recognition and reaction. There's no doubt that it happens every day, probably to you. It's happened to me as I'm driving down the road speaking to somebody on my hands-free, and I go past my exit on the highway, which I've taken for the last 10 years. It just happens; you're not paying attention.

One big thing is passing machinery. Are you paying attention? Do you hear the backup alarms? Do you hear the horn going off? A lot of times we don't pay attention to it. How about tripping over uneven terrain? You are on your cellphone, or you're even gaming or looking down at a text, and you fall over. There's a little bump or a curve or something, and you fall. There is running in or spilling hazardous chemicals. How about confined spaces?

There are explosives and people working around demolition areas or explosives. Of course, cellphones generate a frequency, and explosives are detonated with a frequency. If your cellphone is in that same frequency range, there could be a chance that it would set off a charge.

Think about Fitbits and Apple Watches. If you look down at your Fitbit to find out how many paces you've walked today, or your heartbeat, you’re not paying attention and you run into something.

Stony Brook University conducted a study and concluded that texting has the same effect as intoxication. Maybe we don't walk a little crooked, but we have lost spatial awareness, and we walk into something. If your company has a policy against doing work while intoxicated, then why allow your employees to text or play games on their phones?

How to Minimize Distractions for Employees

So the question is, how do we control it? We have to invoke a clear policy with teeth that prohibits texting and talking while operating any kind of motorized equipment. Limit or prohibit cellphone usage in specific areas where distractions can create employee hazards, regardless if there are operators or not. It doesn't have to be an operator; it could be a regular routine employee, an admin employee walking across a jobsite or a construction site.

For anybody having company-issued cellphones, consider applications that block Internet access and texting while on moving vehicles or on construction sites. There is equipment that can generate a negative signal that blocks out cellphone usage. On construction sites, have a cellphone-free zone. Post signs designating them as such and only allow access during breaks or in designated areas.

Other Cellphone Hazards on the Jobsite

What about some of the other hazards that we encounter? How about reduction in productivity? OpenMarket reports that 83% of millennials open text messages within 90 seconds of receiving them. If you have your cellphone in your pocket and it buzzes, you pull it out and you look at it. Cellphone owners between 18 and 24 send an average of 109 texts a day. That equals about 3,200 a month. If you're seeing that, how much are they paying attention? If it's a personal issue, your spouse, the child's sick, or your car just broke down, then it's worse.

Text messages can be used in litigation. If you're texting, and it happens in a vehicle and there's a fatality, the lawyers or the prosecuting attorney will subpoena your cellphone records. They will see exactly at the time that the incident occurred, were you texting or were you not? All that is available to them.

What about the pictures and videos that can be used for citations, litigation or bidding wars? Let's say your company's bidding on a contract, and someone takes pictures or videos that could help another company to win a contract over your company.

What about sexual harassment? On one jobsite, I had women complain to me that some of the operators were taking their pictures. Why they were taking their pictures, I don't know. When I approached the operators, they said they were taking pictures of the equipment, and not the women, but why were the operators using their cellphones when they were operating a big piece of equipment?

With any incident or accident, there are increased insurance rates, which may force your company out of a job market because of insurance or EMRs. There's a lot can be attributed to the negativity of cellphones.

OSHA and Cellphones on the Jobsite

So what does OSHA think of mobile devices on the jobsite? We have the Distracted Driving Initiative from 2010, and we also have the General Duty Clause of OSHA 5(a)(1) that specifically states:

“Each employer shall furnish to each of his employees employment and a place of employment which are free from recognized hazards that are causing or are likely to cause death or serious physical harm to his employees.”

We now know that cellphones are a recognized hazard. If you have a cellphone on a construction site or your vehicle, you are now subject to OSHA citations under the General Duty Clause under the OSH Act.

General Duty Clause Citations

Before OSHA can issue citations under the General Duty Clause, there are some rules that protect us. OSHA must establish that a hazard is recognized in order to issue a General Duty Clause violation.

Recognition of a hazard can be established by OSHA on the basis of industry recognition, employer recognition or common-sense recognition. That can be a scary thought, “common-sense recognition.” What does OSHA consider to be common sense? What does society consider to be common sense? What do you and I consider to be common sense? It’s an ambiguous statement, but this gives OSHA the power to cite you; therefore, you have to be very cautious.

OSHA can establish industry recognition if the hazard is recognized in an employer's industry. Recognition by an industry other than the industry to which the employer belongs is generally insufficient to prove a General Duty Clause violation. If you're not a trucking company, and you have no company vehicles, then in all reality, you as an employer are not familiar with that aspect of it. OSHA couldn't cite you if your employees are driving a company vehicle if they have one or two and they're using a cellphone, because that's not a part of your industry.

A recognized hazard can be established by evidence of actual employer knowledge. Think about your safety policies and procedures. That is recognized knowledge if you have something in your policy or procedure that tells OSHA that you recognize there is a problem. There is a rule or regulation specifically dealing with that certain process, in this case, the use of cellphones.

Finally, if industry or employee recognition of a hazard cannot be established, recognition can still be established if OSHA concludes that any reasonable person would have recognized a hazard. For example, any reasonable person would recognize the hazard of pointing a loaded gun.

These are things that we need to think about when it comes to the cellphone usage. OSHA has teeth and they're going to use them. It's getting more and more prevalent. This is something you need to seriously think about, just as silica dust has come to the forefront. Cellphone usage has been around since 2010, but OSHA now is stepping up their focus on this because of the problems that people are having.

Positives of Cellphones in Construction

There are positive sides to mobile devices. First of all, they provide accurate and timely information. I belong to a number of organizations, and when an incident or an accident occurs somewhere, depending on the severity, I get a text with important information.

Also, when we talk about engineering and architecture, we have building information modeling, or BIM. As your engineers and architects start to develop a site, leveling and getting ready to pour cement, they can use BIM on their cellphone to know exactly where the pour needs to take place, how much, if it's a 3,000 psi or 10,000 psi pour, and so on and so forth.

There are other areas in which cellphones help, such as improved communication between different locations on the same jobsite, timely emails, immediate emergency actions and more. People can go into confined spaces, and as long as they're vertical, the phone recognizes this; as soon as they go horizontal – for example, they fall over or they pass out – the phone will immediately generate an alarm at some location, which tells the rescue teams that they have a person down.

It's up to management to decide where and when a mobile device can be employed on an active jobsite. The ultimate authority in this is management, and OSHA will cite management up to $124,000 for a willful violation because they are aware there is a problem with cellphone usage on the jobsite.

Developing a Mobile Device Safety Policy

What is it you can do? I'm not much for having standard operating procedures, but we do need to develop a health and safety policy for using mobile devices on worksites or in equipment. This is a management process, but it starts with us as safety professionals.

Why is it we need this policy or procedure? Obviously, it's to keep our employees safe, but it's a lot more than that. We're required to keep the local population safe from construction hazards, and employees walking around with a cellphone or a construction worker on a cellphone not paying attention could be a hazard to your local population.

Here are some items the policy should cover:

  • Who does the policy apply to? For example, does it apply to all employees or only to your drivers? Does it only apply to your construction site employees, but it doesn’t cover an office employee texting and running into a door?
  • What are the types of devices that fall within the realm of the policy, such as cellphones, tablets, iPods, Fitbits, so on and so forth?
  • What are the specific company rules regarding times and locations? Does it only apply in vehicles? When can a cellphone be used? On construction sites, usually it's only during breaks and lunchtime; other than that, cellphones cannot be used at all.
  • Most importantly, what is your discipline policy for cellphone usage? Do you have a three-strike rule?


These are all things that we can use to drive forward why cellphone usage on construction sites and in vehicles should not happen, especially when it's company-related. We can't control our employees’ personal lives, but we can control what happens from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., or later if they're on second and third shifts. Even though you may only get cited for $124,000, you may need to live with the fact that one of your employees died because you allowed them to use a cellphone and fall over the edge of the building because they weren't paying attention and a guardrail happened to be down. That's not something you want to live with.


Without further ado, I'm ready for any questions that you may have.

Q: How do you recommend employers facilitate an open dialog about text distractions and their effects on the system and their employees?

A: I would recommend a PowerPoint, much along the line of what we've done right here. Put together PowerPoints and statistics. Show them statistics, pull out newspaper articles and magazine articles. This is what it seems like people are attracted to. Show them exactly what happens. What could happen because somebody used a cellphone and wasn't paying attention?
Q: What are some strategies to reduce distractions, maintain productivity and ensure safety?
A: One of the big strategies I mentioned is to get rid of their cellphones. It's difficult for somebody to give up their cellphone. I know some companies have left them in lockers or you leave them with security and get a badge. There are many different things you can do.
The big thing is it starts with upper management. I had a president of a company I worked for in Atlanta, and we had a hands-free policy with cellphones. When I tried to implement the policy company-wide for our drivers, he said that he couldn't do it because he had to use his in his car in all the time. It would be difficult to be at a stoplight and then the president next to you has got a cellphone in his hand, and everybody else couldn't use it. As with anything when it comes to safety, it starts at the top. Management has to stand up and say they will do this also. If not, why have it? There's no bite to it, and the employees aren't going to follow that.
Q: When and how should mobile device policies and practices be communicated to employees?
A: First and foremost, they should be communicated at hiring. If it's post-hiring, if you have 100 employees and they've been around for a while, then I would have a meeting, like a Friday town hall meeting or a barbecue to attract their attention. Have a PowerPoint presentation. Have something up there that you can talk to them about and show them, and give them statistics.
Q: In this initiative is it not also covering talking on the phone or just texting?
A: It's definitely more than just texting. As soon as you start talking, your brain is now focused on exactly what you're discussing and talking about, and everything else around you becomes spatial. You lose where you are, you lose the concept of what you're doing. As I mentioned, I've been talking on the phone, hands-free, and I'll drive by my exit on the highway which I've taken 100 to 200 times before.
Q: Regarding requiring intrinsically-safe devices, do you foresee any increase in availability?
A: There is a good opportunity that we will see intrinsically-safe cellphones. What I worry about there, though, is, the cost. Is it going to be cost-prohibitive? As individual users, we might not be able to afford them, but companies may be able to afford something like that.
Q:  What's a good way to monitor employees in a business with field workers?
A: The way I've done it is I have safety monitors that are walking around jobsites. If they see employees out there with their cellphones, and you have a non-cellphone usage policy at specific times or completely on that jobsite, then you offer the employees an opportunity to take the cellphones back to their locker room or give it to security to keep from getting into to any sort of trouble.
I would still probably counsel them one way or another, but you have to make a point that this is illegal. It's not a safe thing to do, and that's what we have to focus on. That's a great question. You definitely have to have more eyes as a safety person out there.
Q: How do you bring this idea to management to implement the mobile use policy?
A: What I would recommend is you can use my PowerPoint presentation. I have no problems with that. It has facts in it. This wasn't something I just pulled out. I would get the management together and say you have presentation you’d like to show them.
Q: Do studies show these are happening more with younger workers, or are older workers are the same?
A: Of the studies that I've looked at, I think it's pretty much the same all the way across. In fact, I would do some more investigation myself and look at that because that's not really a question I focus on. Older workers, and older people, including myself, we take more time to react as we get older. The neurons aren't firing as quickly as they are in young people, so that may cause the issue to be worse. If I'm walking, texting or talking, and all of a sudden, I look up and there's a pole, maybe as a younger person, I could step around it. Maybe as an older person, because my hip isn't working right or my knee isn't working right, I run right into that pole.
I've seen the elderly as much as I've seen young people on their cellphones. Younger people are more into gaming, and that's one reason why they may be on their cellphones more than the older people. So that might be a swaying point.
Q: How would you address an industry such as an HVAC service where technicians are dispatched?
A: I worked for a major mechanical contractor in Atlanta. We had 110 service technicians who all used their phones initially. Of course, if you are family-owned or a smaller company, then a cellphone is naturally the way to go. You're going to have to go hands-free. The positive side is you can dispatch your workers with a cellphone. The negative side is now they're receiving this information on their phones and they're distracted. What I would recommend, and what we did initially when we started service, is we had them pull over into a parking lot or on the side of the road and write down all their information.
Q: If this is part of our policy already, what effective steps can be used to up our game?
A: I would do an evaluation, an audit, to see how many employees are actually following the policy and procedure. If 100% of your employees that are following the policies and procedures that you've already established, you're doing great. How to up your game would be to monitor, to audit, and if you have company cellphones, then you can definitely go back and look at their history. You can call your provider and they can send you statistics. If you know your employees are supposed to be working from 8 to 5, and they aren't supposed to be using their cellphones except for a couple of breaks a day and lunch, and if they're using it otherwise, then your cellphone listing or your cellphone records will indicate that.
Q: Is there a difference between cellphone use and the RF scanner they use in the warehouse environment?
A: I personally don't think so, because with an RF scanner, you really can’t use it for gaming or other things like that. You have to read or look at the scanner to get the information you need, but overall, I don't think there would be a comparison between those, even though the RF scanner can take your spatial recognition away while you’re looking down at it. Hopefully, they aren't driving their forklift and using an RF scanner. If you have an advanced warehouse and you're using technology that directs you to a specific row and location where something may be stored, then in that case, there might be some problems.
Q: Do you have examples of the application for cellphones that you discussed?
A: A while back, we did a webinar on the advanced cellphone applications that are being used for safety and health, and there were a lot of them. (Editor’s Note: The webinar can be found at the following link: Tech in OSH: Trending Apps for Safety Professionals [Webinar].)
Q: Can supervisors take cellphones away from employees when cellphone use is not allowed?
A: That's up to your company policy. This is something that I can't personally say, because I'm not familiar with the legal rights and regulations in every state. If it's a person's private property, to implement something that like that would require some sort of paperwork. What I would do in this case is in their hiring package, I would note that if they're found to be in violation of the rules of using cellphones during work hours, they can either give it up to the supervisors or they're immediately terminated. That might take care of that problem. In that case, I would check with HR also. If they're privately-owned cellphones, that aspect of trying to seize those from somebody would fall outside of a safety realm and move to a legal realm.
Q: What are some different ways to make people aware of the dangers of using a cellphone in the workplace?
A: If you have a weekly newsletter or a safety board, put something out once a week, maybe a safety bulletin about cellphones. There are many examples of employees being severely injured, and you may want to post that up on the board somewhere or have a cellphone safety newsletter. That’s how I would engage your employees and even your employer. There are a lot of simple ways to get the word out. If you want any ideas, please contact me. I'm always available to help students. I teach at the university, so this is this is something I truly enjoy doing.
Q: Are there any issues with using a personal phone and the Fair Labor Standards Act? If they are using phones, is it considered compensable work? Our workers live on ships and are on and off duty.
A: I do a lot of work on the side, consulting with maritime companies. In fact, I was involved in demolition of old ships in the Puerto Rico area, and a lot of our employees had their phones on board as they were living and working there and demolishing on it. If they're using a phone, if it is not work-related, if their job does not specifically call for them to use the phone, it wouldn't be considered compensable work. If the job does require them to use a cellphone – and I would make sure it specifically says that in the job description – then it would become compensable work if they were injured. If not, then unfortunately that's something they took upon themselves.
Q: Do you have any suggestions for how to highlight common-sense cellphone usage in a lab environment, like when employees wear gloves to protect themselves from chemicals but then they touch their phone with a contaminated glove?
A: Asbestos workers are the same, and so are lead workers, PCDs, mercury and more. You can have problems on jobsites for demolition when you have asbestos abatement going on, and an employee uses their phone. Most of the time they can't because the phones are behind their protective suits that they’re wearing. Hopefully, that's the same in lab environment; however, many may be wearing just the lab coat. This is something that you have to make them aware of. It's the same as when you're dealing with blood-borne pathogens and anything along those lines.
Q: How about the use of tablets and losing situational awareness?
A: The use of tablets can takes away from your focus. If I have to walk from point A to point B, there should be nothing distracting me. A phone distracts you, and a table distracts you. An individual at Georgia State University, an inspector, was looking down at a tablet, and he didn't see a hole. Unfortunately, he fell through the hole and died. Of course, the hole shouldn't have been uncovered, but that's not the point. If he would have been focused on where he was walking, he would have noticed that hole and not fallen to his death. I hate to sound negative about it, but it was very unfortunate for this individual.
Q: Are there other long-term hazards to be concerned about, like radiation exposure, eye damage, etc., that we should consider in this discussion?
A: There has been talk that holding a phone up to your ear generates RF radio frequency signals that cause cancer. I don't think that has been proven yet. Some of the more modern phones definitely are safer. For example, it’s like when microwave ovens came out. As safety professionals, we used to do weekly evaluations of microwave ovens. But those have been improved, so we no longer have to worry about things like that. I'm more concerned about repetitive stress injuries for the thumb. Are human thumbs capable or fingers of constantly pushing, pushing, pushing?
Q: What are some issues that you see more in the field of construction versus manufacturing production areas?
A: In all reality, this applies in all areas. In construction, your employees are exposed a little more to hazards when doing things like walking. There are a lot more trip hazards in the construction industry and the demolition industry and bumping their heads on the low-hanging stuff. In manufacturing or production, it can be the same way. Oil or something from a machine can spill on the floor, and an operator may not have noticed it. Then somebody comes along, they are not paying attention, and they slip on the oil or something wet.
Hopefully in production areas with machinery your employees can't take cellphones into the area. A lot of employees will gripe about the fact that, for example, when their wife is pregnant or children are sick. What we've started doing in that case is we will contact that employee's family and let them know that when something happens they should contact the admin office, and the admin office will immediately get the word to that employee. We have radios and loudspeakers and all forms of communications to help our employees focus on the job and not worry about things that are happening at home. We need focus, and the less you focus on the work at hand and the more distractions you have, the more opportunities exist for an injury or a fatality.
Thank you very much. I appreciate your time and effort, and have a safe day.


CSU offers associate, bachelor’s and master’s degree programs in occupational safety and health, as well as a bachelor’s in environmental management. CSU’s online bachelor’s and master’s programs in occupational safety and health are touted by the Board of Certified Safety Professionals as Graduate Safety Practitioner® Qualified Academic Programs. For more information, visit

Topics in This Article