Special Topics in Safety Management

6 Tips for Safer Cell Phone Use

Today we look at the dangers of cell phone use—although several are still open to debate—and at some key elements of employee cell phone policies.

For some time now, concerns over the safety hazards posed by cell phone use have not been limited to the potential for accidents caused by distracted driving.

The OSHA Compliance Advisor, a twice-monthly newsletter published by BLR, says that one risk of using mobile phones is the potential for serious hearing loss.

This has been reported by ear, nose, and throat specialists in a study of 100 people who had used the phones for more than a year. The loss was most pronounced in people using cell phones for more than 60 minutes a day.

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The OSHA Compliance Advisor suggests you may want to include the following six elements in your cell phone policy:

  1. Use a headset while driving, or pull over to use a handheld phone.
  2. Avoid placing calls while moving. (Calls could be planned before driving, entering the numbers into speed-dial.)
  3. When someone calls you, say that you are driving and are on a headset.
  4. If it’s unsafe for you to answer a call, let your voice-mail pick it up.
  5. Keep conversations short and suspend the call in serious circumstances.
  6. To obtain roadside assistance or report emergencies, use 911 and give exact location, nature of emergency, name, and number.

In tomorrow’s Advisor we’ll look at a comprehensive cell phone laws and policies center, and at a website that meets all of your safety compliance and training needs.