Do you have a cell phone policy?
For part of a safety meeting, how about a short fun contest to see who can first get the answer to the following question?
What do these activities have in common?
- changing a baby’s diaper
- reading the newspaper
- applying makeup
- having a heated argument
- reading a map
- writing notes
- changing shirts
- pouring a cup of coffee
- talking on a cell phone
Answer: None should be attempted while driving an automobile.
That was easy, and probably got a few smiles. That is because most of us have seen people do some or all of those things while driving, sometimes even at freeway speeds.
Distracted drivers put us all at risk. If you have employees who drive on the job, either their own vehicles or company vehicles, you should address driving issues as part of your overall safety program. One item that should be addressed is your policy regarding cell phone use. Make it clear that the improper use of cell phones is a distraction that will not be tolerated as acceptable behavior.
The way you address that concern will vary with your operation and your communication style. A written policy could be as simple as the following example:
To: All Employees
Due to increasing evidence that using a cell phone distracts drivers and increases the risk of an accident, we are now asking all employees to not use a cell phone while driving during work hours. If you need to make a call, please pull off the road to do so. If you have to answer an important call, pull off the road as soon as it is safe to do so, or tell the calling party that you will call them back as soon as you can pull off the road. For your own safety, as well as your family’s safety, please consider following this safe practice when you are off the job as well.