While technology can and often does improve how employees work, it can also cause problems that may lead to injury or property damage on the job. Today’s smartphones include apps that allow employees to order food or watch video content during breaks, but they can also lead to potentially dangerous distractions.
EHS Today reports that nearly 15 percent of accidents on the job occur because of smartphone or media distractions. Employers may want to review what types of accidents can occur because of digital distractions so they might avoid them in the future.
Company car accidents
Digital distractions can cause serious company vehicle accidents. GPS maps, streaming music and even using hands-free headsets to take calls while driving may all potentially take an employee’s eyes off the road. Employers can restrict cell phone usage in company vehicles as part of an overall safety policy.
Digital distractions in the workplace can have an especially devastating impact on those who work industrial jobs. Operating presses, drills and other industrial equipment safely requires focus, and even a momentary lapse may cause serious injuries, including:
- crushed fingers or limbs
- pinching of flesh in machinery
- Serious cuts
These accidents may even lead to permanent injuries or the loss of a body part.
Safely navigating some workplace environments, such as construction sites, require focus on one’s surroundings. Digital distractions at this type of job can cause falls, exposure to electricity and pedestrian accidents with large industrial vehicles.
Employers can reduce the risk of digital distraction by imposing cell phone usage rules while on the clock or restricting usage to certain areas, such as the break room.