Cell phone usage on construction sites may increases the risk of accidents. While there are no specific rules when it comes to cellphone usage on a construction site, it is the employer’s responsibility to keep employees safe and to train them about cell phone usage while working on an active construction site.
Headphones are not OSHA approved ear protective devices
While OSHA requires construction workers to use ear protective devices when the noise on a site exceeeds permissible noise exposure limits, they are not talking about headphones or earbuds. While some manufacturers are advertising that their headphones are OSHA approved or OSHA compliant, OSHA warned in a recent letter that these claims are misleading. Listening to music when working on an active construction site covers environmental sounds and increases the risk for construction workers to be struck by hazards while performing their work.
Even though most contractors do not allow cellphone usage on work sites, there are always exceptions to deal with such as phone calls from sick relatives or other emergencies. In these cases, the safest way is to exit the job site, take the phone call and come back.
Cellphone distraction on an active construction sites can lead to serious injury or even death
While it is impossible to constantly monitor each worker and make sure that they are not scrolling through their email, checking their social media or being distracted by other phone related activity, it is necessary for employers to implement a clear cell phone policy and to make sure employees and supervisors as well are briefed about it.
While using cell phones to take pictures or record video after an accident can be helpful for the victim when preparing a case against the employer, disseminating pictures of victims of construction accidents all over social media is a terrible thing to do and should be avoided.
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