Collectively, Australians check their phone 560 million times per day. That's 35 times per person. Much of this use occurs in the workplace, where a lack of concentration can be dangerous.
Employers have a duty of care to take all reasonable steps to ensure the safety of their employees, meaning they could be liable for prosecution if uncontrolled use of mobile phones on-site contributes to a workplace accident.
This year’s AMCA Safety Week Campaign focuses on mobile phone use and includes a range of practical tools and resources to help our members promote safe practice.
When considering your responsibilities, employers should ask:
- Does our company have a policy on mobile phone and other electronic devices use?
- Do we have a Tool Box talk that covers safe practice?
- Does our induction of new workers cover use of phones and other electronic devices – onsite, operating plant, driving motor vehicles?
- Do we have designated safe areas to use mobile phones and other electronic devices?
As a starting point, employers and WHS managers should:
- Distribute a written policy to all employees
- Have employees read, understand and sign the policy
- Enforce the policy across all employees
Specific areas that policies should cover include:
- Prohibit social texting, playing games, social media browsing and talking on mobile phones while operating any kind of vehicle on site.
- Prohibit use of mobile phones in areas where distractions present a hazard to employees.
- Consider banning mobile phone gaming or viewing obscene materials on the site entirely.
- Evaluate existing policies to ensure that there are no direct or indirect incentives that encourage the use of hand-held communication devices while in a hazardous area or operating a vehicle.
- Consider issuing company devices with applications that can block the use of mobile phones while a vehicle is moving.
- Prohibit recalled or dangerous mobile phones from being used on the site and inform employees of the associated fire hazards.
Visits our dedicated Safety Week website, www.getphonesmart.com.au , for more information.