You might think that because you’ve instituted a policy about employee cell phone use while driving that you have solved the problem. Not true, according to Deborah A.P. Hersman, president and CEO of the National Safety Council.
Motor vehicle crashes are the leading cause of workplace death, and distracted driving is a common cause of crashes. When talking on a cell phone, drivers can be looking straight through the windshield and still miss seeing up to half of what’s around them including traffic lights, stop signs and pedestrians. An estimated one in four crashes involves a cell phone.
“The National Safety Council estimates that 26 percent of crashes are caused by cell phone use,”” said Deborah A.P. Hersman, president and CEO of the National Safety Council. “Every single incident is preventable. That is why employers must have comprehensive policies.”
Many employers are implementing cell phone policies to keep their workers safe on the roadways, but not all policies are created equal. Many still allow hands-free use and exempt certain classes of employees, leaving gaps in safety that also increase an employer’s liability risk in the event of a crash.
The National Safety Council recently launched a Cell Phone Policy Assessment Tool that provides instant feedback on an employer’s cell phone policy. By completing a simple survey, a report is generated to assess how an employer’s policy matches up with best practices to keep workers safe. The Cell Phone Policy Assessment Tool reveals gaps and their associated costs, and identifies specific suggestions to improve the policy. NSC recommends employers implement a best practice cell phone policy that covers:
- Hand-held and hands-free devices
- All employees
- All company vehicles
- All company cell phones
- All work-related communications – even in a personal vehicle or on a personal cell phone.
The survey and assessment report are free.