Planning for Safety
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Texting and Wrecking

It's well-known among workplace safety geeks that one of the most frequent hazards employees encounter on a daily basis involves driving a vehicle. This includes not only risk for those who drive for a living, as well as those with incidental driving in the course of work, but everyone who drives to and from work.

Standard rules of the road emphasize giving your full attention to driving and also watching out for the other guy. With the advent of cell phones came a unique distraction drivers grapple with—talking on cell phones. Now, compound the physical acrobatics of texting while negotiating the highways and byways and the degree of risk increases substantially.

Most everybody's heard of somebody or were themselves actually involved in an accident where the statement "it happened quick" describes the event. Keep that in mind when thinking about hand-held devices and decreased reaction time.

If you haven’t already added a “no texting while driving” clause to your driving policy at work, it’s a no-brainer to do so. If you need motivation to make it a priority, read “Texting can be Lethal,” a blog entry from Lynch Ryan that makes a convincing call to action.



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Donna Clendennnig

I am so pleased to see this topic on the Safety Net. As employers know, a large make up of employees are generation Y folks - those that have grown up with technology. They eat, sleep and breath nearly every waking moment with IPOD's, blackberries, slim line lap tops with wireless connectivity, you name it - they have it or know about it. As employers, you should be aware that your employees are not going to change their way of life ie: keeping in constant touch with their close knit circle via texting..or responding to a text - no matter where they are....unless you train, teach, write and enforce a company policy disallowing text messaging in any form when behind the wheel or at sensitive machinery. You may go a step further and consider not allowing text messaging at all when on the clock.....a split second of distraction can be fatal.

Thank you, Paul for this timely reminder.

Greg LaRochelle

With all the recent publicity of the cognitive distraction of cell phone/blackberry use, such as the train conductor texting just before the tragic train derailment,this article strikes a nerve with me. All too often, during the morning commute, I see way too many drivers in the midst of a juggling act with mobile phone pressed to their ear while turning into traffic, navigating on our busy roadways. The smiles on their faces can soon be erased with a sudden crash that may cause bodily injury as well as damage to their vehicle and that of the other driver. This is certainly not a great way to start the day!

Pual Caret

Donna, glad to hear your comments and it is apparent that you have a pretty strong working knowledge of the issues at hand. Thanks again, PC

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