Researchers have already delved into whether talking on a cell phone is likely to cause vehicle crashes involving injuries and deaths. Now a team in Europe has looked into incidents not involving vehicles, including those at work.
The researchers from Tampere Institute of Technology in Finland found 4.5% of survey respondents said they had “close calls” while on their cell phones at work and 0.4% reported actual workplace incidents.
It appears people are more likely to become injured while speaking on a cell phone during a leisure activity. The percentages go up to 13.7% for close calls and 2.4% for actual incidents.
- Men tend to have more close calls and incidents
- Incidents and close calls were more prevalent among younger people, and
- There was a slight increase in cell phone related incidents and close calls if the person also reported sleep disturbances and minor aches and pains.
More than 6,000 working-age people in Finland answered the survey. The results appear in the journal Accident Analysis and Prevention.
So, do you really have to tell workers that they shouldn’t do things like answer their cell phones while they’re working on ladders or raised platforms? It couldn’t hurt to tell them about the results of this study.
Has a worker been injured at your workplace because of a cell phone distraction? Let us know about it in the Comments below.