Technology makes the world go ‘round. Most of us rely on smart phones and mobile devices to connect to the world around us, and these devices make life a lot easier in many ways. However, on the production floor, cell phones can be a distraction that puts workers in danger. Since careful attention must be paid to operating tools and machinery, a ringing cell phone can quickly shift a worker’s focus and lead to injury—to themselves or others. It’s important to develop a workplace technology policy and then mandate all supervisors and managers enforce it.
Cell phone and mobile device policies—best practices:
When drafting and implementing your policy, consider the following:
- Restrict cell phones on the production floor. It will be an unpopular rule with your workers, but simply requiring cell phones to be shut off while stowed in their pocket may not be enough. The allure of checking email, texts and social media can be too tempting for your staff. And allowing workers to keep cell phones on their person can easily lead to requests to bend the policy due to family emergencies or personal calls. The best policy is to restrict the usage of phones completely.
- Allow only supervisors to carry cell phones. You might even consider assigning a company cell phone for work calls only. This way, you can still get in touch if you need to communicate with your leaders. You should require supervisors and managers practice what they preach in terms of restricted cell phone usage—and be sure everyone at every level sticks to the policy.
- Provide lockers for safe cell phone storage. The price of smart phones increases as each new edition is released, and your workers may be worried about damage or theft—and understandably so. To address this concern, provide lockers or a safe place for your employees to store belongings while they’re working.
- Encourage use of the office landline for emergency calls. Remember those? Ask your workers to share the office phone number with their friends and family members. If an emergency arises at home, or someone needs to get in touch with them, they can always contact your workers via the land line.
Remember to enforce your policy.
You will also need to plan for consequences to workers who break your technology rules, and stick to your plan. Start with a specified number of warnings and be ready to take further action for employees who refuse to adhere to your policy. Safety is everyone’s top priority and it’s isn’t fair to the rest of your team when a coworker ignores the rules.
Looking to staff up?