News & Views

Mobile phone distraction (again)

BY Thomas Elliott
Health & Safety
BG Orange

We must have a bee in our bonnet over this issue, but once again an incident highlights the very real dangers of using a mobile phone when trying to do something else.  

A digger driver this time (need we say more??). The worker was using his mobile phone whilst operating the plant and unfortunately suffered an accident. He was struck on the head and left with severe injuries including multiple fractures to his jaw and a punctured and collapsed lung.  He was off work for over fourteen months. The driver was prosecuted (it’s rare for HSE to take action against a single employee but this was an exceptional case!) and will have to find over £4,000 to pay the penalty for his distraction. 

The bottom line is that use of a mobile for making and taking calls (and even more so for texting, googling and emailing) stops us concentrating on the job in hand, whether that job is driving a car, crossing the road or, as in this case, operating heavy machinery.

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