What are distractions that lead to workplace injuries?

North Carolina residents know they shouldn’t be texting and driving, but do they know about cellphone regulations on the job? With 61 percent of people across the country owning a cellphone, and 3 billion text message being sent during a single day, chances are that more and more people are using their cellphone while working. And even though people assume using a cellphone while driving is the only unsafe behavior, the reality is that using a cellphone while working is just as big a distraction and can lead to someone getting hurt on the job.

Some jobs, especially operational environments, are especially hazardous and have an increased risk of workplace accidents. This means that in jobs where workers are operating heavy or motorized equipment, or using power tools, performing work with energized equipment, or monitoring other people’s safety, distracted behavior such as using a cellphone can mean all the difference between a safe and unsafe working environment. Currently, this is an issue that has not been addressed in depth by policymakers or by most employers and is something that companies should work towards addressing quickly to minimize workplace injuries.

In the meanwhile, accident victims who were hurt while performing their duties may not be aware they have the right to file a workers’ compensation claim. An injury takes medical treatment and time to heal, and North Carolina workers may not be able to afford taking time off of work. However, a workers’ compensation claim could cover both medical bills and wages lost during time an injured worker is recovering.

Source: OSHA, http://ohsonline.com/blogs/the-ohs-wire/2014/10/distracted-working.aspx Accessed February 23, 2015

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