Is Distracted Walking on the Job a Hazard?
期限分心的驾驶has become much-discussed as of late, but distracted walking is another common phenomenon. From crossing intersections to pushing shopping carts in crowded parking lots, you can see pedestrians focused more on their smartphones in potentially dangerous situations than their surroundings. There are near-misses with passing cars, twisted ankles on potholes and collisions with objects or other distracted walkers.
Injuries from walking while using a cell phone more than doubled over a five-year period, while the total number of pedestrian injuries dropped during the same time period.1Researchers believe the actual numbers might be higher than reported, especially if patients are reluctant to share the true cause of their injuries. It has become such a problem that for the first time, the National Safety Council included cell phone distracted walking as a cause of unintentional deaths and injuries in its2015年伤害事实报告.2
When distracted walking meets the workplace, employee health can suffer. Workers operating machinery while texting or using their smartphones may injure themselves or others, which may lead to lost time from work. Employees more focused on their devices than another person as they pass in common corridors may not be as engaged in their immediate surroundings and might not see potential hazards.
A formal policy to address distracted walking, as part of a policy on the appropriate use of personal devices in the workplace, can help set some guidelines for employees and reduce distractions. As with all aspects of creating a安全文化, it is important that people at all levels of the company adhere to the policy.