The National Safety Council (NSC) is launching what it calls a “cell phone policy assessment tool” designed to determine whether a company’s cell phone use policy reduces or actually increases liability risk gaps.
“The National Safety Council estimates that 26% of crashes are caused by cell phone use,” noted Deborah Hersman, NSC’s president and CEO and former chairman of the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB), in a statement.
She added that motor vehicle crashes are the leading cause of workplace death, with distracted driving a common cause of such crashes. According to NSC’s data, an estimated one in four crashes involves cell phone use of some type.
“Every single incident is preventable,” Hersman stressed. “That is why employers must have comprehensive policies.”
The group noted that while many companies are implementing cell phone policies to keep their workers safe on the roadways, not all such policies are created equal as many still allow hands-free use of cell phones and exempt certain classes of employees – thus leaving “safety gaps” that also increase an employer’s liability risk in the event of a crash.
Thus NSC’s online survey seeks to help companies assess whether their cell phone use policy matches up with best practices across the business landscape, while also identifying specific suggestions to improve on such policies should gaps be discovered.
For example, NSC recommends employers implement a “best practice” cell phone policy that covers:
- All hand-held and hands-free devices;
- All employees;
- All company vehicles;
- All company cell phones;
- All work-related communications – even in a personal vehicle or on a personal cell phone.