Mobile Phones at Work

Guides Toolbox Talk

15th October 2019 | Info

Tree surgery is considered to be one of the most hazardous jobs in the world. If you take your eye off the ball for even one second or are merely having one of those easily distracted days due to the argument you had with your girlfriend the night before, or you’re thinking about the party you are going to at the weekend; then you really are putting yourself and others at risk.

Most professional companies realise that the use of mobile phones at work is becoming a real problem and are implementing rules within their company in regards to it. 

Mobile phones were invented in the ’70s and are one of the most advanced pieces of technology to have come out of the 20th century. They allow us to connect with people in a way that we have never been able to in the past and are used daily around the world. It is just an unfortunate fact of life that mobile phones, as useful as they are, are ruling our lives.

As Arborists, we’re pretty active, but despite this, some people still feel the need to be on their phone or taking a personal call while carrying out tasks that require our full attention. This could be anything from stopping mid-climb to haplessly checking their phone while up high in a cherry picker. Surprisingly, this does actually happen despite the risks that could occur.

It is an unfortunate fact that there have been reports of young arborists having accidents shortly after posting selfies up trees. This will probably never deter the majority of people just like those of us that think it is still ok to do a sneaky text while driving.

It is irresponsible, and you are endangering your life and the lives of those around you.

Mobile phones do play an important part both at home and in the workplace and, in tree surgery specifically, we use them to contact clients, speak to our managers with questions about jobs that we’re doing and need them in case of an emergency. They have many advantages, that’s for sure, but it is proven that mobile phones are beginning to have a negative impact on our work-life.

According to a survey carried out by Deloitte, 64% of people surveyed claim that their mobile phone distracts them at work whether it be with texting family or friends, checking the weather on their phone, playing games or endlessly scrolling through social media. Distraction is not only rude but also decreases the productivity of workers and may cause accidents to occur when people tune out of tasks that they need to be doing.

So how can you reduce this?

Despite how distracting they can be, there is no real law or legislation surrounding mobile phones at work but, in your individual workplaces, you are more than entitled to implement your own rules. 

Simple rules such as, not answering your phone when operating machinery is one that should be implemented from the get-go. Or even when on a job your employees should leave their mobiles in the truck. 

Both you and your employees must be on the same page with this, and you must have some set rules in place. You’re not trying to be funny or make life difficult for them; you’re trying to prevent them from receiving severe injuries or coming under harm’s way as well as ensuring that all tasks carried out are of a high standard.

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