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Digital distractions at work are as dangerous as while driving

The dependence on mobile phones poses similar risks in the workplace as on the roads in Ohio and across the country. In addition to the negative impact on productivity and profitability, digital distractions pose significant safety hazards. Workers in all industries put their safety on the line, from office workers to machine operators in industrial facilities.

Earlier this year, 1,019 U.S. workers participated in a survey, in which almost 50% responded that their employers restrict the use of smartphones while they are on duty. However, compliance and enforcement are questioned because digital distractions continue to cause severe injuries and even deaths. Employers can prevent increased insurance rates, and even if they prioritize profits over employee safety, effective enforcement will protect workers.

According to Environment Health and Safety, examples of occupational injuries caused by digital distractions include an employee whose arm was crushed by a machine while using a smartphone. In another case, a worker suffered a near-fatal injury when he or she was almost choked to death when smartphone distraction caused the elevator doors to catch the person’s jacket. A hospital patient fell because the person on duty was using a mobile phone to listen to music, and an employee rolled a company car off a cliff due to texting and driving.

The concerning truth is that distracted workers can cause workplace accidents that also threaten the lives of co-workers. When that happens, injured workers will likely be eligible for workers’ compensation benefits. Suppose the person who was distracted was a contractor or another person working for a different employer. In that case, the injured worker might have grounds also to file a personal injury claim in a civil court. An Ohio attorney with experience in both workers’ compensation and third-party personal injury claims can provide the necessary support and guidance to pursue comprehensive compensation.