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How many workplace injuries are caused by distractions?

Commercial truck drivers and the distractions of mobile devices have given rise to many discussions related to employee safety in California. However, some safety authorities say the attention should extend to much more than distracted drivers. They say many workplace injuries are caused by multiple distractions in all industries, including construction and manufacturing.

Recent reports indicated that the results of a survey showed that more than half of all interruptions in the workplace involve text messaging, social media, e-mails and similar tools. The same study also revealed that almost half of the employees that took part have interruptions at intervals of 15 minutes or less. The results showed that approximately 53 percent confirmed that they lose at least an hour of work time every day to distractions of various natures.

Some have suggested that employees in high-risk jobs such as those in the construction and industrial industries should not be allowed to have mobile phones with them where they work. However, this may not be practical because many jobs require employees to be in contact with supervisors or home offices for guidance, and also to contact emergency services in the events of workplace accidents. Many occupations now use safety apps on mobile phones to protect workers -- but do those not perhaps also endanger their lives?

California workers whose employers do not prioritize employee safety may have to take their own precautions to prevent workplace injuries resulting from distractions. In any event, in the unfortunate event of an injury, victims will be entitled to seek financial assistance through the workers' compensation insurance program for the state. Assistance with the navigation of benefits claims is available from an experienced workers' compensation attorney.

Source: reliableplant.com, "How Distracted Workers Affect Productivity and Safety", Howard Mavity, Oct. 13, 2017

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