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Cellphones on site – yay or nay?

Spike

Seeing as we’re all glued to our cellphones nowadays, we thought we’d do a little pro/con list about having them on site. Every job site probably has different rules on this – no cellphones allowed at all, cellphones allowed only on breaks, or maybe your boss is all good and doesn’t really care either way. We hear more about the dangers and issues of cellphones, but our research says that they might actually be pretty helpful too. What do you reckon?

Yay

Let’s start with some of the good things about allowing cellphones on site. Aside from you being able to send stupid Snapchats to your mates and keeping your missus up to date on when you’ll be home, there are actually a few team and workplace benefits to having your cell on hand.

– Emergency calls – this one’s pretty obvious. Someone’s slipped on some wet tiles, someone’s hammered their thumb instead of the nail (rookie…), and you need help ASAP. If all of your cellphones are locked away and your boss isn’t around, you need to be able to get hold of the ambos pretty quick to get your mate to the hospital.

– Communication – same as above really, but you can better communicate any hazards to the team via cell. If you’re all spread out and something’s spilled or you need to evac, giving people a buzz to let them know is definitely key. Also if something further down the line is going to slow or stop your progress, you can at least be aware of it and plan around it if someone sends you a quick text as an FYI.

– Quick access to info – we’ve all hit up Google for answers to legitimate (and sometimes not so legitimate) questions and it’s great to be able to have a wealth of information right at your fingertips. You can quickly look up SDSs and medical info in case of an emergency, and if a client is asking about something in particular, you can show them options or other work you’ve done at the click of a button.

Nay

As much as there are positives to having a cell on site, there are also some negatives that could definitely cause sh*t to hit the fan. Imagine if your whole team’s eyes were on that screen all the time – whether it’s work-related or not, it’s still a distraction in a pretty risky environment.

– Heavy machinery – it should be a given not to use your cellphone when you’re using this kind of equipment, but if your cell’s within easy reach and you think you’ve got the job under control, it can become a distraction pretty fast. The team needs to be focused when they’re in the area where heavy machinery is being used too – if they’re too distracted to see or hear if something’s coming towards them or something has gone wrong, disaster can strike.

– Distracted driving – we all know that we’re not supposed to use our cells when driving, whether that’s our personal vehicle or a work forklift. That doesn’t mean that we don’t sneak a peek every now and then, but it’s important to keep your eyes on the road at all times, not just for safety’s sake, but if something happens while you’re driving and on your cell, you’ll have problems with claiming on your insurance!

– Lost productivity – once you start scrolling through Facebook, it can be hard to stop! And even if you’re only distracted for a little while, your mind will still be somewhere else as you’re thinking about what you’ve read or who you need to message back. Not only is losing your focus dangerous when you’re on a job site, but the job will also end up taking longer than you thought – not ideal!

So what’s the go here? Do you have a blanket no-cellphone rule in place? Do you use an app that blocks everything except for phone calls and important updates? Or do you just trust that your team knows how to use their cells appropriately?

Let us know what you think!