Tony L. asks…

Q. I’ve been told cell phones are not allowed on shop floors. Why is that?

A. Manufacturing environments can be dangerous places. An employee is expected to be fully aware of his or her environment and anything that reduces the awareness is a safety hazard. Cell phones and ear buds distract the user from tasks and reduce awareness of events in the worker’s immediate vicinity, such as moving carts, cranes, forklifts, and pallet trucks as well as sounds from equipment. Employees are expected to care for the machines in their area of responsibility so malfunctioning equipment, sprung lubricant hoses or machine alarms need immediate attention or damage can occur to work pieces, machines, or people. An inattentive employee won’t be an employee for long.

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