Stop Employee Driving & texting

By: Kimberly Daise

Driving incidents, are potential reminders that having employees on the road can be a significant risk.

While there are numerous states that have laws on books outlawing texting while driving, many people still do it.  This is where the employer can step in.

Some of the people texting while driving is on the job, driving for the benefit of their employer. Image a tragic accident, employee texting and the vehicle belonged to the employer.  No doubt this has happened and will continue to happen unless employers’ step in.  What will be the ramifications for a company that owned the vehicle?

So, for employers, what should they do to make sure issues like these don’t haunt them? I can recommend three things; education, technology and zero tolerance. Educating your employees as to the dangers is a logical first step. Documenting that process is critical. Have the employees sign an acknowledgement sheet explaining the employers’ policy of texting while driving any equipment. Technology can easily be deployed as well. When it comes to texting and driving, believe it or not, there are several apps for that.

These blocking apps disable text and other distracting functions on company owned cell phones when the phone recognizes it is traveling. And finally, zero tolerance – which is exactly what it sounds like. Complete banning of employees texting while operating moving equipment, and fire them when they violate the rules. Set those expectations, and your correlated risk will drop. Too often the after product of a work injury includes the revelation that others knew of a dangerous behavior prior, but failed to do anything to correct the situation. Zero tolerance can address that a very quickly.

Ultimately, employers should not make or accept excuses.  Eliminate and control texting at the work place.