If there wasn’t reason enough to ensure that employees refrain from texting while driving so that they do not endanger themselves or others, OSHA has reminded employers that the employer has a legal responsibility to prohibit texting while driving. “It is a violation of the OSH Act if employers require workers to text while driving, create incentives that encourage or condone it, or structure work so that texting is a practical necessity for workers to carry out their job.” OSHA has even published a Distracted Driving Brochure and dedicated a portion of its webpage to the topic.
If companies have not already, this is the perfect opportunity to revisit policies – including the Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) policy, Company Vehicle Policy, and any policy addressing communications.
The OSHA brochure states vehicles should be declared as “text-free zones,” and there should be clear procedures, times, and places for drivers’ safe use of texting (i.e., not while driving).
Read more articles on employment law issues at Employment and the Law, a blog by Ashley Kasarjian.
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