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Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Lloyds Report Targets Potential Cell Phone Liability

Yet another reason why employers should be concerned with the risks of distracted driving has been reported by Lloyds of London. A recent report considers the electromagnetic fields (EMF) from mobile phones a potential risk to health.

The report reviews the medical causation issues involving a myriad of conditions ranging from brain cancer (acoustic neuromas and gliomas) to central nervous system effects, as well as reproduction and biological development consequences of EMF exposure over the long term. In reviewing historical litigation trends, the Lloyds report compares the legal consequences of asbestos exposure and the development of mesothelioma and analyzes the complicity and enormous liability that resulted from corporate concealment and conspiracy.

With over 4.3 billion mobile phones in use worldwide as of June 2009, this report increases the concern of employers who are already experiencing increased liability because of the use of cell phones while driving. A major initiative is underway by US Department of Transportation to curtail the use of cell phone by employee while driving because of the increase risk of motor vehicle accidents.

As workers’ compensation insurance carriers have already been challenged by significant losses as a result of occupational exposure to asbestos, the Lloyds report may encourage employers to restrict the use of a cell phone, except when used in a safe and protected manner.