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Monday, August 1, 2011

Employers Risks Increase From Cell Phone Use

The results of a recent survey of US construction industry managers reflects that employers are now facing an increased risk of lawsuits for damages caused by accidents that their  employees have had while using a cell phones while driving at work. The survey demonstrates that the passive action by employers, by merely having a written cell phone policy, is ineffective to stop distracted driving accidents caused by cell phone use.

The study, published by Zoom Safer Inc. , reveals that 72.1% of construction companies already have a written policy restricting employee cellphone use while driving. The findings of the survey disclose that 25.2% of the companies have knowledge or evidence that employee vehicle crashes occurred as a result of distractions arising from the use of cell phones while driving. The economic consequences for those companies could  be severe since 10.8% of the companies responding to the survey reported that the accidents have resulted in lawsuits against the employer for employee's use of the a cell phone while driving.

While workers' compensation is a no fault system of insurance, the surge of claims caused by distracted driving by employees, will ultimately result in severe economic consequences to the employer. It is more than obvious that the economic liability to employers will be a driving force for employers to take a more active roll in curbing cell phone use, and for insurance carriers to reconsider the the need to transferability to employers to reduce distracted driving claims.

For over 3 decades the Law Offices of Jon L. Gelman  1.973.696.7900 have been representing injured workers and their families who have suffered occupational accidents and illnesses.