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Are Cell Phones Causing Safety Hazards in Your Warehouse?

Cell phones are our constant companions these days, and many people are reluctant to put them away even during work hours. But did you know that in a warehouse environment, cell phones can actually be a safety hazard? Here are a few reasons that you should insist that all cell phones be stored off the warehouse floor.

Reduced Awareness

Warehouse work involves heavy machinery that can be quite dangerous if used improperly. One of the biggest job requirements for any warehouse employee is the safe use of equipment. Workers need to be fully focused on the task at hand, including monitoring their equipment for any odd noises or other issues that could spell trouble. Cell phones are a distraction, reducing awareness and making it more likely for workers to miss key details.

Worse Reaction Times

Even if a distracted worker does notice that something is amiss, it can take longer to react. The brain has to stop focusing on the phone and redirect the attention to the hazard. In a warehouse environment, things can go south quickly, so even a split second of inattention could make an emergency worse.

Trip and Fall Hazards

You might be tempted to at least let your employees use their cell phones while they’re walking around in the warehouse rather than operating a machine. But this can be a big mistake. Most warehouses are semi-obstacle courses, with moving forklifts and large piles of materials. It’s best to restrict cell phone usage to break rooms and other safer locations.

Possible Fires or Explosions

Cell phones are pretty safe overall. But they do contain lithium ion batteries that can cause sparking under just the right conditions. Most gas stations have posted signs urging drivers not to use their phones while fueling their vehicles for just this reason. It’s definitely rare, but if your warehouse contains any flammable or explosive chemicals, or even a heavy buildup of dust, is it really worth taking even a small risk?

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