Leverage the “Smarter” Phone

Photo courtesy of Edmunds.com

Photo courtesy of Edmunds.com

Recently, my parked car was hit by a texting driver. She was on her way to client meeting - lost and confused. As a result, she ran a stop sign and misjudged the left-hand turn. No one was injured, but it could have been a lot worse.

Technology in the workplace is important. Leading companies are recognizing the cost and productivity benefits offered by innovative tech solutions. As we embrace a digital revolution, the need to thoughtfully and effectively manage the serious risks associated with mobile devices and smartphones being used on the job is now more important than ever.

Texting while driving is one of the most dangerous and prominent distractions in a commercial vehicle. According to the National Safety Council (NSC), using a cellphone while driving leads to 1.6 million car accidents per year. More than 40 states have addressed the dangers of mobile device usage by making texting while driving illegal. Ensuring employees are following the law while also guaranteeing the company is in compliance with OSHA standards is vital.

OSHA’s standard for all companies whose employees drive as part of their job requirements is straightforward, “it is [the company’s] responsibility and legal obligation to have a clear, unequivocal and enforced policy against texting while driving.” Many companies have enacted mobile device management and distracted driving policies to protect their drivers, vehicles and the communities that they serve, But all too often, their efforts fall short.

Distractions related to employees using mobile devices behind the wheel can lead to a range of losses including a company’s reputation, the driver or innocent bystander being seriously injured or potentially losing their lives, and additional expenses and missed revenue due to out-of-service vehicles. Employers assume liability for a crash if the driver is a commercial license holder who was either texting or talking on a cell phone with another employee about a work-related issue at the time of the accident.

Fleet managers find enforcement of mobile device policies difficult, if not impossible, due to lack of visibility, system workarounds navigated by employees and loopholes within the policies. Although traditional mobile device management technology is an option, it has inherent limitations and isn’t always effective in enforcing usage requirements. An effective device management system must meet three key requirements within construction and industrial industries:

  • It must be device agnostic. In other words, it must be “machine independent.”

  • It must be contextually aware and able to adjust to changing conditions.

  • It cannot be easily manipulated by employees or administrators.

To meet these requirements, employers must leverage smart devices to allow them to be as ‘smart’ as possible. Sensing when a worker is texting while driving or operting heavy machinery is just one example. A zero-tolerance safety policy that leverages such technology and enables enterprises to proactively eliminate worksite liabilities, while simultaneously benefiting from the competitive advantages of the latest tech solutions. These are the benefits of a contextual mobile device management (CMDM) platform.

Residing on a corporate or personal mobile device, CMDM makes it easier for managers to automatically enforce safety policies for mobile devices based upon predetermined standards – including location, time and motion – to address a company’s individual and unique policy needs. Outside of these riskier work environments, the mobile device maintains full accessibility and functionality.

Research shows that drivers of commercial motor vehicles who text are about 23 times more likely to be involved in a safety-critical event than those who do not. Ultimately, CMDM allows companies to increase driver safety and proactively eliminate liabilities while improving employee productivity rates and overall fleet efficiency.

In today’s tech centric world, most adults view their smart device an average of 52 times a day and don’t realize how connected they are to their device until the constant notifications are no longer there. CMDM empowers both companies and employees to confront those challenges for a safer and more productive work environment.

As a seamless solution, CMDM helps prevent accidents resulting from misuse of mobile devices, assists fleet managers with maintaining positive corporate culture and reputation, and reduces liability concerns. CMDM technology isn’t about controlling end-user devices – it’s about helping companies create safer, more productive workplaces that enable their employees to work better, ultimately boosting bottom line and supporting safer roads.