In California and across the United States, distraction-related accidents are generally perceived to be related to drivers who are not paying attention to the road. This is often related to using a handheld device. However, there are other areas in which a person can be distracted and be that catalyst for danger and accidents. Industrial workers who are distracted as they go about their duties can place themselves and especially co-workers at risk for an accident with injuries and fatalities. Workers’ compensation benefits might be needed in the aftermath.

Survey shows the dangers of smartphone distraction on the job

Screen Education released a report detailing how risky it can be for workers to be distracted while on the job. The survey was comprised of more than 1,000 workers and is titled Digital Distraction & Workplace Safety. Workers took part in early 2020. It says that employees average 2.5 hours per day looking at content that is not connected to their job while on the clock. This limits workplace productivity. More importantly, it places people at risk for an accident.

Fourteen percent said they were aware of a minimum of one accident due to worker distraction when using a device. In those accidents, there was property damage in 59%. Workers were injured or killed in half of them. There was a higher rate of workers in industrial jobs who said there was a distraction-related accident, coming in at 26%. The accident results were worse with three-quarters leading to property damage and 58% injuring or killing a worker. Almost half said the employer had a rule that was meant to limit smartphone use while on the job. Almost one-fifth overall said they wanted employers to take greater steps to address this issue while 27% of industrial workers said the same.

Understanding potential dangers and how to respond

Workplace distraction due to cellphone is a relatively new phenomenon. Even if employers have rules against using these devices, people might flout them and use the devices anyway. People can suffer broken bones, head injuries, spinal cord injuries, loss of limbs, paralysis and death. This results in medical expenses, lost wages, the need for extended care and equipment and other challenges that a workers’ compensation claim can cover. It is imperative to understand the process to be approved for workers’ compensation benefits. Showing that distraction was a factor can be essential. A law firm with experience in helping workers with their workers’ compensation claims may be crucial to an approval.