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Thread: Smart phones

  1. #1
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    Smart phones

    A question, can i disipline a person for using a smart phone during working hours?

    An example, on Saturday morning i have some staff working on site, from 7 am when works starts until 1 pm the phone goes non stop. beep beep, beep beep from messages, the staff member goes to the toilet or out to the vehicle and takes longer than they should to return, because they reply to the messages. I dont have a problem with staff members using the phones while we are travelling to site or during lunch time, but it is getting out of hand with the social networking during working hours and texting/messaging. The other day i was talking to one of my staff members showing him what to do and his phone beeped, so he takes it out while i am showing him what to do and replies while half listening to what i am showing him, he then doesnt perform the task as requested. The worse part is he is learning the job.

    Today again i ask him to do something, his phone goes all day long, he tells me he is finished what he had to do and asks if he can leave, thinking the job is done correctly, i let him go, finish what i am doing and go finish my part of the job to find his part was done incorrectly. I believe he is not perfoming his tasks correctly because he is being distracted by his phone and the messages.

    Can i ban cellphones from site? I will provide a cheapie like i use with prepaid sim card in case anyone needs to get hold of me or if i need to contact someone on site?

    Another issue i have on site is people are using their phones to listen to music, so they plug earphones and cant hear you when working. The other day i displined someone for doing something dangerous, he looked at me and thought he was just ignoring me, but it turns out he just couldnt hear me because of the music blarring in his ears.

    So my reasoning for banning cellphones on site will be that they pose a threat to my safety and other members working on site. Do you think i would have a leg to stand on if i was taken to the CCMA.

    I am also tired of begging people to work on weekends, so i am also going to add into my employment contract that 2 weekends a month is required from all staff members, can i do it?

  2. #2
    Diamond Member adrianh's Avatar
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    I would think that one could ban the usage of cellphones on site. Given that the work that you do can lead to fatalities if it done incorrectly means that the staff have to concentrate and not be constantly interrupted. The interruption puts people lives at risk because they forget to place a wire correctly or tighten a screw or whatever. Headphones or earbuds at work is also a no no. How are you supposed to inform a staff member in case of an emergency, lets say the DB board explodes or a crane falls down or whatever. They are putting their lives and the lives of their co-workers at risk. Lets say Johnny stands on a ladder and you can see the ladder starting to sway, you have to be able to communicate with that person.

    Don't say anything about the phones or the earphones. Draft an official looking NEW safty policy based on the official saftey policy. I would add in the safety issues regarding interruptions and earphones. (Make it sound very official in legaleze and vague (don't specifically talk about smartphones, talk about something like "general social communications support devices*10 and devices that impede the ability to hear verbal instruction*11)) Then I would get them all to sign it because you are tendering for a big job at a huge client or something or the other and you need to have it on record because the client is full of crap.

    Now put this at the bottom in amongst all sorts of other footnotes
    *10 general social communications support devices - computers, laptops, netbooks, cellular phones, smartphones and other devices used at work for purposes of social networking
    *11 devices that impede the ability to hear verbal instruction" - loud radios, load music, ipods, mp3 players, cd players, headphones, earphones, earbuds.

    I bet not a single one of the dumba$$es are going to read the entire document. So, when the time comes to give them a smack they can't turn around and say that you never said they can't do it, if it goes to the CCMA you can simply refer to the policy document that they all signed.

    Don't take it on directly, all that's going to happen is they are going to try and p1$$ you off even further, just bury it in amongst all the other safety regulations (have lots and lots of them, especially the ones that are totally obvious...that will stop them from bothering to read the entire document...

    For the ones that do read the entire document and complain all you need to do is to that that that is the policy that your client requested and you think that the policy is sound to ensure the safty of not only your workforce but also the safty of the entire workforce on site. Then ask him how he could possibly object to being able to hear when somebody needs to inform him of a dangerous situation. If he cries about the smartphone then ask him whether he thinks that being able to hear the voice telling him that the crap is hitting the fan and he could die is less important that getting a Facebook message telling him that his girlfriend just went for coffee. Work him smartly until he agrees that you make sense and get him to sign the document.

    So when the smartphone beeps then inform him that he signed a safety policy that clearly states that the device cannot be used on site. Now you can follow the normal diciplinary procedure and F him up to your hearts delight.

    It's like telling the wife that supper is crap and her new dress looks like sh!t....you do it in such a way that she cooks better dinner and takes the dress back...its the same...bullcrap does baffle brains.
    How easily someone is offended is directly proportional to how stupid they are.
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    Full Member Cpt Chaos's Avatar
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    Yes you are fully within your legal rights as a employer to implement this kind of ruling. One of the companies that I consult on is a branding company that does main line sandblasting, and corporate gifts and with them we had a similar situation where the staff would have music in the ears failing to hear orders and instructions in the production area. What we've now done is to to give all of them a verbal warning that in the event that a phone is answered you tell the person to phone you after work or lunch time unless its a emergency. If they don't follow the process I've got a actual company fine payable which goes back to their year-end function contributions but after a month or two our problems where all resolved. What we do have in place how is that should they abuse the privilege of having cellphones with them, all cellphones will be locked up in their personal lockers that only they have keys for and will only be allowed to use them during lunch time. Seeing as the company has fixed land lines they can be contacted there in case of a emergency no need for phones with them.

    Also you can perhaps also state that due to safety reasons no personal cellphones are allowed on site when you leave the office and therefore you have provided them with company cellphones for insurance purposes.
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    Diamond Member Blurock's Avatar
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    Most businesses have a telephone policy in place. Apart from time wasted texting or talking on the phone, it can also be banned because of the MP3 use which may compromise safety.

    Cell phones can be also banned where it can be used to photograph strategic installations and also compromise security. Access to a land line should be given as that can also serve to monitor the length and number of calls.
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    Silver Member Darkangelyaya's Avatar
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    And anyway, if they were really that SMART, why has none of them ever brought me coffee in bed!
    ~Anything or anyone who does not bring you alive, is too small for you~ Carina
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    Diamond Member adrianh's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Darkangelyaya View Post
    And anyway, if they were really that SMART, why has none of them ever brought me coffee in bed!
    Because they were designed by men...and men aren't SMART when it comes to what woman need

    We would design one that brings the remote, beer & Pizza
    How easily someone is offended is directly proportional to how stupid they are.
    ~GS Elevator

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