You’ve heard of driver distraction? Well, welcome to the issue of construction-worker distraction.

The Detroit contractor Walbridge Monday launched a new policy that prohibits talking, texting or using mobile devices while walking at all company projects.

The restriction covers use of mobile phones, headphones, laptop computers, media players, radios, CD players and other portable communication devices. It applies to all Walbridge employees, the company’s subcontractors and their employees.

Employees can only use portable communication devices in designated “safe areas,” including trailers, break or lunch areas, and other areas on site where no construction work is taking place and no hazards are present.

“We know how easy it is to initiate or take a phone call and lose your focus,” said Stephen Clabaugh, vice president of safety, health and environment at Walbridge. “It’s a bad idea to talk on the phone or text while you’re walking around at a construction site. You not only put yourself in danger, but you can endanger others. We think this will help reduce distractions and minimize the risk of injury.”

Walbridge is currently working on projects in 22 states and in Canada, Mexico, Brazil and the United Arab Emirates. The company is instituting the new policy as part of its ongoing, industry leading safety program.

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