Executive Toys – Mobile Computing Devices and Their Impact on Workers

A report on portable computing and communication devices, widely used by workers in different occupations, was released by the European Agency for Safety and Health at Work.


With their use steadily increasing, working with portable devices and systems differs markedly from the work with visual display units at workstations, regulated by the European visual display units (VDU) Directive. While still regarded by many as “executive toys,” these systems are increasingly used by salespersons, technical support workers, delivery people, and restaurant and maintenance staff. (WCxKit)


The report addresses the many challenges the use of mobile devices pose to safety agencies and gives recommendations for policy and practice. The sources of information reviewed and analyzed are: survey results, sales data, manufacturers’ and service providers’ information, published scientific research, market research, data from national authorities, and expert opinions.


The study gives an overview of the technology and its use, the various types of portable computing and communication systems, the tasks they are used for, and the extent to which portable systems are used , the types of workers, and the specific risks they may be exposed to. (WCxKit)


It also addresses work organizational risks and highlights the need for the user-centered design of mobile devices compatible with the cognitive load during mobile work. Important stressors were found are, for example, the blurring of boundaries between work and family life, the extension of the working day, difficulties in supervising mobile employees at work and the feeling that mobile employees have of being insufficiently involved in company decisions and having poorer career prospects.


The report is at: http://osha.europa.eu/en/news/EU-Portable-computing-communication-devices.

Author Rebecca Shafer
,  JD, President of Amaxx Risks Solutions, Inc. is a national expert in the field of workers compensation. She is a writer, speaker and website publisher. Her expertise is working with employers to reduce workers compensation costs, and her clients include airlines, healthcare, printing/publishing, pharmaceuticals, retail, hospitality and manufacturing. Contact: RShafer@ReduceYourWorkersComp.com  or 860-553-6604.

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Do not use this information without independent verification. All state laws vary. You should consult with your insurance broker or agent about workers comp issues.

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