FedEx bans cell phones at work

Rich Van Wyk/Eyewitness News

Indianapolis - A major Indianapolis employer is telling workers to leave cell phones in their cars. FedEx is joining a number of companies restricting or even banning cell phones on the job.

FedEx is prohibiting personal cell phones in the workplace. A thousand hourly employees at its Indianapolis transportation hub were told not to even bring their phones into the building, the company citing concerns for safety and security.

Although representatives declined to speak on camera, in phone conversations a spokesman says when that when you are working with equipment that can kill or maim someone it's common sense that you shouldn't be talking on the phone.

"Actually I think it is infringing on everyone's right," said a FedEx worker who wished to remain anonymous. "Not having some way to get hold of me in an emergency - that really bothers me."

Still, the dangers of being on the phone while on the job can't be ignored. A bus driver in San Antonio hit another vehicle while texting, and a Boston trolley driver is accused of texting when he rear-ended another train, injuring 50 people. The driver was indicted Wednesday on the criminal charge of grossly negligent operation of a train.

IndyGo now prohibits drivers from using cell phones while on the bus. UPS delivery, AAR an aircraft maintenance company and Langham Logistics, a warehousing and transportation firm, say they forbid cell phone calls in work areas as well.

As more business undoubtedly restrict cell phone usage, workers will be forced to give up what many consider an essential piece of their life.

"If I leave home and I forget it, I will turn around and go get it," said Megan Javis, an office worker.

It is more than just a phone. Many cell phones are also cameras. Companies don't want trade secrets, client secrets, or their security systems in a worker's cell phone and showing up on the internet.