PLYMOUTH, Mich., Sept. 10, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- With the incidence of traffic accidents involving distracted drivers on the increase in North America, Freudenberg-NOK Sealing Technologies (FNST) has implemented a new policy that prohibits employees from conducting company business using hand-held personal electronic devices (PEDs) while driving.
The policy, which requires that FNST employees pull over to make business-related phone calls on hand-held cell phones and modify their cell phone and voice mail greetings to indicate they will not answer calls while driving, goes into effect Oct. 1. It is aimed at increasing employees' awareness about the danger of distracted driving and promoting behavioral changes that will keep them safer, said David Lawson, director, Health Safety and Environment for FNST.
"We all know that talking on a cell phone and driving a car at the same time is a dangerous practice – and yet, we still do it," Lawson said. "This new policy aligns with our Guiding Principles that mandate how we conduct our business. Those Principles emphasize that our people – and their safety – are our number one priority. Safe driving while at work is a natural extension of our entire safety policy."
FNST's corporate policy prohibits employees from using hand-held cell phones and other PEDs to conduct company business while driving. The policy includes making and receiving phone calls, texting and typing emails. Texting while driving is already prohibited by state law in Michigan.
Noncompliance of the policy can result in disciplinary action up to and including termination. But the ultimate goal of the policy is not to catch employees in the act of making a prohibited call, Lawson said. Rather, the goal is to communicate to employees that nothing is more important to the company than their safety and that business can and should wait until it can be conducted free of risk to themselves, their passengers and other bystanders.
"The accident statistics attributed to distracted drivers are disturbing," Lawson concluded. "We take our responsibility to our people, their families and our communities seriously. There isn't a phone call in the world that can't wait to be answered until you are in a safe place to talk. Frankly, we hope our employees will take the common sense behind this policy to heart and implement it in their personal lives as well."
About Freudenberg-NOK Sealing Technologies
Freudenberg-NOK Sealing Technologies is the Americas joint venture between Freudenberg and Company in Germany and NOK Corporation in Japan. Founded in 1989 under the legal name Freudenberg-NOK General Partnership, Freudenberg-NOK Sealing Technologies is a leading producer of advanced sealing and elastomeric technologies for a variety of industries including automotive, aerospace, appliance, diesel engine, agriculture, construction, heavy industry, and alternate energy.
Freudenberg-NOK Sealing Technologies is headquartered in Plymouth, Mich., and has facilities throughout the United States, Canada, Mexico, Brazil and Malaysia. With annual revenues approaching $US 1 billion, the company employed approximately 4,700 people in 2011. For additional information, please visit www.freudenberg-nok.com.
Freudenberg-NOK Sealing Technologies is part of the Freudenberg & Co. Group of Germany. Freudenberg & Co. is a family of companies specializing in seals and vibration control technology, nonwovens, filtration, lubricants and release agents and other specialty business areas. The Freudenberg Group generated sales of more than $7.8 billion and had 37,000 employees in 2011. For additional information, please visit www.freudenberg.com.