Dear Seniors, We are mfg. of chemicals using solvents, etc. So from a safety angle, My safety officer wants that HR should make a Mobile policy so that no one will use mobile in the plant. I am requesting here is really use of mobile phone cause fire. If yes is there any incident that happened in past or only we are assuming that? Pls pls, guide us.
From India, Mumbai
Safety Consultant
Kesava Pillai
Occupational Safety & Health
Agm Ehs And Project Management
Hr Executive
+2 Others


Hi Abhaya,
I'm not aware of any of the past incidents...However its advisable to use Mobile inside chemical plant...
You're security officer is right. It's not so easy to stop employees from using mobile phones, the effective way would be to install Jammers inside the plant, so tht no signal's would be active even if employee's carry one.
Let's make work place more productive & safe !!!

From India, Bangalore
Kesava Pillai

Dear friends,

If your safety officer had recommended so he will also have to provide justification. Without reasonable cause a safety officer can not and will not recommend for a policy decision. Did you seek the cause for such a recommendation from him?

It makes perfect sense to ban the use of cell phones "out in the field" on any production plant; not just because of electromagnetic radiation or sparks from battery causing a fire but also because the phone demands attention which people then do not pay to their surroundings

It is a well known fact that using a mobile phone while up at a solvent vapor atmosphere could cause an explosion. It’s from possible static charge that could build up on the person and then get discharged to cause the ignition. I have a video of a Shell burnt out station after such a situation killing the attendant. These friends who are writing in should state their experience with Chemical Industries before commenting.

Cell phone makers including Motorola and Nokia have included warnings about not using cell phones around gas vapors. The danger from a mobile phone radio signal causing a fire is negligible though a dislodged battery, or the voltage regulator of the battery if out of calibration and is letting your phone charge at 2 times the rate, or the battery in your phone is over charged, and therefore could spark depending on the humidity, or heat, etc...it becomes all the more dangerous to cause a fire. In the past cell phones batteries have exploded of its own and company had to withdraw those batteries from the market. In most refineries and gas plants where I worked using mobile phones are strictly prohibited for fear of interference with their control systems too. One can not even enter the premises with a mobile in his possession

Two videos – one that of shell and other while filling gasoline in a car – both from mobile phone are available with me. On request through the forum I may be able to send those to interested friends to mail Ids.

A company had banned its employees from talking or texting on cell phones while working for safety reasons. Now it’s taking the cell phone ban one step further.

The Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority (MBTA) is banning employees from carrying their cell phones on the job. The penalty if they do: termination.

The new rule came after a trolley rammed into another one, injuring the operator and nearly 50 passengers, derailing both trains, and causing MBTA service to be suspended at the Government Center in Boston for several hours. The crash totaled three trolley cars and caused $9.6 million in damage.

The operator of the trolley told investigators from his hospital bed that he was sending a text message to his girlfriend just before the crash. Preliminary information from an investigation by the National Transportation Safety Board also shows the driver, Aiden Quinn, ran a red light just before the crash.

Before this incident, MBTA employees were allowed to carry cell phones but were banned from talking or texting while on the road or tracks. A first offense carried a three-day suspension, although the agency had the right to fire violators. MBTA’s General Manager Daniel Grabauskas said the trolley driver in this crash would be fired.

You are not to get on board that bus or [train or trolley] and have a cell phone on your person or in the cab.”

“This is going to be a zero-tolerance policy.” Officials said the new policy wouldn’t compromise communications in an emergency because cabs are equipped with radios and emergency call buttons.

Transit officials say in the last 12 months, five train and trolley drivers and 13 bus drivers had been cited under the old policy. One bus driver was fired.

If your safety officer has recommended to ban mobile phones at your works there is no other way but enforce it for safety’s sake please.


Kesava Pillai

From India, Kollam

Dear Sir
The psoting is very good... Now for those who really wish to banned mobile inside factory premises don't need to search for another reason...
Can you please share the two video clips with me to my mail id:
With regards,
Dipil Kumar V

From India
Dear all, hello i m manoj searching any consultancy service which can provide HSE alerts/ amendments in HSE rules & regulations periodically can sombody help me plz. Thanx in advance Manoj
From India, Delhi
Kesava Pillai

Dear meo786, It is reported that "Tried to send the video to the e mail Id given but failed" There seems- 'something wrong with the given Id' Please check and advise. Regards, Kesava Pillai
From India, Kollam
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From United States, Scranton

cell phone would be hazardous if chemical plants where inflammable chemicals are produced or processed, As Cell Phones Pose a Fire at
gas pump it would be same at the chemical plants also.
It is better to restrict cell phones at the work place or in the plants section where inflammable chemicals are used.

From India, Mumbai

Dear Kesava Sir,
Thanks for the detailed post.
In an engineering industry although static charge may not be hazard.
However the "attention" becomes the issue.
In our plant, we have made zones where people can talk on mmobile in the factory premises. Besides these zones no one is allowed to talk on mobile phones in the workshop premises.
In case any one is found deviating, his / her mobile is taken by security and can only be returned back after permission of the Business Head.
We slowly got the results.
Request to share the video clips on
Thanks & Regards,

From India, Nasik
rakesh kumar Sharma

Workers will restricted mobile in the manufacturing area. Due to lack of consantration people going to an accident. So that moibile is rectricted in the palnt area.
From India, Mumbai

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