October 12, 2011
Warning: Cell Phone Danger Ahead!
Katharine M. Nohr, Esq.
Nohr Sports Risk Management, LLC
Cell phones have presented risk management issues for facilities ever since cameras became a typical feature. The concern has been that cell phones will be used to take photographs of naked people in locker rooms—a violation of privacy. With the advent of Facebook and texting, this is a particular concern as pictures can be posted or texted in an instant. It’s possible that the person taking and distributing the picture might not be caught, but the facility in which the picture was taken surely could find itself on the wrong end of a lawsuit. Because of these concerns, almost any locker room of a facility with a risk management policy has signs posted, prohibiting cell phone use or cell phone visibility. These warning signs are not very effective if they are not being enforced. I-Phones and 4G’s are as addictive as crack, and so the mere posting of a few signs on locker room walls will surely not do much to pry them out of their owners’ hands. Does that mean that there should be cell phone monitors in every locker room? That is probably going too far. However, when people complain about continued cell phone use, action should be taken. Perhaps an employee or volunteer can regularly walk through the locker room (of his or her own gender) and check for violations. If facility users know that the facility enforces the rule, locker room cell phone use might diminish.