Taylor Oilfield Manufacturing has been ordered to forfeit $126,000 by the Federal Communications Commission for illegally operating cell phone jamming devices at its Broussard location.

According to an order issued April 9 by the FCC, federal agents received an anonymous tip May 18, 2012, alleging that Taylor Oilfield was using cellular jamming devices to prevent employees from using their cell phones at its Broussard location. Upon inspecting the  worksite on May 21, federal agents discovered five signal jammers — four in operation and one that had not yet been assembled. All the devices were imported from China, and the four operable jammers, according to the federal commission, had been in use for several months at the time of the inspection.

According to FCC’s report:


The agent interviewed the manager ... who admitted that Taylor Oilfield had purchased five cellular jammers online (which were shipped from overseas) and operated four jammers at the worksite for a few months.

The manager also claimed that Taylor Oilfield utilized the jamming devices to prevent its employees from using their cellular phones while working, apparently following a near-miss industrial accident that allegedly was partially attributable to employee cell phone use. The manager voluntarily surrendered the uninstalled jammer, and three days later ... voluntarily surrendered the remaining jamming devices.

The use of cellular jammers is prohibited by the federal Communications Act, largely because of the impact they can have on public safety by disrupting communications between first-responders and preventing the public from making 911 calls in the event of an emergency.

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