Can employees listen to music with headphones while operating power equipment

Discussion in 'Business Operations' started by Seabreeze, Jul 5, 2012.

  1. Greg78

    Greg78 LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,010

    Both of us use ear buds while mowing and doing regular lawn maintenance. I went through all the OSHA regulations and couldn't find anything that said it was not allowed.
     
  2. easy-lift guy

    easy-lift guy LawnSite Gold Member
    Posts: 3,376

    Ask your insurance agent if there was an accident and it was found that due to wearing earbibs or head phones listening to music or what ever a liability claim could or would be paid?. Just like distracted driving many states are establishing laws to keep distracted driving to a zero tolerance.
    easy-lift guy
     
  3. coolluv

    coolluv LawnSite Gold Member
    from Atlanta
    Posts: 3,625

    Company policies for all of the large construction companies I worked for prohibited the use of ear buds and radio headphones because of the inability to hear warning signals, horns, backup alarms etc.

    Plus studies have shown that it interferes with a persons ability to have their full attention on the task at hand resulting in more accidents and liability for the business.

    Driving while using headphones or earbuds is illegal because of the same reasons. Not being able to hear emergency vehicles and horns.

    Dave...
     
  4. Greg78

    Greg78 LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,010

    Same here but I was required to wear hearing protection and couldn't hear any of those things you listed either.

    I've had supers come up behind my while I'm running wood through a table saw or planer and had them grab my shoulder because they were shouting at me and I couldn't hear them. They couldn't understand while I told them to never touch someone while they are operating equipment. They couldn't understand that that table saw or planer couldn't tell the difference between my hand and the wood.
     
  5. coolluv

    coolluv LawnSite Gold Member
    from Atlanta
    Posts: 3,625

    I've tried a lot of different hearing protection over the years and I don't recall any of them preventing me from hearing horns or backup alarms etc.

    They do mute it but you can still hear it. Btw I have some hearing loss because of being young and dumb and not wearing hearing protection and the small companies I worked for not mandating the use of hearing protection...and that was a long time ago when construction was like the wild west.

    Things have come a long way since then and as I got older and worked for larger more professional companies that changed.

    I think back on some of the things I did and situations I put my self in and its a wonder I'm still here.

    Dave...
     
  6. S&M Landscapes

    S&M Landscapes LawnSite Member
    Posts: 51

    I dont see a problem with it. Not much different than ear plugs or ear muffs. If it makes my guys more productive, im good with it.


    Just my .02
    Posted via Mobile Device
     
  7. easy-lift guy

    easy-lift guy LawnSite Gold Member
    Posts: 3,376

    Hearing and seeing are integral parts of being aware of your work area and surroundings. Common sence can and should go a long way in any business.
    More often than not either one is usually in short supply.
    easy-lift guy
     
  8. nealster

    nealster LawnSite Member
    Posts: 20

    I don't allow my employees to listen to music, it takes away from productivity and makes them less alert while operating machinery. But it comes down to personal preference. I don't like it becuase it takes away from their focus while they are working for me. There needs to be separation from peronal life and work life.
     
  9. Glenn Lawn Care

    Glenn Lawn Care LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,647

    Why wouldn't you be able to. You listen to music driving don' t you? Plus music makes the day go by faster.
     
  10. Ben Bowen

    Ben Bowen LawnSite Bronze Member
    from PNW
    Posts: 1,060

    Can't be any more dangerous than listening to music, talking on the phone, and eating a granola bar while driving. Not that I ever do that...
     

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