Music and Machinery–What Are the Problems

Question to Ask the Workplace Doctors about music and machines:

We are a workplace that has employees working with machinery. While operating the machinery employees like to listen to music and many times the music is louder than the machines. What are the cons in having the employees listen to music while working on machinery?

Signed, Ringing Ears

Dear Ringing Ears:

We are often asked about music at work. Employees usually want to know how to justify being able to listen to music or they complain about the choice of music. Employers usually are concerned about the potential negative effect on work or, as you mentioned, on safety. There is a particular concern when headsets are used, but I think you are referring to overhead music. Many people think that music lightens their attitude and their work. The kind of music a work group picks to listen to usually reflects their ages, backgrounds and away-from-work listening habits.

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