Music in a Manufacturing Plant is TOO LOUD!

Question to Ask the Workplace Doctors about loud music in a manufacturing area:

I did a quick search and didn’t see an answer to what I was looking for. I work in a manufacturing environment in Connecticut. Several times I have mentioned to my immediate supervisor and HR that I find people playing music loudly is a distraction to me. I have yet to receive a satisfactory response from my supervisor or HR. At a job where music is not a requirement to perform your job, do I have a right to voice my concerns about loud music and am I entitled to help from my employer? 
Signed–Too Loud

read more

What Does OSHA Say About Earbuds?

What does OSHA say about the use of ear buds in a manufacturing environment?

We have several questions and responses in our archives about using ear buds and/or ear protection, in work environments. Some of them have many links to articles. You may find it useful to go to categories and check out Music and Noise in the Workplace.

If you are asking about reducing harm from noise in the work environment, your best resource is the OSHA website. They don’t have rules about whether or not ear protection is worn, but they have advice about protecting hearing.

read more

What Can I Do About A Factory Coworker Who Plays Loud Rock Music All Day?

A question to Ask the Workplace Doctors about loud music in a factory. 

I am working in a factory together with other people in same area and one of them plays rock music on his sound system at maximum volume nearly all day. I am the one that works with him and we are the closest ones to sound system all day (1-2 meters). Neither me or anyone else have a problem with music being played, as long as it is on a decent volume.

I have to mention that we work in a factory near an oven that makes noise, but as soon as he starts playing music, I cannot hear that oven (being in the middle between the radio and oven) Is there any law that I can find on a official website so I can print it and “hit my manager over the face” with it so he takes action about this ?

read more

Too Much Music in my Workplace

Question to Ask the Workplace Doctors about loud music:

Are there regulations regarding music in warehouses with forklift operators driving around. I got blindsided hit by a forklift driver in a warehouse that had a speaker system playing music 10 feet from me. I never heard the forklift driver due to the music. Blindsided 

read more

What Can I Do About a Coworker Who Incessantly Grinds His Teeth and Taps His Foot?

Question to Ask the Workplace Doctors about a coworker who has distracting habits. 

I’ve been working with this individual for a few years now and I’m beyond my breaking point. He grinds his teeth and taps his feet all day, every day. This is particularly worse on Mondays, or following any time he takes off (vacation, sick..). When I presented these issues to the Manager, I was told there was no other spot for me, and to just wear earbuds with music to drown out his grinding, tapping and all other of his disgusting bodily noises. Two years later, this is still the only solution we have. Which makes me wonder two things: what is the long-term damage to my hearing, if I’m constantly having to raise the volume of my music to drown out his teeth grinding (which also impacts my concentration when we reach those music volume levels), and why should I have to modify my behavior?

read more

Ear Buds Where & When

A question to Ask the Workplace Doctors about protection of hearing:

I know it is against regulations to wear ear buds on MHE equipment. I had a question asked today on where are they OK to wear. I told them not on MHE equipment or in high traffic areas. I told them if they were working where no traffic came then it was OK to wear. Now, I am asked to do a safety meeting at work. Is there any information about the “wheres” ear buds can be worn at work?
Signed, Where & When
Dear Where & When:
We’ve had many questions regarding noise in the workplace. That is a special area of expertise that OSHA consultants provide; it’s not ours, but we try as apparently you will in your upcoming safety meeting. Below several of our Q&As are referenced.

read more

No Longer Radios Where We Work

A question submitted to Ask the Workplace Doctors about radios being prohibited:
I work for a company the makes hydraulic cylinders. The business has been around since the 70’s and radios have always been allowed. The shop has been part of the USW since the 80’s and now they have implemented a hearing conservation program and have posted that all radios have to be removed and are prohibited from further use. There has been no bargaining with the union on this matter. What can we do?
Signed Radios Off

read more

Is It Illegal to Play Music in the Warehouse?

Question to Ask the Workplace Doctors about laws regarding listening to music while working:

Me and like 98% of my co-workers have no problem with music being played as long as it’s quiet enough to hear everything else around for obvious safety reasons. Our lead hand, who sort of abuses authority, tells us all the time “no music in the warehouse it’s against the law. So we’re forced to turn them off. I’m in Vancouver Canada B.C. and I’m just wondering if it really is against the law or is he just saying this?
Signed Forced Turned Off

read more

Federal (OSHA) Rules About Radios At Work?

A question about radios being used in the workplace.



Are there OSHA rules about using radios at work?

Response from Ask the Workplace Doctors: 

Check our archives under Music and Noise at Work, to see some of the many questions and responses in the past, about this issue.

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration is part of the Department of Labor and regulates many aspects of workplace safety. Each state also has a department of labor and related occupational safety groups. They would be your best source for information about your specific situation.

read more

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.

read more