Is There A Rule Against Mp3players?

Question to Ask the Workplace Doctors about listening to MP3:

I drive a reach truck forklift. Is there a general rule out there to say I can’t listen to my MP 3 player in the workplace?

Signed, I Like Music

Dear I Like Music:

No, there is no general rule. The general rule, however, is that you are hired to do a job, not to listen to the radio. You might not like that rule. But that’s the way it is and your employer has the right and obligation to make reasonable rules that enable you to see and hear what is going on. I’m sure you don’t want someone driving on the highway while applying makeup, talking on their cell phones or texting.

Diving a forklift around and about a work area demands sharp eyes and ears. Music probably doesn’t distract from doing good work in some jobs and might even improve performance. For other jobs it can be distracting. Management must decide. They can be held liable should they not do all in their power to keep you and others safe. Does that make a little bit of sense to you? I hope you will take this in a positive way. Don’t allow it to sour you on the job. Work is hard enough without being sour. Think of all you can do to make your workplace an employee friendly place and you might then find that you can at least whistle and sing while you work even if you can’t listen to your MP3 player. Working together with hands, head, and heart takes and makes big WEGOS.

William Gorden