Music In A Production Plant

Question to Ask the Workplace Doctors about music and safety:

Is it safe to listen to music in a production plant while operating different kinds on equipment?

Signed, Music Guy

Dear Music Guy:

I’m sure you don’t want a “it just depends” answer. If you are a manager, you would prefer evidence to say, “Safety comes first. Music can detract.” If you are an operator, you would prefer to hear, “Music can help your concentration and I’ve been able to listen to music while driving my car and different kinds of machines.” Management of a plant doesn’t want to risk an accident caused by someone listening to music while operating any kind of equipment. If you managed a plant neither would you. Therefore, it is safer to err on the side of “It’s not safe.”

This same kind of reasoning is what’s behind laws against using cell phones while driving. Thousands have used cell phones while driving, even while putting on makeup,reading the newspaper and/or shaving. However, as much as we want to think we can multitask, some risks are simply too great to take them. I hope you can support those who make the rules rather than resist them if they decide music is not permitted.

Keep the big picture in mind whenever you encounter a rule with which you disagree. Remember that you are hired to operate machines, not to listen to music. There’s probably not rule against whistling or humming a tune while operating equipment. Use breaks for music. Listen while commuting or working out. Does this makes sense? Working together with hands, head, and heart takes and makes big WEGOS, and that is what you want–a job in a workplace where comes safety comes first, even above pleasing employees and profits? Keep a song in your heart if not fed into your ears.

William Gorden