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When you work in a warehouse, it can be easy to fall into a pattern of doing things. In time, you’ll likely have a routine that you could do in your sleep. Therefore, many people who work in warehouses will choose to wear headphones on the job. It’s understandable that you would want something to make the day a little less monotonous. However, while headphones provide the right amount of distraction, they also introduce a risk you might not have considered before. 

Headphones and Warehouse Work: Understanding Common Risks

Concentration and alertness

One of the first and foremost risks of headphones in the workplace, are the attention they take away from your task at hand. Especially when using heavy equipment, fulfilling orders, manning a station, or moving heavy materials— you need to be present. There is the potential for missing something along the way when your ears aren’t in the game. Take, for example, if something falls from high up and is headed straight for you. In most cases, there will be someone close by who might yell ‘heads up’, ‘move!’, or ‘get out of the way!”. But, if you have headphones in— you might miss those warnings and end up with an injury as a result. 

Becoming caught in machinery

Depending on what type of warehouse you’re working in, there might be equipment of some sort running at all times. Therefore, it is often ill-advised to have any sort of loose clothing, or cords, in the workplace. You never know when that loose cord of the headphones, which is connected to your body, might become caught in a machine and lead to your being pulled in that direction. 

As an employer, it’s important to keep your protocol in check

Many warehouses ban headphones for these very reasons, however, when things are going well— it can be all too easy to not pay attention to potential dangers. Therefore, make it a monthly, or quarterly, task to perform random, routine safety checks. While you might have other responsibilities, keeping your employees safe should always be at the top of the list. So, check in, check cameras, and hold your employees accountable for making the right decisions.