Workers in many different fields like to make use of personal headphones. This lets them listen to things like music and can help pass the time. However, they might not be a safe option depending on your job. It’s important to know when wearing these headphones might become a risk to your safety…
Personal Headphones: Risk vs. Reward
Limiting outside noise
Personal headphones can help you block out any outside noise or distractions. This can help when it comes to focusing more on the work you’re doing. However, it could also mean you don’t hear important audio cues around you. This could lead to you accidentally getting hurt because you were unaware of what was happening around you.
Headphones can also have a small noise-canceling effect on their own. This can lead some to think that they can be used in place of special noise-reducing headphones or earplugs. However, this is actually not the case. OSHA notes that these headphones aren’t as effective as specialty ones.
Snags and tangles
Another issue with personal headphones is the chance of them catching or snagging on something. This can already be annoying when it happens outside the workplace. However, it could also be quite dangerous when you’re working.
For example, if you have to do a lot of moving around at your job, then your headphones could easily catch on to something. This is especially true if your work involves any kind of machinery. Overall, it’s not worth the added risk to wear headphones when doing this kind of work where you want to be as safe as possible.
It isn’t a bad idea to wear personal headphones at every workplace, however. It mainly depends on the job you’re doing. If you work in a more desk/office-type of job, then you might be able to wear headphones depending on your workplace rules. Compared to other office safety risks, headphones probably won’t be too much of a hazard.
Here, headphones can be especially helpful if you have a hearing problem. They can help you hear a bit better if you have to make phone calls or listen to audio. They can also help if you have something like tinnitus. Having something like music or soft noise playing can help those with tinnitus keep their mind off of the ringing.