Work Smart. Work Safe.
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“What? Sorry I didn’t hear you.”

By Theresa Trant

“To the person sitting in the back, could you turn your music down? I can hear it up here.”

That’s what the bus driver said this morning. Of course, the person listening to the loud music didn’t turn it down because he couldn’t hear the bus driver’s plea! And that got me thinking. Could this young man hear anything else? Was he on his way to work? Does he listen to his loud music at work? If so, could he hear what is happening around him while working?

Most of us readily agree loud music can harm your ears. However, there is another consequence of listening to loud music through your headset; namely awareness of the sounds around you.

Let’s say this young man works on a construction site or in a warehouse. Would he be able to hear the approaching forklift? Or hear warnings coming from co-workers if something were falling or slipping? I would guess the answer to these questions is ‘no’; and that is a safety risk.

If he works side-by-side with a co-worker he could also be a distraction to him/her. Makes you think doesn’t it?

This all comes down to a workplace distraction; one that is completely within our control. Distractions can cause us to loose focus. This means decreased workplace awareness and increased risk to our safety. What’s the solution? Consider this equation:


Listening to music while you are working is enjoyable. But think whether that enjoyment is also putting you at risk of injury. If it is, turn down the volume.

What are your thoughts on workplace distractions? Tell us by leaving a comment, or tweet @HeadsUpAB.

One Response to ““What? Sorry I didn’t hear you.””

  1. Hi Theresa, Workplace distraction is not only restricted to ear phones. One must be watchful for complete 24 hrs around workplace, road, home or pee-cubicle. I have many clients from construction industry. I get them isnetworld compliance wherein they have to abide by certain guidelines while carrying out each task. To know more about it you can refer This is also one measure that I mention to my clients to avoid accidents at construction sites & other workplaces.

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