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Are headphones placing you at risk of a work accident?

On Behalf of | Jan 9, 2020 | Workplace Injuries

When you clock in at work in the mornings, you are probably not thinking about all of the ways you could possibly suffer an injury that day. Whether you work behind a desk all day or you have a job that involves heavy physical labor, there are potential hazards that could cause you harm. This is why safety standards and good practices are important in any type of workplace.

Sometimes, the most prominent safety hazards are those that involve the simplest things, such as wearing headphones in the workplace. Plenty of people do this, and you may do it yourself while you are completing your tasks. However, there are certain reasons why this is probably not a good idea, and this simple action could be increasing the chance of an accident in an Ohio workplace.

How are headphones dangerous? 

Headphones can affect a person’s actions while doing his or her work, which in turn could place that individual and others at risk of an accident. In fact, this can be particularly dangerous for those who work on construction sites. A few facts about the potential risks of combining work and headphones include:

  • A person’s ability to hear environmental noise can be crucial. Headphones could block a person’s ability to hear warnings and notice signs of trouble.
  • There is no specific regulation from the Occupational Safety and Health Administration regarding the use of headphones.
  • While there is no prohibition on headphones, there are limits on noise exposure. Headphones are not a replacement for real hearing protection.

Because of the dangers of headphones on jobsites and in different types of work environments, OSHA is warning employers about their use. There is enough evidence to suggest that employers may want to consider banning their use altogether. Additionally, it is critical to provide proper hearing protection for employees who need it.

Your rights as an employee

Employees have the right to a reasonable expectation of safety in their place of work. Whether it’s by having a no-headphone policy in place or protecting workers from a potentially dangerous level of noise, employers are responsible for creating and enforcing effective safety policies.

If you suffer damage to your hearing or are dealing with injuries from any type of work-related accident, you may want to seek an assessment of your case. It is possible you have the right to claim workers’ compensation benefits through your employer’s insurance policy.