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thunderchild  
#1 Posted : 13 March 2018 12:12:30(UTC)
Rank: Forum user
thunderchild

Now I know the answer to this is a big no but we have about 50% of the workforce using MP3 players as noise protection for an 8-12 hour shift (excluding breaks)

Now I want to ban them and have everyone wear the cotrrect hearing protction but I know this will be met with a lot of resistance (looks like my predecessor had no issues with it) but I will need proof that this is an unsuitable means of protetction. What I could really do with is a presecution or prohibotion notice for it. Can anyone point me in the right direction? Or evidence that mp3 players have contributed to an accident / incident....you know what I mean, something to make the company think about it as so far we have had no issues (possibly more luck than judgement).

We do have anual audiomentry testing for our employees but we also have contractors on site that use them so I assume its part of their risk assessment??? I would like a total ban for everyone.

Am I right to want a ban???? or am I being a pain in the whatsit and pedantic?????

boigy77  
#2 Posted : 13 March 2018 12:30:30(UTC)
Rank: Forum user
boigy77

I would say you are correct, if someone is walking about the shopfloor with metallica blasting into their ears blocking out all surround sound, then they aren't going to hear someone shouting a warning to them. As you say, only luck so far nothing has happened.

I would look for accidents/court cases where something like an mp3 has been a factor, and present it to management.

Roundtuit  
#3 Posted : 13 March 2018 12:32:12(UTC)
Rank: Super forum user
Roundtuit

If you have identified an issue with noise, have been unable to eliminate it at source, and concluded that certain areas / personnel require hearing protection then the company should be enforcing its use

MP3 and similar are not certified hearing protection under the PPE Directive so by condoning their use the company is failing in its duties.

There are certified devices that have inbuilt radio or 3.5mm jacks for attaching such devices so an outright ban may be OTT

A Kurdziel  
#4 Posted : 13 March 2018 13:26:39(UTC)
Rank: Super forum user
A Kurdziel

If you identify an issue such as noise you must, I emphasis must, find some way to control it SFARP. If you cannot control this at source, or by reducing the level of exposure then you must provide suitable PPE, which might include earplugs or earmuffs but not MP3 players and the like which are, as has been pointed out not PPE. You need to tell you staff that they will suffer from hearing damage and they will regret it.

As said the law is quite clear: they must cooperate with you and use any PPE that has been issued.   Have you done any audiometric monitoring to see how much hearing loss they are sustaining; that might focus their minds.

thunderchild  
#5 Posted : 13 March 2018 13:36:22(UTC)
Rank: Forum user
thunderchild

Thanks all.

We cant reduce the noise any more due to the nature of our work (automotive) so we have to have noise protection.

We do have annual screening and nothing to my knowlegde has yet been identified.

My issue is the distraction and the lack of hearing any warnings, we have FLTs that operatate and of course fire alarms.

Its going to be a difficult one as it has become accepted that they wear them and I am not sure how long that has been going on for? could be years for all I know. There currently is no site rule that they are breaking.

We could issue the ear defenders with the built in jacks but again this will not take away the distraction factor.

Its going to be a diffilcult one I feel, I will be unpopular for it but in my safety career I have not worked anywhere that allowes MP3 players in the working area.

Roundtuit  
#6 Posted : 13 March 2018 15:23:50(UTC)
Rank: Super forum user
Roundtuit

If I was stuck in a noisy environment for hours on end I would appreciate diversion - this is when I found the radio muffs as we needed to reduce the volume of a radio disturbing our neighbours due to its being cranked up to overcome the whine of the milling machines

If you aren't combating external noise it is quite surprising how low the volume can be set and you still hear co-workers, fire alarms and FLT reversing beepers

Hsquared14  
#7 Posted : 13 March 2018 16:45:10(UTC)
Rank: Super forum user
Hsquared14

The really, really big problem with MP3 players in noisy environments is that the volume and sound energy they provide within the ear is uncontrolled and unregulated.  If you already have a noisy environment and use standard MP3 player ear buds or head phones the sound engery delivered to the ear will be enormous.  We are going to have an epidemic of deaf 30 year olds soon due to use of them so its a HUGE no not just a big no and because you have a noisy workplace guess who they will sue - and it won't be the manufacturer of the MP3 player.  To be honest I would be happy to see the whole craze for them die a death from a personal point of view I hate having sound played straight into my ears, it gives me motion sickness so I just don't see the attraction.  You are not here to be loved or even liked that much, get those things off your shopfloor.

biker1  
#8 Posted : 13 March 2018 17:12:32(UTC)
Rank: Super forum user
biker1

So many of the young these days must find the real world very boring that they have to be constantly entertained; similarly they must find normal conversation so boring that they have to have their faces glued to mobiles. I don't understand it myself, but then different generations...

When it comes to hearing protection, then the noise from mp3 players is just adding to the noise of the work environment, so the net result is going to produce hearing damage (not to mention brain damage from the rubbish they listen to). I could wear such a device on my bike, but choose not to, not only because it would have to be at a deafening level to overcome wind noise, but because I like engaging in the real world. I find this safer for one thing.

Charlie Brown  
#9 Posted : 13 March 2018 18:15:45(UTC)
Rank: Forum user
Charlie Brown

This might help.

https://www.aviva.co.uk/risksolutions/news/2006/11/16/safe-to-listen-to-mp3-players-at-work/

toe  
#10 Posted : 13 March 2018 18:33:45(UTC)
Rank: Super forum user
toe

Notwithstanding Active Noise Control (using an antiphase). You cannot combat noise with noise in this way.

OK, so noise has been identified a Hazard within the workplace - employees are allowed to listen to loud music (MP3) at work - an employee gets noise induced hearing loss - employee successfully sues his employer for hearing damage, because 1. Noise was identified as a hazard and appropriate hearing protection was not issued. 2. Employer allowed loud noise to damage a persons hearing whilst at work.

Your noise risk assessment will identify what hearing protection (if it’s the only and last option) that will be required.

Edited by user 13 March 2018 18:34:37(UTC)  | Reason: Spelling

Roundtuit  
#11 Posted : 13 March 2018 18:39:48(UTC)
Rank: Super forum user
Roundtuit

Originally Posted by: Charlie Brown Go to Quoted Post

This might help.

https://www.aviva.co.uk/risksolutions/news/2006/11/16/safe-to-listen-to-mp3-players-at-work/

Bit of an old link - manufacturers were required to limit noise output as a consideration of the impact in hearing loss within the general population. Unfortunately doesn't apply to those cheap units bought on the internet "UK seller guaranteed" then a 28 day delivery with a customs sticker for your "gift" on the packaging
Charlie Brown  
#12 Posted : 13 March 2018 21:50:47(UTC)
Rank: Forum user
Charlie Brown

Yes it is a bit old but the general information regarding the use of mp3 players is still valid in that they do in fact cause the wearer to become isolated, they can induce further hearing problems if misused and they can cause decreased levels of concentration. The other point the article brings out is that if you are going to allow the use of these things in the workplace it is a very good idea to have some type of information available/disseminated to the employees warning them of the dangers of wearing them in the workplace from a safety perspective and also, misuse from a volume control perspective.

The point has been made though that these things are not in fact hearing protection and if there is a risk of exposure that can not be reduced at the source the employees need to be wearing the correct PPE as issued by the company.

For me personally, I wouldn't give a fig if the employees have been wearing these things for years or not. If there is a real need for hearing protection or I believed the employees were being distracted/isolated by their use then I would be letting the management team know what the risks are and recommending a bit of a culture change.

thunderchild  
#13 Posted : 14 March 2018 09:18:12(UTC)
Rank: Forum user
thunderchild

Thanks again.

There will be a noise survey carried out but this wont take into account the MP3 player in the ear just the noise around the wearer????

The shopfloor does have radios but MP3's are use d as not everyone like the same music....arrrrghhhhh! Ban both would be easier and everyone just get on with there work.....now there's a novel idea.....lol 

lwthesm  
#14 Posted : 14 March 2018 11:28:06(UTC)
Rank: Forum user
lwthesm

Hi Thunderchild

I did ban both! Yes, not popular and of course, staff then tried to get round the rules but I stood firm and now, 2yrs down the line, have complete compliance on the shop floor. Once I got the Managers and Supervisors to enforce it things were easier.

None of us H&S people are ever going to be popular but I for one strongly believe in what I do.

Good luck

thanks 2 users thanked lwthesm for this useful post.
Kate on 14/03/2018(UTC), Daniel G on 23/03/2018(UTC)
thunderchild  
#15 Posted : 14 March 2018 13:42:59(UTC)
Rank: Forum user
thunderchild

Originally Posted by: lwthesm Go to Quoted Post

Hi Thunderchild

I did ban both! Yes, not popular and of course, staff then tried to get round the rules but I stood firm and now, 2yrs down the line, have complete compliance on the shop floor. Once I got the Managers and Supervisors to enforce it things were easier.

None of us H&S people are ever going to be popular but I for one strongly believe in what I do.

Good luck

Thanks for this, I am quite passionate about what I do which seems to get some peoples back up! LOL

O'Donnell54548  
#16 Posted : 14 March 2018 13:52:11(UTC)
Rank: Forum user
O'Donnell54548

Thunderchild - just a thought, but you seem to be the only one who has a problem at your place of work with the wearing of MP3 players. Management, employees and apparently their Occupation Health providers who carry out the hearing monitoring see no issue with this. You have stated that there is no evidence to support your claim that it will cause accidents or hearing loss, so I can see why the above would see this as a ban for the sake of a ban. The questions on fire alarms and reversing bleepers on the FLT should have been addressed as part of your noise assessment findings, so I do not see those as an issue.

It is not compulsory for H&S Officers/Managers to be unpopular, so perhaps you could look at working with management and staff to come up with a 'safe use' policy for MP3 players instead of trying to ban them because you have no experience of them being used at work. A lot of automotive work is repetitive and boring, so using something like a individual music player could be seen as a positive with regards to the Wellbing of operatives. Just my view, I am sure there will be many opposite views expresssed before this thread ends. 

Charlie Brown  
#17 Posted : 14 March 2018 15:15:58(UTC)
Rank: Forum user
Charlie Brown

Thanks O'Donnell, If we all had the same view of everything we wouldn't need forums in order to become more balanced would we?

Originally Posted by: O'Donnell54548 Go to Quoted Post

Just my view, I am sure there will be many opposite views expresssed before this thread ends. 
thanks 1 user thanked Charlie Brown for this useful post.
O'Donnell54548 on 15/03/2018(UTC)
Jackson43278  
#18 Posted : 19 March 2018 17:31:23(UTC)
Rank: Forum user
Jackson43278

There is a page on this on The Noise Chap - hope that's of some help.

thanks 1 user thanked Jackson43278 for this useful post.
Roundtuit on 19/03/2018(UTC)
Roundtuit  
#19 Posted : 19 March 2018 19:05:10(UTC)
Rank: Super forum user
Roundtuit

Interesting piece

Pity we always have to adopt the permit or ban mentality - sorry having a Zen moment after doing a bit of follow up on today's Safety Differently webinar 

Kate  
#20 Posted : 19 March 2018 19:20:31(UTC)
Rank: Super forum user
Kate

I'm inclined to discuss the Safety Differently webinar but I think it deserves a separate thread ...

thanks 1 user thanked Kate for this useful post.
A Kurdziel on 20/03/2018(UTC)
IanDakin  
#21 Posted : 22 March 2018 12:03:06(UTC)
Rank: Super forum user
IanDakin

Surely the NAWR are perfectly clear. If hearing protection is required, it must be of the correct standard. MP3 players are not. So they can't be used in hearing protection zones. Anything else is a breach of crimianla law, so if not done correctly the employee, the business and the Safety Advisor could be prosecuted.

Distraction is a differnet issue, and needs to be tackled seperatley. This could be done via a proper risk assessment of the various areas. If there is MHE or other vehicles about, then there may be a case for bans of anything that is distracting. Otherwise, ear defenders with a noise limited means of hearing music. 

Taylor your solution to each issue.

nic168  
#22 Posted : 22 March 2018 12:58:34(UTC)
Rank: Forum user
nic168

 I think that there are two distinct issue here that need to be addressed seperatley.

 Firstly, is there a "noise" problem ,backed up by a survey etc. If so then appropriate measures such as hearing protection need to be in place.

The MP3 player use is seperate, personally I agree they are a distraction and can increase the likihood of NIHL in later life. But this is just an opinion you need something to back this up if you want to engage with managers to ban or restrict their use.

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