I work in India for a US based company.

Employees are encouraged to present "safety moment" before certain meetings to encourage / promote safe working habits and to keep the work environment safe.

I came to know about a hearing condition called tinnitus. This occurs when a person is exposed to excessive sound for a prolonged period of time.

Most of the folks in my office ride to work (listening to music using earphones) at a volume higher than required to cancel out the traffic noise. Most of them also listen to music while working (we have no restrictions on earphone usage at work - saw this in some questions). I believe this habit leaves them exposed to conditions which might result in hearing problems in future. I read this article online. The article says music for more than 90 mins @ 80%+ volume is dangerous toward hearing.

Would it be appropriate to spread awareness to the team by sharing this information during a safety moment (~5 mins) which happens before a meeting?

The reason I ask this question is because, I'm the person who asked this question and there were mixed reactions from the group. I did not pursue my idea in the former question because of the mixed reaction. I'm following suite this time too. I do not want to take a step in the wrong direction when I interact with the team in a formal meeting, hence, this question.

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    Can you give a bit more info about the "safety moment" practice? What type of meetings is it before? Is it about safety issues related to the workplace/content of the meeting? What kind of things have been presented in these "safety moment" discussions before? Oct 19 '19 at 18:07
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    What is 80% volume? Different devices and headphones/earphones will have a different max dB output.
    – HorusKol
    Oct 19 '19 at 22:56
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    the last two generations of parents have tried to tell us that too-loud music damages our hearing. do you really think you'll be more successful?
    – Aganju
    Oct 19 '19 at 23:18
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    Just a small remark about the article: What does "80%" even mean? I have in ear headphones which, when plugged into my phone, are not that loud at 80%. On the other hand, if I plug my headset into my computer soundbar, even 10-15% is already really loud. So just saying "keep it below 80%" is not really good advice...
    – Dirk
    Oct 21 '19 at 12:45
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    @Prasanna I would think a better message would be the dangers of biking with headphones on, preventing you from being aware of the traffic around you. That could get you killed.
    – bluegreen
    Oct 30 '19 at 19:04

I worked for a company that also encourages a "safety moment" before meetings -- it's a common practice and part of the culture.

People present on workplace-related safety as well as personal and home safety.

The goal is to have people consistently focus on keeping themselves and others safe, so that less accidents will occur.

If this is an acceptable activity in your company as well, I see no harm in sharing. Clearly loud music does present a safety concern.

You are simply providing information -- your co-workers can decide for themselves how to apply that knowledge.


Would it be appropriate to spread awareness to the team by sharing this information during a safety moment (~5 mins) which happens before a meeting?

Sure, it's completely appropriate. It seems like exactly the sort of thing your company wants to see during your safety moments.

Try to stick with the facts as you know them and avoid being preachy. You don't want to accuse people of doing themselves harm, particularly since you know many of them will continue with what they are doing.

Make sure you are leaving them with suggestions on what they should do, not just what they shouldn't do.


I suspect this would be very poorly received.

It would be one thing if there was a safety concern directly connected to the workplace, say folks failing to use hearing protection while operating loud machinery, or wearing headphones and listening to loud music while in a work situation that required full attention to the environment. But here you seem to be focusing on a hazard that is relatively well known, very much a matter of personal choice, and with no real connection to the workplace. Are you also going to have safety moments urging your co-workers not to eat so many sweets, and not to drive to work? Both of those activities have significant health risks too. Why focus on the volume of your co-workers headphones?

Companies that provide health insurance for their employees do sometimes provide health education and information. They arguably have skin in the game since they are paying for some portion of their employees health care. Even then, these are sessions almost always voluntary, "if you are interested" activities. You're proposing to grab 5 minutes from a captive audience on a topic where you have no real standing to speak. Most folks would just ignore it, but some of your co-workers might start regarding you as a busybody with too much time on your hands.

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    Same is the case with wearing seat belts and helmets. Those who chose to ignore, will ignore. My point is to spread awareness to those who did not know about this. I'm not going to grab everyone's headphones/music player to check and fix the volume settings and not police around to see for how long they have been exposed to loud music. No. Spreading awareness and giving someone free advice are two different things.
    – Prasanna
    Oct 20 '19 at 3:02
  • I agree with the statement "but some of your co-workers might start regarding you as a busybody with too much time on your hands"
    – Ed Heal
    Oct 20 '19 at 12:37
  • @EdHeal I do not know what to say when you say "co-workers might start regarding you as a busybody with too much time on your hands". I can't help it.
    – Prasanna
    Oct 22 '19 at 13:56
  • @prasana Would you like your fellow coworkers to comment on your life style choices? Perhaps comment on your choice of attire? ....
    – Ed Heal
    Oct 22 '19 at 17:43

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