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PRO

First posted on Landscape Juice in March 2008

I have just read, with interest, the article by James Alexander-Sinclair on the BBC Gardeners World Blog, about how music can be an essential part of the working day.

Music does help some to relax into the task you are doing. Music is also inspirational and I am sure can help most creative people take their work to another level.

However, as an employer, I would be now more than concerned at how music could lead to staff to become pre-occupied and not concentrate on their work, leading to serious accidents - even death!. 

Personally, I prefer silence when I am carrying out a manual task. It helps me stay focussed on what I am doing.

But, the biggest risk when listening to music in the landscape gardening and gardening world is safety.

Mowing is a very therapeutic job if you like grass, but otherwise is can be mundane, drawn out and pretty heavy going, especially if you do it all day.

However, being able to hear the sound of the engine is essential. It not only means you can react quickly when there is a fault with the engine itself, but you can also hear the change in tone when the underneath becomes clogged with damp grass.

An operator is also able to determine if they have hit debris such as stones or wood better and take the appropriate steps.

I have witnessed landscapers who are using or driving machinery wearing earpieces with music that is clearly audible to anyone in the vicinity.

This is an obvious safety risk to them and, I not only think it should be discouraged, but should be banned under health and safety legislation.

Being unable to hear your co-workers, the every day sounds of other machinery operating around you, with the constant distraction of thumping music in your head, is not conducive to a productive and safe working environment.

I full appreciate having a small transistor radio in the potting shed or on a patio wall whilst pointing. In these surroundings it is part of the all-round sound but, ear pieces tend to block general noise.

If you are operating potentially dangerous machinery, think about your safety and those that are around you and remember, under the health and safety at work act, you have a duty of care to yourself and those that work with you.

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Replies

  • A man without music is a man without a soul.

  • PRO

    And a man with earphones In his ear will not hear his friends cry for help....

    After a serious injury last year which involved a blade going through the palm of my hand - had the people near me, who were out of view, but within earshot, had headphones on - the outcome may have been more serious than stitches and lost blood...
    Extrapolate this out to say, an injury involving a chainsaw or Brush cutter - There may be seconds to save their life, and headphones may add those seconds...

    A D Landscapes said:

    A man without music is a man without a soul.

  • If the machinery is that loud, you should be wearing ear defenders and you would not hear a cry for help.


    David Cox said:

    And a man with earphones In his ear will not hear his friends cry for help....

    After a serious injury last year which involved a blade going through the palm of my hand - had the people near me, who were out of view, but within earshot, had headphones on - the outcome may have been more serious than stitches and lost blood...
    Extrapolate this out to say, an injury involving a chainsaw or Brush cutter - There may be seconds to save their life, and headphones may add those seconds...

    A D Landscapes said:

    A man without music is a man without a soul.

  • Yes but we all know you still hear what is going on outwith the ear defenders as they are not sound-blockers. They just dull the natural surrounding sounds coming in from the world. So you WOULD still hear someone shouting for help.

    I wouldn't ever listen to music while using machines, nor cycling (always amazed seeing cyclists with earphones in).

  • PRO

    Ear defenders are always worn - they just dull sound as Dan says;

    Also thanks to the dead-mans-handle on all tools - when you cut your hand open, you tend to let go of the throtle so the sound goes from full whack to idle - in the case of the mower- it cuts out... silence followed by a cry for help!

    I suppose what i am saying is - Music is just another line between you and help - obviously machine noise and ear defenders all make making people aware of the need for help more difficult, but they are there for a reason too! To stop other injuries!

  • I listen to raidio 2 on my phone,while working trimmers strimmers chainsaw rideon mower nearly every day, i dont have it blairing my earphones are like the little yellow ear plugs you get.

    I have never had a problem,i can hear the machinery tones just the same as i would with ear defenders and no music.

    Having it blairing could cause problems,for people that choose to have it blairing,but then again if that is the choice someone makes and dosent consider the benifit of hearing the machine work so he/she has feedback of what is going on! then they are proberly going have problems with or without the music playing.

    Clearley lacking in the understanding of basic machinery use.

    And i think to say it should be banned is silly! i think that word gets thrown around to willy nilly.

    An ideot will always find a way of breaking something,hurting themselves or someone else. 

  • Phone with earbuds works best for me most days. Cooler days make me reach for ear defenders to keep cosy.

    50/50 music and chat fair gets me through the day ..... so boring without it !

  • if it wasnt for radio 5 live i would go mental or die of boredom

  • I wear good quality ear defenders but I also listen to music from my iPhone aswell, means I can catch phone calls also.
    I have the music on very quietly though and can fully hear my engine noise.
    I find music actually helps me concentrate on the job at hand, if I have no music on my mind wanders away :)
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