Friday, October 17, 2008

What I’m Hearing…Your Hearing May Be in Danger

This morning on the radio I heard about a new study out of Britain. According to the research, someone who listens to their iPod or other music device for 1 hour a day for five years will go deaf.


The study got me thinking. If someone listens for longer periods each day – like many of our Gen X and Gen Y colleagues in our offices – will he or she go deaf sooner?

Free will is an important part of life here in America. If someone wants to risk their hearing to listen to music, that’s his / her choice. However, as HR Professionals, what can we do to help our employees make informed choices? What should we do? I’m thinking about going beyond traditional policies that restrict the use of musical devices in the workplace. We currently provide opportunities to educate employees about wellness, financial planning, and other topics. Perhaps preserving one’s hearing should be included in that mix. If we don’t – and this study’s results turn out to be true – our workplaces and ways of doing business will radically change in the next 10 or so years. Being bilingual in American Sign Language is one aspect that comes to mind. What are your thoughts?

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