Where does the iPod fit into workplace infection control?

By: November 10th, 2008 Email This Post Print This Post

How often do you walk down the street and notice little white buds growing from people’s ears? Thanks to the iPod, people worldwide walk to work or ride the subway to their own personalized soundtrack.

But now it seems the iPod craze has made its way into the lab. At first you might think it seems like a progressive job perk, but unless Apple releases the “iPod Infection Control,” it’s probably not a good idea.

Although there aren’t any regulations on musical devices in the lab, you could ban them as an IC issue because of the exposure to blood and body fluids, which would require disinfection before leaving the lab.

From an ergonomics standpoint, a worker could miss an important phone call or a timer for a test if they are listening to music.

No matter what you decide, your best bet is to write a policy and then let the staff know what it is, and why you came to that decision.

Have iPods been cropping up in your facility? What have you done about it and how did employees handle your decision? Let us know in the comments section below.


By Earl R Williams, HSP-M on November 11th, 2008 at 10:36 am

Another life safety factor is the inability of folks [using i-pods] to hear emerency alarms or react to an event that starts to go south before it becomes a major negative event.

Just made this policy weeks ago, and also included ear buds for cell phones

By Shawn Johnson on November 20th, 2008 at 12:55 pm

I wonder what people think about ipods in the OR? In the OR not on a person with ear buds?

This is the type of simple-minded, mechanical response come to be expected of bureaucrats—a question?>just ban it on any pretense.


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