Radios on the job site—yes or no? If yes, what are the rules?

May 2017

I think radios onsite are permissible if the content being played is monitored both for content and for volume.

Yes, if the volume is kept to a low to medium level.

Preferably no, however, radios can be used if not objectionable to others on site or interfere with business operations or job safety. Ear buds cannot interfere with communication and/or cause a safety concern. It is situational and not a blanket policy.

I say no. Nowadays there is just too much political correctness.
—Becky Nilsson

No. They are distraction and you already have a hard enough time hearing things with all the other tools and machines making all kinds of noise. They can cause uncalled-for accidents because you can’t hear as it is on some project. Definitely not any radios on any of our projects.
—David Fleck, President/Owner, Fleck Exterior Systems, Inc. Tallahassee, Florida

No.
—Robert Brazel, Marek Bros.

Yes, however, some of our contracts with general contractors forbid radios and some don’t specifically mention that.
    We follow the requirements and look to the GC for approval. When framing or hanging, calling out numbers it is hard to hear with a radio blasting.
    When finishing or running ceilings, we are OK to crank it up, and good music sets a positive tone for the work environment.
    Now when radio wars with other trades arise, our team is instructed to always take the high road and succumb to the mariachi or polka music!
    ALWAYS, when owners, GC or inspectors are onsite, we always turn them way down or off.
We also do not allow closed headphone usage while on the job site.
    Since we are a family operation, during the crash of 2010 I spent the next few years working hand in hand with my sons and did find that they are listening to and enjoying the same ’70s and ’80s music that I grew up on! They had a hard time realizing I was there when Ozzy was young!
    Rock on.
—The original “DokRok,” Rick Wagner, RWE – Richard Wagner Enterprises, LLC, Lexington, North Carolina

Many of the job sites don’t permit radios, and it is spelled out in Division I. Problem solved! I’m fine with them as I think they promote a livelier and more pleasant environment, but communication is really important on the job site, so volume must be kept to a relatively low level. If we are working on a residential project or around other trades, some consideration has to be given to those conditions. Sometimes it’s a judgment call.
—Roger Olson, Owner, Sig Olson & Sons Plastering, Moorhead, Minnesota

Absolutely not!! Time waster, as well as a potential safety hazard.

Radios for communication are great. Radios for music are a bad idea all around. First, it is distracting, and second, all people are not going to agree on the type of music.
—Josh Teitelbaum, Superintendent, Murray Drywall, Austin, Texas

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