These are real recordings of a conversation between a call centre
operator and their customer who are just about to experience Acoustic Shock,
and you are about to hear the sound.
Do NOT listen to this files with a headset - only through PC or laptop speakers
Employers Liability & Legal
"Call Centre Operators
are in danger of becoming the modern victims of Noise at Work, in a study
we conducted; 39% of Operators were concerned that their hearing was being
damaged as a result of noise exposure at work, 30% said that work tasks
left them with Tinnitus. They said that little information about noise at
work was available, let alone Acoustic Shock and that their employers never
offered them a hearing test." Keith Broughton - Former
Principal Specialist Inspector (Noise & Vibration).
"Damages flow from a
breach of the employer's duty of care to a worker, or from a breach of similar
duty under the contract of employment or a breach of statutory duty. Most
cases are litigated as breaches of duty in negligence. The duty owed is
said to be three fold: to supply safe tools, equipment and plant (headsets,
noise limitation devices, etc?), to supply a safe place of work, and to
supply a safe system of work The supply of inadequate headsets (or limitation
and prevention devices) will be a breach of the duty of care. The role of
headsets (and other relevant equipment) will be a prime issue in the common
law area. John Bingham QC - ASI and Damages at Common
Law, and Workers Compensation
Legal Duties - 'You have a legal duty
under the Noise Regulations to reduce the risk of damage to your employees'
Noise Assessment - 'If any of your
employees is likely to be exposed to the first or peak action level or
above, you must arrange for a competent person to assess the actual level
of noise exposure. A competent person should know how to carry out a noise
assessment in the particular circumstances of the workplace - the ability
to do the job properly and to know their limits is more important than
formal qualifications' and in this case Acoustic Shock.
Information, Instruction and Training -
'Where your employees are likely to be exposed at or above any of the
action levels you are required to provide information, instruction and
Employee and safety Representatives
- 'Consulting with trade union-appointed safety representatives or other
employee representatives is a legal requirement.'
Health Surveillance - 'Under the Management
of health and safety at Work Regulations 1999, employees exposed to hazards
such as high noise levels should be provided with appropriate health surveillance.'