call centre acoustic shock

Call Centre Acoustic Shock: Claim Compensation For Hearing Damage From Sudden Loud Noise

Find out how call centre workers can claim compensation for hearing loss and tinnitus caused by acoustic shock (unexpected loud noises) from a headset or handset earpiece

In this article we set out what acoustic shock is; call centres and other workplaces where damage to hearing can occur; the symptoms you might experience; why your employer is responsible for any hearing damage caused; how your solicitor calculates the amount your claim is worth; how to receive free specialist solicitor assistance before deciding whether to make a claim.

What is call centre acoustic shock?

Call centre acoustic shock describes the temporary or permanent alteration to hearing and the nervous system caused by a sudden unexpected loud sound through a headset or telephone earpiece.

Call centre workers & telemarketers describe sudden ear-piercing loud sounds, such as whistles or bleeps, coming through the headphone or telephone headset.

This may be as a result of faults, feedback, signalling tones, fax sounds or oscillation.

Is acoustic shock limited to telephone systems?

No – acoustic shock is not only caused in call centre telephone systems, but several other extremely loud jobs (such as the aeronautical or armed forces).

Other jobs that cause acoustic shock

Historically, acoustic shock was limited to the aeronautical industry or the armed forces (some of the loudest man-made noises are experienced).

In recent times – call centre, telemarketing & other telephonic jobs have increased and as a result acoustic shock transmitted through a telephone earpiece is becoming more common.

What are the typical symptoms of acoustic shock?

Symptoms can include: hearing loss and tinnitus (temporary or permanent), pain in the ears, headache, nausea, loss of balance, stress, hypersensitivity to sound, neck pain, fatigue.

How does acoustic shock differ from industrial deafness?

Industrial deafness is a type of noise induced hearing loss caused by hearing damage from exposure to continuous loud noise in the workplace over a long period of time (typically years). Noise levels are louder than the threshold of sound known to cause hearing damage.

Acoustic shock however is very different – the noise level is well beyond safe levels and can cause damage instantaneously even though it may have only lasted a split second.

hearing loss compensation claim
Hearing Loss Compensation Claim

Is your call centre employer responsible for acoustic shock hearing damage?

Duty to keep workers safe

Your employer is under a duty to keep you and other workers safe whilst at work.

Suitable work equipment & eliminating dangers

Your employer is under a duty to supply suitable work equipment eliminating any foreseeable dangers that are a risk to health.

Defect with telephone system

If there is a defect with the telephone system or in its operation, such that it causes an acoustic incident (a loud sudden, unexpected noise) and as a result you suffer hearing loss or tinnitus, your employer will likely be found legally at fault and as a result responsible for paying you compensation.

Headsets that protect against excessive sounds

As such acoustic incidents are known – certain types of headset and phone can protect workers from the excessive sound, but many employers do not supply the requisite headsets as they are typically far more expensive.

How much compensation can you claim?

See our noise induced hearing loss payouts article for payout calculations for hearing damage and tinnitus from acoustic shock.

To discuss your situation direct with our specialist solicitors, have your claim assessed or ask an online question free of charge see our free legal help options.