Thousands of businesses in the U.K. have been forced to incorporate new communications equipment into their infrastructure to remain compliant with the noise at work regulations.  Introduced in the spring of 2006, the new legislation holds organizations responsible for making sure their employees have and use the equipment needed to meet these standards.

Acoustic Shock

It has been accepted long ago that noise in the work environment can have an adverse effect on one’s health.  Consistently being exposed to high levels of noise throughout the work day can result in stress and more severe illnesses.  In extreme cases, it could result in a condition such as tinnitus or even worse, permanent hearing loss.  While such high levels of noise are more likely in the industrial environment, office workers aren’t off the hook.  In the modern office setting, the regulation mainly refers to employee conversations, background noise and the daily hustle and bustle that goes on in this work setting.  As the phone is an essential tool, how can office employees comply to the new rules and remain efficient on the job?

Companies are Starting to Use Their Heads

With strict rules in effect and health concerns in the back of everyone’s mind, companies and employees are taking advantage of the latest technology to remain in compliance while boosting productivity at the same time.  Organizations have learned that the common risks workers face can be drastically reduced by implementing communications devices with integrated sound protection.  Most of these companies have turned to next generation headsets and their many accessories.

Digital headsets serve many benefits to an organization and especially the employees using them.  For instance, a headset amplifier can be used to monitor and control volume throughout an eight hour day, tremendously reducing the risk of exposure to high noise levels.  A number of telephone headsets protect against acoustic trauma inflicted by noise carrying high frequencies and intensity, a capability made possible by a technology called noise-cancelling.  With the high probability of ear pains, tinnitus symptoms and the risk of permanent hearing loss, this is one issue that has become increasingly important.  In fact, the Communications Workers Union reports that British labor unions have spearheaded more than 700 cases and secured £2 million in settlements regarding such issues.

Other than trying to limit the production of noise and incorporate monitoring and noise-cancelling headsets, companies can also take other measures to ensure that the business is in compliance.  This includes designing the work environment in a way that minimizes speech conflicts, which is a contributing factor to all the shouting that goes on in the office.  More importantly, they can make sure all employees are well trained on how to operate and take care of their headsets.