The Challenge

peopleContact centre agents of a major European bank were experiencing acoustic shocks caused by sudden and unexpected loud noises/shrieks coming through the telephone network to their headsets. These incidents occurred intermittently across all the Bank’s contact centres.

The cause of the shrieks was the subject of an on-going investigation but could not be pinpointed. Acoustic shock incidents continued over several months.

Contact centre agents experienced a range of symptoms such as a mild headache or a slight balance disturbance; while others needed to take time off work due to severe nausea or pain in the neck and ear.

The continuation of acoustic shocks had a ‘ripple effect’ throughout the contact centres with staff in general feeling vulnerable and becoming sensitive to loud sounds. The situation became so serious that the trade union threatened to stage a walk-out if the Bank’s management didn’t resolve the problem.

Soundshield 4G

The Solution

The Bank trialled all the headset amplifier products from the global brands that claimed to suppress acoustic shrieks, but none were effective. Their network provider then recommended us as the European distributors of an Australian acoustic protection device called Soundshield. The Bank asked us to install a 16 seat trial of Soundshield at the most badly affected site.

Tests were run and acoustic noise was introduced deliberately to evaluate Soundshield. Soundshield eliminated all unsafe acoustic shrieks and provided the Bank with sound exposure graphs to demonstrate the noise levels that staff were exposed to.Soundshield 4G

The Bank was delighted with Soundshield’s performance and deployed Soundshield across all their contact centres nationwide. All acoustic shrieks and shocks have been eliminated, staff are protected and sound exposure records are kept. Acoustic safety is now guaranteed and staff, unions and management have complete confidence in the protection that Soundshield gives them.

Building on this success, the Bank has extended the use of Soundshield into their branches to safeguard all their staff who use the telephone.

Call us now on 0118 920 9420 to discuss how we can give your staff complete acoustic protection and peace of mind, or email us at for more information on Soundshield.



Communications Solutions UK, Reading, RG2 8LW Tel: 0118 920 9420
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