‘Sonic battleground’: Oscar Acoustics research highlights dangers of noise pollution for London’s workers

UK acoustics specialist, Oscar Acoustics, has released findings from its research into noise pollution amongst workers in London.

Exploring a range of different sectors, the research reveals some surprising and concerning effects of noise pollution, a worrying lack of action taken against it and a dearth of knowledge about the associated health issues.

Noise pollution is pervasive across the capital, with two-thirds of Londoners saying they work in a loud environment. More worryingly for the capital’s businesses, noise is severely affecting productivity levels with 60% saying it has negatively impacted on their ability to do their job.

Alarmingly, 28% of Londoners surveyed said they have resorted to ‘physical violence’ due to excessive noise; 31% have snapped at their boss because of noise and 60% say noise is ruining their productivity.

According to Oscar’s survey, the most common way people avoid the racket at work is wearing headphones (44%). However 46% of participants said they’ve known someone to ignore their boss and half have missed phone calls due to headphones usage.

Excessive noise is proven to increase the risk of hypertension, heart disease, diabetes, heart attacks and strokes. Not only this, but half of people in the capital know someone who has had hearing damage as a result of their workplace.

Ben Hancock, managing director, Oscar Acoustics said: “We’ve always known about the dangers of noise pollution, however for many it’s just not visible enough. Hopefully these findings will quantify the threat for people and drive home the importance, showing that it’s becoming harder and harder to avoid excessive and sometimes dangerous noise at work. London has become a ‘sonic battleground’.

“Companies need to act now if they want to protect their business interests, and more importantly workers’ health and wellbeing. If threats to profit margins don’t motivate companies to take action, perhaps employee safety will. Fortunately it’s never too late, as workplaces can be easily retrofitted with acoustic decorative finishes for reverberation control, without impacting the space’s design.”