The points raised by Sharon Duncan (Letters, 28 February) regarding the position of shop workers who are exposed to piped music is interesting.
Firstly if their employer has not undertaken the appropriate assessments of the work place (including noise levels) then the employer is open to claims should a worker have a hearing defect later in life.
Secondly, while some employees indicated to Sharon Duncan that they were not happy with their working environment it appears they have not complained to their trade union.
I raised this very issue with the general Ssecretary of the Union of Shop, Distribution and Allied Workers and was informed that although the union is alert to the situation, to date he has not received “any complaints from members about such background music for many years”.
It is time all those who are annoyed by piped music – customers and shop or gym workers – made their views know to the proprietors but the greater power lies with the former as they can take their custom elsewhere.
On the subject of loud music being played in shops, Sharon Duncan asks who are the people who force “this noise” on others?
I suspect that the managers of businesses playing loud piped music believe the research and statistics presented to them by the Performing Right Society (PRS) and Phonographic Performance Ltd (PPL).
These are the two private companies which hold the monopoly for collecting licence fees from businesses that play music for their customers.
While impartial research (such as that conducted by National Opinion Poll) consistently shows a three-way split (a third of the population dislikes piped music; a third is indifferent and a third likes it), PRS and PPL maintain that 84 per cent of shoppers like shops that play in-store music and 90 per cent of people would select a shop that was playing music over one that was not.
I suggest businesses do their own research.
They might find that they don’t actually need to pay thousands of pounds in licence fees in order to increase sales.
D A Lewis