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63024.  Fri Mar 31, 2006 8:48 am Reply with quote

Why shouldn’t you shout?

Because it’s rude.

Because you won’t get any compensation.

If you’re injured at work you’re entitled to compensation - unless you damage your voice.

The TUC has been campaigning to have “occupational voice loss” listed as a “prescribed disease” under the Industrial Injuries Disablement Benefits Scheme. But the independent statutory panel of experts which decides such things says there is “Insufficient good quality epidemiological evidence of an association between voice loss and particular occupations.”

In other words, the job you're in doesn't determine whether or not you lose your voice. So, I wonder if the committee interviewed a lot of Trappists with throat problems?

The unions disagree, saying that workers in the military (“Get your ‘air cut you ‘orrible little maaaaaaan!”), education (“The bell is a signal for me, not for you!”), telemarketing, the performing arts and checkout staff are especially vulnerable to voice loss.

It is estimated, in fact, that one third of the workforce rely on their voices to do their jobs. (Panel game performers, for instance, who tend to rely on their voices rather than their good looks.) As the service sector of the economy expands, it’s feared that more than five million workers are routinely effected by “repetitive voice injury” (not, it seems, an injury which only strikes people with repetitive voices). The largest teachers’ union reckons one in five teachers have time off work for a voice-related problem in any given year.

The TUC is confident of future success, despite this setback. One academic expert on the matter said “It reminds me of the official attitude to stress in the workplace 25 years ago.”

Possible supplementary question: What would the panel think are the occupations most at risk of voice damage?

Links to:
Death and disaster.

Picture ideas:
An RSM shouting at recruits.

Daily Telegraph, 9 March 2005.


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