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Too much noise is bad for you

Published on Friday, 08 Oct 2010
Sound engineers work in a high-risk job, research says.
Cebu Pacific flight attendants strut their stuff in Manila

People who work amid constant noise have twice the risk of heart disease as those with quieter jobs. Men younger than 50 and smokers are the most vulnerable to noise, United States government data shows.

Researchers tracked 6,307 Americans who took part in the United States National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey.

The participants received medical and blood tests, and answered questions about their health, lifestyle and work.

Those with the noisiest workplaces were more likely to suffer chest pain, heart attacks, heart disease or high blood pressure, the report says.

The industries with the greatest risk were mining, agriculture, construction and manufacturing, says the lead researcher, Wen Qigan, at the University of British Columbia's school of environmental health in Vancouver. Bloomberg 


Tech professionals seek more  

Salaries of technology professionals in the region have risen as the market has rebounded, according to the inaugural 2010/2011 Robert Half Asia-Pacific Technology Salary Guide. In the past 12 months, 56 per cent of technology professionals in Hong Kong have seen their salaries increase. However, only 5 per cent say they are satisfied with their salary and benefits package.

In comparison to the region average of 48 per cent, 62 per cent of Hong Kong professionals received a bonus last year. But 41 per cent still do not believe their salary package is fair. Despite this dissatisfaction, 30 per cent of employees surveyed have never negotiated their salary and 86 per cent believe it is necessary to switch jobs to gain greater bargaining power. 

Andrew Morris, managing director of Robert Half Hong Kong, says: "Employers who fail to gain greater understanding of what their employees want will see their staff walking out the door." 


Flight attendants are a big hit  

The Philippine airline, whose flight attendants danced a safety demonstration to Lady Gaga, said it was "surprised" after a video of the routine became an online sensation racking more than six million hits in five days.

Cebu Pacific Airlines, a budget airline known for entertaining passengers with mid-air trivia games, says it wanted to make the safety demonstrations "fun and exciting" to get passengers to pay attention. Instead of the usual flight attendants robotically buckling seatbelts, passengers on a recent domestic flight watched as women, dancing to a mash-up of Lady Gaga's Just Dance and Katy Perry's California Girls, strut flirtatiously as they showed off lifejackets and bounced up and down, arms moving in rhythm, to indicate the emergency exits.

The Flight Attendants' and Stewards' Association of the Philippines says that requiring flight attendants to dance in front of passengers is "demeaning and undignified ... they are not entertainers." Reuters

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