Murphy's Law: August 4, 2001

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Civilian health and safety regulations are more frequently being applied to the military. In the United States, the EPA forced the army to turn down the sound on its tank simulators because the realistic noise of a tank operating was higher than EPA standards allowed. Efforts to reduce the sound levels on the actual tanks are stalled. The EPA has not taken a position on the dangers of actual combat, although this may change in the future. In Britain, the armed forces are being made subject to civilian health and safety regulations. This means troops can sue for injuries. Last year, Her Majesties soldiers and Sailors won $150 million in lawsuits. This was four times the amount won in 1999. Fearful of more such losses, the British army is looking into such occupational hazards as NCOs bellowing at troops during training ("You broke your mother's heart, but you won't break mine!"). Some army Sergeant Majors have been known to produce particularly high sound levels when counseling their troops. We are not making this up.

 


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