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Even safe manufacturing workers can end up hurt on the job

Proper safety training is a major part of starting a new manufacturing position. You will learn techniques ranging from safe lifting to the override procedures when someone needs to work on a piece of equipment. It is crucial that individuals working at manufacturing facilities understand the specific risks inherent to their job, especially when it comes to heavy machinery and dangerous chemicals.

Only by carefully following workplace safety rules can employees protect themselves against the possibility of catastrophic injuries on the job. Although careful adherence to safety rules can reduce the chances of someone suffering a sudden, catastrophic injury on the job, many workers in industrial settings suffer not catastrophic injuries but repetitive stress injuries.

Even the safest worker may not be able to avoid such medical issues.

Why are repetitive stress injuries common in manufacturing?

Whether you work an 8-hour shift or a 12-hour one, your employer likely has you at the same station within the facility all day. You might load metal parts into a press or lift and paint pieces as they come down the assembly line. Whatever your job function is, you will perform it over and over every day.

The longer you remain in the same position or continue performing tasks that put strain on the same parts of your body, the greater the possibility of developing a repetitive stress injury. Eventually, using your body repeatedly to perform demanding job tasks can result in damage to the connective tissue, musculature and bones.

Repetitive stress injuries often first show signs in the form of pain, reduced range of motion and slower job performance. Eventually, workers will find that they have a hard time continuing to do the same job because their symptoms continue to escalate.

Repetitive stress injuries lead to workers’ compensation

The good news for a worker worried about needing time off of work and medical treatment for back pain or carpal tunnel syndrome is that workers’ compensation benefits will likely be available. Workers’ compensation can cover all of an employee’s necessary medical treatment and also up to two-thirds of their average weekly wage while they are off of work. Partial disability benefits can also help those who have to move into a less demanding profession that pays less money.

Recognizing your symptoms as a sign of a work-related medical condition can help you obtain workers’ compensation benefits when you require them.

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