Blue-collar jobs hurt
With today’s production and efficiency in the workplace, people are rougher on their bodies; especially those who work blue collar jobs. The more physical jobs are designed to save company money by outsourcing tasks to the less educated workers and keeping educated workers focused on what they know. This is good, because it creates a spectrum of jobs, but when workers like custodians, construction workers and mechanics spend years doing the same repetitive movements, work takes a toll.
I work a part time custodial job at my university, and after a year my joints are not what they were, namely my shoulder cracks when I wipe windows sometimes, but this is not so bad. Lately I have been doing laundry for four hours per day, and after just two weeks my wrists are very painful. I can only imagine what thirty years at full time would do to a person’s wrists. I am worried for the joints of some of the Hispanic people I work with. Many of them will probably be working custodial for a long time. This is good for the University and they are paid pretty well, but things were not always this way. People used to be more self-sufficient.
For example, one hundred years ago, most everyone did their own cooking, cleaning, and farming. In theory, these people only had to clean enough and grow enough for their own families.
In contrast, as a custodian I fold all of the laundry for all of the day shift custodians who clean all of the University windows and toilets. Back then, there were more stresses on the body, but they were dispersed throughout more joints and muscles, so that each joint could last a lifetime with less aches and pains. Each industry comes with its own problems and most modern day jobs come with some types of pains. Even white-collar jobs can cause joint and muscle pain. These are the three main problems that can occur.
1. Construction workers: (manual handling and lifting)
• Muscle and tendon injuries
• Intervertebral disc lesions (‘slipped disc’)
• Low back pain
• Neck and shoulder pain
• Computer hump
• Repetitive strain injuries