Manufacturing careers can be a great way for you to support yourself and even start a family. There is always demand for new products and parts. Getting in with a company that has lots of demand for staffing could even mean that you get to work overtime on the weekends and increase your take-home pay.
Blue-collar workers in manufacturing settings can command excellent wages, especially after they have been on the job for a few years. Unfortunately, one of the reasons that companies offer competitive wages in manufacturing settings is the overall risk that these workers take.
There is always the potential for a catastrophic injury caused by a worker’s mistake or a machinery malfunction. Even if a worker avoids any dramatic accident at work, they could still wind up with lifelong injuries from doing the same job for many years.
Manufacturing work often treats the human body like a machine
Assembly lines and similar manufacturing systems de-specialized production by turning the process into multiple, small steps. One person inserts materials into a machine, while another applies a coat of paint. Still someone else operates the device that packages up the finished product.
The system is efficient for the company because new workers can quickly take over a role if someone leaves the job, and the potential for large-scale disruptions because of a single employee illness is minimal. It is a system that benefits the company, often at the expense of a worker’s long-term health.
For the workers, needing to do the same test over and over, day after day, year after year can lead to repetitive motion injuries. They may eventually develop issues with reduced strength, persistent pain or decreased range of motion. These workers may not be able to keep doing the same job and may sometimes require medical care or time off to recover.
Workers’ compensation can give someone time to heal
Working class families often can’t afford to have one member take a protracted leave of absence from work due to an injury or any other issue. Workers’ compensation replaces some of a worker’s wages and covers all of their medical care, reducing the strain caused by an injury for a medical condition caused by someone’s work.
Although repetitive stress injuries slowly develop over time, the lack of a traumatic incident doesn’t limit someone’s right to benefits. Those with repetitive motion injuries directly related to their job functions can typically apply for workers’ compensation benefits.