Remaining in the same position for years, or at least in the same industry with the same employer, can lead to better wages and a more prestigious position within a company. Someone will become an expert at what their company does and will likely understand numerous other roles at the company in addition to their own.
However, there is a significant trade-off that comes from remaining in the same position doing the same functions year after year. Repetitive job tasks put the body at risk of a repetitive strain injury. Whether someone uses a computer all day or welds components on a production line, the more hours they put in and the more years they continue performing the same job responsibilities, the greater the likelihood that they will eventually have to leave their job.
Repetitive strain injuries don’t just disappear
Whether someone has carpal tunnel syndrome from gripping tools all day or injuries in other joints from lifting and twisting, they will typically need to make some changes if they hope to remain in their job. They might need assistive technology or to ask their employer to alter their job responsibilities so that they no longer have to repetitively perform the task that aggravates their injury. In more extreme cases, workers may very well need to leave their current position and may need to take a lower-paid role elsewhere. Even if someone takes time off of work to allow their symptoms to subside and to undergo physical therapy, returning to the same position will likely result in symptoms again in the near future.
How workers’ compensation can help
Someone who develops a repetitive strain injury can potentially file a claim for workers’ compensation benefits. They will then be able to seek medical treatment without covering any of the costs themselves. Additionally, they can count on partial wage replacement for the duration of their time away from their job. In situations where someone will have lasting physical limitations because of an injury, they may qualify for permanent partial disability benefits that help cover some of their lost earning potential. Finally, the act of filing a workers’ compensation claim will likely make it easier for an employee to ask the company that they work for to provide specific accommodations to limit the impact of their job on their condition.
When people do not get the right support for a repetitive strain injury, it could very easily worsen to a point where they will no longer be able to continue working in the same profession. Identifying and addressing risks that put someone’s health at risk may benefit those who have started to notice physical consequences related to keeping the same job for years on end.