I am fortunate to have worked, and am still working, with an army of middle aged women. There we sit at our computers all day, typing away with just a short break in the morning and then again at lunchtime.  We discuss all kinds of things in our break times, and over the years I have discovered many things that I didn’t know before by taking part in or listening to various conversations.  One of the things I’ve found out is that typing is very bad for you.

When I worked full time I found that typing all day on consecutive days caused pains in my left hand and tennis elbow in both arms, I suppose both pains were a kind of repetitive strain injury (RSI).  In fact 10 years ago I had to undergo a tennis elbow release operation on my left arm, which eased the pain in my elbow but not in my hand.

Over the years I have heard my colleagues all complain about tennis elbows, carpal tunnel syndrome, and pains in their hands.  However, they all type on regardless every day and ignore the pain, whereas I now only work on Mondays and Thursdays.  I make sure not to work on consecutive days, and this has eased any hand pains I had.

I’ve worked in a few jobs over the years.  When I left school I stuck my first job for 4 years before I had to leave due to suffering various allergies.  When my children were small I managed to find a job working weekends in a care home.  I prepared meals, washed up the dishes afterwards, and helped to wash and dress the elderly residents.  What I found there was that all the care assistants had bad backs because they couldn’t be bothered to use a hoist to lift the patients.  I made sure I did, and so far my back doesn’t go out more than I do.

I expect that each job brings its own risk of industrial injury.  However, it’s up to us, the workers, to ensure that we’re not harming ourselves in the long run.  I could work more days and type through the pain, but at my age I value what’s left of my body too much!

Do you suffer from an industrial injury?  Do you carry on regardless, or have you found alternative employment?

Here’ a different kind of industrial injury:

My uncle worked in a chrome plating factory from about 1955 -1975. After every few months his overalls would have rotted away due to the chemicals he worked with, and he had to order new ones.  When he was 48 he was diagnosed with a brain tumor and had to take time off work for treatment.  Doctors suggested the tumor was probably caused by the chemicals he’d had to work with, but of course we will never really know. The upshot of it was that he was immediately sacked.  His health deteriorated until he was bed-bound and my aunt took the employers to a tribunal to try and gain some compensation for him.  She lost the case and my uncle died on April 1st 1976, his 50th birthday.

Thank goodness we have better Health & Safety laws now for employees.