Saturday, February 14, 2015

The bell curve

The other day I went to the chiropractor. A pinched nerve in my neck was causing my hands and arms to fall asleep if they stayed in one position for too long. That could be problematic when driving or banging away on the keyboard. I'd put it off longer than I should have. He fears I may have permanent damage from pulling the heavy loads at my Clark Kent job.
Which leads me to another question. Is my work trying to kill me? The simple answer is of course, yes. There's a circular argument there.
They argue that they spend X amount of dollars on safety items. Gloves, goggles, safety belts.
Speaking from experience, those belts and gloves suck. The velcro comes undone whenever I try to inhale. The gloves are made from the cheapest products and often fall apart two weeks after put them on. It's actually better for me to purchase my own gloves. That way they actually last a full month. These items that are provided are the cheapest way to meet the work law requirements.
It's like building a house out of straw. Technically the straw house is shelter. The house is guaranteed to stand up to the sunniest of days and calmest of winds. Good luck when a little rain starts to come in.
The safety items must work well in order for us to do our jobs. I personally handle tendon slicing metal weekly. I also deal with skin dissolving chemicals as well.
Now I take extra precautions when handling the hydrochloric acid. My father once worked in an electroplating factory. The caustic chemical smell that burned my nostrils as a child is something that will remain in my memory for a lifetime. This isn't a bad experience, it just makes me extra cautious around the dangerous stuff.
The last pair of gloves I possessed bore crisscross lines from the sheet metal I put away. Like tiny little hashtags on the fingers and palms of the glove, except where the holes were. Usually I'm careful to grab the metal with my protected fingers. Go ahead, try and pick up a two by four with only three fingers, I dare you.
One time I replaced the gloves every time they tore or the stitching came loose. I went through three pairs in one week.
Either I'm working too hard or the gloves can't stand up to working conditions. I think it's a bit of both. 
We work our fingers to the bone, suffering nerve and muscle damage. Curtailing our health... and for what? There has to be something better than this.

1 comment:

Karin Magnuson said...

I sympathize with your nerve damage because I have multiple sclerosis. I remember when your dad worked there.