Avoiding New Job Pain
Have you ever seen the workplace safety billboards around Utah that say, “Dad (or Mom) Be Careful Out There?”
The Workers Compensation Fund of Utah [WCF] is making a big workplace safety advertising push to remind workers that it’s not just themselves they need to worry about at work, it’s everyone who will be affected if they get injured on the job.
Your Employment Solutions is partnered with the WCF in attempt to make our workplaces safer for our employees. YES was even recognized by WCF in 2011 for “Outstanding Efforts in Workplace Safety” and we pride ourselves on continuing those efforts year after year.
What Is New Job Pain?
One of the more common workplace safety topics we see with new employees are what I call the “New Job Pains” associated with employees who start a new job and find themselves using motions and muscles they haven’t used in a long time. A new employee may feel very sore, stiff and tender after their first few days on a new job. This typically happens to an employee who is not used to the routine activities of their new job.
For example: An employee who has worked in a retail clothing shop for the past two years who gets a new job on an assembly line will likely have sore wrists, hands, fingers, legs, feet or back their first week or two because they are not used to grabbing, twisting and manipulating small parts, standing in one spot for a full 8-12 hours shift. Their previous experience in folding, labeling, working the cash register and constantly moving around the store was quite different than their new job duties.
Although some of these pains may be uncomfortable for a few days, the good news is, if you treat the pain properly and keep working, your body and muscles are resilient and will become better adapted to the job and you will no longer have those new job pains anymore.
It’s just like going to the gym; if you only go to the gym once a month, chances are you will be sore for 3-4 days after going to the gym each month. However, if you go to the gym 3-4 times per week, your body will become accustomed to the exercise, will get stronger and will not be sore the next day after a workout.
So, the question remains…
How to Treat New Job Pains
Well, having personally worked with multiple doctors, physical therapists, WCF professionals and other treatment experts over 14 years, the following types of treatment are a standard means for treating those pains:
- Stretch: You should always stretch before and after work. Especially the area where muscles are sore. Soreness comes from tight and tired muscles. Stretching relieves the tightness and helps improve blood flow and blood flow brings the oxygen and nutrients the body needs to heal.
- Ice and Heat: You should use ice the first two days of pain. Ice the area for 15-20 minutes, then remove the ice for 40-60minutes until the body part returns to normal temperature. Then repeat that process as often as possible for 48 hours. By the end of the 2nd day you can start to alternate heat with the ice. Use the same timelines as the ice (15-20min of heat, then remove for 40-60min). Ice helps dull the pain and minimize swelling which causes stiffness and pain. Once the swelling goes down heat will increase blood flow and help heal the injured area.
- Over the counter medication: Ibuprofen, Tylenol, Advil and other minor pain relievers are an excellent way to dull the pain, minimize swelling and help you recover quicker. Always follow the directions regarding dosages and times between doses.
If these three steps are done properly, an employee can rapidly speed up their body’s healing process and more thoroughly enjoy their new job.
Workplace Safety Help!
Don’t forget, you should always report your pains, strains and injuries to a supervisor and a Your Employment Solutions representative. We have many handouts with great free workplace safety tips and stretches based upon your specific pain.
YES knows a healthy employee is a happy employee. Our goal is to help you feel better, quicker!
If you have any questions or comments regarding this post new jobs pains and workplace safety, I’d be happy to hear from you.
General Manager and Workplace Safety Professional
Your Employment Solutions
Here another great post about common workplace safety hazards.