Whether someone works at a poultry processing plant or a massive tire factory, manufacturing work can be lucrative and stable employment with good benefits. Unfortunately, the benefits and decent pay that often accompany work in manual labor jobs only partially serve to offset the risks and costs that individuals incur by performing physical work every day for many hours.
The kind of work matters less than the frequency with which a person performs it. Anyone who performs a manual task as part of their job could wind up dealing with chronic pain due to soft tissue injuries and repetitive motion injuries. Those injuries could eventually keep that person from working.
Your body is not a machine, but employers treat it like one
The rise of specialized tasks in manufacturing plants has greatly increased overall productivity. When each worker only performs one task, it is possible to make a large number of products in a short amount of time. The quality of those products may also increase, because the worker will have intimate knowledge of the tasks they perform in the production process.
While it may be good for business, doing the same thing every day is not good for your body. Whether you have to lift items or cut something, doing the same task over and over causes damage to your connective tissue and muscles. You may try to ignore that pain, but it will likely only worsen with time.
Diversifying the tasks that you perform and taking breaks from jobs that cause pain are the only effective ways to reduce chronic pain related to doing the same job constantly. The injuries that result, called repetitive motion injuries, can persist for the rest of your life if you don't take action to treat them.
You have the right to seek compensation for repetitive motion injuries
You should not simply have to tough it out when you experience excruciating pain at work. Continuing to push through the pain may result in worse damage to your body. Eventually, you may not be able to work at all anymore.
Seeking the care you need as soon as you realize you have serious symptoms is a wise decision. Report your symptoms to your employer and ask them to help you connect with medical care. The factory may have on-site medical professionals who can evaluate your injury and refer you on for treatment. If the company where you work is smaller than this, an outside facility may be your first stop.
However, before you seek care, you should absolutely report the injury to your employer. That way, you will have access to North Carolina workers' compensation insurance after your diagnosis. If you can't seem to connect with the workers' compensation benefits you need, an attorney may be able to help you file a successful claim.