Published On: Fri, Aug 11th, 2017

How To Stop Your Job Damaging Your Health

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A well paid job can help us to afford more luxuries and live a more fulfilled life. However, what use is any paid job if it’s going to make you ill or worse shorten your lifespan? Many of us can let our jobs damage our health when often preventative action can be taken. Here’s how you can stop your job from having a negative effect on your physical well being.



Work-related stress is by far one of the biggest killers. The stress hormone cortisol is important for helping us in survival situations, making us less susceptible to pain, more alert and providing more energy to our muscles. This is good in the short term, but long exposure to cortisol can cause permanently increased blood pressure, insomnia from constantly being alert and muscle fatigue from constant tension. Many heart attacks are thought to stem from this constant high blood pressure, as well as unhealthy white blood cell buildups as the result of stress. Because stress affects our sleep, it can also lower our immune system, making us more susceptible to many other illnesses.


Almost every job has its moments of stress. However, constant exposure to stress should be something to avoid. There are many forms of counselling that can help to deal with work-related stress. You should also make sure that you’re taking regular breaks and getting a good work-life balance. This means not working all hours of the day and taking time out for a holiday, even if it’s just to lounge around at home for a week and recharge your batteries. It’s also okay to leave and look for a lower stress job. Even if it pays less money, your health is more important than that extra paycheque.


Repetitive strain injury

This is becoming an increasingly more common problem in the workplace, especially as more of us find ourselves behind a desk staring at a computer. Not only are our eyes getting damaged by staring at a screen, but our backs are also taking a strain from constant bad posture. Taking a break from the screen and desk throughout the day with a quick walk around can drastically help, although is easier said than done. Some people are even taking the drastic decision to buy stand up desks to avoid sitting.

Many repetitive hand motions can also bring on symptoms of carpal tunnel. This was once the case with writer’s cramp – now typing and holding a mouse is thought to be the new cause. Relaxing your grip and doing arm stretches can prevent this.

For more physically exertive jobs, back problems are common as the result of lifting heavy objects. Regularly stretching out back muscles and picking up heavy objects with the right posture can help to prevent this.


Exposure to toxic chemicals

Many jobs will deal with toxic chemicals but will supply protective equipment to deal with these. If such protective equipment isn’t supplied, this should be a cause for concern and you should warn your boss about it. Some chemicals meanwhile may be less obvious. Old offices have been known to contain carbon monoxide leaks, radon gas, benzene, mould and dangerous construction materials such as lead and asbestos. A well ventilated office can prevent many gases from doing damage, but materials such as asbestos may need to be professionally removed as flakes in the air could be ingested and cause poisoning.


In many cases, you will be able to sue an employer for exposure – even an old employer from years ago. Asbestos exposure early in life has caused many people to develop a deadly cancer called mesothelioma. If you’ve been diagnosed with this, you should hire an asbestos attorney to handle your recent mesothelioma diagnosis and get compensation. This may help pay for treatment or at the very least ensure justice is served for the harm done to you.


Exposure to loud noise

Those that work around heavy machinery, in nightclubs or around motor vehicles may receive hearing loss over time due to constant exposure. There are similarly lawsuits that can be made against this physical damage. Employers ought to therefore provide some form of ear protection or at the very least find a way to control the level of noise so that it’s at a safe level.


Work accidents

There are all manner of work accidents that can occur such as slips and falls and lacerations from machinery. These may be due to a lack of health and safety precautions put in place or alternatively a lack of proper training. Employer should always use signage where appropriate such as wet floor signs and low ceiling warnings. Caution should be taken with trailing cables and heavy machinery should always come with an emergency stop button. Make sure that your employer has all these precautions in place. If an accident occurs, consider that you may be liable to a personal injury claim.