Work literally makes us sick, causes injuries and lowers our lifespans. The stress of short staffing, the feeling of constantly being overworked, the chemicals, exhaust, and dust that we breathe in – it all adds up.
Understaffing, long hours, increased stress, repetitive strains – these are the causes of injuries and health issues. It’s a management myth that most injuries result from bad behavior rather than hazardous conditions. A bad back, sore joints, carpal tunnel syndrome can’t be solved by going to work and doing the same thing over again. If the injury is bad enough to force us onto worker’s compensation, most of us are forced to return to work before we are ready, usually still injured and running out of money since the wages are reduced. At some workplaces early heart attacks after retirement are common enough that they become a sick joke. How many people die before they even collect their first pension check?
The only solutions that are ever proposed by management blame the worker, when the conditions of work are the actual cause of the problem. Work makes us sick because we are being pushed beyond human limits in order to make record profits for corporations. Any real health care would begin by addressing the root cause of most of our illnesses – our jobs!
Working in The U.S. – Enough to Make You Sick
- Americans work 137 more hours per year than Japanese workers, 260 more hours per year than British workers, and 499 more hours per year than French workers.
- At least 134 countries have laws setting the maximum length of the work week; the U.S. does not.
- In the U.S., 85.8 percent of males and 66.5 percent of females work more than 40 hours per week.
- European countries such as Germany, Norway, and the Netherlands boast the lowest average work hours per week, working just 27 hours per week.
- In every country included except the U.S. and Japan, workers get at least 20 paid vacation days. In France and Finland, they get 30 – an entire month off, paid, every year.
- The average productivity per American worker has increased 400 percent since 1950.
- Americans work eleven more hours per week now than in the 1970’s, but the average income has declined by 13 percent since then.
- The U.S. is the ONLY country in the Americas without guaranteed time off for new parents. The average time off is 12 weeks of paid leave in most countries, and over 20 weeks off in Europe.
- Stress is the number one cause of health problems – mentally and physically. Why are we unhealthy? Do the math.