I have noticed a lot of barriers in employment for those of us who have arthritis or other painful problems. There are a lot of companies out there that force employees to stand in place as a condition of employment or do other activities unhealthy for us, even if we could do the job otherwise with accommodation Just because we don’t have a doctor’s excuse or a paper stating our handicap we cannot be forced to be uncomfortable so we can be made equal to everyone else. Anyone with pain knows this is sheer torture and a very inhumane way to be made to work in.
I want it to be noted that being equal shouldn’t mean having to work in excruciating pain just to have a job just because someone else has to. I myself find that I cannot not even apply for positions that I would be able to do with a little help of being able to sit or move around as these places want everything that is a medical condition to be noted by a doctor as a disability. Sometimes the problem is getting these doctors to note that you can no longer do a job due to your condition is like trying to squeeze water out of a rock.
This represents a problem because this is a form of discrimination against perfectly capable people who just need special conditions to do a job. It is also very horrible to the person to have to suffer or not have a job. This can also cause psychological damage to those who are forced to work under such conditions.
I highly recommend that American workplaces think over the comfort of their employees seriously. I mean, why damage someone’s health when it could be prevented by someone who gave a little care to an employee’s comfort? The biggest issue are jobs that force employees to stand as it causes the worst problems for back pain sufferers. It is just as bad as lifting something too heavy for a person and can cause arthritis and other disabilities.
Maybe these places should look to some of the European countries as a good example of how to handle traditionally standing positions. I knew someone who visited a few countries over there and they said in Europe they allow cashiers to sit on a stool by the register. Why can’t we have that here? Aren’t our companies worried about the health of their employees?
American employers may have health plans, but they should really take simple steps to eliminating the need for using them. Simple things like stools for those who stay in one place for a long period of time or breaks to be able to walk around might help reduce disabilities and injuries. And for lifting problems, they can incorporate such things as help from other employees, being able to take multiple items out of boxes and transfer them to carts to stock, or just using a piece of equipment to move items that are heavy will help greatly.
I strongly urge workplaces that want to be seen as good employers take care to eliminate the problems I noted before the injuries happen and help all employees to succeed by helping those not in the best of health with special accommodations. It would just take a simple modification to the way they do business to show they care about employees and are interested in helping all their staff be successful.