Protecting Against Knee Injuries In The Workplace

In many workplaces across the U.S., workers spend prolonged periods of time performing job duties on their hands and knees or are engaged in activities requiring kneeling, crouching and/or squatting. This can adversely affect knee health and result in injuries that are not only physically painful to the worker, but financially painful to the employer due to lost time at work and from workers comp claims. Here are some possible changes that can make the workplace knee-friendly and help prevent the incidence of injuries:

  • When possible, raise work off the floor and position a workspace where employees can work from a seated position as opposed to one requiring kneeling or crouching.
  • Implement a workspace designed to keep work materials above knee level and not on the floor where workers must bend the knee to grasp an item.
  • If workers must kneel or squat - allow time for workers to take breaks and move the knee joint through a full range of motion to increase circulation to the joint. This lubricates the joints and improves the ability of knee tissue to bear the strain of weight, reducing the risk of injury.
  • High quality knee pads are critical in relieving pressure on the knee joint. Be sure that the knee pad selection is appropriate for the amount of stress for the job at hand. Floor mats can also be helpful in providing relief from knee pressure/pain.
  • Provide workers with training and leg strengthening exercises to help avoid injury to the knee.
  • Ensure that worker who are experiencing knee injury symptoms promptly see a physician for treatment.