Workers who spend the majority of their shifts standing, stooping, kneeling, or lifting put considerable pressure on their knees. Somewhere around 15 to 20 percent of injuries that resulted in at least 16 days off work were the result of knee injuries that occurred while the person was working.
All workers must have the proper tools they need to do their job duties while they’re working. They should also have a protocol that enables them to use good body mechanics. Together, those points can reduce the pressure on the knees, which may minimize the risk of knee injuries.
Tips to keep the knees healthy at work
There are many things that employers and workers can do to protect their knees. Some options include:
- Take short breaks to loosen up the knees if you work kneeling or stooping. This helps to lubricate the knee joint.
- Use knee pads if you have to kneel at work.
- Raise workspaces or create systems that let workers sit or stand to work instead of having to kneel.
Some knee injuries occur over time, so don’t think that you need to have a sudden event or pain to signal a knee injury. Cumulative trauma injuries gradually wear the knee joint down, which can lead to pain that progressively gets more intense. These injuries are just as serious as sudden injuries.
Any worker who suffers a knee injury should ensure they don’t ignore the symptoms. Getting medical care is critical for these injuries because of the pressure and weight put on this joint each day. When the injury occurs at work, workers’ compensation coverage should take care of the medical bills associated with the injury. Workers who can’t return to work right away may qualify for other benefits, such as partial wage replacement or vocational rehabilitation.