During a regular day at work, there are many activities we undertake that put our bodies at risk of injury. As the largest joint in the body, the knee absorbs a lot of force each day and is critical for almost everything we do. While it’s common for athletes to be impacted by knee injuries, you may not realise that this is also a regular issue with workers. However, these two types of injuries can be quite different, but both require immediate attention. Here at Active Workwear, we know how debilitating a knee injury can be, so keep reading to learn how to avoid a knee injury at work.
What Impact Do knee Injuries Have on Workplaces?
While knee injuries are certainly unpleasant for the person who receives the injury, on top of that, they account for a high percentage of lost time at work. It’s believed that a single injury usually results in up to 16 days off from work, especially in more physical job roles. The best way to prevent this absence is with an early diagnosis and more awareness about knee injuries. If your employees are struggling with knee pain, we encourage you to help them receive the medical assistance they need. A previous knee injury may also prevent your employees from doing certain tasks again in the future, putting other team members under more stress and potentially causing an injury for them as well.
Common Knee Injuries at Work
No two knee injuries are the same, which is why we encourage all employers to learn about the different types of knee injury they may witness in their workplace. While athletes often are the victim of a torn ACL or dislocated knee cap, you’ll find these aren’t so common in the workplace. Knee injuries are either acute, which means they happen as a result of trauma to the knee, or cumulative, where they come about after months or years of overuse. Traumatic injuries could be the result of a fall, twist, or impact, which will damage the bones, cartilage, tendons, and ligaments. Overuse injuries slowly happen over time and usually affect the cartilage, bursa, ligaments, and tendons. As the progression is so slow, many workplaces often overlook this issue, but it can be extremely painful and debilitating in the long run.
Creating a Safe Working Environment to Avoid a Knee Injury
As an employer or employee, you have the responsibility to look after your team and your own health. Let’s take a look at some ways in which you can protect your knees at work.
Consider Your Current Work Environment
Is your current work environment safe and healthy for your knees? If your employees are constantly sitting on their knees to complete their work, raise the work level, so they spend less time sitting on their knees each day. Try to design workplaces that allow your team members to sit on a seat, as opposed to kneeling. This puts so much pressure on your joints over time and will result in a cumulative injury later on. Put materials and supplies in places where they won’t have to bend or kneel in order to reach them or lift them up and offer rolling stools for floor work. Make sure your workplace is also free from trip hazards, as trips are one of the most common causes of both major and minor knee injuries.
Offering Knee Protection
For anyone who has no choice but to work on their knees at some point in the day, it’s essential to offer them shock-absorbing knee pads. Snickers kneepad and Snickers kneepad trousers and excellent options for workplaces, and they’ll offer more protection than your classic Snickers trousers you wear all day. These will provide extra padding for your knees, so you won’t be in agony after spending a while kneeling on the ground. Make sure you equip all of your team with this protective equipment to ensure that they don’t injure themselves just by carrying out their required job.
We often overlook the importance of stretching at work and think this is only reserved for the gym. Offer your team the chance to stretch their knees and increase their range of motion after sitting down for some time. This will help to lubricate the knee joint, but you’ll want to teach them the appropriate exercises or stretches to avoid minor knee injuries. Give them time to stretch before, during, and again after work, so they don’t just rush off to go home without stretching.
A knee injury at work will cost both the employer and employee greatly, and they can take months or years to recover from. By following these top tips listed above, you can protect your employees every day to avoid a painful injury and lost working days.
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