It is relatively common to see people hurt their knees at work. Whether they trip and fall, twist their knee or have a blow to the knee occur, these actions lead to injuries that could have a significant impact on their lives in the next few weeks, months or years. In some cases, knee injuries can even lead to permanent damage and disability.
The knee is your body’s largest joint, so it’s important that you do seek out medical care if it isn’t working correctly or if you suffer an injury to it. According to the American Osteopathic Association, around 65% of Americans between the ages of 18 and 34 live with chronic pain or know someone who does. For many people, that chronic pain comes from living with knee injuries.
How can workplaces help prevent knee injuries?
There are steps that employers can take to minimize the risk of knee injuries on the job. Some options include:
- Changing the way work is done to reduce the time workers spend on their knees
- Training the workforce to perform knee exercises and stretches
- Using a rolling stool rather than crouching when work is being done on the floor or a low level
- Giving workers time to stretch before, during and after work
- Reducing clutter and trip-and-fall hazards in the workplace
- Staging materials so they’re higher off the ground. This reduces the need for bending at the knee or kneeling
These are a few options to help reduce knee injuries at work.
What do you need to do if you suffer an injury on the job?
If you do get hurt while at work, let your employer know right away. Knee injuries can involve ligaments, muscles, the bone and other parts of the joint, so you need to seek care as a soon as possible.
After you seek emergency care, you may want to speak with your employer about getting workers’ compensation. Doing this will help you be sure you have the compensation you need while you are in recovery for your knee injury. Vocational rehabilitation, reasonable accommodations and other supports may also be available.