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Weak at the Knees

All employers must ensure the safety of their workforce is of utmost importance. Despite this however, many organisations are potentially putting their teams at risk by overlooking a vital form of PPE.

Our aim is to engage, inform and educate people in a variety of professions, and the importance of protecting their knees.

There are alarming statistics relating to work related knee injuries on a regular basis. Given this knowledge, our efforts to raise awareness of the need for adequate knee protection isn’t motivated by commercial gain but by a duty of care. We see it as our moral responsibility to share our insight and understand the greater good for the industries.

The research determined that muscular skeletal problems, such as back shoulder and knee pain, are the leading case of lost working days in the UK, costing the economy an estimated 31 million days every year.

In late 2020, the HSE (Health & Safety Executive) highlighted 480,000 work related muscular skeleton disorders, and some 93 affected lower limbs, including the knees. Just wow – that is so high.

The unfortunate truth is most of us take our knees for granted, and only realize how important they are to our overall quality of life and wellbeing when they no longer function as they should. The knees are one of the most important load bearing joints in the human body and play a critical role in enabling us to walk, run, climb, jump, sit down and get back up again.

Where a need for knee protection is identified, it is important that it’s supplied to avoid possible prosecution and significant financial penalties.

Knee injuries that can be sustained at work fall into two categories. Impact injuries, such as those caused by kneeling on a sharp item or striking the knee against a hard object or the longer-term wear and tear injuries. Longer term cumulative conditions are perhaps the most concerning as they have the potential to be a ticking time bomb, and in a similar way to asbestos.

Another knee condition which can be work related is osteoarthritis, widely known as wear and tear arthritis. Osteoarthritis involves the cartilage, which provides cushioning for the knee joint, wearing away. It’s one of the most common forms of arthritis in the UK and can be caused by activity that places constant stress or pressure on the knee joint.

Again, that includes kneeling. It makes sense to choose knee pads with the same care, consideration, and sense of importance as other forms of PPE, like hard hats, safety boots or safety goggles. After all, the consequences of not wearing this vital piece of equipment, whether it’s from immediate injury or long-term illness, can be every bit devastating.

If you need any further information please contact us today on 07770 302504 or email joanne@chestnutassociates.co.uk