Job-Related Knee Injuries Costing U.S. Economy Billions

Ergodyne announced the addition of new hard shell hinged knee pads to their ProFlex line of Knee Pads

St. Paul, Minnesota, Oct. 25, 2022 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Every time you take a knee it takes a toll. You just might not know how much until it’s too late.

Safety and health agencies—including the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH)—have long recognized tasks that involve frequent stooping, kneeling, or squatting increase the risk of developing cumulative knee injuries such as bursitis, tendinitis, or osteoarthritis (OA) of the knee.

More recent review continues to confirm those findings, including a case-control study published in the International Archives of Occupational and Environmental Health, which found that men who worked for 11–30 years in building and construction had a 3.7 fold greater risk of developing knee OA. Additionally, a 2021 study from Arthritis Care and Research cites nine specific job titles associated with knee OA, including farmers, builders, metal workers and floor layers.

OA occurs when the protective cartilage that cushions the ends of the bones wears down over time. The irreversible condition comes with an annual price tag of more than $27 billion in health care costs in the United States, according to the Arthritis Foundation. The foundation also reports 20 million Americans have lost about $71 million in wages from lost work directly related to OA.

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), the agency responsible for setting and enforcing workplace safety and health standards in the United States, does not have any specific requirement that would limit the amount of time an employee is required to work in an awkward posture, such as squatting or kneeling.

Guidance for prevention includes raising the work off the ground or using extension attachments on tools to bring work up to waist level. Personal factors, including diet and exercise also impact knee health—every pound of excess weight exerts about 4 pounds of extra pressure on the knees.

OSHA does not have a personal protection requirement for work that requires squatting or kneeling, though the agency is on record as stating, “PPE for kneeling [such as knee and kneeling pads] reduces contact pressure”. Direct contact pressure of the knee against hard surfaces is known to lead to cumulative knee injuries such as OA.

“Kneeling for significant amounts of time on the job is unavoidable for many,” says Aaron Skemp, a product director for safety work gear manufacturer Ergodyne.

A focus on continuous improvement of the knee protection offered to those workers is paramount to stemming the growing number of cumulative knee injuries, according to Skemp.

Skemp’s close collaboration with crews working underwing for some of the world’s biggest airlines have produced well to that end—including an innovative hinge design inspired by workers he observed sliding out of their knee pads when moving around in cramped baggage bins.

“Adding a hinge to the knee pad prevents this because it allows for the knee pad to flex with the worker’s knee,” explains Skemp.

The latest knee protection innovation from Ergodyne marries that ergonomic hinged design with a heavy-duty hard shell and soft non-marring cap for use on all surfaces.

“It’s a lightweight, tough and comfortable design that moves the way workers move…so it stays in place, never gets in the way, and is less likely to get taken off because of that,” says Skemp of the new ProFlex 360 Hard Shell Hinged Knee Pads.

“Ignoring knee health in their younger days is one of the biggest regrets we hear from veteran trades and construction workers,” says Tom Votel, President & CEO, Ergodyne. “Sure, you can get a knee replacement… but at what cost?”

About $50,000 according to the Arthritis Foundation.

And even then, it’s no guarantee it will solve the problem. Research published in the BMJ Journal reports that up to one-third of those who have knees replaced continue to experience chronic pain.

To learn more, email or call 800-225-8238 // (651) 642-9889.


Since 1983, Tenacious Holdings, Inc. (dba Ergodyne, a Klein Tools Company) has pioneered the development of products that Make The Workplace A Betterplace. What started with just one product has grown into a line of top flight, battle-tested, Tenacious Work Gear®; all precision crafted to provide protection, promote prevention and manage the elements for workers on jobsites the world over. The current lineup is extensive and constantly growing: ProFlex® Hand Protection, ProFlex® Knee Pads, ProFlex® Supports, Skullerz® Head & Face Protection, Skullerz® Eye Protection, Trex® Footwear Accessories, KREW'D Skin Protection, Chill-Its® Cooling Products, N-Ferno® Warming Products, GloWear® Hi-Vis Apparel, Squids® Lanyards, Arsenal® Gear and Tool Storage, and SHAX® Portable Work Shelters.

Originally posted on:


Ergodyne ProFlex 360 Knee Pads

Contact Data