Knee injuries are common at work and in personal life. Here is a look at some of the common ways knee injuries happen and tips on how to avoid injury.
Jumping from Height
Do not jump off trucks, forklifts, ladders, loading docks, steps, or any other elevated surface! Use proper steps, rungs, and hand holds. Have at least three points of contact: two hands and a foot or two feet and a hand.
Lifting techniques to avoid back injuries call for bending the knees and keeping the back upright. This can be challenging for folks with knee trouble. Try these tips:
- Avoid ground level lifting. Waist level is the safest height.
- Use mechanical aids or get assistance to reduce weight bearing.
- If you must lift from the ground, try a one knee on the ground method. The bad knee is placed on the ground; the good knee side’s foot is on the ground. That way, most of the weight bearing is on the good knee.
- Avoid kicking or scooting items on the floor with your leg. If you must move an item with your leg, use your knee with the direction of motion it is designed for, like kicking a ball. Avoid pushing items with the side of the foot because this stresses the knee unnaturally.
- Avoid wearing high heels or cowboy boots at work, especially when walking over slippery or rough terrain. High heels create instability and lateral stress on the knee joint.
Avoid kneeling for prolonged periods, especially on hard or rough surfaces. If your work does require prolonged kneeling, be sure to use a ground pad or wear occupational style knee pads as personal protective equipment.
Your knee is not an impact tool! Do not use it to budge, shove, or bang an object. Get a hammer or other appropriate tool.
Slips, Trips, and Falls
Knee injuries are a common result of slips, trips, and falls. Keep these tips in mind:
- Keep your work area neat and clean.
- Wear footwear appropriate for your work environment.
- Remove/salt/sand ice and snow.
- Do the “duck walk” on slippery surfaces.
- Walk extra cautiously over rough terrain.
- Fully place your foot on stair or step treads.
Anytime you twist your spine you may also be stressing your knees. Rather than twisting, pivot and shift the feet to face the new direction.