Knee pads, back/wrist support, and elbow pads can help prevent workplace injuries and reduce the risk of carpal tunnel syndrome, back pain and repetitive stress injuries.
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics in 2019, 30% of all non-fatal injuries and illnesses in the United States were related to repetitive stress injuries and musculoskeletal disorders.
Proper use of ergonomics can help prevent these types of workplace injuries and reduce the risk of various joint disorders, such as carpal tunnel syndrome, back pain and repetitive stress injuries. This, in turn, can reduce the number of worker compensation claims and lost workdays due to injuries.
What is Ergonomics in the Workplace?
Whether you work in construction, distribution, or an office, ergonomics is vital for reducing injury risk and boosting productivity. In construction, where tasks often involve heavy lifting, repetitive motions, and working in awkward positions, ergonomic solutions are crucial. Equipment like lifting belts and ergonomically-designed tools help distribute weight more evenly and reduce strain on the body.
Modified machinery that allows for better posture and less manual handling of heavy materials is also important. In distribution centers, where workers frequently perform tasks like packing, sorting, and material handling, ergonomics focuses on reducing repetitive strain and improving the layout of workstations.
Adjustable-height workbenches, anti-fatigue mats, and properly designed hand tools are standard ergonomic interventions. Automated systems to minimize manual lifting and transport of goods also play a significant role. Ergonomics isn’t just limited to tools, mats, workbenches, however.
In this article, we will discuss the components that keep workers comfortable, while reducing the risk of injury, including injuries to the back, knees, wrists, and elbows.
Related: Sometimes, reducing the risk of injury hinges on more than pads and support. Read our article on entrance mats to learn how the entrance to your facility could benefit from proper matting. If you’re looking for help with spill containment and reducing the risk of slips and falls, our article on sorbents has some tips and products to help reduce risk in your workplace.
Workers in construction, carpentry, and other manual labor industries often use knee pads to protect their knees from hard surfaces, sharp objects or kneeling for extended periods. The use of knee pads helps prevent knee strain, bruising and long-term damage.
Knee pads come in various types and designs, so choose ones that best meet the demands of your workplace. Consider factors such as comfort, fit, durability and the level of protection they provide.
ProFlex® 230HL Wide Soft Cap Knee Pads are slightly wider and longer for wraparound comfort. They are constructed of a polyester fabric over 15mm closed cell foam padding to produce light-duty protection. Pads are treated to control moisture and bacteria. Pads offer hook-and-loop closures.
ProFlex® 315HL Textured Long Cap Knee Pads feature an abrasion-resistant long hard cap and a nylon fabric cover. 12mm NBR foam padding is cut to hug the knee. Pads are treated to control moisture and bacteria. Pads offer hook-and-loop closures.
Ergodyne® ProFlex® 260 Soft Slip-On Knee Pads can be worn over or under clothing during light duty jobs. These elastic sleeves are machine washable.
Back supports are designed to provide additional stability to the lower back when lifting heavy objects or engaging in physically demanding tasks.
Back supports can help reduce the risk of strains, sprains and other lower back injuries.
They can also encourage better posture, reminding employees to maintain a straight back while working.
Individuals with pre-existing back conditions or a history of back problems may use back supports to manage their condition and prevent further injury.
It's important to note that back supports are not meant for continuous, long-term use. They should be used as a temporary measure, rather than as a permanent solution. Individuals with existing or long-term back conditions should consult with a healthcare professional or ergonomics experts to determine proper usage guidelines.
Spandex Back Support with Lumbar Pad is designed for lifting average weight loads and repetitive motion tasks. Lumbar pad molds comfortably into the lower back.
Gripper webbing columns help keep the belt in place. Overlapping 4" elastic side pulls offer added support. 1-1/2" wide stretch suspenders attach to the belt with suspender clips.
Premium Back Supports without suspenders provide heavy-duty support to the abdominal and lower back areas. Durafoam front panels feature a hook-and-loop closure system for a quick and secure fit. Flexible nylon stays help prevent the 9" wide support from rolling.
Wrist and Elbow Supports
The purpose of a wrist or elbow support is to provide stability, protection and relief for the joint and surrounding structures.
Wrist and elbow supports can help prevent wrist injuries during repetitive workplace activities that put strain on the joints. Supports stabilize the joint and reduce the risk of sprains, strains or fractures.
Individuals who have existing injuries, such as sprains and strains, often find that the use of a support speeds up the healing process. The compression a support provides can also reduce swelling and inflammation.
Individuals with chronic conditions, such as tendinitis and arthritis, find that wearing a support helps prevent the condition from worsening by limiting movement and reducing stress on the affected area.
If you spend long hours typing on a computer keyboard, you should also consider using a wrist support. It can help maintain a neutral wrist position, reducing the risk of developing chronic conditions like carpal tunnel syndrome.
Shield the thumb and palm area from repetitive contact injuries with the Neoprene Thumb-Wrist Supports. Manufactured utilizing a therapeutic neoprene material to help prevent tendonitis and soothe irritation. Fits right or left hand. To determine size, measure hand circumference.
Repetitive arm motion puts strain on the elbow, so provide support and reduce the risk of injury with this Ergodyne Elbow Support. Machine washable. To determine size, measure the circumference of the largest part of the forearm just below the elbow.
Feel free to contact our Safety Support Team to help you select the knee pads, back support, or wrist/elbow pads for your particular workplace. In almost any situation you have, we can offer you options that fit your budget or specific needs, allowing your employees to work comfortably and efficiently.