Does Your Job Make You Weak at the Knees?
Millions of people in the UK still work in jobs that require physical, manual labour
. Many of the accidents that happen in the workplace can be prevented if employers took the time to consider the health and safety of their employees.
What Causes Knee Injuries at Work?
Excessive bending of the knees or kneeling for extended periods can wreak havoc on your joints
in the future. At the time, you may not be considering the risk, but your employer should be.
Illnesses due to your occupation can be avoided if your employer is conducting their business in accordance with the law. There are a number of people who are at risk of future knee problems such as prepatellar bursitis
, commonly referred to as beat knee.
Where Am I at Risk?
We have represented a number of BT engineers who have permanent knee damage
that can only be repaired with an operation. Typically, BT engineers spend a lot of time on their knees, working at manholes, in underground areas, by green boxes fixing cables etc. They are required by their jobs to be kneeling to complete their tasks
, however, this does not mean their employer should not protect them.
Carpet layers are also at great risk of knee related injuries. To do the job properly, there may be certain tools that you will need to use. To use them correctly, your employer should provide you with training
. Carpet layers in particular will have to use a carpet kicker. Use of this equipment can lead to significant knee damage if used without knee-pads
, or if the pads you have are in bad condition. If there is an alternative to using this type of equipment and you have existing knee problems, you should speak to your employer to prevent further damage.
Roofers are also amongst those at risk when it comes to knee damage. They spend their days going up ladders with heavy equipment
, putting strain on the knees and then spending a further number of hours kneeling whilst they attach tiles to roofs.
In a lot of these cases, kneeling is unavoidable
- it's necessary to get the job done. However, this doesn't mean that your job has to be your downfall. It is the responsibility of your employer to follow health and safety regulations
to assure your wellbeing. If they have not done this and put you at risk, you should consider making a claim for industrial illness compensation.
If you have noticed problems with your knees recently after working in the same job for many years, this should not put you off exploring the option of a claim
. You have 3 years from the time your doctor diagnosed you with a knee condition. Similarly, if you have only been provided with the proper equipment recently after years without it, this won't necessarily stop you from making a claim either.