Product Review: Knee Pads and Kneeling Pads
Posted on July 12, 2022 | in Ergonomics
VelocityEHS ergonomist Ryan Cowart takes a closer look at the ergonomics of knee pads and kneeling pads for the industrial work environment.
Hi, I’m Ryan Cowart, senior consultant for Humantech (now VelocityEHS Ergonomics), and welcome to another product review. Today, I wanted to talk about a genre of products that really helps us focus and address the issue that a great deal of our clients currently experience: material handling while on or near the standing surface.
Now, a great engineering solution would be to raise the hand working height somewhere that is more comfortable, like 39 to 48 inches above the standing surface. But what if that’s not a possibility? What if the work environment that’s currently laid out for us doesn’t lend itself to being able to make things height adjustable in that fashion? Well, then it’s always a benefit to start brainstorming a couple of different engineering solutions and looking at both sides of the coin. And that’s what I want to do here — provide a couple of different options like knee pads or kneeling pads and address some other issues or questions that some of our clients have had.
Specifically, what’s the best product for my people and what are some considerations to have? Well, I’ve got a couple of answers for you. For knee pads, you want to make sure and have a couple of different features. Mainly, you want to have a flexible knee joint that enables the full range of motion for your employees. You also want to have a soft, compressible material made up of gel or foam to make things more comfortable. Expand the surface area for the kneecap itself. Quick-release straps on either side of the product itself to apply or remove the product whenever we’re going to be using it for material handling. And then last, you want to have a flexible structure or different sizes to accommodate the varying sizes of employees you have in your given workplace.
For knee pads or kneeling pads, they’re a bit more straightforward. They typically come in a rectangular or oval shape. You want to make sure and have a soft, compressible format. The width of the knee pad needs to be about 21 inches, a maximum thickness of about two inches, and a handhold clearance of greater than 1.5 inches.
So, looking over these different products and what’s currently provided in the market, we at Human Tech (now VelocityEHS) like both designs equally. But it’s important that the people who are actually doing the material handling at your facility like what they choose and make sure that it’s the appropriate product for the physical demands of what they have to do. What we would suggest is try a couple of different options or pilot them at your facility and let the employees actually choose what’s most preferential to them.