PPE Innovators Get Assist From Sports World In Big Win For Knee Health

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Saint Paul, April 07, 2023 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Ergodyne's decades-long collaboration with work crews–including some of the world's biggest airlines –has significantly evolved the fit, function and comfort of knee pads in an ongoing effort to encourage their use in fighting costly knee damage on worksites across multiple industries.

But one worker complaint has remained constant throughout: straps.

They can tangle, twist, and dig into the back of knees. In short, they're a pain for many––and an excuse to go without.

"Straps are always, without fail, the number one feedback point we get from workers," says Aaron Skemp, a longtime product developer charged with the safety work gear manufacturer's knee protection program.

"Naturally, the question became 'OK, so, how do we get rid of the straps?'."

Skemp explained how they got to the answer on a recent episode of the radio free tenacity podcast . "The inspiration we took was from the sports world where a lot of the knee pads are built for anti-impact. And what we [did] was take some of that inspiration of the sleeve concept and bring it in with some cushioning on the inside for those prolonged kneeling [applications].

Ergodyne's newly launched proflex 550 and 525 padded knee sleeves are made with a nylon spandex sleeve that fits and flexes comfortably under or over clothes while holding the pad snuggly in place, preventing workers from "crawling out the front or falling out the side" of the pads as Skemp puts it.

The proflex 550 padded knee sleeve features a 3-layer foam pad with an abrasion-resistant PU film on the outside, PU comfort foam in the middle and neoprene comfort foam on the innermost part of the pad, giving it a gel-like feel for long periods of kneeling.

The proflex 525 padded knee sleeve uses a lightweight and flexible EVA foam pad covered in a highly abrasion resistant fabric to withstand use on rough and unforgiving surfaces.

"And then on the pad designs for both of these, we added what looks like wings on the sides," explains Skemp. "So when you actually wear it, it conforms to your knee and moves with you."

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.

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (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.

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 BetterplaceTM. 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® Traction, KREW'DTM 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.

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