Knee Protection in FR Workwear

Knee protection is required in workplaces where workers are required to kneel for extended periods. This is because kneeling can put a lot of stress on the knees, and can lead to injuries such as osteoarthritis, tendinitis, and bursitis. Knee protection can help to reduce the risk of these injuries by providing cushioning and support to the knees.

Kneeling at work can expose the shins, knees, and thighs to toxic and corrosive materials typically kept off the body by water-resistant or allergy-proof shoes. Knee pads and trousers designed for use with wet materials, especially wet cement, should consider this and provide adequate protection.

Types of Knee Protectors:

EN 14404:2004+A1:2010

EN 14404 lays down the requirement of knee protectors for work in the kneeling position. Accordingly, the Knee Protectors are classified as

Type 1: Knee protectors that are independent of any clothing and are fixed around the leg.


Type 2: Knee protectors that are inserted into pockets on the pant legs or permanently attached to the trousers.


Type 3: Knee protectors that are not attached to the body but are put in place when the user moves. They can be provided for each knee or both knees together.


Type 4: Knee Protector which is a part of a larger device, such as a frame that helps users stand up, or a kneeling seat. Such Knee protectors can be worn on the body or used independently.


Typically types 1 and 2 are attached to the work pants, the third type is not fixed to the body.

Levels of Protection:

Knee protectors are allocated a specific protection level based on the performance requirement when tested in a lab setup.

  • Level 0 knee protectors are only suitable for use on flat floors and offer no protection against penetration. Such protectors can be used for Gardeners, DIYers, and other workers who are not exposed to hazards such as falling objects or sharp objects.
  • Level 1 knee protectors are suitable for use on flat and non-flat surfaces and offer protection against penetration by objects less than 1 cm in size. They can withstand a point load of 100 N. Such protection may be required for construction workers, factory workers, and other workers who are exposed to hazards such as small objects and low-level impacts.
  • Level 3 knee protectors are suitable for use on flat and non-flat surfaces in difficult conditions and offer protection against penetration by objects greater than 1 cm in size. They can withstand a point load of at least 250 N. Firefighters, miners, and other workers who are exposed to hazards such as large objects and high-level impacts require Level 3 protection.

Flame-Retardant Factor:

Remember, flame-resistant workwear standards (EN ISO 11612:2015) don’t directly address knee protectors. Here’s what you need to know:

  • Type 2 knee pads (pocketed or stitched) typically have three layers: outer, insert, and inner.
  • Only the outer and inner layers need to be tested for flame resistance as long as the insert is sandwiched between them.
  • If the outer / inner layers differ from the main garment, they must be tested separately.
  • Look for knee pads tested and certified for both EN 14404 (knee protection) and EN ISO 11612:2015 (limited flame spread A1).


  • Knee protectors that meet the requirements for penetration resistance must be labelled with the pictogram for protection against mechanical hazards according to ISO 7000-2490.
  • The performance level (1 or 2) must be marked below the pictogram.
  • Choose the right size for optimal coverage and comfort.
  • Look for pads with additional features like shock absorption or gel inserts for extra protection.

Investing in proper knee protection is an investment in your health and safety. By following these tips and choosing the right gear, you can keep your knees happy and keep on conquering those tough jobs. Remember, happy knees mean a happy worker!

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