When to Wear Double Knee Pants for Construction


The knee is the largest weight-bearing joint in the body. Tasks that involve frequent stooping, kneeling, or squatting puts a construction worker’s knees at risk for injury, as noted by the Oregon Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA).

The agency points out the knee is made up of muscles that move the knee joints; tendons and ligaments that provide stability; cartilage to absorb shock, and the bursa, a small sac of fluid under the kneecap that lubricates a knee, so it moves easily. All of these are susceptible to injury through excessive wear and tear or continual stress.

Cushioning and Safety

Those working on construction sites who notice that their pants wear out first or faster in the knees or front thighs may want to consider those worn-out areas are a sign to replace them with a sturdier work pant that meets the physical demands of the job: the double knee work pant.

While some jobsite equipment modifications such as using a tool extension at waist height to avoid constant kneeling is one way to mitigate potential knee injuries, another is wearing double knee pants.

They provide extra cushioning and act as a barrier between the knees and uneven, rough, or hard surfaces on construction sites. While the extra fabric does add weight to the pants, the trade-off is comfort and cushioning for the knees as they safely protect the health of the knees. That leads to greater productivity. Those whose jobs necessitate spending a good deal of time bending down and kneeling on one or both knees and wear these pants know the value of them and how they provide a longer return on investment as a piece of construction apparel that is tough enough to handle any ripping or tearing that could hurt a worker’s skin and damage the pants.

Double knee pants also have become somewhat of a fashion statement for those who don’t even work on construction sites, a trend that’s been chronicled in such publications as GQ.

Double Knee Pant Design

Double knee work pants are constructed with two layers of fabric that start below the knee and run up toward the thigh – essentially an extra layer of fabric or reinforced fabric in the knee area.

The extra panel of material is often sewn on and riveted at each corner and provide extra durability to meet the demands of a job, especially the impact of the work on the knees. They are designed in such a way that it does not restrict movement.

Some manufacturers construct double knee pants with knee pad insert slots along the bottom side of the double knee, enabling workers to insert knee pads into the pants. Knee pads are different from knee guards in that the knee pad is inserted inside the slot in the pants for extra cushioning while a knee guard is a shell that covers the knee and is wrapped around the pant with adjustable straps.

Double-knee pants often are designed as a utility pant with multiple storage pockets in the front and back as well as loops for tools and are crafted with generous reinforcement. When shopping for a double knee work pant, look for these other features as well: something that is constructed to be tear-resistant, water-resistant, abrasion-resistant, has flexible stretch capabilities, is wicking and quick drying. Common fabrics from which double knee pants are constructed include canvas, denim, cotton duck and rip-stop or fabric blends such as polyester and cotton.

Material and Weather

The weather of the season may dictate the choice of double knee pant fabric – insulated fabric may be the preference in winter. A lighter fabric in warm weather will help keep a worker cool while the double knee reinforcement still provides protection.

Those who need extra hazard protection will find fire-resistant double knee pants among manufacturers’ offerings. Double knee pants can be sourced from just about any manufacturer of workwear. Women will find options accommodating their needs as well.

Find you next pair of heavy-duty work pants for construction on IRONPROS!

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