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Nighttime officers face higher risk of injury

Posted On April 12, 2015

Police officers in America are in especially high demand during the nighttime hours, as a Illinois workers’ compensation attorney knows. As criminals seek the cover of darkness for their crimes, law enforcement officers must work even harder to keep citizens safe. A new study shows that police who work the night shift are at a considerably higher risk of injury than their colleagues who work during daylight hours.

New research in a respected journal
A new study published in the Scandinavian Journal of Work and Environmental Health, using data compiled by faculty at the University of Buffalo, reveals a large discrepancy in injury rates between day shift officers and night shift officers. This discrepancy remains in place even when other mitigating factors such as age, gender and seniority are taken into account. The study follows a cohort of more than 400 officers who work for the city police department in Buffalo, N.Y. The researchers traced the officers’ work hours and their injuries for a period of more than 15 years.
Disturbing findings
The study, as reported in Science Daily in January 2014, reveals the following disturbing findings:

  • Night shift officers are three times more likely to suffer an injury in the line of duty than day shift officers.
  • Night shift officers are also 2.2 times more likely to become injured than afternoon or evening shift officers.
  • Police officers who work at night are consistently more prone to severe injuries requiring more than 90 days away from the job.

These statistics show that nighttime police work is a serious threat to health.
Possible causes for the statistical gap
Researchers have identified a number of possible causes for the large gap between injury cases in daytime and nighttime officer populations. Some of the most likely factors include sleep deprivation, fatigue, increased crime rates, disruption of circadian rhythms and exposure to severely cold overnight temperatures, as an Illinois workers’ compensation attorney is aware.
More safety measures are needed
Police officers who work the night shift have the same right to protection and safety on the job as their daytime counterparts. Experts at the University of Buffalo agree that proper measures must be taken to safeguard the health of officers who spend long nights combating crime on America’s streets. Possible security measures include flexible scheduling, increased opportunities for psychological support and more modern safety equipment for night shift officers.
All-night police duty can be difficult work. Injured police officers may find help by speaking with an Illinois workers’ compensation attorney.

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