Police Officers Face Injury More During Night Shift


Recent studies have shown the correlation between shift work and workplace injuries among police officers, according to this article, Police on Night Shift More Likely to Suffer Long-Term Injuries.

New research at the University of Buffalo has concluded that “…independent of age and gender, urban officers working nights were three times more likely than those on the day shift, and 2.2 times more likely than those on the afternoon shift, to suffer injuries resulting in leaves of more than 90 days.”

Epidemiologist John Violanti, PhD is the author of the study. His article “Shift work and long-term injury among police officers,” published in the Scandinavian Journal of Work and Environmental Health discusses the findings. Violanti is a research scientist in the University of Buffalo Department of Social and Preventive Medicine, part of the UB School of Public Health and Health Professions.

Working at night disrupts the normal sleep patterns, resulting in poor circadian rhythms. According to the Circadian Rhythms Face Sheet:

Circadian rhythms are physical, mental and behavioral changes that follow a roughly 24-hour cycle, responding primarily to light and darkness in an organism’s environment. They are found in most living things, including animals, plants and many tiny microbes.

Police stations are most active at night. “Sleep disturbance and fatigue-related impairment provoked by circadian disruption have been reported in previous studies of night shift workers and have been found to affect the kind of decision-making that is required in fast-paced, ambiguous, high-risk police situations,” according to Dr. Violanti.

In 2012, Violanti learned that there are significant health issues associated with the stress of police work. There are also more diseases and suicides than among civilians.
If you or someone you know thinks they have suffered an injury while on the job, Nate Hansford can help. Contact Nate by phone at 770-922-3660.