Study: Night shifts put officers at higher risk of injury

It is well known that Prince Georges law enforcement officers have a higher risk of getting injured on the job than people in other professions. A spouse in an altercation, an armed robber or a high-speed car chase all pose a danger to the officers who respond to the situation. However, are there more risks for those officers on different shifts?

According to Safety and Health magazine, injury records over a 15-year period from a single police department in Buffalo, New York, showed that officers at night were vulnerable to injury. The records involved 400 officers and looked at people of all ages and both genders. Officers were 2.2 times more likely to be injured on the job in the late afternoon and 3 times more likely at night.

Researchers identified contributing factors such as lack of sleep, the fact that more crimes happen at night and officers on the night shift are exposed to more serious threats, according to Science Daily. Another factor which may play a part was that officers who worked nights tended to be younger and newer on the job – not surprising since older officers would have seniority and therefore be able to choose the shift they wanted. Night time work is also more stressful for officers because the number of calls increases and there is a higher workload.

Furthermore, officers who were injured at night often required more time away from work for recovery than officers who suffered injury on the day shift. Night shifts started at 11pm and ended at 8am the next morning.

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