Police officers have a very dangerous job that includes a variety of hazards. It is imperative that these public servants have the tools and training they need to remain safe. The department they work for should ensure that all employees are prepared for a safe shift, but officers also have to receive training on what to do if there is an accident, assault or injury.
Here are some important facts to know about police officers, injuries, fatalities and accidents:
High risk of danger
When you look at some of the facts provided by the Bureau of Labor Statistics that compare people in all industries and jobs across the country with only police officers, you can quickly see how risky this profession is. Non-fatal injuries across all occupations lead to a missed day rate of 107.1 cases per 10,000 full-time workers. For police officers only, this rate climbs to 485.8 cases.
Fatal injuries also occur at a much higher rate for police officers. The fatality rate for all occupations is 3.4 deaths per 100,000 full-time equivalent workers. The rate for law enforcement is 13.5 deaths.
Many different risks
It is easy to assume that only violence from people who are being arrested will injure or kill police officers. When it comes to fatal injuries, violence from persons or animals accounts for better than half of the incidents: 55.7 percent. Transportation incidents, which are car accidents, accounts for 41.2 percent.
Non-fatal injuries and illnesses were caused by additional factors. The largest cause was violence from persons or animals, accounting for 27 percent. Falls, slips and trips caused 25.3 percent of non-fatal injuries; overexertion led to 21.4 percent; transportation incidents resulted in 14 percent. Other minor causes were exposure to harmful substances, fires, explosions, and contacts with objects or equipment.
Types of injuries
The most common injury that police officers suffer is a sprain, strain or tear. Soreness and pain, bruises, fractures, cuts, multiple traumatic injuries, tendonitis and chemical burns are other types of accidents.
Non-fatal injuries can lead to officers having to take time off work. Medical care is often expensive. They might opt to seek compensation for their work-related injuries. Not only can this cover the health care bills, it can provide partial wage replacement for missed work.