Peace officers and firefighters have difficult jobs. They’re often among the public and face real dangers almost every time they go on a shift.
They face the risk of auto collisions, aggressive or violent people attacking them, burns from fires and other dangerous situations. Still, they go to work to help protect others.
Common reasons for workers’ compensation claims among peace officers
There are several common reasons for workers’ compensation claims made by peace officers and firefighters. They often file workers’ compensation claims for injuries they suffer on the job. Of those injuries, one that is common is post-traumatic stress disorder. In 2019, PTSD in firefighters and peace officers was finally added to workers’ compensation coverage in California.
One study found that PTSD claims were more likely to be denied than other physical conditions despite the condition being related to first responders’ jobs.
Physical and psychological injuries plague peace officers and firefighters in their careers
PTSD isn’t the only risk to these workers. It has previously been found by the National Fire Protection Association that falls, exposure to fire products, burns and overexertion are common among firefighters. Wounds, bleeding, cuts and bruises were also common injuries suffered while fighting fires or working on non-fireground activities.
Firefighters and peace officers are also at risk of being involved in auto collisions while en route to emergencies. In 2018, it was found that around 14,425 collisions involved fire department emergency vehicles.
Peace and police officers were found to be three times more likely to suffer from non-fatal injuries on the job compared to other workers in the country. Assault and violent acts topped the list and made up around 36% of all injuries. Crashes, overexertion and falls also made the list of the top causes of claims.
Get the help you need after getting injured on the job
No matter what job you do, you deserve to have support if you’re injured while working. Workers’ compensation should provide you with the medical care coverage that you need as well as support with vocational rehabilitation and the replacement of a portion of your lost wages.