Assault Injuries Rising for Law Enforcement Officers, NIOSH Reports

From 2003 to 2014, approximately 669,100 law enforcement officers were treated in emergency departments nationwide for nonfatal injuries. The leading cause of work-related injury in this group of workers was assault and other violent acts, which accounted for 35 percent of injuries treated in emergency departments.

A NIOSH study published in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine concludes that nonfatal injuries from work-related assaults are rising among law enforcement officers. According to the agency, the study is the first national investigation of nonfatal injuries from assaults and other unintentional injuries, including accidental falls and motor vehicle crashes.

Authors Hope M. Tiesman, Ph.D.; Melody Gwilliam, MPH; Srinivas Konda, MPH; Jeff Rojek, Ph.D.; and Suzanne Marsh, MPA, of the NIOSH Division of Safety Research in Morgantown, W.Va., and the Department of Criminal Justice at the University of Texas at El Paso, noted that although law enforcement is recognized as a particularly dangerous occupation, little information has been available on trends in nonfatal work-related injuries among law enforcement officers.

Using information from the National Electronic Injury Surveillance System – Occupational Supplement on nonfatal injuries treated in U.S. emergency departments from 2003–2014, they calculated rates of nonfatal injury using numbers from the Current Population Survey. They found compared to other workers, law enforcement officers were injured on the job three times as often.

From 2003 to 2014, approximately 669,100 law enforcement officers were treated in emergency departments nationwide for nonfatal injuries. The leading cause of work-related injury in this group of workers was assault and other violent acts, which accounted for 35 percent of injuries treated in emergency departments. Furthermore, from 2003 to 2011, assault-related injuries increased by almost 10 percent, although the rates for other injuries remained stable.

After assault and other violent acts, the second-leading cause of injury was bodily reactions and exertion from running or other repetitive motions, which caused 15 percent of the injuries, followed by transportation incidents at 14 percent. Younger officers age 21-24 were more likely to be injured than older officers; the rates of nonfatal injury were similar among men and women.

Download Center

HTML - No Current Item Deck
  • EHS Management Software Buyer's Guide

    Download this buyer's guide to make more informed decisions as you're looking for an EHS management software system for your organization.

  • Steps to Conduct a JSA

    We've put together a comprehensive step-by-step guide to help you perform a job safety analysis (JSA), which includes a pre-built, JSA checklist and template, steps of a JSA, list of potential job hazards, and an overview of hazard control hierarchy.

  • Levels of a Risk Matrix

    Risk matrices come in many different shapes and sizes. Understanding the components of a risk matrix will allow you and your organization to manage risk effectively.

  • Free Safety Management Software Demo

    IndustrySafe Safety Management Software helps organizations to improve safety by providing a comprehensive toolset of software modules to help businesses identify trouble spots; reduce claims, lost days, OSHA fines; and more.

  • Industry Safe
Bulwark FR Quiz

OH&S Digital Edition

  • OHS Magazine Digital Edition - March 2021

    March 2021

    Featuring:

    • EMPLOYEE TESTING
      The Impact of COVID-19 on Drug Testing
    • PROTECTIVE APPAREL
      Preparing for Unpredictable Spring Weather
    • FALL PROTECTION
      Building a Comprehensive Floor Safety Strategy
    • GAS DETECTION
      Gas Hazards and the COVID-19 Vaccine
    View This Issue