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Law enforcement officers on night shifts at higher risk for injury

Police officer

  An Illinois police officer’s job is dangerous around the clock, but when officers work at night, their injury risk is especially high. According to the research of Dr. John Violanti, a professor at the State University of New York and an expert on law enforcement health, officers on the night shift are up to four times more likely to suffer work-related injuries than their colleagues on the day shift.

Why is the night shift so hazardous?

An Illinois police officer’s job is dangerous around the clock, but when officers work at night, their injury risk is especially high. According to the research of Dr. John Violanti, a professor at the State University of New York and an expert on law enforcement health, officers on the night shift are up to four times more likely to suffer work-related injuries than their colleagues on the day shift.

Why is the night shift so hazardous?

When police officers work through the nighttime hours, their normal sleep patterns are disrupted. This can be profoundly disturbing to the cardiovascular system and the digestive system. It also affects the brain’s normal response to stress. Dr. Violanti has found that night shift officers are several times more susceptible to metabolic disruptions. Their cortisol response is diminished, making them prone to weight gain and slower reaction times. Combined with the inherent risks of fighting crime at night, this cascade of physical symptoms eventually leads to a high number of disabled and injured police officers.

Additional research shows the dangers of nighttime work

Dr. Violanti’s conclusions are confirmed by additional recent research. A long-term study published in the Scandinavian Journal of Work, Environment and Health in 2013 shows that police officers who work the night shift (defined as the shift from midnight to 8 a.m.) experience three times as many serious injuries as officers who work from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. This study also demonstrates that the risk of injury is not affected by age or experience. Although many night shift officers in the study were young people in excellent physical condition, the stresses of shift work made them equally prone to injury on the job.

Injured officers are entitled to benefits

When police officers are injured in the line of duty, they are entitled to reimbursement for their lost wages. They are also entitled to full coverage for all necessary medical treatment. Illinois law guarantees workers’ compensation for police officers and other public safety professionals who become ill, injured or otherwise disabled on the job. As law enforcement officers face more grueling schedules and more dangerous working conditions, it is crucial to know about the right to protection and compensation in the state of Illinois.

Consult with a workers’ compensation lawyer to find out more

Are you concerned about the dangers of night shift work? Get in touch with a workers’ compensation attorney to arrange a free consultation and find out more about this issue.

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