According to a new research, police officers working the night shift are significantly more likely to suffer long-term on-the-job injuries than officers on day and afternoon shifts.
"Evening and night police shifts are inherently more active than day shifts where the calls for service are generally more hazardous and more frequent - resulting in sleep disturbance, fatigue-related impairment and more serious injuries," he says.
The study found that urban officers working nights were three times more likely than those on the day shift - and 2.2 times more likely than those on the afternoon shift - to suffer injuries resulting in leaves of more than 90 days.
"Leaves of this length suggest more serious types of injury and indicate that night shift work poses a more significant threat to the life and health of officers than previously assumed," said John Violanti, research scientist at University at Buffalo, NY.
The study assessed the association of daily shift schedules with the occurrence of injury leave and lengths of injury leave from 1994 to 2009 among 419 officers from the City of Buffalo Police Department.
The findings also point to the problems long-term injuries provoke for police managers as long injury absences put a strain on police personnel who must cover for the injured officers.
This could lead to health problems for them, as well, said the study published in the journal Scandinavian Journal of Work and Environmental Health.
"Sleep disturbance and fatigue-related impairment provoked by circadian disruption have been reported in night shift workers. This have been found to affect the kind of decision making that is required in fast-paced, ambiguous, high-risk police situations," Violanti added.