The findings and conclusions in this report are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily represent the views of the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health.
Eleven years of occupational mortality in law enforcement: The census of fatal occupational injuries, 1992–2002†
Article first published online: 17 JUN 2010
Copyright © 2010 Wiley-Liss, Inc.
American Journal of Industrial Medicine
Volume 53, Issue 9, pages 940–949, September 2010
How to Cite
Tiesman, H. M., Hendricks, S. A., Bell, J. L. and Amandus, H. A. (2010), Eleven years of occupational mortality in law enforcement: The census of fatal occupational injuries, 1992–2002. Am. J. Ind. Med., 53: 940–949. doi: 10.1002/ajim.20863
- Issue published online: 3 AUG 2010
- Article first published online: 17 JUN 2010
- Manuscript Accepted: 20 APR 2010
- traumatic injury;
- fatality rates;
Occupational injury deaths remain high for Law Enforcement Officers (LEOs). This study describes and compares intentional and transportation-related fatality rates in US LEOs between 1992 and 2002.
Workplace injury deaths among LEOs from 1992 to 2002 were categorized into “Intentional,” “Transportation-related,” and “Other,” using the Census of Fatal Occupational Injuries. Occupations included in this analysis were sheriffs and bailiffs, police and detectives, non-public service guards, and correctional officers. Fatality rates were compared among law enforcement occupations, cause of death, and demographics with rate ratios and 95% confidence intervals.
During the 11-year period, 2,280 workers died from an occupational injury, for a fatality rate of 11.8 per 100,000 across all LEO occupations. Forty-seven percent were homicides (n = 1,072, rate 5.6 per 100,000), 36% transportation-related (n = 815, rate 4.2 per 100,000), 11% were due to other causes (n = 249, rate 1.3 per 100,000), and 5% were workplace suicides (n = 122, rate 0.6 per 100,000). The proportion of fatalities by cause of death differed significantly between occupations (P < 0.0001). Sheriffs and bailiffs experience a high risk for occupational injury death compared to other law enforcement occupations. Of the transportation-related fatalities, LEOs were operating a motor-vehicle in 58% of the incidents and 22% of the fatalities were struck by incidents.
Transportation-related deaths were nearly as common as homicides as a cause of occupational injury death among US LEOs. Struck by vehicle incidents remain an important and overlooked cause of death. This research points to opportunities for the prevention of transportation-related deaths in law enforcement. Am. J. Ind. Med. 53:940–949, 2010. © 2010 Wiley-Liss, Inc.