ORIGINAL PAPER
A description of musculoskeletal injuries in a Canadian police service
 
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University of Alberta, Edmonton, Canada (School of Public Health, Injury Prevention Centre)
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University of Alberta, Edmonton, Canada (Faculty of Rehabilitation Medicine, Department of Physical Therapy)
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University of Alberta, Edmonton, Canada (Faculty of Rehabilitation Medicine, Department of Occupational Therapy)
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University of Alberta, Edmonton, Canada (School of Public Health)
CORRESPONDING AUTHOR
Liana Lentz   

University of Alberta, School of Public Health, Injury Prevention Centre, 8308 114 St, Edmonton, AB, T6G 2E1 Canada
 
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ABSTRACT
Objectives: Police officers run a risk of injury that is higher than in most other occupations. This study aims to quantify injury prevalence and identify common musculoskeletal injuries (MSIs) among police officers, using injury data from a municipal police service in Alberta, Canada. Material and Methods: This is a descriptive study based on a secondary data analysis of the MSIs reported to the police service over a 41-month period; January 1, 2013 – June 2, 2016. Data from 1325 active police officers were examined, and injury prevalence was reported according to sex, injury diagnosis, the body part injured, and the work area. Results: The prevalence of strains and sprains was very high, at 89.2%. The back and shoulder were most frequently affected. Overall, injury proportions did not differ significantly across work areas. The injury risk was age-related but no significant differences in injuries between sexes were identified. Conclusions: Minor injuries such as strains and sprains occur frequently in the police occupation. Future research should focus on specific risk factors for MSIs in police officers in order to aid prevention.
eISSN:1896-494X
ISSN:1232-1087