Characterization of Injuries Suffered by Mounted and Non-Mounted Police Officers

Robin Orr*, Elisa F. D. Canetti, Rodney Pope, Robert G. G. Lockie, J. Jay Dawes, Ben Schram

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Mounted police officers are subject to unique occupational tasks which may lead to unique injuries. This study's aim was to describe policing injuries suffered by mounted police officers contextualized through comparison to non-mounted officers. Injury data from 01 July 2014 to 30 June 2020 were provided from a state policing agency's incident reporting database. The data reported the numbers and rates of injuries and classified the injuries by gender, cause, mechanism, nature, and hours worked. Of the 35,406 reported injuries, 35,255 (99.6%) injuries were reported by non-mounted police officers. An annual incidence rate of 338-364 and 626-952 injuries per 1000 personnel were reported in non-mounted and mounted police, respectively. For mounted police, the leading causes of injuries were slips, trips, and falls (23.8%), followed by repetitive tasks and movements (9.9%). Physical assault was the leading cause of injury for non-mounted police officers (21.3%), followed by slips, trips, and falls (16.0%). In mounted police, falls from heights (15.9%) and repetitive tasks and movements (10.6%) comprised the most frequently specified mechanisms of injury, as compared to physical assault (21.0%) and physical exercise (5.2%) in non-mounted police. The most common activities being performed at the time of injury for mounted police were animal handling (64.9%) as opposed to arresting an offender (31.2%) for non-mounted police. Sprains and strains and bruises and swelling were the leading natures of injuries among both mounted (44.4% and 29.1%, respectively) and non-mounted (36.6% and 21.2%, respectively) officers. The leading body sites of injury in mounted officers were the lower back (13.9%) and neck and shoulders (7.3% each), and for non-mounted police, the knee (13.9%), lower back (10.0%), and hand (8.2%) were the most common. Mounted police officers sustained injuries through different activities, causes, and mechanisms and to different body sites at 2-3 times higher incidence rates. Mounted police officers warrant specifically tailored injury mitigation and return-to-work strategies.

Original languageEnglish
Article number1144
Number of pages12
JournalInternational Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health
Volume20
Issue number2
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 9 Jan 2023

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