Profiling the injuries sustained by recruits during police force recruit training

Sally Sawyer, Ben Schram, Rob Marc Orr

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Aim: The aim of this study was to profile injuries occurring within a national police force during initial training to inform injury prevention strategies.

Design: A retrospective cohort study.

Method: Data pertaining to injuries suffered during a 22-month training period at a national police college were received Injury data included location, nature, mechanism and the activity being performed when the injury was suffered.

Results: A total of 564 injuries were recorded over the 22-month period, with the mean age of recruits reporting an injury being 28.83 years  6.9 years. The incidence of injuries ranged from 456.25 to 3079 injuries per 1000 person-years with an overall incidence rate of 1550.15 injuries per 1000 person-years overall. The shoulder was the most commonly injured site (n=113, 20% of injuries), with sprains and strains being the most common nature of injury (n=287, 50.9% of injuries). Muscular stress with physical exercise was the most common mechanism of injury (n=175, 31.0% of injuries) with the activity responsibly for the majority of injuries occurring during an ‘unknown’ (n=256, 25.4% of injuries) followed by police training (n=215 (38.1%).

Conclusion: Injuries appear to be joint related and common to the shoulder with police training being a primary known activity at the time of injury.

Key Practice Points:
• Injury minimization programs (e.g. pre-screening protocols) should target the shoulder prior to police training activities.
• Injuries, especially to the shoulder, that occurred pre-enlistment or during training must be fully rehabilitated prior to trainee return-to-training and commencement as a qualified officer.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - 19 Oct 2019
EventTRANSFORM 2019 Physiotherapy Conference - Adelaide Convention Centre, Adelaide, Australia
Duration: 17 Oct 201919 Oct 2019


ConferenceTRANSFORM 2019 Physiotherapy Conference
Abbreviated titleAPA
Internet address


Cite this

Sawyer, S., Schram, B., & Orr, R. M. (2019). Profiling the injuries sustained by recruits during police force recruit training. 257-258. Abstract from TRANSFORM 2019 Physiotherapy Conference, Adelaide, Australia.