Many law enforcement officers working in California and across the nation face numerous on-the-job risks. While some of those risks stem directly from working with the public, others involve the tight timelines and tough schedules so many people in your industry face.
Per the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, many law enforcement officers have “shiftwork,” or work that takes place outside the standard work hours of 7 a.m. to 6 p.m. It is not unusual for people working law enforcement to work different shifts throughout the week or month, and these unusual hours have the potential to negatively impact your health.
Shiftwork increases the risk of certain injuries and conditions
Research shows that, when law enforcement officers work overnight hours and have unusual schedules, it often has a serious impact on their quality of sleep. This may lead to its own health and performance issues, but if you engage in shiftwork, you also face elevated on-the-job injury risks. Shiftwork also has the potential to hinder your immune system’s response, placing you more at risk of developing illnesses.
Shiftwork increases the risk of certain mental health issues
Studies indicate that shiftwork also raises the odds of you and other law enforcement officers experiencing mental health issues. Those who work day shifts are less likely to report having work-related stress than law enforcement officers working in the afternoons or at night. Law enforcement officers who work at night are also four times as likely as those who do not report feeling depressed.
Employers within the law enforcement sector may be able to help reduce the dangers of shiftwork by working to reduce long shifts and ensuring their workers have access to appropriate health or wellness services.