NIOSH to Develop Training on Shift Work, Long Hours in Law Enforcement

Published July 18, 2019

A new project proposed by NIOSH is intended to inform the development of a training program to raise awareness among law enforcement officers and employers about the risks associated with shift work and long work hours. According to the agency, these work schedules and inadequate sleep are likely “critical contributors” to health problems among police officers. Shorter life spans, high occupational injury rates, and chronic illnesses are among the health and safety risks associated with work in law enforcement. NIOSH’s new training program will provide workplace strategies for employers and personal strategies for officers to reduce these risks.

NIOSH is proposing to pilot-test the training with 30 recent graduates of a police academy in their first field experience and 30 experienced officers. The agency intends to use the findings from the pilot test to improve the training program; researchers will reinforce or expand training content based on these results. NIOSH hopes the new training program will improve management practices, including the design of work schedules, and help officers cope with the demands of shift work and long work hours.

NIOSH is accepting comments on the proposed project until Aug. 9, 2019. More information is available in the Federal Register.