Workers compensation-reported injuries among security and law enforcement personnel in the private versus public sectors

W. S. Witt, T. L. Bunn, S. Slavova

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background: Private and Public security and law enforcement (SLE) sectors perform multiple overlapping job duties. Methods: Workers’ compensation (WC) SLE first reports of injury (FROI) data (2005–2015) were analyzed to describe injuries, identify differences in awarded WC benefits, and compare the probability of a FROI resulting in awarded benefits between Public and Private SLE. A Pearson’s chi-square test was utilized and reverse selection logistic regression was performed to estimate the odds ratio that a FROI would result in an awarded benefit for Private vs. Public SLE, while adjusting for relevant covariates. Results: Private SLE had higher FROI percentages for younger and for older workers, fall injuries, and back injuries, compared to Public SLE. The adjusted odds that a FROI resulted in an awarded benefit was 1.4 times higher for Private SLE compared to Public SLE; (95% confidence interval [CI] = 1.09,1.69). Middle-aged SLE employee adjusted odds of awarded benefits was 3.3 times (95% CI [1.96, 5.39]) higher compared to younger employees. Adjusted odds of awarded benefits was 3.8 times (95% CI [1.34, 10.61]) higher for gunshots and 1.7 times (95% CI [1.22, 2.39]) higher for fractures/dislocations compared to other nature of injuries. Motor vehicle injury, fall/slip, and strain related FROIs had elevated adjusted odds of awarded benefits compared to other injury causes. Conclusions: Results highlight the importance of injury prevention education and worker safety training for Private and Public SLE sector workers on fall prevention (especially in Private SLE) and strain prevention (especially in Public SLE), as well as motor vehicle safety.

Original languageEnglish
Article number27
JournalInjury Epidemiology
Issue number1
StatePublished - Dec 1 2018

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
The authors would like to acknowledge Mr. Peter Rock for his valuable insight and assistance in carrying out the statistical analysis on this study. The authors also would like to thank the Kentucky Department of Workers’ Claims for providing the first report of injury and claim data. The Kentucky Injury Prevention and Rersearch Center performed this study as the bona fide agent for the Kentucky Department for Public Health. This work was supported by the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health under Grant number 2460OH008483–13. Its contents are solely the responsibility of the authors and do not necessarily represent the official views of NIOSH. NIOSH had no role in the study design; in the collection, analysis and interpretation of data; in the writing of the report; or in the decision to submit the article for Publication. The workers’ compensation data were obtained through a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with the Kentucky Office of Workers’ Claims. The MOU states that the data cannot be shared; data requests can be directed to the Kentucky Office of Workers’ Claims.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2018, The Author(s).


  • Fall injuries
  • First reports of injuries
  • Job tenure
  • Private and public security and law enforcement sectors
  • Strain injuries

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine (all)


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