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Stress and shift work might be the biggest hazards faced by cops

On Behalf of | Jul 16, 2018 | workers' compensation |

If you have a career in law enforcement in Nebraska, you are a perfect candidate for one or more job-related health complications. Many researchers and safety authorities say police officers are at a higher risk of suffering occupational illnesses than employees in other fields. While incidents, situations and external stimuli with which you deal every day can cause excessive stress, irregular work hours and working shifts can adversely affect your health.

Along with the health impact, the stress and shift work can strain family life and personal relationships. If you are on permanent or long-term night shift, weeks may go by with little or no contact with your family members because you will work while they sleep and you will try to get your rest while your loved ones are up and about, busy with living their lives.

Sleep is a necessity

You need sleep like you need water and food. Sleep is not an option but rather a biological necessity required to maintain a healthy life and help you be safe at work. Fatigue and exhaustion diminish your decision-making abilities and also inhibit your immune system. Furthermore, this increases the risk of developing psychological and mental problems.

Your body has an internal clock that is hardwired to slow down functions when it gets dark. That is why you might have to fight to stay alert during late night shifts, and because your body wants to be active during daylight hours, you might struggle to have a restful sleep during the day. Other factors that might impede your daytime sleeping include family activities and usual daytime noises that even include ambient sounds from the street.

Potential health problems

If you do not get enough quality sleep, the consequences can include any of the following health problems:

  • Compromised immune system
  • Decreased mental faculties
  • Mood disorders
  • Depression
  • Strained relationships
  • Work-related injuries
  • Cancer
  • Heart disease


Along with the effect of sleep deprivation, stress can take an additional toll on your health. You never know what awaits you, and the scenes you face might include dismemberment and death, and you could encounter argumentative, impaired, aggressive, upset, miserable, depressed or angry individuals. Researchers say that daily fatigue and stress can lead to suicide, obesity, sleeplessness and even cancer, high blood pressure, diabetes and stroke.

Financial consequences

Expenses related to medical treatment and various types of therapy could jeopardize your financial stability and cause even more problems with familial relationships. Many of these conditions are difficult to prove as work-related, and skilled legal counsel might help. An experienced workers’ compensation attorney can navigate the complicated claims process in pursuit of maximum benefits.