n Occupational Health Southern Africa - Occupational hazards among police officers in South Africa - research

Volume 25 Number 6
  • ISSN : 1024-6274
  • E-ISSN: 2226-6097


Background: Globalisation has led to an increase in international crimes, which may increase the incidence of occupational hazards among police officers. The health and safety of police officers is a major concern, given that police work is a high-risk occupation. However, there is limited research conducted among police officers, particularly in developing countries.
Objective: The objective of our study was to describe the occupational hazards that affect police officers, in order to recommend a strategy for prevention, control and management.
Methods: A cross-sectional study was conducted among police officers in the City of Tshwane Metropolitan District, Gauteng province. Forty-five police officers from 15 South African Police Service (SAPS) stations were asked to complete a standardised questionnaire about health and safety.
Results: Shooting of police officers was the most commonly reported occupational hazard (37.8%), and gunshot wounds (57.8%) were the most common occupational injuries. Stress and tuberculosis were reported by a considerable number of participants (26.7% and 20.0%, respectively).
Conclusion: This study provided a better understanding of occupational hazards affecting police officers, and helped to identify a strategy for prevention, control and management.

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