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NIOSH pilot program to identify ways to prevent law enforcement officer line-of-duty deaths

Research focuses on motor vehicle crashes and struck-by fatalities

Posted February 15, 2017

A newly released flyer from the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) describes research into traffic fatalities for on-duty law enforcement officers. The flyer provides information on NIOSH’s Law Enforcement Officer Motor Vehicle Crash and Struck-by Fatality Investigations Pilot Program, including the program’s investigations and reports. The research is funded by the National Institute of Justice.

According to statistics provided by the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund, 900,000 state and local law enforcement officers worked in the U.S. in 2012. From 2005-2014, a total of 1,479 law enforcement officers died in the line-of duty. This number includes:

  • 485 line-of-duty deaths due to vehicle crashes (33 percent of the total), and
  • 134 line-of-duty deaths due to being struck-by a vehicle (9 percent of the total).

The reports provide:

  • Descriptions of incidents, with all personal information removed;
  • Factors that contributed to the fatal event; and
  • Recommendations for the law enforcement community on preventing similar deaths.

The investigations, conducted by NIOSH safety professionals, engineers, or industrial hygienists experienced in identifying workplace hazards, aim to:

  • Learn more about the risks law enforcement officers face on the job, and
  • Identify ways to prevent motor vehicle crash and struck-by deaths.

NIOSH hopes the pilot program’s investigations and reports will help the law enforcement community avoid similar line-of-duty deaths.

View the flyer on the NIOSH website.

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