Patrol officers are experiencing high incident rates of musculoskeletal injuries particularly low back pain that has attracted the attention of researchers. The purpose of this preliminary study was to better understand the underlying risk factors of musculoskeletal issues in patrol officers. Focus group discussions, interviews, and shadowing sessions were conducted to collect data. Grounded theory methodology was used to analyze the qualitative data and a model was built based on patrol officers' experiences. The findings identified three major categories of risk factors that emerged from officers' narratives: duty gear, vehicle seat, and physical fitness. It is appropriate to note that ergonomic corrections to the current duty belt and vehicle seat are not up to par with officers' changing occupational demands. More importantly, it is, therefore, recommended that physical fitness programs should be built into the schedules of officers and set as a prerequisite to any kind of ergonomic intervention.
Available at: http://works.bepress.com/mercan-derafshi/1/