The goal of this exploratory study was to test the hypothesis that vehicle- and task-related factors, work organization, and the equipment worn about the waist are causes of back problems in police officers assigned to auto-patrol duty.
The researchers conducted interviews, visited police stations, and met with representatives of municipalities, the CSST (Commission de la santé et de la sécurité du travail du Québec, Québec Occupational Health and Safety Commission), the Bureau de normalisation du Québec and General Motors of Canada. In all, 600 people participated in the study.
The results provided yet another demonstration of the complex nature of lumbar back pain in police officers. Although it was impossible to evaluate the relative importance of each of the causal factors related to equipment and work organization, the study was able to demonstrate the inadequacy of equipment available to officers on patrol duty.