The first case of its kind was heard at the Workplace Safety and Insurance Appeals Tribunal on February 1, 2017. A female police officer developed a tear in the labrum of her hip. The Tribunal concluded that her job duties, and in particular, the use of the duty belt, significantly contributed to the tear. (You can read Decision No. 310/17 here: http://www.wsiat.on.ca/Decisions/2017/310%2017.pdf
While the study of labral tears is a relatively new area in medical research, several potential causes for the development of these tears have been identified. Most significantly, research has shown that anterior labral tears of the hip (the most common type), occur commonly in the athletic population. They associate the tears with activities such as running and pivoting motions, during which the hip area undergoes significant forces. Now, consider these forces with an additional weight of approximately 15 lbs, and it is a reasonable conclusion that an active police officer would be at risk of developing labral tears in the hip joints.
Since the initial case, the Tribunal has now released 4 more decisions awarding entitlement for labral tears that have developed in the hips of police officers. This suggests a growing trend among the policing population, and it is imperative that police services address this issue and consider alternative options for reducing the risk of such hip injuries among their officers.