The loss of sleep that typically results from “springing forward” with daylight savings time (DST) increases the risk of workplace accidents and injuries, according to a study published in the Journal of Applied Psychology (a publication of the American Psychological Association). Although DST only causes about an hour or so of sleep to be lost (if workers go to bed and rise at the same time as they usually do), the loss of just an hour of sleep can be particularly risky for those who work in particularly hazardous or potentially dangerous environments, such as construction workers, railroad employees, miners, fishermen, etc.
According to this 2009 study, the risk of workplace injuries was the greatest the Monday after employees moved their clocks forward; however, the lethargy and problems focusing that were associated with DST sleep deprivation were found to persist throughout the week following the time change as workers slowly adjusted their sleep cycles.
In contrast to this finding, when switching to standard time (i.e., moving clocks backwards an hour in November), workers were found to experience no change to their productivity or energy levels, and there was no significant change reported to affect the incidence and severity of workplace injuries during this “fall back” time change.
For diligent employers who are always looking to improve workplace safety and minimize the incidence of workplace accidents, researchers in this study and other experts recommend that employers do their best to reschedule any particularly dangerous or hazardous jobs for times other than the week following DST.
If you have sustained a workplace injury and are considering (or in the process of) filing a workers compensation claim, it’s essential that you contact the Colorado workers compensation lawyers at the Law Office of Michael P. Dominick. Our legal professionals have a proven track record of success when it comes to securing our Clients the maximum possible compensation for their injuries and financial losses. For a thorough evaluation of your case, along with expert advice on the best manner in which to move forward, call us at (303) 447-2644.