Spring Forward, but Watch Your Step: Daylight Savings Time Increases Workplace Injuries
March 13th marks the start of Daylight Saving Time, where North Americans adjust their clocks an hour ahead, and in turn, add extra daylight to the end of their day. As a result, many employees are functioning on less sleep which could result in a dangerous Monday work day.
Based on an analysis of a U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics database, employees get 40 minutes less sleep, on average, the Sunday night preceding the switch to Daylight Saving Time. That may seem insignificant, but researchers who analyzed mining injury data from the U.S. National Institute of Occupational Safety and Health database found that, for the period of 1983-2006, there were 5.7% more workplace injuries and 67.6% more work days missed due to injuries on the first Monday following Daylight Saving Time.
The increased danger also affects drivers. The Insurance Corporation of British Columbia (ICBC) reports a higher driving risk the first Monday after Daylight Saving Time. According to statistics averaged from 2005-2009, on the Monday following the start of Daylight Saving Time, car accidents increased 23%.
Keeping these statistics in mind, and with Daylight Saving Time quickly approaching, take extra precautions commuting to work and look out for sleepy co-workers to avoid potential workplace injuries.