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Less sleep due to time change translates into more work accidents

With the recent time change due to Daylight Savings, it is likely that many in the Piedmont Triad area welcomed the addition day light toward the end of the day. While the impact of the moving the hands of the clock forward one hour is often deemed to be positive, the loss of an hour could have a negative ramifications as well. This is particularly true when it comes to its impact on workers. A study conducted several years ago supports this.

The study, which utilized data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, determined that the first day back to work after the time change, most people got 40 minutes less sleep than usual. While in the scheme of things this may not seem like much time, statistics from the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, indicate that more workplace injuries occur on that day involving those who work in jobs considered hazardous--around 5.7 percent more. The injuries tend to be more serious in nature which translates into an increase of close to 68 percent more days of work lost by employees.

The reasons behind the increase in worker injuries are likely obvious. Workers who feel drowsy are unable to focus the way they do when fully rested, increasing the chances that steps routinely taken to keep a workplace safe will be missed. Perhaps not surprisingly, the same issues do not appear to arise in the fall when the time change results in workers getting an extra hour of sleep.

Source: Zanesville Times Recorder, "Study shows time change affects worker safety," Jim Evans, March 16, 2013

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