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Time change and the connection to workplace accidents

Many Ohio residents were a little bit more tired at work this Monday morning due to Daylight Savings Time. But the time switch, which causes us to lose an hour each March, may have an unintended and dangerous consequence. There is a documented increase the in the number of workplace injuries that occur on the Monday after we switch to Daylight Savings Time.

According to experts, most people lose about 40 minutes of sleep because of the switch. This lack of sleep leads to a 6% increase in the risk of car accidents, as well as an increase in the risk of a workplace accidents. One expert sees such elevated numbers that he jokes about changing the name of Sleepy Monday to Risky Monday. The University of Washington professor and expert in organizational behavior says the increased risk continues through the next few days but fades by the end of week one.

Not only is the risk of injury higher, but this expert sees more severe injuries because of the time change. Although the missed sleep may seem negligible, the impact is far from small. Even rates of heart attacks are higher on this Monday.

Whether it's due to time change or not, the state of Ohio has established a workers' compensation system to help employees recover who are injured during the course of employments. A workers' compensation claim can cover certain medical costs and therapy bills related to the injury. If an employee is unable to work for a period of time due to the injury, a workers' comp claim can help pay for time missed.

Although workers' compensation is available, the best course of action is to prevent workplace injuries in the first place. And, in the case of the "spring forward," this can be as easy as going to bed an hour earlier.

Source: Sci-Tech Today, "Daylight Savings Time Comes with Risks," Karen Weintraub, March 7, 2014

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