An extra hour can make a world of difference. Would you believe that workplace accident rates skyrocket during the transition to Daylight Saving Time? In fact, that is one of the most dangerous days for Oklahoma workers, according to statistics, largely because Americans lose about 40 minutes of sleep after the "spring forward" on Sunday. That makes for some seriously tired -- and seriously injury-prone -- employees at high-risk jobs.
Experts say that studies conducted on miners show that injury rates increased by nearly 6 percent on the Monday after the DST switch. Even more disconcerting is the fact that the severity of the workplace injury accidents increased along with the frequency. Injuries occurring on that Monday led to a two-thirds increase in the number of days missed because of unsafe working conditions.
Studies also demonstrate increased danger on the nation's road after DST goes into effect. Some believe that the increase is simply an artifact of the research, however, because traffic accidents may be caused by glare and the angle of the sun. However, the study conducted on coal miners seems to have eliminated that problem, definitively showing increased safety concern on the Monday after employees switch to DST.
Researchers say that the transition off of DST is unlikely to cause problems, as workers are prone to sleep about 12 minutes longer on those days. In the springtime, however, workers are not tired at their usual time, so they stay up an extra hour or so. When their alarm sounds at 6 a.m., they have received an hour less sleep than they would have otherwise.
Victims who have suffered workers' compensation injuries because of DST may benefit from the assistance of an employment attorney in Oklahoma. These professionals can provide additional information that may help victims receive compensation for medical expenses and other costs. No worker should be subject to unsafe working conditions simply because of a time change.
Source: The Atlantic Cities, "Be Careful! Workplace Injuries Spike Following the Switch to Daylight Saving Time" Rebecca J. Rosen, Mar. 10, 2014