A recent study in the Journal of Applied Psychology revealed an increase in workplace injuries in the days after Daylight Savings time. No corresponding increase in the number of work injuries occurred when the clocks switched to standard time. This suggests that lack of sleep when this time switch occurs is a contributing factor to on-the-job accidents because employees who are overtired are less alert and more likely to make dangerous mistakes.
While the study outcome should prompt employees and employers to be more alert when the clocks change, it also shows the importance of getting a good nights rest every day before work. Fatigue does not disqualify a worker from recovering workers’ compensation benefits and those who get hurt doing work tasks should consult with an experienced workplace accident lawyer in Massachusetts. Still workers should make a commitment to not going to work tired in order to prevent a serious or potentially fatal accident.
Workplace Injury Risks Increase Due to Fatigue
When daylight savings time goes into effect, people sleep an average of 40 minutes less on the Sunday night immediately following the time-change. Reports for injuries in mines between 1983 and 2006 showed that this lack of sleep caused not just more injuries but also more severe injuries. For example, on average, 3.6 more injuries happened on days following time-change days than on non- change days. This was a 5.7 percent increase in the number of injuries after daylight savings time.
The injuries on the days after the change resulted in 2,649 more days of work being lost as compared with other days. In total, there was a 67.6 percent increase in days lost due to injury and the data made clear that there was “a considerable increase in injury severity on days following phase advances.”
Other studies have also reflected a link between insufficient sleep and an increased in work injury. For example, a 2012 report from the American College of Occupational and Environmental Medicine found that:
- Among workers with less than five ours of sleep, there is an estimated annualized injury rate of 7.89 injuries per 100 workers.
- Among workers with five to 5.9 hours of sleep, there is an injury rate of 5.21 per 100 workers.
- Among workers getting between 6 and 6.9 hours of sleep, there is an estimated annualized injury rate of 3.62 per 100 workers.
- For workers getting 7 to 7.9 hours, the estimated annualized injury rate falls to 2.27 per 100 workers.
- Workers getting between 8 and 8.9 hours of sleep have an injury rate of 2.50 per 100 workers.
- When workers get between 9 and 9.9 hours of sleep, the injury rate is 2.22 per 100 workers.
These results were across multiple industries and controlled for other factors including occupation, type of pay, education, sex and body mass. The data clearly shows that getting enough sleep before going to work should be a serious priority for those who are dedicated to staying safe on the job.
Call the Law Offices of Jeffrey S. Glassman for a free and confidential consultation to discuss your workers’ compensation claim– 1-888-367-2900.
More Blog Entries:
Travelers Insurance Identifies Common Injuries, March 3, 2014.