his Yearly Event Contributes to Thousands of Workplace Injuries


It’s something that we do every year — so you’d think our bodies would have grown accustomed to it.

But believe it or not, the springtime activity of turning the clocks forward an hour for Daylight Saving Time (DST) might actually be contributing to thousands of injuries in the workplace across the country.

According to ConstructionEquipmentGuide.com, new research from the Society for Human Resource Management reveals that the hour of sleep we lose each spring is having such an impact on workplace performance that the days following Daylight Saving Time see a significant spike in workplace injury.

In fact, by looking at U.S. Department of Labor data from 1983 to 2006, the study found that there is, on average, a 5.7% increase in the occurrence of workplace injuries and nearly 68% more workdays lost to injuries in the days following DST.

Losing just one hour of sleep might not seem like it would have significant effects. However, when the effects of lost sleep are combined with hazardous work environments like warehouses, the consequences can be dangerous — especially when it can take several days for our bodies to adjust to sleep loss.

Currently, more than 360,000 people work at 16,000 warehouses and storage facilities across the country, according to Safety.BLR.com. At these warehouses, an incredible one in four workplace transport-related accidents involves the use of a forklift truck. In the aftermath of Daylight Saving Time this spring, that number could rise even higher, with personnel nodding off as they operate forklifts.

To help prevent these injuries, the Society for Human Resource Management’s study suggests that employers and managers schedule hazardous work activities for later in the week following Sunday’s Daylight Saving Time switch. Alternatively, workers’ schedules could be modified to allow them to come into work 45 minutes later on Monday and Tuesday before gradually returning to their normal schedules.

Interestingly, the study found that fall Daylight Saving Time, when clocks are set back one hour, has no real effect on work performance or the rate of workplace injury.

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