Increased Workplace Accidents During Daylight Savings Time

On Sunday, November 4, 2018 at 2:00 AM, most Americans ‘fall back’ to adjust their clocks, and more importantly their minds and bodies, to 1:00 AM for the end of daylight savings time.

The Circadian Rhythm and decreased awareness and acuity

While an extra hour of sleep does appeal to most people, this can throw off the body’s circadian rhythm which may result in decreased awareness and acuity – especially at the jobsite. When the body’s natural sleep cycle is disrupted, this can lead to worse sleep including insomnia or sleepiness.

Daylight savings can increase the frequency of work injuries

Evidence suggests that time changes like daylight savings can increase the frequency of work injuries. This has especially been shown to be the case following the start of daylight savings in the spring where Americans ‘spring ahead’ and lose an hour against the clock. A 2009 study examined over 500,000 mining injuries over a 20+ year period and found a 5.7% increase in injuries on the Monday following the time change. The study also found these injuries to be more severe, resulting in a 70% increase in the number of days missed due to these accidents.

The following tips are offered to prepare for time changes that may affect your performance and health at the jobsite:

1. Get more sleep

Easier said than done, of course. But, in the weeks and days leading up to a time change, make gradual changes to your sleep schedule to accommodate for needing to both fall asleep and rise earlier.

2. Pay attention to your diet

Sleep deprivation can affect hormone levels, which can change your appetite causing increased cravings and potential over-eating.

3. Give yourself more time to commute

A direct result from feeling drowsy is delayed response time which can have a great impact on California roads and highways. Research has found a spike in car crashes following daylight savings time changes.

4. Put your phone away

Whether you’re reading a book on your smartphone, checking social media or catching up on twitter, studies have shown that the modern phone produces light similar to sunlight which can suppress melatonin – the hormone naturally produced by the body to regulate sleep. By disrupting melatonin production, smartphone lighting can make it harder to fall and stay asleep.

Have you been injured on the job?

If you've been injured on the job in San Diego and considering filing a workers’ compensation claim, give call us a call at (619) 528-9800 for a free consultation. We’ll review your case for free and advise you on the steps for getting the maximum amount of benefits you deserve.