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Daylight Saving Time affects work safety and injuries

Many Denver residents celebrated on Sunday as we moved the clocks forward. With the introduction of Daylight Saving Time, there will be more hours of sunlight for us to enjoy. Of course, the flip side to Daylight Saving Time is a little less sleep for everyone -- a small price to pay for an extra hour of light.

Or is it that small of price? The first few days, or even a full week, after Daylight Saving Time is active makes for a difficult time as people try to adjust their sleep schedules. As a result, work productivity may suffer as employees are a bit lethargic -- and a new study says that the first workday after Daylight Saving Time comes into effect is a more dangerous workday in general for employees.

The study, which was published in the Journal of Applied Psychology, found that not only did more work injuries occur on the Monday after Daylight Saving Time kicked in, but the injuries were more severe too. Researchers looked at injury reports in mines that were filed with the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health. The reports were from 1983 to 2006.

Researchers found that, compared to other days, the Monday after Daylight Saving came into effect saw more injuries. Supplemental research found that people sleep at least 40 minutes less on average on the Sunday when Daylight Saving begins.

Now, this dreaded Monday is already behind us, but there is still an adjustment to be had for many workers who are trying to get their sleep schedules corrected. Accidents are bound to happen during this week, and injured employees need to follow the proper steps in the wake of such an accident to get the help they need.

Source: Scientific American, "Workplace Injuries May Rise Right after Daylight Saving Time," Steve Mirsky, March 9, 2014

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