What if you could predict which days would produce the most workplace injuries? One study suggests that a particular annual occurrence increases the likelihood for injuries on one day each year.
It’s moving the clock forward for Daylight Savings Time (DST).
The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reports employees on average get 40 minutes less sleep on the Sunday night of the switch to DST.
What’s a little bit of lost sleep matter? Researchers at Michigan State University wanted to find out. They analyzed federal government data on mining injuries during a 24-year period.
Result: There were 5.7% more workplace injuries on the Monday after the DST change. And 2,649 days of work were lost as a result of those injuries, a 68% increase over other workdays. Some good news: The switch back to standard time in the fall doesn’t have the same effect, according to the analysis.
More evidence: While not a work-focused survey, the Insurance Corporation of British Columbia found car crashes increased 23% on the Monday after DST.
For companies that have some flexibility in their schedules, it may not be a bad idea to postpone particularly hazardous work to sometime later next week after employees have had time to adjust to DST.
Click here for a PDF of the Michigan State study.