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Time switch leads to increase in work injuries.

The switch from standard time to daylight saving time each March in the United States can mean more than just turning clocks ahead one hour--it can mean a greater risk of workplace injury.

An analysis of mine injuries from 1983 to 2006 revealed that 576,292 injuries were reported to the Mine Safety and Health Administration during that period. The analysis also found that an average of 3.6 more injuries were reported on the Mondays following the switch to daylight saving time compared to other days, and 2,649 more days of work were lost as a result of the injuries (a 68 percent increase). Work experience did not appear to play a role in the number of injuries suffered.

The researchers also looked at data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics' American Time Use Survey, which measures the amount of time Americans spend engaged in various activities, including sleep. The data confirm that people sleep less in the days after they turn their docks forward each March for example, they sleep an average of 40 minutes less on the Sunday night they switch to daylight saving time.

The researchers did not find any significant changes in the number and severity of workplace injuries on the Mondays after the switch back to standard time, when people "gain" an hour. Further analysis of the American Time Use Survey showed that people had a much easier time adjusting their sleep schedules and did not, on average, sleep less or more after they changed to standard time.

The findings are reported in the September issue of the Journal of Applied Psychology, which is published by the American Psychological Association.

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Publication:The Journal of Employee Assistance
Article Type:Brief article
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Oct 1, 2009
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