Losing Sleep Raises Risk of Workplace Injuries
The recent change to Daylight Saving Time caused many people to lose an hour of sleep and served as an illustration of how inadequate sleep can raise the risk of errors and injuries in the workplace.
The time change went into effect March 10, and most people across the country set their clocks forward by one hour. The National Sleep Foundation states that many people required several days to adjust to loss of one hour of sleep.
Getting less than adequate sleep may not seem so bad, especially in a workaholic culture like ours that seems to prize sleeping less and working more. Many people believe that they get enough sleep, but the National Sleep Foundation firmly says that most people in America do not sleep as much as they need to perform at their best the next day.
In fact, a study that was published in the Journal of Applied Psychology in 2009 found that when a worker lost just one hour of sleep, it proved very hazardous in the workplace. The worker’s risk of injury increased because of the lost sleep.
The study calculated the increased risk of work injuries from the loss of one hour of sleep due to Daylight Saving Time. It estimated that the risk of workplace injuries rose 5.7 percent on the day after the time change when workers lost about 40 minutes of sleep. They also found a nearly 60 percent increase in work days lost due to the injuries.
Michael Parsons is an Atlanta workers’ compensation lawyer, representing injured workers in the metro Atlanta region and helping them recover the workers’ compensation benefits that they have earned.