Daylight Saving switch makes March more dangerous for California workers

Every year as spring approaches, clocks jump ahead one hour, giving Americans an extra hour of natural light during their evenings. While Daylight Saving Time encourages people to spend more time outdoors, arguably helps cut down on energy consumption and has many other benefits, it also has distinct costs that often go overlooked.

Credible research shows that lack of sleep brought on by the spring Daylight Saving Time change results in a measurable increase in workplace injuries. For those California workers injured in the days following the time switch or for the families of workers killed in fatal accidents, taking advantage of the state's workers' compensation system may be the only way to get financial support through the aftermath of a workplace accident.

Work injuries more common and more serious immediately following Daylight Saving Time

According to a study published in the Journal of Applied Psychology, Americans on average sleep 40 fewer minutes over the course of the Sunday night following the spring Daylight Saving Time adjustment. Unfortunately, there are far more serious consequences to "springing forward" than some yawns and the need for a few extra cups of coffee.

Researchers from Michigan State University, using national OSHA database information, found that on the Monday following "Sleepless Sunday" the number of workplace injuries is around 6 percent higher than would be expected on a normal Monday. In addition, the injuries that are suffered by workers on the Monday following spring Daylight Saving Time tend to be more severe than those suffered on other days.

The number of work days missed because of an on-the-job injury is commonly used as a proxy to indicate the severity of the injury. On the Monday after springing forward, the study found that the number of days away from work due to an occupational injury that occurred on that day increased by 67.6 percent over the average.

While the effect on workplace safety is most pronounced on the Monday following spring Daylight Saving Time, it extends into the week. Significantly more serious workplace injuries continue to occur on Tuesday and Wednesday of Daylight Saving Week as well, although by the end of the week, as workers are able to readjust their sleep schedules, the injury rate tapers off to more normal levels.

Contact a workers' compensation attorney if you have been injured in the course of employment

This year, the spring Daylight Saving Time workweek began on March 10. While fatigue can be a contributor to workplace injuries at any time of year, risk is significantly higher during this particular week, as workers are all tired on the same days.

If you were injured in a workplace accident, the California workers' compensation system provides a no fault safety net to pay for medical bills and partial wage replacement. Even if your own fatigue was partially responsible for causing your injury, you may still be entitled to workers' compensation; there is no need to prove negligence by your employer in order to collect benefits.

After suffering a workplace injury, you should get in touch with a California workers' compensation attorney as soon as possible. An experienced workers' compensation lawyer can ensure you get the full benefits you are entitled to as quickly as possible. Call a workers' comp lawyer today to learn more about your rights and remedies following a workplace injury.