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More workers injured after daylight saving time change

Oklahoma workers and employers may want to exercise caution in the days following the daylight saving time change each year. Studies have shown that the annual springtime ritual, which took place on March 8 this year, could lead to an increase in work-related injuries.

In 2009, the "Journal of Applied Psychology" published a study that indicated losing one hour of sleep could cause a spike in the amount and severity of workplace accidents. The authors of the study tracked statistics from the U.S. Department of Labor and the Mine Safety and Health Administration and found that more injuries occurred on the Monday after Americans set their clocks forward. Daylight saving time led to U.S. workers losing an average of 40 minutes of sleep and caused on-the-job injuries to increase 5.7 percent. The amount of workdays lost due to injuries increased nearly 68 percent.

The authors noted that lost sleep causes a drop in attention levels, which could lead to an increase in accidents. They suggest employers reschedule dangerous jobs for later in the week, allowing for workers' internal clocks to adjust to the change. In addition, they said employers might consider delaying the start of the workday by 45 minutes on the Monday and Tuesday after daylight saving time occurs.

Most workers are covered against workplace injuries under their employer's workers' compensation insurance. When someone is hurt on the job, they may file a workers' compensation benefits claim seeking compensation for their medical expenses and a portion of any wages lost while they recover. A worker may benefit by obtaining the help of an attorney when they file their claim to ensure that all the required paperwork is included and all deadlines are met.

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