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One Hour Makes a Difference: Worker Accidents Increase

The causes of workplace accidents are numerous, but are commonly a result of ignorance, carelessness, insufficient lighting, unsuitable clothing worn by the worker for the work conditions, or lack of proper safeguards. John Calder of the American Society of Mechanical Engineers believed the chief cause of workplace accidents was carelessness of either the worker or employer, combined with ignorance. He also found that the number of accidents increase as the days grow shorter in the fall and daylight decreases. (New International Year Book for the Year 1911)

When we change the clocks during daylight savings time, there are both advantages and disadvantages. On the plus side, morning people can start their day a bit earlier with an hour of day light starting earlier than it does without daylight savings time. Businesses may find people are more willing to work late, since it’s dark when they leave work anyway – may as well put in a couple extra hours of work time!

On the other hand, there are some negative psychological effects associated with the change of the clocks. Both humans and animals have internal biological clocks which tell us when we should sleep, wake up, eat, or relax. When we change the time twice a year, our biological clocks get thrown off course and we can experience both physical and mental problems as the result – particularly the first two weeks after a time change. There is also evidence of the time change causing an increase in worker accidents, too. Workers on the job after dark have decreased visibility which can increase accidents.

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