NEW YORK – In the lines of Shakespeare’s Julius Caesar, a soothsayer warns the emperor “Beware the Ides of March.” Of course, Caesar ignores that message and today, the Ides of March still hold an ominous meaning to millions of Americans and researchers are once again sending the same warning after the second Sunday in March.
Every year, that is the time most Americans push the clock forward an hour. It sounds harmless but a 2009 research paper from Michigan State University states Daylight Saving Time has a striking correlation with workplace injuries.
Using data from the U.S. Department of Labor and Mine Safety, the researchers found workplace and construction accidents spiked nearly 6 percent and workplace injuries resulted in significantly higher rates of lost work days.
“That one hour can really make a huge difference. Tests show again and again that a worker’s attention to detail drops off if the body doesn’t get enough rest and with so much construction in the city, workers should be urged to get some sleep in New York,” construction accident lawyer Ross Cellino said.
Researchers at Michigan State pointed out that it wasn’t uncommon for workers to complain how tired they were in the week following the lost hour of sleep however workers would rarely blame an accident on sleep loss.
“Employers set the guidelines and standards so these injuries don’t happen,” Cellino said. “Unfortunately, we’ve had cases where employers don’t follow their own guidelines in order to meet a quota or there isn’t enough supervision to enforce the guidelines a company has in place.”
Biology shows the body can undergo drastic changes after a loss of time, even as little as one hour. Take jet lag for example: many travelers complain of fatigue after returning from a west coast flight. In essence, the same thing happens to millions of Americans every March.
New York construction accident attorneys suggest safety first in the days following a time switch. Heed the warning signs. After all, Caesar didn’t (and we know what happened to him). Et tu, Brute?