Employers and workers alike may want to be extra vigilant about workplace health and safety this week, following the clock change for daylight savings.
The Sleep Health Foundation is warning people that daylight savings often triggers fatigue and drowsiness, which may pose a safety threat – especially in jobs where the operation of machinery is required.
“If people are driving, using heavy machinery or in situations where safety is an issue they need to be extra vigilant as they may not be as alert as they would normally be, especially at the start and end of each day,” president of the Sleep Health Foundation, Dr David Hillman, said in a statement.
Although clocks were changed over the weekend (October 7), it may take some people awhile to adjust.
“Everyone’s internal body clock or circadian rhythms will have to adjust to the time shift, and while the majority of people will do so without any problems, people do need to be aware that there is an increased likelihood of fatigue and sleepiness while their body clocks adjust to the new timeframe,” Dr Hillman said.
The states of New South Wales, Victoria, South Australia, Tasmania, and the Australian Capital Territory all participate in daylight savings.
While this occurrence only happens twice a year, the Sleep Health Foundation is also reminding people that many Australians suffer from sleep disorders all year round.
According to their statistics, approximately 1.5 million Australians – that is ten per cent of the population – have a sleep disorder of some type.
This is estimated to cost the economy three billion dollars in lost productivity, says the Sleep Health Foundation.
It also causes many workplace and motor vehicle accidents, which add an extra financial burden of $650 million.
This research by the Sleep Health Foundation serves as a reminder for individuals to be careful at work and when behind the wheel if they feel fatigued.
Police are regularly reminding individuals to avoid driving when tired and to take plenty of breaks if travelling long distance.
Those that work in high-risk jobs should also take heed of this advice and try to turn up to work fresh – or take breaks when needed.
If you are ever involved in a car or workplace accident, then you may want to make a claim for compensation.