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Daylight savings opens the door to workplace injuries

Every spring, most North Carolina residents turn their clocks ahead by an hour as a result of daylight saving time. Although many people don't like the idea of losing an hour of sleep, they may not realize that this ritual has a number of unexpected health and financial costs. Specifically, this energy-saving measure creates an increased workplace accident risk for construction workers.

Losing an hour of sleep has been connected to a nationwide increase in the number of mining and construction site accidents. When people are groggier at work, they could be more prone to making mistakes and creating the risk of a workplace accident.

Beyond the health implications of daylight saving time, researchers also found that the time change has a significant financial impact on businesses. In total, the shift leads to nearly $435 million in annual financial losses, largely due to lost productivity.

As workers feel the effects of daylight savings, they should also be aware of the protection provided by North Carolina's worker's compensation laws. In the event they become injured while performing work-related tasks, they may be eligible for a benefit from their employer. This aid can help cover day-to-day expenses while a person is rendered physically unable to work. Beyond reimbursement for wages, workers' compensation may also include measures to help cover medical costs and expenses related to job-related retraining.

Of course, no one wants to deal with the hassle of losing sleep, but dealing with a serious injury is far more inconvenient. This is why it's often critical to understand your rights after becoming involved in a workplace accident.

Source: SmartPlanet.com, "U.S. economy lost $433,982,548 because of daylight saving time," Tuan C. Nguyen, March 13, 2013

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