Fall back safely

The end of daylight saving time brings extra safety risks for workers. Find tips for staying well-rested, alert, and secure.

posted November 04, 2016

Fall back safelyMany people look forward to a few extra zzz's on November 6. But the time change also can disrupt sleep patterns, cause commuting concerns, and mean extra hours for shift workers.

As you turn back the clock, don't forget these important safety reminders.

Find your rhythm

It takes time to adjust to a new sleep schedule. Tossing and turning at night can make it harder to focus at work the next day and create a higher risk for injuries and accidents. Resist the temptation to use extra nighttime hours for binge watching or other activities. Instead, gradually adjust your sleeping, eating, and exercising times by 15 to 20 minutes each day until the new routine kicks in.

Be safe, be seen

As the sun sets earlier in the day, use extra precautions traveling to and from work. Pay attention to what's happening around you; avoid distractions such as talking on your cell phone or texting while walking. Walk with purpose and have your keys ready before you exit your building. Report any suspicious activities.

If you commute by bike or on foot, check your gear to make sure lights and reflectors are bright enough to be seen. Always wear highly visible, reflective clothing. Drivers should stay alert and allow extra time for stopping. (To test your reaction time and find safety tips, print this bookmark.)

Combat fatigue

The seasonal time change can really take a toll on shift workers. Avoid having employees work back-to-back shifts, particularly the week after daylight saving time ends. For workers who must put in extra hours, take extra care to control safety hazards and provide bright lighting. Also, consider offering healthy food options, a safe place for short naps, and access to exercise facilities.

Remember, eating well and exercising are two of the best ways to combat the health impacts associated with seasonal time changes. To learn more about sleep, fatigue, and shift work, visit


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