On November 1st, clocks must be moved back one hour to mark the end of Daylight-Saving Time. While this change will result in (most) people getting an extra hour of sleep, it is also important to note that those who work very early hours as people tend to do in the AEC industries, will be forced to grapple with additional darkness on sites during work hours and potential fatigue brought on by having to readjust their sleep patterns to match the time change.
During the period that it takes our bodies to adjust to the change, some people may feel tired for a few weeks, which could affect overall performance on job sites, while operating equipment, and while driving. Therefore, extra vigilance is necessary during that time, particularly when behind a motor vehicle’s wheel or using dangerous equipment.
It is also the perfect time of year to check and replace batteries in smoke and carbon monoxide detectors, flashlights, and other battery-operated equipment. Smoke detectors, carbon monoxide detectors, and fire extinguishers should be thoroughly inspected to ensure that they are not past the manufacturer’s recommended life span. Like fire extinguishers, some equipment can be serviced to be brought back into working condition, while others must be completely replaced. Either way, it is important to perform regular maintenance of critical equipment and the time change is a perfect reminder to do just that.
The end of Daylight-Saving Time is a sure reminder that winter is right around the corner. Take this time to perform regular maintenance on your car, like checking the tires. Consider preparing a winter driving emergency kit for your automobiles, so you don’t get stuck while out performing work duties or personal activities. Items such as flashlights, additional batteries, a blanket, flares, sand, and gloves should be included in your winter preparedness kit. Depending on where you live, you may wish to add other items.
This is a perfect time to review your location’s health and safety policies and ensure all employees are familiar with the same. Consider incorporating best practices to combat the rise in accidents brought about by time changes such as operating dangerous equipment when the sun has fully risen and workers are less tired, if possible.
A responsible safety professional should check all personal protective equipment (PPE) on job sites and in offices to ensure that it is in good working order and has not expired. In the age of COVID-19, this is also a good time to review pandemic safety protocols with employees, making sure that they understand the expectations for everyone in each physical location.
Going to bed an hour earlier starting a few days before Daylight Saving Time is a good way to acclimate easier to the change. Following these tips both at work and at home will help ease the transition, especially for those who work early morning hours.
Walden’s health and safety professionals are always on the lookout for ways to protect workers from potential job site and work place hazards. Contact us today at 516-624-7200 if you wish to learn more about the services Walden provides.