Aviva Risk Management Solutions is warning employers and workers of the accidents or injuries that can occur as the days darken.
Phil Grace, liability risk manager, Aviva, said: “The risks that arise when the clocks go back are serious enough for the Government to have announced plans to investigate extending British Summer Time throughout the year. The House of Commons Transport Committee concluded that the period at the end of British Summer Time - immediately after the clocks go back - is a particularly dangerous period for road travel.
“The Department goes further to say it has strong evidence that around 80 fewer people would be killed each year on the UK’s roads if the Government amended the arrangements for changing the clocks in the winter and summer.
“In the first few days after the clocks go back, it is important even if you are familiar with the route you take to work to be extra vigilant, and look out for cyclists and pedestrians who may be wearing darker-coloured clothing. Commuters who walk or cycle should consider wearing high visibility clothing to help drivers see them.
“It’s not just commuting to work in the dark that can cause problems, but accidents can also happen in the workplace. This is especially true for outdoor occupations such as construction, farming and delivery services, which may be working in darkness in the early morning and late evening.”
“Those working either mainly or partly outdoors should try to schedule a later start in the mornings and earlier finish in the evenings, as illuminating an outdoor workplace such as a farm or site can be difficult.
“If employees use vehicles such as forklift trucks in warehouses, ensure that the vehicle is fitted with lights and is in good working order.
“Around the workplace, ensure car parks and pathways are well-lit. If staff are first to arrive in the morning, make sure they know where interior light switches are located, so they don’t have to walk through an empty building in darkness to turn them on.
“Ensure pathways are clear and interior spaces are tidy, and that there are no boxes in the corridor, to avoid slips, trips and falls in the low light. Think about putting in lighting in any dark areas of the workplace.
“Finally, if you manage or are responsible for maintaining the building, check any external lights are working, as they may not have been used for a number of months. If lights are on a timer, check that this is reset to reflect the time change. If the lighting system works on sensors, check they are set correctly, ready for use, and that any dead bulbs have been replaced.
Phil continued: “The benefit of the clocks going back may be an extra hour in bed, but failing to manage the risks associated with those darker mornings and nights could result in some sleepless nights for businesses.”