A study of 750,000 workers compensation statistics has revealed that 'morningitis' is a real workplace risk.
Dr Eric Wigglesworth will present his analysis of 20 years of workers compensation claims to delegates at the Safety In Action Conference on March 20 in Melbourne.
Dr Wigglesworth's study of Queensland data shows that every weekday morning was more hazardous than the afternoon but the effect was most pronounced on Monday and gradually tapered off during the week.
"What is new in this study is that there are more injuries on Mondays than on Tuesdays, than on Wednesdays, than on Thursdays, than on Fridays, and this is due primarily to the reduction in the morning and not the afternoon totals. To my knowledge, this has not previously been reported anywhere else in the world," Dr Wigglesworth said ahead of his address to the Safety In Action Conference.
"Most previous studies were based on far smaller numbers and concentrated on the so-called 'Monday morning excess' attributed to those workers who suffered a weekend sprain or strain or other injury not requiring immediate medical attention and who staggered in on Monday to claim an injury at work. The results of this study show these spurious claims actually represent just a tiny 1 per cent of claims."
More research is needed to try to determine the cause, according to Dr Wigglesworth.
"The best working hypothesis currently available, based on these data, is that increased experience results in a reduction of injuries, although this is nullified by fatigue over long periods of exposure," Dr Wigglesworth said.
Dr Wigglesworth will present his latest research results at the Safety In Action Conference, which is hosted by the Safety Institute of Australia's Victorian division and sponsored by WorkSafe Victoria.
The Conference and concurrent trade show run from March 20 to 22 next year at the Melbourne Exhibition Centre.