The reduction in daylight hours after the clocks go back on Sunday will cost the construction industry more than £500m through increased numbers of accidents.

The research, carried out by Speedy Hire, the tool hire company, and based on Health and Safety Executive figures, shows the number of serious accidents caused by slips and trips increases by 11% when the clocks are put back one hour in the autumn. The cost is estimated at more than £512m each year.

Bob Blackman, national secretary of construction at the T&G, said the industry needed to be more aware of the problem. “You need to have a recognition that carrying out work in fading or inadequate light is more dangerous,” he said. Mark Turnbull, group health and safety manager at Speedy Hire, said: “Winter brings with it risks and an increased chance of injury.”

The research compared the number of serious injuries and accidents requiring more than three days off work before and after the autumn clock change between 2001 and 2005. The average number of accidents before the change was 268 a month, rising to 299 after it.