is it safe to carry on working after having a hypo?

Hi. I'm a new diabetic who was only diagnosed last June. I'm on medication to control my diabetes. I have had a few falls so I've been advised to monitor my sugar levels. It was a very hot day one day during the heat wave. I had a reading of 4 and felt quite ill. I managed to get my blood sugar up to 5, but still felt shaky and not quite right. I asked my manager if i could go home as i felt pretty ill. She told me to take five minutes, but she wasn't going to let me go home. After ten minutes, i still felt quite ill. But, she still refused to let me go home. Is this legal or even right? Please help.

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8 Replies

  • Do you have a personnel department or even a "First Aider/Medic" at your firm that you can talk to?

    Would you even have been safe to travel home if you were still feeling unwell.

    I worked with a "rogue" diabetic for 17 years who was for ever slumping under his desk but never once did he ask to be taken home and given time and food/drink he got back to "normal".

    I'm not a medically trained person but hopefully there is someone on here who can give you good advice on what rights you have in the workplace.

    I wish you well.

  • Hi and welcome, sheilasumman to the group. Please feel free to continue posting postings/comments, questions, reading and commenting on other member's postings/comments, taking the polls on the Polls section, attending the Monthly Meetings with the rest of the group and of course, meet the rest of the members!

    I'm so sorry to hear about what happened at your job. I had a boss at one job years ago that didn't understand about my diabetes or any of the other health conditions I have had to deal with and I had filed an EEO (Equal Employment Opportunity) claim against the place and the ex-boss. Are you part of an Union for your job? Are you a Full-Time/Part-Time and/or Seasonal Employee? Depending on your job status, you may have help from the Union for where you work-- if they have one set up. I hope this helps.

  • It would help to know what country you are in as legal frameworks vary.

    In the UK discriminaton legislation covers a number of 'characteristics' - one is disability which means having a long term medical condition that affects your ability to carry out daily tasks. Diabetes would fall into this class. This means that your employer is under a duty to make reasonable adjustments - which would include proper arrangements to copewith the possibility of a hypo occurring at work. Under health and safety legislation they also have a duty of care to ensure that you aren't a danger to yourself or others around you - which might be the case if you were being expected to handle equipment etc.

    As below - contacting Union if there is one would be a good idea - also if in UK you could try speaking to the Citizen's Advice Bureau - they have on line services as well as offices these days, I believe. You should also make sure that your employer is aware that you have diabetes and that proper instructions have been issued to supervisers so they are also aware of the condition and how it would be appropriate to treat it. Your work place may well have a grievance process - so find out what that is and following it would be a good idea as well.

  • Thank you good advice yeah i an in the U.K

  • That's one of the reasons why I am self-employed. I choose?

  • Ps are you T1 or T2 ? & what insulin are you on?

  • Type 2 controlled with medication

  • Dear Sheilasumman

    Welcome to the group. This is a great concern when management doesn't understand medical conditions. My colleagues have given some very good advice. We all have different metabolic systems that either allow us a quick recovery and sometimes a slow recovery from a hypo event. Whatever the outcome, our effectiveness has been "compromised" until we are able to recover. In some jobs this could be "critical" and perhaps in some cases, dangerous. With the help of the agencies mentioned and your own growing education and experiences you will learn to assert yourself when situations are a danger to you. Your hypo awareness is very important as well as taking on board when conditions are colder or hotter we must make mental adjustments and take extra care when performing in what would be extreme conditions that we are not used to. I say hypo awareness because our system can change by the amount of activity we are involved in, the hot or cold conditions that we are in and in many cases, the stress we may find on ourselves. These are contributing factors towards falls or feeling feint at times. The trouble for many of us is that we may not be aware of the "fuel" level of our energies (like a car) and have to reassess ourselves at times. Hence, either a urine check with strips or if you have a meter a bg test. These can be discussed with your professional healthcare team for better confidence in your work performance. Give this some thought along with our other colleagues comments and hoping you continue to be safe.

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