Diabetes in the Workplace: the Hazards of Hypoglycemia
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Purpose of Review
The effects of hypoglycemia can result in injury, including at work. Our goal was to review the recent medical literature regarding hypoglycemia and occupational injuries and provide guidance to clinicians asked to render opinions regarding fitness for work duties in individuals with diabetes.
Recent studies contain conflicting conclusions regarding the occupational risks posed by workers with diabetes. However, the US Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration concluded there was sufficient evidence to change the rule that previously disqualified commercial drivers with insulin-treated diabetes.
Blanket employment policies that disqualify workers with diabetes are unnecessary in many occupational fields. In assessing occupational risks and fitness for duty in workers with diabetes, it is important to perform an individualized assessment of the worker and consider the risk factors for hypoglycemia, information from the treating clinician, essential functions of the job, and, if needed, availability of reasonable accommodations.
KeywordsOccupational hazards Diabetes Hypoglycemia Workplace accommodations
R.M.G. is the corresponding author for the manuscript. All authors contributed to the design and drafting of the paper and reviewed and approved the manuscript for scholarly content.
R.M.G., C.F.J., and K.C. are supported by the University Health Associates and West Virginia University. The authors were fully responsible for all content and editorial decisions and were involved at all stages of manuscript development and have approved the final version.
Compliance with Ethical Standards
Conflict of Interest
Robert M. Gerbo, Chuan Fang Jin, and Karen Clark declare that they have no conflict of interest.
Human and Animal Rights and Informed Consent
This article does not contain any studies with human or animal subjects performed by any of the authors.
Papers of particular interest, published recently, have been highlighted as: •• Of major importance
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