Current Diabetes Reports

, 19:119 | Cite as

Diabetes in the Workplace: the Hazards of Hypoglycemia

  • Robert M. GerboEmail author
  • Chuan Fang Jin
  • Karen Clark
Lifestyle Management to Reduce Diabetes/Cardiovascular Risk (B Conway and H Keenan, Section Editors)
Part of the following topical collections:
  1. Topical Collection on Lifestyle Management to Reduce Diabetes/Cardiovascular Risk


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 Findings

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.


Occupational hazards Diabetes Hypoglycemia Workplace accommodations 


Authors’ Contributions

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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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Robert M. Gerbo
    • 1
    Email author
  • Chuan Fang Jin
    • 1
  • Karen Clark
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of Occupational and Environmental Sciences, Section of Occupational MedicineWest Virginia University School of Public HealthMorgantownUSA
  2. 2.Department of Medicine, Section of General Internal MedicineWest Virginia University School of MedicineMorgantownUSA

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