November Safety News
We are so THANKFUL for our very own, Mr. John Helms
Diabetes In The Workplace
People with diabetes live with the disease all day, every day, including while at work. Although people with diabetes may face unique challenges at their place of work, they can overcome these challenges and be successful with the help of an informed employer and/or co-worker.
You can even help maximize the health and productivity of your co-workers with diabetes by being more aware of common concerns in the workplace, such as accommodations for people with diabetes. Small adjustments to the work environment or schedule can help reduce absenteeism and presenteeism, increase productivity, concentration, energy levels, and can even help reduce the chance of on the job injury.
Tips For Managing Diabetes At Work:
Plan For Success
Give yourself a smart start before your shift. Get plenty of sleep, don’t skip breakfast, and drink a glass of water before you head in. These simple self-care steps can lower your stress, which will keep blood sugar steady.
Bring Your Boss On Board
If it isn’t easy to take snack breaks on the job, or you don’t have a good spot to store your insulin, it’s time to tell your employer about your needs. Be ready to explain diabetes in simple terms, in case he or she do not know much about it. Ask your doctor for helpful aids or a written note on your behalf to give to your employer.
Pick A Partner
You don’t have to tell everyone at work about your health, but it can help to share. At least one person should know where your supplies are, what the symptoms of low blood sugar look like, and how to get you help if you need it.
Fight Food Temptation
From birthday celebrations to morning doughnut runs to candy jars, the workplace can be a hot bed of hard to resist sweets. Prep yourself for carb cravings. Keep healthy snacks in your desk or break area. If you do indulge, eat small portions and keep a close watch on your blood sugar level.
Plan for midafternoon sugar slumps. Fill your lunchbox with chopped veggies and hummus, keep protein bars on hand, or stash some healthy fats like almonds or walnuts near your workstation. You can also perk up with carb free drinks like unsweetened iced tea (but us southerner’s don’t drink unsweet tea) or hot green tea.
Make Time To Move
If you work at a desk, find ways to build physical activity into your daily schedule. Set a timer to go off every 30 minutes, and take a short walk, even if it’s just up and down the hall. Do muscle stretches in your seat. Spend part of your lunch break walking up and down a staircase to get your heart rate up. Ask the boss about a standing desk, if that’s an option at your office.
Always have the tools on hand to treat a low blood sugar event. Store them in your desk, keep a special bag nearby, or ask your employer for a place to store your supplies. Add a note that explains how your gear works, in case you can’t give directions.
Know When To Test
Ask your doctor when you should test your blood sugar every day. It’s another good reason to get your employer up to speed. You may need to ask for a special time and space to do it, so make sure you get your physician to write your employer a note.
Consider A Glucose
A gadget called a continuous glucose monitor can check your blood sugar all day. A doctor sticks a tiny sensor under your skin. You carry the attached monitor in your pocket or wear it on a belt clip. It tests your sugar levels automatically and alerts you if it is too high or too low. This might be a good choice if you have a busy position that makes it hard to stop and test.
Be Schedule Savvy
Diabetes means you’ll have more doctor’s appointments on your calendar than many of your co-workers. When you can, get creative with your timing. Plan doctor visits near a holiday when work days are slower. Ask for a slot on your way out of town for vacation so that when you’re already scheduled to be out of the office.
Keep Your Cool
No fridge at work for keeping your insulin at its proper temperature (36 to 46 F)? That’s fine. To avoid a painful, cold injection, many diabetes educators suggest keeping insulin at room temperature while it’s being used.
Insulin should last about one month at room temperature. You can keep insulin at work in a drawer with other diabetes supplies, if you wish. Be sure to label it with your name and let your employer know it is there.
Track Your Triggers
Do you struggle with your health during certain times of the year, month, or day? Do you travel for work? Does your job come with a stressful season? Talk to a doctor or diabetes educator about things that make it hard to take good care of yourself. They can help you figure out how to head off problems.
Remember to eat healthy this holiday season.