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Diabetic on the floor and candy in pocket

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#1 Scampi

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Posted 14 January 2016 - 06:31 PM

HI all,

We have an employee who was just diagnosed as being a diabetic and who's sugar levels are not stable at the moment and feels the need to keep a snack of some sort in his pocket on the production floor. Now, I firmly believe his health and safety comes first so until he gets stable, I am willing to figure out a work around. Does anyone have any suggestions on what controls I can put in place?


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#2 dr. Humaid Khan

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Posted 14 January 2016 - 11:35 PM

Hi Scampi

 

How often he has to have a snack? if the frequency is every two hours or so. then he can have snacks during his breaks? if he need to have a snack more frequently then you can move him to other duties.

 

Kind regards

Dr. Humaid Khan

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#3 Charles.C

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Posted 15 January 2016 - 05:58 AM

Hi scampi,

 

It may depend on the details.

 

It's a question of RA with respect to, for example, the product / the job / the regulations / his health status / other people's safety.

 

Just for example, he might be handling  sensitive and potentially dangerous equipment ?.

 

Temporary relocation to a "non-sensitive" / flexible function. ?


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Kind Regards,

 

Charles.C


#4 Simon

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Posted 15 January 2016 - 07:23 AM

I doubt that the employee would need immediate access, so can be given special dispensation to leave the floor at any time to have a snack that is kept in a restroom or by a supervisor.  There will be other ways of keeping both the employee and the food safety rules intact and they should be explored fully.

 

Regards,

Simon


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Best Regards,

Simon Timperley
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#5 Kehlan

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Posted 15 January 2016 - 02:35 PM

I think Simon is right.  while I can understand the employee's nervousness, there is nothing to stop him being given permission to leave the line and pop into an area where eating is allowed to grab a snack.

Just a thought but it also wouldnt hurt to educate his immediate colleagues as to the signs of a hypo/hyper glycaemic attack.  Having worked with a diabetic, I can tell you that we often noticed changes in their behaviour before they did.


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#6 Scampi

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Posted 15 January 2016 - 04:51 PM

Thanks all. The biggest conundrum is that for the employee to leave the floor and snack and return would take about 10 minutes and there is not a replacement available to take his position. We produce raw poultry and he runs a vital piece of equipment that we cannot run without. He works in the area where they carcasses are de feathered and go through multiple washed from his position out.

 

For many newly diagnosed diabetics, they do need almost instantaneous access to a snack until the condition is regulated (personal experience)


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#7 herdy

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Posted 19 January 2016 - 09:37 PM

I understand the idea that he would need to get to it fast, however, if he is really working in a room with raw poultry carcasses being de-feathered, I cannot imagine it is safe for him to eat something there, even if he does take a moment to wash his hands. It sounds like a very unsafe area to be eating/handling RTE food in regardless of medical necessity. And, with how quickly it appears that these low blood sugar problems are arising, having him work in that area with what sounds like a dangerous piece of equipment sounds very risky. I second the above comments. He should either a. be able to get out in time to have a snack before there is a problem and allowances made for that (perhaps more frequent breaks to check blood sugar until he normalizes so this doesn't happen more than it needs to) or b. be moved temporarily to a different assignment where it is not an issue if he has food in his pocket and/ or leaves quickly.


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#8 JennyT

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Posted 20 January 2016 - 03:32 PM

Coming from a processor that has had an entire bag of candies turn up inside a whole chicken carcass that we were about to use in production it does not seem like this employee is in the right position. I agree with Herdy, I am not sure I would want to put a candy in my mouth whilst dealing with raw chicken.

 

You will have to tread carefully and work with HR but this person should be moved to a alternative task.

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#9 Ekivlen

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Posted 20 January 2016 - 07:09 PM

I would consult a medical professional for guidance or require documentation from his/her physician as to the necessity for accommodation.

I am a type I diabetic, pump wearing. I am empathetic to the needs and we are covered under the Americans with Disabilities Act (United States). Companies have accommodated me for life alert jewelry (bracelet) and electronic devices (insulin pump) that are typical GMP guidelines for everyone else. However, I can't say I would have requested to have candy on the floor.


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#10 GMO

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Posted 20 January 2016 - 10:13 PM

I would also get a Drs note and refer to occupational health for their guidance but gut feel is that one option could be to keep his snack or snacks in an easily accessible (to him) location in a supervisor's office within the production room.  These snacks would have to be accounted for at the start and end of his shift and locked away when he's not on shift.  He would then have to wash his hands before reverting to production.  Also it's important to check his snack does not have any allergens that need to be labelled.

 

Ideally during this time if he's in an open food area, he could be located to an enclosed food area, like labelling or sleeving depending on your product to limit risks further.

 

Ultimately though if there's not a work around which fits with food safety, can he be relocated to an office role?  If not he may have to be off sick.


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