700 people a day are diagnosed with type 2 diabetes in the UK, and there are currently 4.6 million people with diabetes of which 1 million do not know they have the condition. 80% have type 2 diabetes, 5% have type 1 diabetes and 5% have rare types of the condition. The NHS spends £10 billion a year (10% of its budget) on diabetes. £8 billion (80%) of which are avoidable complications if people were given more education and support.
Diabetes is the leading cause of blindness in the working population, there are over 150 amputations a week from the condition and 75% of men who have diabetes suffer from erectile dysfunction at some point. There are estimated to be 12.3 million people who are at increased risk of type 2 diabetes. We have to recognise the sheer size of the problem and that 7% of the population has the condition. On a site of 1000 people 70 will have diabetes.
So why do you need to know all this? You could argue you don’t but what if you or someone at work has a hypo (that means the bodies sugar levels go far too low) and they are driving a digger or crane.
They could black out or act as if drunk and seriously harm you or other work colleagues. How do you help them, what if it’s you or one of your family?
Diabetes is an invisible condition posing often unrecognised health and safety risks to companies. Civil and criminal liability could follow if steps have not been taken to identify and eliminate the risk.