By law employers have a duty to ensure, so far as is reasonably practicable, that their employees and those affected by what the employer does are not exposed to risk to their health and safety (Health and Safety at Work Act 1974). If diabetes related symptoms contribute to a work place accident and an employer has taken no steps to assess and reduce the risk, then the employer will commit a criminal offence and face a significant fine.
People with diabetes have a legal obligation to inform the DVLA. It is well known that the consequence of uncontrolled diabetes can be fatal. For example, a driver who admitted to causing the death of woman in North Lanarkshire after suffering a diabetic fit was jailed for six years and eight months. There is risk of criminal and civil liability to both the employee and the employer.
People who are diagnosed with diabetes do not have to inform their company under the equality act. However, employers have a duty to ensure, so far as is reasonably practicable, that their employees and those affected by what the employer does are not exposed to risk to their health and safety (Health and Safety at Work Act 1974). If someone had a diabetic episode on site that resulted in a serious or fatal accident and an employer has taken no steps to assess and reduce risk, then the employer will commit a criminal offence and face a significant fine.
Liability carries a huge cost; legal cost, insurance excess, time, resources and possible criminal offence. Our courses are a low-cost solution to a ticking time bomb of liability and risk as your workforce ages and diabetes continues to be an invisible epidemic.
Screening staff allows your company to help people identify if they have diabetes or at risk of other health conditions. It does not mean that they get diagnosed by a doctor or that they inform the company of the condition. They do not have to tell the company they have diabetes under the equality act. Health screening therefore only flags a possible problem to the individual it does not reduce the risk, leaving the employer open to criminal offence if diabetes related symptoms contribute to a workplace accident.
The NHS are there to help people with their medical and health conditions. They are not there to ensure your sites/work is safe from people having a diabetic episode. It is your responsibility to ensure so far as is reasonably practicable, that your employees and those affected by what you do are not exposed to risk to their health and safety (Health and Safety at Work Act 1974). Diabetes is an invisible condition that carries a large risk at work.
Diabetes is an invisible condition that is often missed and not correctly reported. Diabetes maybe the underlying problem but the final cause of an incident may have been nerve damage, heart attack or a black out which may not have been reported as diabetes. Also, diabetes is not required to be reported, therefore we do not have any written evidence of it. This does not mean that it has not occurred, simply it has not been reported under the title “diabetes”.
We cannot advise individual companies what they need to prioritise as it will depend on the nature of their work. However, diabetes is a hidden risk with 7% of the population suffering from the condition, who are at increased risk of blackouts, lack of concentration and lack of sensation in their feet. The risk of these symptoms on a working site could be devastating. The Health and Safety at Work Act 1974 places a duty on every employer to ensure, so far as is reasonably practicable, that employees and non-employees affected by what the employer does, are not exposed to a risk to their health, safety or welfare. Are you, as an employer, fulfilling this act with regards to diabetes? If the answer is no, it is clear diabetes safety training needs to be high on your priority list.
Employees do not have to attend formal classroom based courses. DSO provides an online solution which can be taken by employees at any time and on any device. Completion of the course is recorded and a digital certificate (valid for 12 months) awarded for satisfactory completion of the course. Should an incident occur on site which can be attributed to diabetes your company can demonstrate it took practicable measures to mitigate the risk.
Unfortunately, there are no funds available at this time but this is something we are discussing with NHS England.
Diabetes is a worldwide epidemic, 425 million adults are living with the condition, it is not exclusive to the UK. The DSO platform can be delivered worldwide and we can provide any language and country specific legal advice, subject to contract.
We are not a medical replacement, we provide depth and understanding of a condition that poses significant risk in your workplace. It is not simply knowing those who have the condition, but that a company embeds the ethos and understanding of diabetes safety and management into its framework. Our solution reduces liability for your company.
We are not a charity. We are a Private Limited Company.
This would be classed as a business expense and therefore would be allowed against your company expenditure.
The sooner you start the courses with us the sooner your company can start to embed the awareness and safety skills into the heart of your company. We know you want the best for your staff and for them to leave everyday safe and well. Diabetes is an invisible risk that needs to be understood and addressed. We advise the programme is taken on an annual basis to ensure just that.
All companies are different but as a general statement the construction industry has a relatively high turnover of staff and subcontractors which leaves organisations open to risk as not all staff will be up to date with diabetes safety. The Health and Safety at Work Act 1974 places a duty on every employer to ensure, so far as is reasonably practicable that employees and non-employees affected by what the employer does, are not exposed to a risk to their health, safety or welfare. With the diabetes epidemic growing and 12.5 million people at risk in the UK, we believe ensuring yearly staff skilling is imperative. We cannot specify what individual companies should do, the question is are you protecting your staff from diabetes health and safety risks?
We do not ask individuals to share personal medical data, our courses educate on the condition, its risks and management. Personal medical data will remain within companies HR departments. We are a fully GDPR compliant company.
The key aspect of law is that you have done all that is reasonably practicable, this can only be decided by your company based upon the activities within your organisation.
We are not recommending you screen all job applicants, we are recommending you build into your company diabetes safety awareness at work through the DSO.
As an organisation we are not recommending health checks onsite, we are recommending educating your workforce, so they can understand the condition and how to manage it, should a diabetic episode occur at work. We believe this would encourage people to work for a company that takes it staff safety and corporate social responsibility seriously.
DSO provide general information and legal advice, we do not provide advice on individual cases, this would be a matter for your HR and/or legal department to review case-by-case.
DSO provide general information and legal advice, we do not provide individual cases, this would be a matter for your HR and/or your legal department to review case-by-case.
Diabetes is a condition that is known to affect people’s health and ability to carry out tasks such as driving on a day to day basis. It is already recognised by the DVLA and as such we must incorporate it into companies that put employees at risk if someone was to black out at work due to diabetes.
You can use DSO membership as a competitive advantage to demonstrate your commitment to the safety of your staff above and beyond other companies, add to your drive for gold standard with the Considerate Construction Scheme and fulfil your company’s corporate social responsibility.