The Government has published a roadmap outlining the different stages for the lifting of restrictions over the coming months with details for non-essential workplaces https://www.gov.ie/en/news/58bc8b-taoiseach-announces-roadmap-for-reopening-society-and-business-and-u/
The advice relating to social distancing, hand hygiene, respiratory etiquette, self- isolation and other measures to prevent the spread of the virus is important for everyone in society but the advice is especially important for people living with diabetes. In the absence of a vaccine or effective anti-viral therapy, avoiding getting the infection is the best form of defence.
People with diabetes have the same risk as people without diabetes of getting COVID-19 but, they may have an increased risk of moderate or severe illness if they get it.
- Anyone who can work from home should continue to do so.
- Employers are advised to apply the Return to Work Safely Protocol.This has been designed to support employers and workers to put measures in place that will prevent the spread of COVID-19 in the workplace. Employers should also have a COVID-19 Response Plan in place.
- Employers should put measures in place to reduce the number of workers interacting with each other onsite at work at any one time. These could include having a smaller number of workers return initially, shift work, and staggered hours.
- Follow social distancing advice everywhere outside the home including the workplace.
- Contact the Health and Safety Authority (HSA) by emailing [email protected] phoning 1890 289 389 if you are
- worried about how your workplace is responding to social distancing or other measures.
- an employer and want advice on coronavirus prevention measures in the workplace.
- Many of you have been in touch with us wanting to know whether you should be working as a person with diabetes to cover essential services. The workplace health and wellbeing unit of the HSE published a guideline document on May 26th for healthcare workers who are vulnerable and very high risk. See https://www.hse.ie/eng/staff/workplace-health-and-wellbeing-unit/covid-19-guidance/pregnant-healthcare-workers-and-hcws-at-increased-risk.pdf
- We have been advising you to discuss with your employer about meeting safe work practices and reducing your risk. If you believe your medical condition should exclude you from being at work, you should submit a report from your treating specialist or other relevant documentation. Where clarity is required on the risk to the healthcare worker due to their medical condition, they may be referred to Occupational Health for a medical opinion regarding fitness for work.
- Have a conversation with your employer about your diabetes and concerns re COVID 19 regarding appropriate social distancing and best practice for you in the workplace – or alternative plan re work schedule /space/ environment.
- Phone to speak further with your diabetes nurse /team or GP for advice to see what they suggest is best for you personally, with respect to your diabetes management and place/type of work/ return to work, as adhering to Public health guidelines regarding returning to work at this time, and in the phases ahead.
We would like to acknowledge and applaud all our essential workers and in particular to thank those with diabetes who continue to work on the frontline, but also to appreciate each individuals difficulty in making this choice depending on their circumstances and on the people that depend on them.