Work and type 1

OK I work for a international freight company, it is a demanding physical job third shift push heavy thousand + LBS containers and operating airport ground equipment. Being new to Diabetes I am testing myself often though out the night. My sugars have been good most nights but I have already had a member of the management team tell me to get back to work the one time I was low and need to eat something. Explained that I was low and had to eat plus wait a few minutes before I could/would drive anything. His response “Well Hurry up and you know when your suppose to take breaks”. My direct supervisors know what I have gone through the past few weeks and well he is one of them. I don’t see this as a HR issue but a safety issue.

Also our security has been grabbing people recently on the way in looking for people showing up to work drunk. Company policy is if you are picked for a “random drug or alcohol” test you may not eat or drink anything till the test is given. My fear is that I will be low one day going in to work since I have never drank on work nights. Should I just inform them if I am grabbed that I am type one and not wait 2+ hours to eat because waiting that time could be very bad.
just looking for thoughts on how to handle work issuse

Under the Americans with Disabilities Act your employer must make reasonable accommodation for your chronic condition. That means you get to treat your low BG without interference from management. It is a safety issue you are absolutely right. It is also an HR issue because that harassment is illegal. Any retaliatory employment actions are also illegal and exposes your company to some very expensive liability. Your medical condition trumps the drug testing. Your inability to comply with their employment policy in that regard is not something that you don’t have any control over other than to keep yourself in good control. They can give you just enough warning so that you work the meal thing and still don’t have enough time to do a purge. The company may be aware of their responsibilities, your local management may need to be educated. So long as your output isn’t adversely affected, you should be in good shape.

Your doctor can also write you a letter that you carry a copy on you at all times and turn one into your employer. I have worked for companies that have withdrawn me from the random test because of my chronic condition.

Both HR and your union should be aware and establish your needs with your supervisors / testers. They are going to have to make some provisions for you in the event that your low or need to eat. You can bring up the fact that if your lows are left untended you could run the risk of damaging freight or equipment and that you need to address this to make sure you can do a good job for the company.

If only we had a union. I have made the people I work with directly aware. Luckily a few of them are pert time EMTs plus a few of the more social CBP guys I know. I’m not being shy about being diabetic. I have gotten a few looks for popping my shot but refuse to hide in the bathroom, they are filthy.