Diabetes Recognition and Management

Logging and forestry work can be dangerous! Help your crew members stay safe with frequent safety meetings. This Diabetes Regcognition and Management factsheet, along with the others in this collection, were designed to be used as 5 minute tailgate trainings.

Incident Summary:

Wallace recently moved to Diboll, Texas from Hope, Arkansas.  He had been in the logging business for fifteen years.  He joined a Texas crew in early April.  A co‐worker’s wife sent cookies to welcome him to the crew.  Wallace loaded log trucks all morning and snacked on the cookies.  As a diabetic, he knew that the cookies could send him into a diabetic episode, but he ate them anyway.  By 11:00 a.m., Wallace was feeling tired and weak.  He didn’t want to stop working to walk to the truck and take his insulin.  The crew leader noticed that Wallace was working very slowly and he asked Wallace if everything was OK.  Wallace explained that his blood sugar was too high and he needed his insulin.  The crew leader retrieved the medicine and Wallace administered it.  The crew leader was surprised to learn that Wallace had diabetes.  

Discussion Questions:

  1. Do you or someone you know have diabetes?  
  2. Do you know the common symptoms of diabetes?
  3. Do you know how to respond to a diabetic episode?  

Take Home Message:

Diabetes is a serious disease that can lead to kidney failure, amputation and blindness.   Diabetes is also a major cause of heart disease and stroke.  

Although many people are embarrassed to admit they have diabetes, it is common.  Talking to coworkers about diabetes and what to do in an emergency could save your life.  

Common Symptoms of Diabetes:

  • Urinating often 
  • Feeling very thirsty  
  • Feeling very hungry ‐ even though you are eating 
  • Extreme fatigue 
  • Blurry vision 
  • Cuts/bruises that are slow to heal 
  • Weight loss ‐ even though you are eating more (type 1) 
  • Tingling, pain, or numbness in the hands/feet (type 2) ‐  

Information from The American Diabetes Association:


Check the SW Center website frequently for new factsheets: http://www.swagcenter.org/resourcesforestryfactsheets.asp

For comments or suggestions, contact Amanda Wickman at amanda.wickman@uthct.edu or by phone to
903-877-5998 or Nykole Vance at nykole.vance@uthct.edu or by phone 903-877-7935.

Created by the Southwest Center for Agricultural Health, Injury Prevention and Education
11937 US Hwy 271
Tyler, TX 75708

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Disclaimer and Reproduction Information: Information in NASD does not represent NIOSH policy. Information included in NASD appears by permission of the author and/or copyright holder. More