A rebirth of my blog tracking my attempts to fulfill my new mission statement:-
1) life does not stop with a diagnosis of type 1 diabetes
2) showing the benefits of exercise for a type 1 diabetic
3) how to go about it, managing training and diet based on my experiment of one
4) report back on my training progress and the occasional race I manage to compete in
5) share my travels around the globe having a great time in the name of work (yes, I like my job)
If you are in any way sensitive,
don't like naughty language etc, then stop reading right now.
Background - I work in the oil
and gas industry, including working offshore, occasionally as an auditor.
That involves me walking around the platform, accompanied by a person from the
operating company, looking at stuff and asking questions. I also carry a
digital camera as I take photos of stuff that I see, to use in feedback sessions
at the end of the audit. Overall therefore, what I do is actually pretty low on
the risk scale.
One of the things that I need to
do is every four years, go through a training course on offshore escape and
emergency training, involving basic fire fighting, escape from smoke filled
buildings, escape from submerged and capsized helicopters etc. I
also need a medical.
Pre diabetes this was every two
years. In their wisdom Oil and Gas UK have determined that as a T1
diabetic, I need to do this every year. Rant number 1 - why the
fuck, as a well controlled diabetic should I be subject to a full medical on an
annual basis when I have two other significant engagements with the medical
system in terms of annual reviews as a pump user and with my consultant.
Surely the most effective basis here would be for me to submit my HbA1c
information, a letter from my quack and then determine on the basis of that,
what my risk as a T1D is, and then decide if I need an annual medical. But what
the fuck would I know, I only do it every day.
Get ready for rant number 2
This year, my now annual medical
expired on 22nd August, I therefore arranged my appointment with my offshore
doctor on 27th July, assuming that would be plenty of time. I arranged it early
because, and get ready for yet more pointless bureaucracy, I need every single
platform I may visit identified on my medical certificate and the company
doctor of every operator needs to give consent for me to go there, and, before
I go the medic on the platform needs to give his affirmation that he is happy
for me to visit and can deal with potential complications.
You'd have thought with an HbA1C
of 42, no history of hypo unawareness and no history of needing assistance to
deal with hypos, and a consultant's letter detailing how well I manage the
condition (yes, in diabetic terms I'm in the top 10%, sun shining out of my
arse etc) I'd have no problem.
Well, 4 weeks down the line and
looking to go offshore next week I can tell you, I'm mightily pissed off, to the
extent that I'd be happy right now to tell the offshore medical community to go
and do things to itself in anatomical terms that only the medical community is
likely to understand.
Pulling directly from an e-mail
sent to me (names redacted to avoid litigation)
have had discussions with [operator XXX]. There are some issues to
overcome before a decision can be made as the battery operated insulin pump is
often not certified as ‘intrinsically safe’
the auditing work he is undertaking involve going outdoors i.e. outwith the
his job would involve going out on deck can he forward evidence that the
insulin pump is ‘intrinsically safe
the problem is that your company doctor is conflating the medical clearance in
terms of is my diabetes controlled and am I a health risk with process safety
risks. They are asking, wrongly in my view, questions about the pump and
whether it is intrinsically safe etc which has absolutely no bearing on my
ability to manage diabetes as a medical condition.
My view is
that control of the ignition risk is an issue for the platform management
through ISSOW and other risk control channels. In fact the pump is an IPX8
rated device, so suitable for Zone 2 environments and is powered by one AAA
battery, which will not be changed outside the accommodation. We routinely use
digital cameras outside the accommodation, with gas detectors, permit to work
etc, which is exactly what I have done elsewhere in relation to the pump.
started on the pump I have been to XXX LNG, YYY Tunisia and a handful of
other North Sea installations, all under the conditions I describe above.
My view here is that the doctor is overstepping the bounds of both his
responsibility and knowledge
What the fuck are you talking
about? You are a doctor, not a process safety specialist. Your company
employs me because I am a process safety specialist. Do you
have any fucking idea why you are asking that question, or what intrinsically
safe actually means? Do you have any idea of what goes on offshore and
the equipment that people take outside the accommodation? Do you really
think, as a process safety specialist I would put myself and others at risk
Wind your fucking neck in and stick
to what you know about. Am I medically fit to go offshore or not.
Leave questions about managing safety risks to those that know how to do it.