U.S. transportation authorities took another step toward a regulation that involves screening and treatment of drivers at risk for obstructive sleep apnea (OSA), reported the Ontario Trucking Association.
In a joint meeting this week, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration's Motor Carrier Safety Advisory Committee and Medical Review Board adopted 11 recommendations, including a requirement that all drivers with a body mass index measurement (BMI) of 35 or higher be tested for sleep apnea.
The recommendations stem from a January meeting of the group's obstructive sleep apnea subcommittee, which looked at OSA treatment, monitoring compliance and its relationship to highway safety.
As for acceptable methods of treatment, the group is reportedly most confident in continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) machines.
Any rulemaking or guidance based on the recommendations would be put up for public comment, and a rulemaking would take years to develop, said Larry Minor, FMCSA associate administrator for policy.
The BMI benchmark was set "high" at 35 so not to burden the system with people who likely don't have OSA, the report stated.
Meanwhile, in advance of a potential rule in the U.S., the Canadian Trucking Alliance is preparing a sleep apnea testing pilot program for this spring.
If carriers are interested in participating, contact CTA senior VP, Stephen Laskowski at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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