The withdrawal of the Proposed Rulemaking on Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA) does transportation industry a huge disservice
Executives from SleepSafe Drivers, one of the nation’s leaders in Fatigue Management Programs (FMPs) for the transportation industry and other high-risk related jobs, sent a letter to Transportation Secretary Chao’s office outlining their support for a formal rule with more than a dozen key citations and references as evidence. In their February letter and in numerous speaking engagements on the topic, they have outlined why this initiative is paramount to driver/operator health and public safety.
10 Key Studies – Relating Crash Risk with Fatigue & Sleep Dysfunction
“I have been honored to participate in the discussions and public comment periods at each of the FMCSA/FRA Medical Review Board proposed rule meetings,” said Alan Lankford, Ph.D., DABSM, Chief Science Officer of SleepSafe Drivers. “I was struck by the consistent and overwhelming body of data documenting the association of OSA and increased crash risk along with the benefits of treating this reversible condition.”
CMV drivers and rail operators are different. These individuals are professionals with special training, job expectations, pay structure and scheduling demands. But they need to breathe during sleep the same as everyone else and no amount of training or experience can negate the effects of untreated OSA in anyone. Ignoring the issue does a huge disservice to these individuals’ health.
The company’s mission is to keep commercial drivers and rail operators gainfully employed—getting them back to work sooner and working with each individual to ensure successful treatment.
“When it comes to identification and treatment for OSA, the current guidelines and recommendations are insufficient and leave room for interpretation and misinformation. A clear rule, will help commercial drivers, rail operators and others in safety sensitive roles, feel more rested, less fatigued, healthier and ultimately safer behind the controls of their equipment,” said Steven Garrish, CDS, SVP of Safety and Regulatory Compliance at SleepSafe Drivers. “Financially, we’ve seen the companies we serve actually save money in their costs associated with liability, healthcare and turnover.”
“As the current administration moves away from frivolous regulation, we believe that this proposed rule is absolutely vital for the safety and well-being of America,” added Dr. Lankford. “With 28% of commercial drivers likely positive for OSA, having a rule to address this condition makes sense and will save lives.”
For more information about SleepSafe Drivers, visit www.sleepsafedrivers.com.
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