FMCSA Withdraws Sleep Apnea Pre-Rule

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The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration has pulled back its advance notification of proposed rule making on obstructive sleep apnea.

Heavy Duty Trucking reports the supposed “pre-rule” was viewed by the bureau as “the first step” in considering whether to propose particular pre requisites around OSA for commercial vehicle drivers and rail labourers in “safety sensitive positions.”

FMCSA said it “determined not to issue a notice of proposed rule making at this time and believes that current safety programs are the appropriate avenues to address OSA.”

Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA) can cause unintentional sleep episodes and resulting deficiencies in attention, focus, situational mindfulness, and memory, in this way lessening the ability to securely react to perils when performing safety sensitive duties, thus remains an ongoing concern for the agencies and the motor carrier and railroad industries.

The 2016 pre-rule (RIN 2126-AB88 and 2130-AC52), titled “Evaluation of Safety Sensitive Personnel for OSA,” had sought to obtain “data and information concerning the prevalence of moderate-to-severe obstructive sleep apnea among individuals occupying safety sensitive positions in rail and highway transportation.”

The agencies likewise had asked for data about the potential monetary effect and safety benefits related with “regulatory actions that would result in transportation workers in these positions, who exhibit multiple risk factors for OSA, undergoing evaluation by a healthcare professional with expertise in sleep disorders, and subsequent treatment.”

In its notice of withdrawal, FMCSA included that it reminds medicinal analysts that there are no FMCSA rules or other administrative instructions apart from existing Medical Review Board suggestions that as of now give target criteria for recognising drivers who might be at more serious hazard for OSA.

FMCSA said it will keep on recommending that drivers and their employers utilise the North American Fatigue Management Program which is designed to address the issue of driver fatigue with a comprehensive approach.