- The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration has scheduled public meetings of its Medical Review Board for Aug. 22-23 to hear professional recommendations on potential obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) regulation.
- In March, the agency released a proposal that would require OSA testing for truckers, bus drivers, and railroad workers. The condition could cause a driver to fall asleep behind the wheel.
- According to Fleet Owner, nearly 600 comments were filed in response and additional input was received at three listening sessions. Multiple trade associations cited the potential operational and cost burdens of these tests on companies and drivers.
According to the Washington Post the vast majority of people with OSA aren't aware they have it and more than 25 million people are undiagnosed. Though in its formal comment the American Trucking Association argued that people are too often diagnosed with the condition for one symptom. The association advocated for some form of "conditional qualification status" that would allow drivers to continue operating through the evaluation process.
The Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association (OOIDA) also took issue with the cost this could impose on small businesses.
"OOIDA opposes any regulations requiring OSA screening until FMCSA identifies OSA as the cause of a not-insignificant number of truck crashes," OOIDA stated, as reported by Fleet Owner. "FMCSA should then be able to demonstrate that there are valid, reliable methods of screening and treatment for OSA that evaluate every driver under uniform procedures that can be followed by all medical examiners."
Because many drivers in the waste industry work at night this rule could have widespread effects. The agency has also been on the industry's radar lately in regards to a crash preventability data demonstration program and a new passenger seat belt requirement.