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FMCSA, FRA begin work on sleep apnea rulemaking

sleep apnea

Photo: Andrey Prokhorov/iStockphoto

Washington – If left untreated, sleep apnea poses serious risks to anyone who sits behind the wheel of a commercial motor vehicle or climbs into the cab of a locomotive.

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration and the Federal Railroad Administration recently initiated a rulemaking project to evaluate – and treat, when applicable – workers who exhibit risk factors for sleep apnea. The agencies began work Oct. 1 on an advance notice of proposed rulemaking, according to a Department of Transportation regulatory report.

Officials hope to publish the ANPRM by Dec. 11 and solicit comments until Feb. 11, the report states. The agencies want to know more about the costs and benefits associated with having medical professionals evaluate and treat affected workers in safety-sensitive roles.

Several symptoms may indicate the existence of sleep apnea, according to an FMCSA fact sheet. Possible symptoms include (but are not limited to):

  • Loud snoring
  • Morning headaches or nausea
  • Gasping or choking while asleep
  • Excessive daytime sleepiness
  • Frequent nighttime visits to bathroom
  • Problems with concentration or memory
  • Irritability or depressive thoughts