A data collection effort by the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) intended to gauge how many truck operators have obstructive sleep apnea and what impact a sleep apnea rule could have on the industry has taken a step forward in the federal rulemaking process and could be published by year’s end.
A separate report from the DOT indicates the rule could be published by the end of the month.
The data request, being conducted in a joint effort by the FMCSA and the Federal Railroad Administration, is intended to not only gauge the prevalence of moderate-to-severe obstructive sleep apnea among truck operators, but also to get feedback from the industry about how a sleep apnea rule could affect truckers and the industry at large.
Per the agency’s synopsis of the pre-rule:
“FMCSA… also request[s] information about the potential economic impact and safety benefits associated 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.”
The agency began work on the pre-rule, also designated as an Advanced Notice of Proposed Rulemaking, at the beginning of October.