FMCSA to Propose Sleep Apnea Guidance

LOUISVILLE, Ky. — The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration is “just about ready” to propose regulatory guidance that would urge medical examiners to require that some obese truck drivers be screened for obstructive sleep apnea before being allowed to drive, an agency official said.
Under the proposed guidance, which will not have the power of a regulation or law, FMCSA will probably ask that medical examiners who perform biennial physical exams on commercial drivers refer drivers with a body mass index above 35 to get OSA testing, Elaine Papp, chief of the agency’s medical office, told drivers and fleet officials in a Thursday session at the Mid-America Trucking Show.
“I thought it would have been published by now, but it hasn’t,” Papp said. “I’m pretty sure it’s going to be published relatively soon.”
If a driver is found to have sleep apnea, FMCSA’s guidance would recommend that he or she receive a medical certification that is conditional on the OSA treatment, Papp said.
After the guidance proposal is published, FMCSA will gather comments from the public before making it final. At a later point, the agency will propose a regulation to make the OSA testing and treatment mandatory for obese commercial truck drivers.
By Timothy Cama
Staff Reporter