Truck, rail regulators withdraw sleep apnea proposal

From Transport Topics.

Despite noting lingering concerns about the potential dangers of obstructive sleep apnea, federal regulators announced plans to formally withdraw a 2016 advance notice of proposed rulemaking seeking information on the potential for adopting standards to assess risks associated with transportation workers in safety sensitive positions diagnosed with apnea.

The announcement, planned for publication in the Federal Register on Aug. 7 was issued by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration and Federal Railroad Administration.

“The agencies have determined not to issue a notice of proposed rulemaking at this time,” the announcement said.

“OSA remains an on-going concern for the agencies and the motor carrier and railroad industries because it can cause unintended sleep episodes and resulting deficits in attention, concentration, situational awareness and memory, thus reducing the capacity to safely respond to hazards when performing safety sensitive duties,” the announcement said. “The agencies received valuable information in response to the ANPRM and a series of public listening sessions in May 2016.”

However, the notice stated, “The agencies believe that current safety programs and FRA’s rulemaking addressing fatigue risk management are the appropriate avenues to address OSA.”