Federal transportation officials won't push for sleep apnea screenings after all
- The Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) and the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) won't finalize the March 2016 proposed ruling for sleep apnea screening for train engineers and truck drivers, the Associated Press (AP) reports. The decision is part of the Trump administration's plan to roll back many federal regulations on business and industry.
- Safety experts are calling the decision a risky move that could put millions of lives in jeopardy. The federal agencies contend that train and truck operators should arrange their own screenings for sleep apnea.
- According to the AP, sleep apnea sufferers experience dangerous daytime drowsiness due to intermittent waking at night. Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) told the AP he plans to push the federal agency officials to rescind their decision.
An emailed statement from the U.S. Department of Transportation to Waste Dive, a sister site of HR Dive, says that "[s]afety is the Department’s top priority."
"FMCSA and FRA received valuable information in response to the Advance Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (ANPRM) and a series of public listening sessions on Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA) in 2016, but did not receive sufficient data to support future rulemaking at this time," the statement continues. "The Agencies determined that current and upcoming safety programs appropriately address fatigue risks, including OSA."
For now, the federal agenda on workplace safety requirements largely remains to be seen. Employers still need to make sure truck drivers and train operators are able to perform their jobs safely. And the same goes for other workers; OSHA's plans are still a bit of a mystery, too, as that subagency included (and excluded) details in its agenda that left employers scratching their heads.