Sleep apnea may afflict as many as 28 percent of commercial drivers, according to studies.

Trucking Sleep Apnea Conference Announced

The May 12 meeting at a hotel near Baltimore and Washington will bring experts together to seek solutions to a problem that may afflict as many as 28 percent of commercial drivers. An indication of the federal interest in this issue is the fact NTSB Chairman Deborah A.P. Hersman will deliver a May 11 keynote speech.

The American Sleep Apnea Association announced the first-ever Sleep Apnea & Trucking Conference will take place May 12 at The Westin Baltimore Washington-BWI hotel, with a reception and keynote address from National Transportation Safety Board Chairman Deborah A.P. Hersman taking place the previous day. Large trucking companies and federal agencies are sponsors of the event, signaling the interest in both camps in finding solutions for the problem. Sleep apnea may afflict as many as 28 percent of commercial drivers, according to studies.

The association says obstructive sleep apnea usually causes breathing interruptions lasting 10 seconds to more than a minute, resulting in non-restorative sleep and subsequent fatigue. OSA afflicts at least 20 million Americans, although more than 85 percent of them remain undiagnosed, ASAA notes.

Individuals who have the illness also are more likely to have high blood pressure, heart problems, stroke, and depression, and their annual health care costs are twice that of people without OSA.

"The meeting's objectives are to provide a common understanding of OSA diagnosis and treatment, clarify current and proposed regulations, create a forum of experts to generate guidance for improvements, and provide trucking management attendees with a resource toolkit to improve employee health and safety as well as realize significant benefits for the company," said Ed Grandi, ASAA's executive director. He said the problem is not easily solved.

"Considering the perceived expense associated with diagnosis and treatment, the potential loss of income for drivers, and the need for additional research and thoughtful regulation, the issue becomes quite complex," Grandi explained. "By convening this meeting, great strides can be made to overcome some of the stumbling blocks that have prevented further progress."

Participants in the conference at this point include NTSB, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, the American Trucking Associations, the Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association, J.B. Hunt, Schneider National, ResMed, REM Medical, and OccuMedix Inc.; others will be announced, according to the ASAA.

Schneider National is among the trucking companies that have elected to diagnose and treat drivers with OSA. "Schneider National believes that we have a moral obligation as a company to operate the safest fleet we possibly can put out on the road," said Don Osterberg, senior vice president, Safety at Schneider National. "As far as a return on investment, we've found that not only have we reduced crash frequency and severity, we've improved fleet retention. We've seen dramatic reductions in health care costs with drivers after they've been diagnosed and treated."

For more information about the conference, contact Reid Blank at 408-247-0030 or [email protected]

Download Center

  • Industrial Premium Library

    Empower your workforce with the manufacturing, industrial maintenance, operations, HSE, compliance, and professional development skills they need to complete their tasks efficiently and safely. Not only will you boost productivity, reliability, skills, and morale but you’ll also onboard faster, and retain your best employees while meeting regulatory standards. Vector Solutions offers over 1,800 award-winning eLearning courses designed to keep your employees safe, transfer knowledge of fundamentals, and develop industry and job-specific skills that reduce downtime, maintenance costs and more.

  • Safety Metrics & Insights Webinar

    EHS professionals have been tackling the subject of how to best measure performance for many years. Lagging indicators like the Total Recordable Incident Rate (TRIR) and Days Away Restricted Transfer Rate (DART) are a good place to start, but you shouldn’t forget about the leading indicators that your workforce does every day to prevent incidents from occurring. Learn about some of the most common KPIs of safety programs and how Vector EHS Management software can be used to track these metrics in this webinar.

  • Risk Matrix Guide

    Understanding the components of a risk matrix will allow you and your organization to manage risk effectively. Download this guide for details on risk matrix calculations including severity, probability, and risk assessment.

  • OSHA Recordkeeping Guide

    In case you missed it, OSHA recently initiated an enforcement program to identify employers who fail to electronically submit Form 300A recordkeeping data to the agency. When it comes to OSHA recordkeeping, there are always questions regarding the requirements and ins and outs. This guide is here to help! We’ll explain reporting, recording, and online reporting requirements in detail.

  • Safety Metrics Guide

    Is your company leveraging its safety data and analytics to maintain a safe workplace? With so much data available, where do you start? This downloadable guide will give you insight on helpful key performance indicators (KPIs) you should track for your safety program

  • Vector Solutions

Featured Whitepaper

OH&S Digital Edition

  • OHS Magazine Digital Edition - September 2022

    September 2022


    • ESG
      EHS Will Guide Future ESG Success for Many Organizations
      Handling Material Handlers: Training Beyond PIT Requirements
      The Missing Link with EHS Software
      Noise Surveys from the Trenches
    View This Issue