Sleep apnea ‘pre-rule’ advances to OMB, could be published by year’s end

sleep apneaA data collection effort by the U.S. 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.

The federal regulatory dashboard says the White House’s Office of Management and Budget received the so-deemed “pre-rule” from the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration on Tuesday, Dec. 15.

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 Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration 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.