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Sleep apnea withdrawn from rulemaking process by FMCSA and FRA

FMCSA may still revise its medical guidance

Posted August 8, 2017

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) and Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) have both agreed to stop the rulemaking process for obstructive sleep apnea (OSA). The agencies are withdrawing the March 10, 2016, advance notice of proposed rulemaking, “Evaluation of Safety Sensitive Personnel for Moderate-to-Severe Obstructive Sleep.”

Even though the Agencies believe that current safety programs — and FRA’s rulemaking addressing fatigue risk management — are the appropriate avenues to address OSA, they still see OSA as an on-going concern for the motor carrier and railroad industries.

FMCSA and FRA received valuable information in response to the ANPRM and a series of public listening sessions in May 2016. FMCSA had indicated that it may update its January 2015 “Bulletin to Medical OSA Examiners and Training Organizations Regarding Obstructive Sleep Apnea” regarding the physical qualifications standard and related advisory criteria concerning respiratory dysfunction, specifically how the standard applies to drivers who may have OSA. The revisions would be based on August 2016 Medical Review Board recommendations. Certified medical examiners use FMCSA’s guidance materials as they certify commercial drivers.

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