CTA to launch sleep-apnea pilot program

June 1, 2012

The Canadian Trucking Alliance, in partnership with OSA Canada Inc., is launching a pilot full-service sleep apnea program for commercial truck drivers in Canada.

OSA Canada will visit fleet terminals anywhere in the country to screen, test and diagnose drivers as well as equip and train identified drivers with sleep apnea to use their CPAP (Continuous Positive Airway Pressure) treatment machine and mask.

In 2012, the U.S. Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration's Motor Carrier Safety Advisory Committee and Medical Review Board adopted 11 recommendations related to sleep apnea in the trucking industry, which includes requiring all drivers with a body mass index measurement of 35 or higher to be tested for the condition.

Since 2010, CTA has been working with various partners, including its group benefits provider Group Health, to put a Canadian sleep apnea program together in anticipation of a possible regulatory requirement in the Unites States.

"FMCSA took a significant step toward potential regulation of the screening and treatment of drivers at risk for obstructive sleep apnea," said CTA CEO David Bradley. "Although it may still take some time for this regulation to materialize, the Canadian Trucking Alliance has been working on a solution for all Canadian carriers regardless of where they are domiciled — the creation of OSA Canada has provided that solution."

Beyond regulatory compliance, OSA Canada shares data with potential customers showing on-road performance improvements of fleets using sleep-apnea programs along with driver retention and other operating reduction cost benefits.

"The OSA Canada program will offer a turnkey solution for fleets whose commercial drivers are dealing with the challenges of sleep apnea," said Mark Sylvia, president, OSA. "Carriers will never have to worry about access to sleep beds, CPAP machines breaking down or drivers having difficulty finding the right mask; equipment will be replaced and re-fitted no questions asked."

Part of the strength of OSA Canada Inc. includes the involvement of Precision Pulmonary Diagnostics LLC (PPD) in helping to deliver and monitor the therapy being provided to drivers under the program.

PPD has screened over 40,000 truck drivers for trucking companies, including Schneider National and Swift Transportation. They have also provided and monitored the therapy program for over 3,000 drivers who have been diagnosed with obstructive sleep apnea.

"We at PPD are very happy to provide our unmatched experience and expertise in the delivery of the OSA Canada program,” said Dr. Mark Berger, president PPD and senior medical advisor to OSA Canada.. “With our involvement, clients of OSA Canada can be assured from day one they will be dealing with a full-service sleep apnea solution team that is driver-focused and on standby to assist 24-7. Our years of experience have helped us to understand the issues and concerns of trucking managers and their drivers.”

For those who would like to become a part of the pilot and arrange a scheduled visit by OSA Canada, e-mail Sandy Pollock, manager of sleep services at [email protected] or call her at 289-337-8892. Pilot participants receive a reduced fee for their participation.

For more information on this project, contact the respective provincial trucking association:

• Alberta Motor Transport Assn.: 800-267-1003

• Atlantic Trucking Provinces Assn.: 866-866-1679

• British Columbia Trucking Assn.: Louise Yako at 604.888.5319 ext. 214

• Manitoba Trucking Assn.: 204-632.6600

• Ontario Trucking Assn.: Joanne Benac at 416-249-7401 ext. 230

• Saskatchewan Trucking Assn.: Al Rosseker:1-800-563-7623 or Hilary Dove  at 306-569-9696 ext. 221

About the Author

Deborah Whistler

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