By a vote of 4, the U.S. House passed a bill requiring any Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration action on sleep apnea to go through the usual rulemaking process rather than simply issuing guidance.
The bill does not require FMCSA to issue any policy or regulation regarding sleep apnea but ensures that any future policy does not avoid a thorough analysis of the prevalence of obstructive sleep apnea among truck and bus drivers, the range of possible actions to address the problem or the costs and benefits of any policy.
A Senate version of the bill was introduced and referred to the Commerce, Science and Transportation committee, where it awaits action.
Trucking interests have been concerned that FMCSA’s initial approach of posting a guidance, rather than a formal rule, does not give employers a clear enough statement of their legal responsibilities, according to Heavy Duty Trucking.
FMCSA recently agreed it would go through the rulemaking process for future apnea policy. Supports of the legislation still wanted Congress to guarantee the legislative process.