TAMPA, FLa. -- A senior official with the US Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) has confirmed the agency will likely use a body mass index (BMI) of 35 as the threshold for mandatory sleep apnea screening for commercial driver’s licence holders.
Jack Vansteenburg, assistant administrator and chief safety officer with the FMCSA, revealed at the Technology & Maintenance Council meetings this week that a notice will be published “within the next several months.”
He noted 40,000 medical examiners in the US will receive the notice and will begin sending drivers for sleep apnea screening. The 35 BMI threshold was taken from a recent Medical Review Board recommendation.
“Age, neck size, crash history, gender and hypertension will come into play, but alone, the 35 BMI driver will be recommended to go for an initial screening,” Vansteenburg said.
Tom DiSalvi, director of loss prevention at Schneider National, said during the same panel discussion that “In our own fleet, 23% of our associates have a BMI of 35 of greater and 60% of that population has at least moderate sleep apnea; it’s going to be a big number.”