At the request of the Nova Scotia Trucking Safety Association (NSTSA), DriverCheck’s Medical Director, Dr. Barry Kurtzer will deliver a presentation on sleep apnea management at the NSTSA’s Safety Excellence Awards Luncheon in Dartmouth, Nova Scotia today.
Dr. Kurtzer’s talk will focus on the “The War on Snore,” including:
- Health and safety risks associated with poor sleep and chronic fatigue
- Causes of fatigue
- How to recognize symptoms and signs of sleep apnea
- Health and financial benefits of a sleep apnea program
- What a comprehensive sleep apnea program entails, including treatment options and funding considerations
- Updates to the Canadian sleep apnea medical standard
The problem is not new to the transportation industry. In October, a CBC story revealed a dangerous reality – reporting that 75% of freight train engineers in Canada have fallen asleep at the controls. The workers told the CBC that chronic exhaustion is one of the biggest issues facing the industry. In 2012, a Sleep in America poll for the National Sleep Foundation found that 26% of train operators, 23% of pilots, 15% of truck drivers and 10% of bus/taxi/limo drivers said sleepiness impacted their job performance at least once a week.
A growing number of employers and industry associations in Canada and the U.S. are recognizing the prevalence of sleep apnea (a common sleep disorder) and the importance of managing it. This year, DriverCheck and MedSleep launched a large-scale sleep apnea testing program for a client in Atlantic Canada, and the NSTSA is encouraging their members to pro-actively reduce the risks.