As research and new court cases confirm, the dangers and responsibilities associated with Sleep Apnea may cost your business more money than you realize. Regulations requiring U.S. carriers to screen their commercial drivers for Sleep Apnea may be a year or more away; however, the consequences of accidents caused by suspected Sleep Apnea are already present and decisive in the courts.
During a recent Compli-hosted Webinar on legal issues within the Carrier Industry, Angela Cash, of Scopelitis, Garvin, Light, Hanson & Feary, observed that “…the case law that’s developing out there [in the courts] is already putting the liability on motor carriers even without a regulation from the FMCSA that would require companies to screen for Obstructive Sleep Apnea.” (1) Moreover, expert testimony on Sleep Apnea has lead to several courts siding with the plaintiffs in civil suits, even in the absence of a medical diagnosis.
With the constant press and research findings of Sleep Apnea case studies, companies can no longer claim ignorance on this matter. Employers in the industry must be proactive when it comes to identifying and treating Sleep Apnea in their drivers. Warning signs for sleep apnea are easily identified, and as Cash concluded in the Webinar, “If [a] driver is involved in an accident where it appears sleep behind the wheel may have been an issue…The plaintiff’s council will say ‘I can see it, why couldn’t you see it motor carrier? You were there all along’.”
Companies that seek to lower health-related costs and mitigate accidents and liability should implement wellness programs for their drivers, specifically ones that target Sleep Apnea. While such programs may seem a strain on the annual budget, consider the findings of the National Commission on Sleep Disorders: decreased productivity and workplace accidents cost the nation approximately $150 billion annually. Furthermore, FusionHealth has found that health-related costs can be impacted by up to 30% for employees on treatment for sleep disorders.
FusionHealth focuses on providing customized solutions for companies seeking to proactively eliminate the sleep disorders impacting their commercial drivers. With proprietary cloud-based technology, FusionHealth analyzes, intervenes, and manages the sleep disorders that are costing your business. Additionally, the Sleep Medicine experts at FusionHealth can tailor your company’s sleep management to meet the requirements of DOT-regulated employees.
The professionals at FusionHealth have over twenty years of experience in employer wellness programs, forty-five medical licenses, and over 14,000 clients. Contact us today to see how FusionHealth can help your drivers and save your company money.