University Services Sleep Diagnostic & Treatment Centers, Philadelphia, have implemented a model to evaluate the risk of excessive daytime sleepiness (EDS) in safety sensitive positions within the railroad industry.

The model utilized a health risk assessment to screen for EDS. Results were then confirmed through the use of an ambulatory device that does not require an overnight sleep study at a sleep lab. Results showed the risk of OSA among participants to be 35% to 40% higher than in the general population. From those found to be at risk, 80% were confirmed to have OSA by the study’s criteria.

“It would be prudent to institute a screening program for EDS in all workers who are in safety sensitive positions. Employers will see a drastic improvement in their employees’ productivity as well as health benefits,” says lead researcher Randy Blake Barnett, PhD.

The study is published in the Journal of Health & Productivity.