Sleep Apnea Testing?

Discussion in 'ABF Freight System' started by ABFer, Oct 4, 2016.

  1. ABFer

    ABFer Super Moderator Staff Member

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    There seems to be a case of this going around and it appears to be getting worse. Who has been sent in for testing? How much are you really told about it? And, most importantly, where does our 'union' stand on this?
    More information available here.
    http://dotphysicaldoctor.com/commercial-driver-awareness-about-sleep-apnea-issue/
     
  2. iam4us

    iam4us Active Member

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  3. iam4us

    iam4us Active Member

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    If you are close or close to being close, etc.. use your insurance, test on your own, provide results. that's what I have done. As per the argument the cost.. that's on the driver.. you have to bear some responsibility to be fit and able to maintain the right to drive. ABF does have the right to demand safe standards.. Sorry just my opinion..
     
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  4. nightowl

    nightowl Active Member

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    There is also a FMCSA regulation that states a driver can't be disqualified for unknown medical conditions. So with this in mind how can they disqualify you if you don't take the test? I also believe this is a very discriminatory practice. They are singling out drivers who are overweight when it's proven that anyone could have sleep apnea. What's good for one should be good for everyone.
     
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  5. iam4us

    iam4us Active Member

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    Insert sleep apnea critera that dot initiated.. sort of trumps that unknown diagnoses..it is unknown until diagnosed by test. Skinny people have it, diabetes more prone, its a mess..thats why i did it myself..i take my negative results from pulmonary doc each yr to physical..no issue..
     
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  6. ABFer

    ABFer Super Moderator Staff Member

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    It is indisputable that the burden of cost will lie on the driver unless somehow he can claim that his condition was caused by the job itself, then Worker's Compensation would cover it. The surprise of it all is what has gotten the people that I know who have been caught up in it. ABF lets the physical go right down to the wire. In fact I have seen them let it go past the wire more than once in my years with other drivers and it leave little or no time to address the issue. Going on your own ahead of time is the right approach to avoid short time restraints, indigestion and high(er) blood pressure.
     
  7. Trailboss

    Trailboss Member

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    If we get triggered by the company doctor to have the test done, we are told to contact a particular company contracted with the teamsters in our region that has worked out reasonable rates for the employees instead of getting fleeced by who the company doc recommends.

    There were allegations that in Albuquerque, the company doctor had a sweetheart deal with his buddy that owned the sleep clinic...every driver was being forced to get tested or look for a new job.

    I had an incident where I was being treated for a condition that had nothing to do with DOT requirements, but the company doctor decided that I needed annual instead of bi-annual physicals because of it...when I questioned my operations manager about it he said "their board of directors can set whatever parameters they want for approval and denial of a DOT certificate, they can exceed the DOT requirements if they wish.".[​IMG] ..My reply was "So they can do whatever the hell they want to double the amount of fees they charge you for certification and you say use some KY jelly please?"

    He shrugged his shoulders.

    I get a yearly physical with my own doctor that is qualified to certify pilots and truck drivers..full blood tests, and screening for everything imaginable...when I shared my experience about the company doc with her with the details, she said "seriously?, if the doctor (and I use the term advisedly), is so foolish as to not know that the reason I prescribe the medicine to you has nothing to do with your ability to drive a truck...I am speechless"

    "Yeah, I hear you as far as I am concerned, this guy isn't qualified to do the stud dog test at the kennel club competions"

    She laughed...
     
  8. canaryinthemine

    canaryinthemine Retirement....The Job I Was Born To Have!

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    For one thing, if the company doctor requires you to go for sleep apnea tests, then the company must pick up the costs of those tests, plus any time required off to perform them. At that point, you don't have a diagnosis of "sleep apnea" .....the doctor merely suspects you do, and he's looking for tests to confirm it.

    One sure way to get the company to watchdog the doctor, and make sure he is only prescribing tests on people who truly may need it,.......is to insist that the tests, the two days to take the tests, and any other follow-ups, are paid for.

    About 10 years ago, our company quack asked me ,during my two year physical, if I slept all night. Being over 50, I told him the truth, and said I got up sometimes twice a night to water the lawn........."Oh, you must have sleep apnea." He said........"and besides, you're 10 lbs. overweight...".....(...but it looks so good on me!....)...

    Tests scheduled, company paid for, but since this was something new, there was a question of how I would get paid for those two days, and like an idiot, I volunteered to take two sick days,......thereby eliminating the company's...."problem".

    In hindsight, I should've said that if I the company is requiring my time, then they will pay for my time. Subsequent conversations with the Union Workers Compensation attorney on retainer reinforced that opinion. There's a whole bunch of legal language out there to prevent company "fishing expeditions".........and their supposed presumption of your health ........and the doctor is acting in a position as a "company official".

    In the meantime, if you suspect that there is any sort of collusion between company and their contracted doctor,......to "disqualify" a driver due to " health problems"......DOCUMENT!....and IMMEDIATELY contact the Union attorney. That kind of crap would be their red meat for dinner,.......and it would take seven interns to cart in all the legal opinions concerning hiring, HIPPA laws, age discrimination laws, and Americans with Disabilities Accommodation laws into the arbitrators courtroom.
     
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