Sleep Apnoea Concerns Addressed by FTA CPC Module
Amid rising concerns over the impact of sleep apnoea on the safe driving practices of HGV and long-distance drivers, the Freight Transport Association (FTA) and the OSA Partnership Group have collaborated to create a partial Certificate of Professional Competence (CPC) that will be available at no charge to both non-FTA and FTA members. The module was designed to raise awareness of the dangers of sleep apnoea, as well as of its symptoms.
According to Jacqui Hillhouse, training product development manager at FTA, “As a leading Driver CPC training provider, FTA recognizes the importance of raising awareness of any condition that could impact on driver safety. This training session focuses on sleep apnoea and can be included within Driver CPC training outlining the symptoms and treatment that HGV drivers should be aware of. FTA provides the training materials for this module free of charge, not just to our own members but to the wider population in order to make as many drivers as possible aware of the implications of untreated OSA.”
The module lasts approximately an hour and a half, and is flexible enough to be added on to any training module that is chosen. The reason why this training is so critically important is that OSA can increase the chances of a driving accident between three fold and nine fold, and can also dramatically increase the severity of the accident. It has been linked to significant reductions in the quality of life and wellbeing, and has been associated with a higher incidence of several chronic health conditions and a reduced life expectancy.
According to Professor John Stradling of the OSA Partnership Group, “It is essential that we make drivers aware of the symptoms of sleep apnoea. It is a condition that can be very easily diagnosed and treated, and following this patients are able to lead normal lives. It is especially significant for HGV drivers as successful treatment will enable them to drive as safely as anyone without OSA. We hope that the programme that we have developed with the FTA will allow drivers to recognize OSAs in themselves or others and to act upon this knowledge to seek treatment, and in doing so to improve dramatically the quality of their lives.”