One of the most noticeable effects of sleep apnea is that it can cause a person to doze off during work. Sleep apnea prevents a person from getting enough rest at night, so that sleep apnea sufferers awake feeling unrested and experience sleepiness throughout the day.
Dozing off during work can be dangerous for many professions, including truck drivers, airline pilots, and even some people at desk jobs like nuclear plant operators, as one plant operator found out when it was nearly slapped with a $70,000 fine.
Untreated Sleep Apnea Can Be a Safety Violation
Because people with sleep apnea can doze off during work, they can put their coworkers and others at risk if they fail to properly perform their job duties. In many industries, there are codes surrounding a diagnosis of sleep apnea. In many industries, employees are required to get screened for sleep apnea, and a sleep apnea diagnosis must be reported. There are often requirements about what type of treatment can be used.
One industry with strict standards for sleep apnea is the nuclear industry. The Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) requires that companies must report if one of their employees in a critical area has sleep apnea. The failure to report that one of the operators of Unit 3 at the Indian Point Plant made the NRC consider a $70,000 penalty. against operator Entergy. However the NRC decided not to impose the fine because the company turned up the shortcoming on its own internal audit.
Sleep Apnea Can Be Expensive for Your Company
This story about Indian Point shows how potentially costly sleep apnea can be for your company. Your industry may not have a regulatory watchdog like the NRC or the FMCSA that is prepared to impose fines if your employees’ sleep apnea isn’t treated. But every time you put the company’s assets in the hands of someone with untreated sleep apnea, you are risking an accident that could damage assets or result in injuries to your employees or others.
The problem is, it can be hard to get employees to use CPAP for their sleep apnea. You need to make sure employees know that there is a more comfortable and convenient treatment option: oral appliances.
Please call (402) 493-4175 to talk about the benefits of oral appliance therapy with a sleep dentist at the Advanced Dental Sleep Treatment Center.