In the US, the economic cost of obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) to businesses is approximately $150 billion per year in higher health care costs, motor vehicle crashes and reduced productivity. These results can be assumed to be similar in Canada.
Untreated sleep disorders reduce alertness and increase fatigue, which contribute to missed workdays, lower productivity, increased health costs, workplace injuries and motor vehicle accidents.
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Obstructive sleep apnea is a common but significant sleep-related breathing disorder characterized by interruptions of sleep caused by partial or complete airway obstructions while sleeping. Collapsing of the airway causes breathing to stop. Apneas can occur 50 to 100 times an hour, depending on the severity of the disorder. When apneas occur, air cannot enter the lungs, causing a decrease in oxygen in the blood and requiring the heart to work harder. The brain detects these disturbances and will arouse the body out of sleep just enough to get the individual to start breathing again. With normal sleep patterns interrupted, those affected experience sleepiness or feel tired during the day. The long-term health effects are even more serious. Untreated OSA increases the risk of heart attack, stroke, diabetes, heart failure and irregular heartbeat.
Every day, many of your employees may be coming to work dramatically impaired by undiagnosed OSA.
5.4 million Canadians have or are at high risk of experiencing OSA. Obesity is considered the leading risk factor for OSA. With obesity and weight problems rising in North America, OSA has become more prevalent. Men are more susceptible to sleep apnea than women, and out of those men, most are middle-aged. Genetic factors can also be related to OSA risk.
Employee Screening from HorizonAire is an easy and effective way to address OSA.
Our Employee Screening Methodology
OSA Sleep Study Testing
Schneider’s, a US transportation company, decided to treat drivers diagnosed with OSA. The trucking company saved $400 a month on health plan costs per driver, increased retention, reduced crash risk and decreased DOT-reportable crashes. (7) The Canadian Council of Motor Transport Administrators estimates that 20% of fatal collisions involved a fatigued driver. The majority of studies show that people suffering from OSA are 2 to 4 times more likely to get into an accident when not treated. (8,9)