Sleep apnea

 
  kowboyk1 Beginner

hi all,
I have a cat 1 medical tomorrow and over a year ago I was diagnosed with mild sleep apnea which I manage with a CPAP machine. Can anyone tell me if having sleep apnea mean I’ll fail the cat 1 ?
Cheers

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  KRviator Moderator

Location: Up the front
hi all,
I have a cat 1 medical tomorrow and over a year ago I was diagnosed with mild sleep apnea which I manage with a CPAP machine. Can anyone tell me if having sleep apnea mean I’ll fail the cat 1 ?
Cheers
kowboyk1
No, you won't fail the Cat 1. A bunch of Driver's get diagnosed with it every year. Don't bullshyte about it, and make it clear that it is being successfully managed with the machine.

From the official NTC Cat 1 assessment (Page 120 and on is where you want to see):

Safety Critical Workers who are diagnosed with obstructive sleep apnoea syndrome and require treatment should have annual review by a sleep specialist to ensure that adequate treatment is maintained.

Advice to workers
All workers suspected of having, or found to have, sleep apnoea or other sleep disorders should be advised about potential impact on Safety Critical Work and strategies for maintaining fitness for duty. General advice should include:
• minimising unnecessary activity at times when normally asleep
• allowing adequate time for sleep
• avoiding working after having missed a large portion of their normal sleep
• avoiding alcohol and sedative medications
• resting if sleepy.

Safety Critical Workers are responsible for:
• notifying management if they are sleepy so safety critical duties may be avoided
• complying with treatment, including management of lifestyle factors
• maintaining their treatment device
• attending review appointments
• honestly reporting their condition to their treating physician and the Authorised Health Professional.

Category 1 and Category 2 Safety Critical Workers
A person is not Fit for Duty Unconditional:
• if the person has established sleep apnoea syndrome (see Section 18.6.2); or
• if the person has severe sleep apnoea on a diagnostic sleep study with or without self-reported excessive daytime sleepiness.

Fit for Duty Subject to Review may be determined, subject to annual review, taking into account the nature of the work and information provided by a specialist* in sleep disorders as to whether the following criteria are met:
• the person is compliant with treatment; and
• the response to treatment is satisfactory.

*The Chief Medical Officer of a rail organisation may determine that review by the worker’s treating general practitioner is sufficient if there is an established pattern of compliance and good response to treatment. The initial granting of Fit for Duty Subject to Review must be based on information provided by a specialist.
  kowboyk1 Beginner

Thankyou so much for the information KRviator. I should mention that I’m not already employed, this is my initial medical to become employed for light rail operations.
Given that I’m seeking employment with this condition, would it be a reason that an employer would reject my application. (I’m in the too hard basket).

From how I understand it, the medical agency where I undergo the procedure don’t pass on exactly what condition I have, just that I am “fit for duty subject to review”. But sounds like it might take a bit of time to reach that point.

I know that the company wants to advise successful candidates by December 7 to start 4 weeks later so it might all be too much trouble for them to take me ...
  KRviator Moderator

Location: Up the front
Thankyou so much for the information KRviator. I should mention that I’m not already employed, this is my initial medical to become employed for light rail operations.
Given that I’m seeking employment with this condition, would it be a reason that an employer would reject my application. (I’m in the too hard basket).

From how I understand it, the medical agency where I undergo the procedure don’t pass on exactly what condition I have, just that I am “fit for duty subject to review”. But sounds like it might take a bit of time to reach that point.

I know that the company wants to advise successful candidates by December 7 to start 4 weeks later so it might all be too much trouble for them to take me ...
kowboyk1
I had an issue recently where I had to undergo an out-of-schedule medical review, and the quack may ask your permission to discuss your condition with the employer.

If you don't feel comfortable with that - I didn't - they will only issue one of three outcomes. "Fit for duty - unconditional", "Fit for duty -subject to review", or "Unfit for duty". In your case, it'd likely be "Fit for duty - subject to review", which is all you'd need for the employer to hire you. They might contact you directly to discuss what that review might entail down the track, but if you're doing medicals, you'd really have to fail the medical to not be employed at this point.
  kowboyk1 Beginner

Thankyou so much for the information KRviator. I should mention that I’m not already employed, this is my initial medical to become employed for light rail operations.
Given that I’m seeking employment with this condition, would it be a reason that an employer would reject my application. (I’m in the too hard basket).

From how I understand it, the medical agency where I undergo the procedure don’t pass on exactly what condition I have, just that I am “fit for duty subject to review”. But sounds like it might take a bit of time to reach that point.

I know that the company wants to advise successful candidates by December 7 to start 4 weeks later so it might all be too much trouble for them to take me ...
I had an issue recently where I had to undergo an out-of-schedule medical review, and the quack may ask your permission to discuss your condition with the employer.

If you don't feel comfortable with that - I didn't - they will only issue one of three outcomes. "Fit for duty - unconditional", "Fit for duty -subject to review", or "Unfit for duty". In your case, it'd likely be "Fit for duty - subject to review", which is all you'd need for the employer to hire you. They might contact you directly to discuss what that review might entail down the track, but if you're doing medicals, you'd really have to fail the medical to not be employed at this point.
KRviator


oh wow.... thanks so much for that.  You've really put my mind at ease.  I was thinking it was all over for me.  I was feeling so good making it this far then spun out of control thinking i was doomed hahaha.  But now I'll just lay it all on the line and hopefully that'll be all good to progress.  
Thank you so much for your help.  I really do appreciate it Smile
  YM-Mundrabilla The Ghost of George Stephenson

Location: Mundrabilla but I'd rather be in Narvik
Good luck Kowboyk1.
  kowboyk1 Beginner

Good luck Kowboyk1.
YM-Mundrabilla
Cheers, thanks for the well wishes...  ive got everything crossed lol
  kowboyk1 Beginner

Ahhhh.. so I failed the colour blind test.
The doc said I’m unfit for duty and required to do a Railcorp led lantern test ????
  seb2351 Chief Commissioner

Location: Sydney
Ahhhh.. so I failed the colour blind test.
The doc said I’m unfit for duty and required to do a Railcorp led lantern test ????
kowboyk1
This is not necessarily a bad thing just yet. I worked with a trainee driver who had colour blindness, and as I found out there are different types.
His was he couldn't see blue and yellow properly.

He was required to do the lantern test, wear these glasses to help correct the issue and is now happily driving trains.

He did tell me but if its red/green blindness then the glasses don't work.

All the best with it
  kowboyk1 Beginner

Thanks seb2351...
I had the lantern test and sadly failed that one too. The HR lady said not to give up hope just yet, but I can’t imagine any way I can do the job without passing the medical. I’m disappointed with the situation and with my eyesight deficiency but I know I can’t do anything to improve my colour blindness. I can’t study, I can’t try harder, it’s just how it is and I have to accept it. Thanks everyone for your well wishes
  KRviator Moderator

Location: Up the front
Thanks seb2351...
I had the lantern test and sadly failed that one too. The HR lady said not to give up hope just yet, but I can’t imagine any way I can do the job without passing the medical. I’m disappointed with the situation and with my eyesight deficiency but I know I can’t do anything to improve my colour blindness. I can’t study, I can’t try harder, it’s just how it is and I have to accept it. Thanks everyone for your well wishes
kowboyk1
I don't want to get your hopes up, as they may see you as in the too-bard basket, but the below is a quote from the Cat1 guidelines, if you can explain it to the HR staff, they may be able to confirm it with Operations? If you have a driver's licence (which I'm guessing you do as pretty much every job needs it), you could argue you can already interpret traffic lights, and in turn, use the actual position of the illuminated lamp, rather than the colour, to determine the aspect, as described in the NTC guidelines?

Tram drivers usually have to use traffic lights similarly to vehicle drivers. Traffic lights have positional cues and hence redundancy of information, so colour vision is not required to be tested.
Source, Page 145
The NTC Cat1 Medical Guidelines
  kowboyk1 Beginner

Thanks seb2351...
I had the lantern test and sadly failed that one too. The HR lady said not to give up hope just yet, but I can’t imagine any way I can do the job without passing the medical. I’m disappointed with the situation and with my eyesight deficiency but I know I can’t do anything to improve my colour blindness. I can’t study, I can’t try harder, it’s just how it is and I have to accept it. Thanks everyone for your well wishes
I don't want to get your hopes up, as they may see you as in the too-bard basket, but the below is a quote from the Cat1 guidelines, if you can explain it to the HR staff, they may be able to confirm it with Operations? If you have a driver's licence (which I'm guessing you do as pretty much every job needs it), you could argue you can already interpret traffic lights, and in turn, use the actual position of the illuminated lamp, rather than the colour, to determine the aspect, as described in the NTC guidelines?

Tram drivers usually have to use traffic lights similarly to vehicle drivers. Traffic lights have positional cues and hence redundancy of information, so colour vision is not required to be tested.
Source, Page 145
KRviator
wow, that is so informative and exactly my situation.  The HR have actually said they are trying to work out a dispensation for me and another applicant who is also colour blind and not to give up hope just yet....  So perhaps this is the area they are looking at for the dispo.  The job im applying for is in operations control, but part of the agreement says that ops controllers still need to be trained to drive a tram, so it wouldnt even be my primary duty, but still necessary for employment.  
Thanks so much for that info, im in the middle of trying to stay positive but also not get my hopes up - its a fine line hahaha
  Gayspie Deputy Commissioner

Location: Adelaide, SA
The last thing that i want is for sleepy train drivers to be driving the train that i am travelling on...

I also dont want colorblind train drivers thinking red signals are green and causing a big accident...
  justapassenger Minister for Railways

I don't want to get your hopes up, as they may see you as in the too-bard basket, but the below is a quote from the Cat1 guidelines, if you can explain it to the HR staff, they may be able to confirm it with Operations? If you have a driver's licence (which I'm guessing you do as pretty much every job needs it), you could argue you can already interpret traffic lights, and in turn, use the actual position of the illuminated lamp, rather than the colour, to determine the aspect, as described in the NTC guidelines?

Tram drivers usually have to use traffic lights similarly to vehicle drivers. Traffic lights have positional cues and hence redundancy of information, so colour vision is not required to be tested.
Source, Page 145
KRviator
The guideline for train drivers, on the other hand, reads as follows:
Train drivers must be able to recognise colour signals. Positional cues are not always available because red/green lights often operate from a single lens signal; lights from a signal may have no background or illumination at night to help their identi cation; there may be dazzle from a low sun behind the signal; and red lights may be shone from a lantern in emergency situations, requiring rapid reaction. Combinations of red/yellow/green signals are used to inform the train driver of a safe speed and routing.
  KRviator Moderator

Location: Up the front
Good thing the NTC is somewhat more progressive in their thinking when they set the medical standards.

You are more at risk from a fatigued driver - who meets all the medical standards but has a shytehouse roster - than one who is partly colorblind...
  kowboyk1 Beginner

The last thing that i want is for sleepy train drivers to be driving the train that i am travelling on...

I also dont want colorblind train drivers thinking red signals are green and causing a big accident...
Heath Loxton
me too... that's why its lucky I have been diagnosed and can treat my sleep apnea, unlike the millions of people in the world who have it but have never had it diagnosed and it goes untreated, who are also flying planes, driving trains and buses, trucks and other forms of transport all the time not knowing they have it and aren't treating it.....

and there are colourblind train drivers who still can work, and pilots....  
If I can drive a car at 110km adhering to traffic lights and knowing red from green then I driving a tram at 40km adhering to the exact same traffic lights should be a problem Smile
  kowboyk1 Beginner

Hi everyone, I just wanted to say a huge thankyou to everyone who helped. I found out today that I got the job.
I had to do an assessment on board the tram and demonstrate that i could see various lights along the line and sit in the cab and say the colours that were on the displays and the buttons.  Finaly a colour exam that I could get 100% hahaha.  

I start in 2 weeks and couldnt be happier. Im very lucky to be part of a company that supports their staff (or potential staff in my case)
  fzr560 Chief Train Controller

Hi everyone, I just wanted to say a huge thankyou to everyone who helped. I found out today that I got the job.
I had to do an assessment on board the tram and demonstrate that i could see various lights along the line and sit in the cab and say the colours that were on the displays and the buttons.  Finaly a colour exam that I could get 100% hahaha.  

I start in 2 weeks and couldnt be happier. Im very lucky to be part of a company that supports their staff (or potential staff in my case)
kowboyk1
Well done and good luck with the new career. I'm not surprised you were successful.
  YM-Mundrabilla The Ghost of George Stephenson

Location: Mundrabilla but I'd rather be in Narvik
Well done Kowboyk1.
  jcsaws63 Junior Train Controller

Location: 200Mts from the 535k post
hi all,
I have a cat 1 medical tomorrow and over a year ago I was diagnosed with mild sleep apnea which I manage with a CPAP machine. Can anyone tell me if having sleep apnea mean I’ll fail the cat 1 ?
Cheers
No, you won't fail the Cat 1. A bunch of Driver's get diagnosed with it every year. Don't bullshyte about it, and make it clear that it is being successfully managed with the machine.

From the official NTC Cat 1 assessment (Page 120 and on is where you want to see):

Safety Critical Workers who are diagnosed with obstructive sleep apnoea syndrome and require treatment should have annual review by a sleep specialist to ensure that adequate treatment is maintained.

Advice to workers
All workers suspected of having, or found to have, sleep apnoea or other sleep disorders should be advised about potential impact on Safety Critical Work and strategies for maintaining fitness for duty. General advice should include:
• minimising unnecessary activity at times when normally asleep
• allowing adequate time for sleep
• avoiding working after having missed a large portion of their normal sleep
• avoiding alcohol and sedative medications
• resting if sleepy.

Safety Critical Workers are responsible for:
• notifying management if they are sleepy so safety critical duties may be avoided
• complying with treatment, including management of lifestyle factors
• maintaining their treatment device
• attending review appointments
• honestly reporting their condition to their treating physician and the Authorised Health Professional.

Category 1 and Category 2 Safety Critical Workers
A person is not Fit for Duty Unconditional:
• if the person has established sleep apnoea syndrome (see Section 18.6.2); or
• if the person has severe sleep apnoea on a diagnostic sleep study with or without self-reported excessive daytime sleepiness.

Fit for Duty Subject to Review may be determined, subject to annual review, taking into account the nature of the work and information provided by a specialist* in sleep disorders as to whether the following criteria are met:
• the person is compliant with treatment; and
• the response to treatment is satisfactory.

*The Chief Medical Officer of a rail organisation may determine that review by the worker’s treating general practitioner is sufficient if there is an established pattern of compliance and good response to treatment. The initial granting of Fit for Duty Subject to Review must be based on information provided by a specialist.
KRviator
Unfortunately I told the phone interviewer a few months ago that I had Sleep apnoea that has been treated and compliant for 19 years with a Cpap machine for NSW HC fittness to drive. When I checked how the process was going, I was informed due to SA i didn't move forward. No reply when i Asked for clarification
.
  NG Sulzers Deputy Commissioner

Location: Quorn
I have SA, and have bought two CPAP machines. My employer knows about it and doesn't really care, so long as the form comes back saying "fit for duty unconditional" or "fit for duty conditional", I can do my job.
Being a train driver that does both relay work and box jobs is the reason I bought two machines, one that's permanent at home, and the other is a more compact machine that I take to work for relay working or where going to a motel (box job) to rest before working again. I can also use my portable machine when I go 4Wdriving/camping, it has a clip on battery pack.
Both machines I have apps for on my phone, so the data from each can be downloaded into a .pdf  The Dr. requires to see the data at the time of my periodic review. He did state that if using two different machines, he'll need to see the data from both. He's looking for both compliance of use, and that apnoea events are being controlled. Usually I send him the last three months from each machine up to the date of the medical review, noting that he can also ask to see any other month(s) at random.
I know I'm not the only one working under similar conditions (relay working and box jobs) that use CPAP machine.
  jcsaws63 Junior Train Controller

Location: 200Mts from the 535k post
So I was just reading the older Sleep apnoea threads and want to see how others are getting on and get more feedback.



So last year I told the Phone interviewer I had SA but was Compliant with treatment using a Cpap Machine for past 19 years.

When I didn't progress they told me it was the Sleep apnoea. When I emailed for clarification as I highlighted the Cat 1 Information, I got no reply.

I few weeks later I had an interview as a Network Controller and they said it was fine. But just before notification of the position I had to notify them I couldn't proceed with possible employment as I had to have brain Surgery to remove a benign tumour. So far recovering well, back to work but have facial Palsy on one side. It may recover, iI just wait and see.

Does the CAT 1 or 2 require time to gain rail employment?

Was there a Link to the Cat 1-2 medical assessment?
Can you be employed with a CROS hearing device?



Hope your all well.

Cheers JC
  KRviator Moderator

Location: Up the front
So I was just reading the older Sleep apnoea threads and want to see how others are getting on and get more feedback

So last year I told the Phone interviewer I had SA but was Compliant with treatment using a Cpap Machine for past 19 years.

When I didn't progress they told me it was the Sleep apnoea. When I emailed for clarification as I highlighted the Cat 1 Information, I got no reply.

I few weeks later I had an interview as a Network Controller and they said it was fine. But just before notification of the position I had to notify them I couldn't proceed with possible employment as I had to have brain Surgery to remove a benign tumour. So far recovering well, back to work but have facial Palsy on one side. It may recover, iI just wait and see.

Does the CAT 1 or 2 require time to gain rail employment?

Was there a Link to the Cat 1-2 medical assessment?

Can you be employed with a CROS hearing device?
jcsaws63
$hits me to tears when office lackeys think they know more than the Doc who signs you off for the Cat 1, sorry to hear you've missed out on a position because of one of those clowns...

So far as I'm aware, there is no minimum interval between doing Cat 1's, however, the current NTC guidelines recommend - but do not mandate - you be classed as Temporarily Unfit for Duty for a period of 12 months following intracranial surgery - Page 125 of the standard is the reference. The questionnaire you'll have to fill out for the Doc can be found on the NTC website - I would link directly to it, but it has spaces in the URL and RP has a dummy spit when that's the case. CLICK HERE, and about 3/4 down the page on the right you'll find it - as well as the link to the current Cat 1 document for when they change the URL  again and my aforementioned link breaks! Razz

Insofar as your query regarding the hearing aid (CROS) I think but am not sure, it'd be acceptable, as hearing aids in general are permitted, with certain caveats (ie, avoid unidirectional aids, limiting amplification of all noise, etc) - but would defer to a Doc for the official answer!
  jcsaws63 Junior Train Controller

Location: 200Mts from the 535k post
Thanks for the reply and information. When i get a few extra mins, Ill have a better look.
Cheers
JC

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