A sleep testing campaign for airport firefighters

Pompiers BSCA

A first in the airport world!

Brussels South Charleroi Airport, with the support of its external occupational health service Attentia, has launched a sleep testing campaign among its firefighters.

From the age of 40 onwards, approximately one in three workers, men and women alike, suffer from obstructive sleep apnea syndrome (OSA). This is responsible for fatigue and drowsiness during the day.

Indeed, the quality of sleep, rather than the quantity, is essential in order to avoid all the health problems that result from it, such as cardiovascular diseases, strokes, diabetes, depression or exhaustion.

In order to detect possible unknown sleep disorders, our airport firefighters had the opportunity to use a sleep sensor developed by the company Sunrise, based in Namur. Placed on the chin during a night and connected to the smartphone, the sensor detects and records various data during sleep. The results are available the next day via a dedicated application.

This first experiment in the BSCA fire service showed that 70% of the volunteers who took the test were affected by OSA to varying degrees. Depending on the severity, different ways of improving the symptoms were discussed with the individuals.

BSCA is now extending the screening to all its staff.

Pierre HALLEUX, Assistant Manager HSE : « We were surprised by the results announced by Sunrise, confirmed during the clinical tests. It allows the staff detected to significantly improve their quality of life through the quality of sleep. The ease of implementation of this test also allows for quick and easy detection of possible sleep disorders ».