OTA Dispatch Issue 4, 2022

28 Oregon Trucking Association, Inc. Oregon Truck Dispatch Getting the New Year Started Right: Safety and Compliance By AdamWilliamson, OTA’s Director of Training & Development IT MAY BE hard to believe, but 2023 will soon be upon us. This is the time of the year that many make their personal New Year’s resolutions. It is also a good time for trucking companies to take stock of their business operations and make plans for any needed improvements to their safety and compliance programs. Here are some good questions to start with: 1. How has safety gone in the past year for your company? It is important to accurately review your overall safety performance throughout the year: were your drivers involved in any accidents? How many road-side inspections did drivers go through? Did your company have any DOT audits? If so, what were the audit findings? What is your current safety rating and CSA score? It is difficult to accurately assess where you are at from a safety perspective without answering these types of questions. Hopefully, you had a relatively clean year in terms of accidents and enforcement issues. If not, you had better have a plan going into 2023 to get things back on track. 2.What changes have occurred or will soon occur in the trucking industry that impact safety? The trucking industry is constantly on the move (pun intended) and the regulatory environment is a good example of that. This past year we saw new Entry Level Driver Training requirements go into effect as well as a significant rule revision related to DQ files (drivers are no longer required to submit their annual certificate of violations to their employer). Early in 2023, we will also arrive at the three-year mark of running driver queries in FMCSA’s Drug and Alcohol Clearing House which will impact how safety history checks are done on drivers applying for employment. These are examples of the types of changes that carriers need to be aware of. 3.What policy or personal updates are needed? The aforementioned regulatory changes should, of course, be incorporated into existing company polices. If it has been a number of years since your company has last reviewed its policies in general, a more comprehensive overhaul may also be appropriate. Smaller carriers that have seen significant growth in recent years may also need to consider whether it is time to designate a fulltime staff member responsibility for safety and compliance (as in create new Safety Director position). Policies and organization must evolve to meet the needs of the present. 4.What specific safety goals do you have for your company this year? Generally speaking, carriers tend to have broad safety objectives such as an accidentfree year or maintaining an ideal CSA score threshold. But what will actually be involved in achieving these results? Carriers can often benefit from more specific, measurable goals that provide a realistic path to accomplishing the broader objectives. An example of this could be providing remedial training to all drivers on subjects like defensive driving or how to do pre-trip inspections. Good safety and compliance records seldom just happen, they are the product of having a clear vision for your safety program and the diligence to implement it effectively. From time to time, it is important to review your safety programs to make sure that everything is on the right track. Ideally, this should happen at least once a year. We do not want something as important as safety to get away from us. Let’s start 2023 off on the right foot and keep our drivers safe! SAFETY