When the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) introduced the Compliance, Safety, Accountability (CSA) initiative a couple years ago, they did so with the intention of saving lives. As a member of the transportation industry, your focus should be on improving CSA scores within your organization.
What You Need to Know About CSA Scores
Before attempting to improve your company’s CSA scores to a satisfactory level, it’s important to understand the purpose behind the FMCSAs compliance initiative and how it operates. First and foremost, know that CSA scores are designed to protect employees, passengers, and the driving public. It’s not some extra hoop to jump through; it’s a tangible way to make our highways safer for everyone.
Practically speaking, a good CSA score will keep the FMCSA and DOT off your back. You’ll spend less time and money fighting the authorities if you’re able to meet standards from the start. When you fail to meet desired thresholds, these organizations begin making your life difficult.
There are three levels of intervention for low-performing companies, and each tier is progressively more involved. The three levels are Early Contact, Investigation, and Follow-on.
Tips for Improving CSA Scores
You can avoid these methods of intervention by adhering to the following tips:
- Change corporate culture. Improving CSA scores starts with your company’s corporate culture. Does your organization make it a point to discuss the value of safety on a regular basis? Don’t just post a sign in the break room; communicate it in everything you do.
- Educate your employees. Educating your employees and drivers about the nuances of the CSA initiative goes hand in hand with changing the corporate culture. While it’s been around for almost four years now, many individuals just don’t know enough about it to comply. Explain what’s expected and warn about the severity of violations.
- Understand top violations. Not all violations are created equal. Really hone in on the top violations and ensure your company avoids them. These include having defective reflective devices or lights, running on tires with a tread depth less than 2/32 of an inch, driving with a damaged windshield, operating a truck with faulty brake connections, and using inoperative turn signals.
- Take action. While head knowledge is great, it’s useless without action. Determine which areas of your company are concerning and implement written procedures. Pre-trip inspections should be mandatory, and each driver should have a scorecard which lists past violations and tendencies. It’s amazing how much drivers improve when they know they’re being watched.
- CSA resource center. The FMCSA isn’t out to get you – they want you to succeed. In honor of that commitment, they’ve provided plenty of resources on their website. Print these, hand them out to employees, and really harp on the value of compliance.
At GTG Technology, we believe in making the road a safer place for everyone. As part of our Brokerage Management System, we offer carrier management features that allow you to track your CSA safety scores for improvement. For more information, please contact us today!