Changes are coming to the CSA program. Are you ready for them? Here’s what you need to know to meet the challenge and stay sharp, and how Infinit-I Workforce Solutions can help you face the changes.
What’s not changing
FMCSA’s safety measurement system will still use roadside inspections and violations data to produce its metrics. They want to identify carriers that score higher than their peers in patterns of non-compliance with regulations. This is the safety measurement system approach that’s been in place for several years now. It compares carriers with one another to produce the scores (peer-based), and uses violations from roadside inspections to gather its data.
What is changing
What they gather and why is not changing, but their approach to interpreting the data is. Instead of focusing on predicting how many accidents might correspond with your level of compliance, what they want to know is are you actively attempting to prevent accidents overall?
Here’s the difference. Let’s say your drivers are showing up at roadside inspections with minor lights violations. Previously, the CSA would focus on what that might mean in terms of accidents directly related to these violations–which might not amount to much. Now, they are also looking at the bigger picture. If they see minor lights violations, they’re not calculating the risk of accidents only directly related to those lights, but also accidents related to neglecting maintenance in general. That’s a bigger deal.
In other words, while the previous focus was on predicting the effects of individual violations, the new focus is on what these violations say about your company’s wholesale commitment to safety, your company culture.
Going back to our example, a minor lights violation is no longer just a minor lights violation. It raises a red flag to the FMCSA that your company might have a habit of neglecting maintenance in general.
The key to CSA scores
One thing you don’t want to hear this year is that you have met the CSA threshold and now there’s an alert on your company. You’ve got attention from the federal government, higher liability premiums, and even loss of business with shippers if they think you’re too much of a risk.
You can avoid this. And the solution may be more streamlined than you think.
Improving your CSA score starts with better driver training.
Let’s break that down. It’s important to remember that when the CSA determines your score they’re ticking a lot of individual boxes, but they’re basically looking at two main categories:
- Individual violations
- Company culture
Company culture and CSA
Violations have to do with the driving record of an individual driver, such as a speeding ticket or backing into a parked vehicle. But, as the FMCSA now recognizes, those individual records are also a reflection of your company culture as a whole.
Instead of thinking of your CSA inspection as a drag, think of it more like a check-up at the doctor’s office. The more things you have in line with the CSA, the more likely it is that your company is operating in a way conducive to healthy success. Why?
The heart of a trucking company is based on the very big-picture questions that will now also determine your CSA score:
- How much attention are you giving to the most common non-compliance issues your driver’s face?
- How much attention are you paying to your drivers, period?
- How quickly are you addressing unwanted behavior and habits?
- What do your onboarding and training look like?
- Are you careful about who you hire?
- Are you meticulous about recordkeeping, training, and maintenance?
- Are you doing everything you can to encourage clear communication between leaders, dispatchers, and drivers?
And last but not least, is a question that sums it all up:
- Do you always value safety first? Or are you willing to cut corners for your bottom line?
Safety first – no matter what
The golden phrase for your CSA score is “Safety First,” not “Meet the Technical Requirements, and Safety When it’s Convenient.” And this is a good thing. Accidents involving semis are some of the most brutal on American highways. Trucking companies are gatekeepers for the safety of individuals, families, and billions of dollars of commerce on the road.
Infinit-I Workforce Solutions and your CSA score
With the Infinit-I Workforce Solutions system, you can make safety and top-quality drivers your number one priority, while still protecting your budget. We make this happen through efficient, frequent, and flexible training, all with an automated documentation system. Select from over 850 training videos to send to drivers, including customized media and that training can be done on the spot, anywhere, anytime, through a tablet or smartphone. This saves you:
- In-person meeting costs, including loss of revenue from parked trucks
- Insurance rates through fewer incidents
- Travel and lodging for all your trainers throughout the year
- Fees and fines associated with litigation
But even though cost-savings is crucial, the point is, what always needs to guide your company culture is a concern for having the safest fleets on the road. Here’s how Infinit-I Workforce Solutions accomplishes that:
The Infinit-I Workforce Solutions system makes it possible to immediately remediate on every driving issue, every time. Whether it’s maintenance, speeding, road rage, or improperly charged fire extinguishers, addressing problems immediately and repeatedly shows you did your due diligence, and actually changes driver behavior.
A holistic approach
Companies that partner with us get a customized set of interlocking tools to affect safety improvements at every level of your business, from getting the right training videos to drivers, to strategy building, to documentation. And we’re constantly offering free webinars and Boot Camp seminars to keep you informed about new regulations and cutting-edge developments in trucking safety management.
Keep safety first and promote a culture of safety, and not only will you protect your CSA scores, but you’ll also develop a reputation for excellence. Try a free demo of Infinit-I Workforce Solutions