You’re sitting at your desk when the telephone rings. The Department of Transportation has just told you that a safety audit will be done on your transportation company. Is your company prepared?
If you’re an owner or a manager of a trucking company, you do not have to panic when the time comes for a DOT audit. Properly training your management team so that they understand the DOT regulations will ensure that your company is operating in compliance at all times. When a trucking management team fully understands what the DOT expects, an unexpected check of the records can be painless and stress free for everyone that is involved.
What is the purpose of a DOT safety audit?
When DOT performs a their check they are there to evaluate the company’s performance in safety and to ensure that all record-keeping meets their requirements. Below is a review that covers the typical safety audit, and what they look for. The audits vary from state to state. There packets are available in every state that will instruct you on how to keep in compliance.
It is recommended that you ask for a DOT safety audit packet that is relevant for your area of operations. The packet will explain all DOT regulations that you must follow.
An audit typically involves six categories that will be inspected. General, Driver, Operational, Vehicle, Hazardous Materials and Accidents.
A company needs to show that they have proper liability coverage. All required documentation will be listed in the packet that covers your area. Dot safety auditors will also request to view the company’s accident register. All recordable DOT accidents must be listed. The accident register has to be in place, even if there are no recordable accidents.
Under the general review, vehicle markings could also be inspected to ensure proper markings on all commercial vehicles. DOT will also review all training records that involve transportation safety and any other training records that involve their regulations.
DOT safety audits will review every driver’s CDL, qualifications, and alcohol and drug testing records. Management must also have a means of tracking CDL expiration dates. Under the driver category, there are several mandatory documents that are required. You can get the full list of requirements in a DOT safety audit packet.
Any company that operates a commercial motor vehicle must have record-keeping detailing driver’s hours of service. DOT safety auditors expect at least 6 months of driver logs.
In this category, DOT safety audits want to see detailed record-keeping of each commercial vehicle that includes maintenance, repairs and inspections.
DOT safety auditors will want to review all Hazmat related documentation that can include licenses, storage, labels, placards, training and endorsements.
Because safety is the main concern, all driver accidents and injuries will be reviewed for proper documentation to ensure all regulations were met.
A company that has a management team that follows all regulations when handling everyday operations will likely be in compliance during a safety audit. Company’s can request a DOT safety audit packet through their state Department Of Transportation office and the packets are also available online.