VIDEO | New Entrant Safety Audit: What to Expect & How to Prepare

New Entrant Safety Audit for Trucking Companies in Their First Year

New Entrant Safety Audit for Trucking Companies in Their First Year

Today we are talking with Reghan Orman about the Safety Audit.

Reghan is Associate General Counsel at Apex Capital and she also leads the Apex Startup Program. A program designed to help those interested in starting a trucking company get their operating authority.

A safety audit can be performed by any U.S. Federal Safety Investigator or any state’s enforcement officer. Generally, safety audits are going to take place at a motor carrier’s principal place of business.

The purpose of the safety audit is two-fold. First, it helps the FMCSA to gather safety data to assess all new entrant safety performance and adequacy of the safety measurement systems they have put in place. And second, it provides educational and technical assistance to carriers on an ongoing basis.

During an audit, the FMCSA is going to review the safety management systems that the motor carrier has put into place. And that covers a variety of topics including driver qualifications and duty status’, vehicle maintenance, is the motor carrier maintaining an accident register and do they have a controlled substance and alcohol testing program in place.

If you don’t pass the safety audit as a new entrant, that means the FMCSA has come in, conducted the audit, and they have determined that the safety management system and controls that that new entrant has are so inadequate that they are just going to fail the audit for them. When that occurs, the FMCSA is going to send written notice to the new entrant that they are either going to be placed out of service or that their authority is suspended unless they take certain steps to remedy whatever problem that the FMCSA found and they are going to send that notice to the new entrant within 45 days of the audit. The new entrant then upon receiving that notice should within the next 60 days submit their corrective action plan back to the FMCSA so that they can keep their authority active and not be placed out of service indefinitely.

Once you are given permanent authority, there’s no real annual safety audit like that new entrant that’s going to happen, but all motor carriers are going to continue to be subject to the CSA system. So expect a lot of random inspections, roadside inspections, investigations after possible crashes, and as a result of that there may be some interventions conducted by the FMCSA and of course they can always suspend authority and place the motor carrier out of service. And another potential audit-like scenario is the potential for a compliance review and compliance reviews happen when either the motor carrier has requested a change in their safety scores, or maybe if the FMCSA found a violation during an inspection or somebody has reported what they think to be a violation. After that occurs, any motor carrier may be subject to warning letters, roadside inspections, investigations, required again to have some sort of safety action plan put into place, fines, even out of service orders and ultimate revocation of authority.

Tips for the New Entrant Safety Assurance Program. If you need help as a new entrant get this complete guide for what you can expect in your first year of trucking for free.