The Department of Transportation (DOT) has specific regulations that are enforced, and an audit can be initiated to see if your system complies with those regulations or not. There is specific information you should gather that can ensure that you pass through the audit successfully with either no findings or at least only a minimal amount.
An audit can be triggered if there are low CSA BASIC Scores. It can also be initiated if a carrier requests to change safety training, or as part of an investigation involving safety regulations, complaints, or violations.
Efficient operations always plan for the worst and hope for the best. That means you need to be prepared just in case an audit ever occurs on your watch. The purpose of a DOT audit is not to capture offenders and distribute fines, but rather to make sure that the system is working properly and keep acceptable safety standards firmly within reach of everyone.
Not only does an on-site audit check safety conditions, but it also verifies accurate record keeping as well as FMCSR compliance. Generally, the audit is completed within six different determining factors:
5) Hazardous Materials
These factors are then graded on a scale of satisfactory, to conditional, to unsatisfactory. Satisfactory is a passing grade, but only implies that the minimal requirements are met and that work or improvement could still be needed.
Even if you’ve never had accidents to report, you still need to keep your accident register viewable. This is an important and often overlooked part of the audit that could result in a finding. Make sure that you have everything visible, in place, and transparent for review even if you feel that there’s nothing to report.