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Total Safety Culture

Latest News: DOT May Require Transportation Safety Culture by 2019-2020

In the world of safety, professionals like myself understand that things are always changing. We hope that these changes are always for the best, even though they may bring a temporary uncomfortable feeling or an unwanted initial expense. Yet, we're OK with some of these changes because we can see the big picture...the light at the end of the tunnel, the calm after the storm; a way to add to our profit margin through safety.

I have been in the safety realm for nearly 30 years. I've been formally trained on every aspect of safety, and understand the science of safety, the philosophy of safety, and the positive impacts that safety-done-right has on an entire industry. I've been very fortunate to have had absolute support and authority in making huge changes within name-brand corporations, to see them meet a higher level of success and profits than ever before. I'm not saying this to pat myself on the back, because it's not about me. I am only here to serve, to educate, to help save lives, and in the process assist companies in reaching higher goals.

In the history of my safety career, I have recognized that most companies considered to be a "Motor Carrier" by the Department of Transportation (DOT) are only concerned about DOT compliance, rather than safety in general. They fear being audited, being fined, or potentially being shut down by the DOT. While this fear may have some amount of validity, especially if a particular company is not familiar with these DOT safety regulations written in the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations (FMCSR), the emphasis should be more on overall safety and not mere DOT compliance.

In 2010 the DOT introduced a new measuring and scoring system called the CSA-2010, based on motor carrier complianceTransportation Safety Culture and safety accountability. They enhanced their online data system to provide companies and the public real-time safety scores on any operation which has a DOT# associated with that company. As a safety professional in transportation, the basics of this system was encouraging, as it provided incentive for companies to enhance their safety efforts, reduce accidents, ensure their vehicles and drivers meet safety regulations, etc. I was excited because prior to 2010 these are the kinds of things I was already doing for companies as a Director of Safety, and then as a Safety Consultant, with great success. However, the greatest success stories are when companies allowed me to assist in improving their safety program to exceed far beyond the DOT requirements. 

In these cases, it was necessary to create a true and overall company-wide Total Safety Culture. Nearly every time, the results included a terrific return-on-investment. Over the years I have seen that on average, a company that is 100% in compliance with the FMCSR safety regulations has achieved a 4-to-1 ROI, but I have also seen on many occasions clients actually achieving up to a 10-to-1 ROI, when they have also achieved a Total Safety Culture. By running a tighter ship with the help of the safety department, the companies greatly reduced accidents, reduced injuries, reduced down time, etc., adding these dollars directly back to the bottom line, by every person in the organization working together to develop a total safety culture.

With regard to CSA-2010, I was telling my colleagues that the DOT came up to our standards with these changes, and for the most part they came close. But now...with the latest news of changes to come...they appear to be coming up to our standards completely, which may force companies to develop their own transportation safety culture. Don't think of this as a bad thing, another Big Brother thing, or a controlling thing; rather, as an opportunity to increase your company profits.

Just like the changes that now require most motor carriers to now use electronic log devices (ELD's), this change is coming as early as 2019-2020. I encourage you to not wait like so many companies did with the ELD's. Rather; I encourage you to begin working on a Total Safety Culture now, as it will absolutely take a lot of time to change a culture that has been in place for years or even decades. I have much experience in assisting companies in changing their culture, and can offer to assist you now.

To get DOT compliance help with this upcoming Transportation Safety Culture requirement, feel free to email me at or even call me at 770.776.8600 to discuss.