Jun 1, 2010 12:00 PM, By Charles E Wilson
Building a winning safety program was no accident for 13-year-old Andrews Logistics Inc
Andrews Logistics continued...
Terminal managers, in particular, are expected to take a very active role in the Andrews Logistics safety program. “We make it crystal clear that they are responsible for ensuring that our drivers run safe and legal, Odgers says. “Terminal managers are held accountable for that.”
Terminal managers also have a primary responsibility for monthly tailgate safety meetings, and driver attendance is mandatory. The corporate safety department sets a general monthly theme, but each terminal tweaks the program to meet local needs.
Drivers play a big role in organizing and conducting the local meetings. They help with the review of the previous month's safety performance, and they help make training presentations.
Corporate-wide training topics over the past year included distracted driving and other unsafe driving behaviors. While unsafe behaviors got much of the attention, positive behaviors also were addressed. Defensive driving sessions are conducted throughout the year. Andrews Logistics participates in NTTC's rollover training and awareness program, and drivers receive regular updates.
The NTTC's Outstanding Performance Trophy also garnered attention at some of this year's tailgate safety meetings. “We had a pizza party system wide to celebrate the trophy right after the award was announced at the NTTC annual safety meeting in April,” Eschle says. “Through the rest of the year, we're going to send the trophy around our entire terminal system. We want all of our drivers to know that they played an integral role in earning this trophy.”
Odgers conducts about three safety meetings a year at each of the 11 terminals in the Andrews Logistics system. Eschle also tries to visit each terminal during at least one safety meeting every year.
Regulatory compliance is a core focus of the safety program, because the Andrews Logistics management team believes that is where safe driving and work habits start. Specific elements of the program are tailored to each of the company's transportation activities — tank truck, dry van operations, and flatbed activity.
“We spent three years building this program, and we drew on best practices from many other trucking companies,” Odgers says. “Our own drivers are an important part of this safety management system. “We got their input on our safety manual, and they helped rewrite the manual. That is every bit as important as our top-down safety focus. Drivers took ownership of the safety program because they were part of the development process.”
Recently, the safety department has been preparing the company for the launch of Comprehensive Safety Analysis 2010, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration's new fleet safety enforcement and rating initiative. CSA 2010 issues are already being covered in monthly safety meetings, and the company is already tracking its scorecard under the new Carrier Safety Management System that will replace SafeStat.
“We see this program as a game-changer for the trucking industry,” Odgers says. “It will have positive and negative impacts.”
On the positive side, Odgers says he likes aspects of the 2010 program assigning some safety ownership to drivers. CSA 2010 also should encourage drivers to take better care of equipment to avoid citations at roadside inspections. The downside is that the new federal program probably will make the driver shortage worse.
“Without question, we will use CSA 2010 as a hiring tool,” Odgers says. “The drivers with the best records under CSA 2010 will get the jobs at Andrews Logistics.”
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