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Multiple Locations? Why Compliance is Tricky – and What You Can do About it
Foley
4 mins read

Managing safety and compliance is never an easy task. But for larger businesses that manage drivers out of multiple geographic locations – the challenges are substantially greater.

“All it takes is a safety manager at one location that isn’t taking compliance as seriously as they should – and it causes them to fail their audit,” Foley compliance specialist Steve Harz said. “Unfortunately, it’s a problem we hear about all the time.”

It’s not always negligence (though sometimes it is – not everyone puts the same importance on DOT compliance). But the role of safety manager is a demanding job with lots of balls to juggle. Depending on the compliance management tools they’re using, it’s easy to see how something could fall through the cracks.

Digital Recordkeeping is No Longer Optional. Are You Ready?

And it’s not just DOT compliance fleets need to be concerned about. Equally important, is how FCRA compliance is handled during the hiring process. From the application the driver fills out to how their background screens are run (and how that information is used), it all must be managed compliantly.

The Importance of Consistency

The key, is to create consistent hiring and compliance practices across the organization so that every safety manager is following the same protocols and managing paperwork in the same way. For example, when every hiring manager is using the same digital application when hiring new drivers, you can ensure that (1) they’re always using an application that meets DOT compliance requirements and (2) all of the FCRA-required disclosures and authorizations are included as part of the application process.

When used within a background screening and compliance platform such as the Foley Platform, the process builds from there:

  • The information within the application is used to automatically start the DOT-required background screening process to ensure an initial motor vehicle report is on file, a pre-employment Clearinghouse query is run, and all the previous employer verifications are completed.
  • A driver qualification file is automatically built, using the information collected between the application and background screening processes.
  • If applicable, the driver is automatically enrolled in both the company’s DOT-compliant drug and alcohol testing and DOT Clearinghouse programs.

Then, on a go-forward basis, the platform sends alerts and notifications when information needs to be updated (an expiring CDL or medical certificate, for example) to help safety managers stay on top of compliance and address issues before a potential violation occurs.

DOT Fines are on the Rise. Is Your Recordkeeping in Order?

Being Prepared is More Important Than Ever

If you’re a regular reader of the Foley blog, then you’re familiar with offsite audits – and how important it is for DOT-regulated employers to prepare for. In the last two years, the number of offsite audits conducted by the FMCSA has gone up by 400 percent.

Not only are these audits happening more frequently, but carriers don’t have nearly as much time to prepare for them. Documents (which must be submitted digitally), must be audited for accuracy and then scanned and sent to the auditor within 48 hours.

Not only that, but the documents must be legible and well organized. If an auditor can’t make out the text on a document (or simply can’t find a document she asked for) you may not pass.

Don’t let one unprepared safety manager cause you trouble at your next audit. Instead, click here for a demo of Foley’s comprehensive recruiting, screening and compliance platform. With a consistent system in place across your enterprise, you can go into your next audit with confidence.

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