Metal Sales Engages its Drivers in New CSA Guidelines

Employees Trained to be Safer, More Accountable Drivers

Publish Date: Monday, February 28, 2011

LOUISVILLE, KY… Metal Sales Manufacturing Corporation, the premier nationwide provider of metal panels for the building and construction industry, has taken an early lead in adopting new safety standards set forth by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA).

These standards of Compliance, Safety, and Accountability, or CSA, seek to improve large vehicle safety by reducing crashes, injuries, and fatalities related to the commercial carrying industry. Although all commercial drivers must eventually comply with this system, Metal Sales has proactively mandated a driver training program to ensure maximum safety for its employees.

First implemented in December 2010, the new CSA program will be phased in groups of states at a time, until it eventually becomes the nationwide standard. It replaces a former operational model that had recently been failing to reduce crashes at an acceptable rate. The new method takes into account the flexibility of a changing transportation environment, efficiency with resources, effectiveness of standard enforcement, innovation of safety technology and equitability among all carriers. It will employ strict monitoring, evaluation, and intervention processes to ensure the system’s efficacy.

To evaluate the new CSA system, the FMCSA has devised a 7-attribute Safety Measurement System (SMS) that quantifies on-road safety performance. These benchmarks, known as the Behavior Analysis and Safety Improvement Categories (BASICs) include: unsafe driving, fatigued driving, driver fitness, controlled substances/alcohol, vehicle maintenance, cargo-related, and crash indicator measurements. Violators of the standards are subject to strong penalties up to and including orders to cease operations.

“This is a game-changer and those in the industry that take it seriously will be out in front,” says Mike Walker, Director of Transportation for Metal Sales. “Those who don’t give it the attention it requires will suffer the consequences. We want to be sure that our drivers are properly trained and invested in the new system from the start because we care about their safety.” 

To prepare for the change, Metal Sales has employed the use of J.J. Keller’s line of CSA training videos. By taking advantage of this tool from the first news of changing standards, Metal Sales has ensured that all of its 90 drivers are well educated and ready for the shift. Ultimately, this training program will guarantee that Metal Sales drivers can continue to safely and efficiently deliver products nationwide while keeping to the highest possible guidelines, as defined by the federal government. Proper training is certain to have an impact on maintaining quality service, as Metal Sales operates in 20 locations across the country and has a relatively large delivery fleet of 90 trucks.

As a result of the new system’s high standards, many corporations’ untrained drivers may be forced to cease operations until they can prove that they are safely fit for the road. However, if a company takes the necessary preparation steps like Metal Sales has done, it should not have to worry about this risk.

“The new CSA program is anticipated to contribute to the looming driver shortage that many believe may be as large as 400,000 drivers annually,” explains Walker. “If we avoid just one driver loss by properly training our employees, it will help to maintain the high levels of service we’re known for.”

Metal Sales is particularly alert to the new system’s method of measuring drivers’ safety ratings. This personalized tracking system gives drivers the opportunity to monitor their own compliance to the standards. It encourages carriers to have a personal stake in the regulatory system, and ensures that the program will be effectively instituted because each driver is held accountable for safety.

“Training only works if it gets drivers engaged. It needs to show drivers how the initiative affects them personally,” says Walker. “By instituting this training program on a company-wide basis, we can rely on teamwork and discussion to achieve success in having all of our employees fully educated and prepared for the changing times.”