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Don’t let safety culture changes be a missed opportunity

TCA Vice President of Government Affairs, Dave Heller and TCA Manager of Government Affairs, Kathryn Sanner

Image: Shutterstock


By TCA Senior Director of Outreach & Engagement Marli Hall

It is not every day that you have the opportunity to do something truly great for others – something that is life-changing or even life-saving. These chances only present themselves a few times in a person’s life, and often, we look back at the missed opportunities with regret.

Right now, the truckload industry has an opportunity in front of it. In the past, we focused on improving safety simply by measuring and grading ourselves on metrics such as reduced accidents and fewer out-of-service violations. While those metrics are important, they do not help us delve deeper into the root cause of why many accidents and safety violations happen in the first place.

As we have written before on Truckload Indexes, today we are presented with the chance to address these causes and truly affect holistic safety improvements that permeate the industry through the increased focus on overall safety culture change, both within individual organizations and the industry as a whole. The best example of this is the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration’s (FMCSA) overhauled Compliance, Safety, Accountability (CSA) program. The new CSA Item Response Theory statistical model that will be used moving forward does not focus on predicting crash risk. Rather, the FMCSA’s hope is that it will point to potential flaws in the safety culture of a motor carrier. FMCSA believes that identifying these problems with organizational safety culture will do more to accurately identify unsafe carriers than crash and enforcement statistics alone ever could.

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It is with this theme of safety culture change in mind that TCA has crafted the agenda for our upcoming 2019 Safety & Security Division Annual Meeting. The event, which will be held June 2-4 in Memphis, Tennessee, will offer substantive opportunities for safety, human resources, and operations professionals in the industry to learn more about key safety topics. These topics include achieving safety culture change for your organization, utilizing an internal safety committee, ensuring onboarding success, and the upcoming CSA changes, and will be presented by industry veterans and current practitioners who are experts in their fields. We will also have a deep dive into data presented by FreightWaves, which will help attendees interpret ELD data to glean important safety trends.

Do you know someone who is already going above and beyond to implement safety culture change in your organization? Is it you? Nominate yourself or another industry professional for the 2019 TCA Safety Professional of the Year – Clare C. Casey Award. This award recognizes a person whose actions and achievements have had a profound and positive impact on safety on our highways and is dedicated to serving the industry, his/her company and the motoring public. TCA is honored to present this award each year, and we are looking forward to another impressive winner in 2019.

Chris Henry

Chris Henry has spent his entire 20-year career in transportation. In 2014, he founded the online motor carrier benchmarking service StakUp. As a result of a partnership with the Truckload Carriers Association (TCA) in 2015, StakUp was rebranded as inGauge and Henry became the program manager for the TCA Profitability Program (TPP), an exclusive benchmarking initiative that includes more than 230 motor carrier participants throughout North America. Since joining the program, participation in TPP has grown over 300%. In June 2019, StakUp was acquired by FreightWaves and Henry became its vice president of carrier profitability, in addition to his role with TPP. Henry earned an MBA from the University of Massachusetts and a bachelor of commerce degree from Nipissing University.