CSA 2010, or Comprehensive Safety Analysis 2010, is going to be rolled out in phases throughout 2011.
Knowing how these changes will affect your career as a driver is critical. Prior to CSA 2010, there was a disconnect between who was responsible for certain safety compliance issues. As an example, a driver could get a log book violation but it did not affect the carrier for which he was hauling. This created a scenario where some carriers would encourage owner operators to violate their log books or weight restrictions because it had no negative affect on the company, only the driver suffered the consequences. On the other hand, prior to the CSA 2010 initiative, drivers could drive a vehicle with safety concerns and the penalty was paid by the carrier.
With CSA 2010 the idea is to make the driver and the carrier work together as a team to create a safer and more professional commercial driving environment. So now all parties are responsible, both the driver and the carrier are required to make the changes necessary to keep their vehicles and drivers practices safe.
Also, up until now, there has been no rating regarding the fitness of the truck driver. What this might mean for carriers is that some of their drivers might not be qualified to drive a truck due to poor health habits. In a profession which tends to be rather sedentary, this can potentially exclude many prospects as well as force current drivers to get into better shape. This will also mean that new drivers attending truck driving school may be sent home if they don't meet the CSA standards when they receive their first physical.
Knowing this change is coming in the next several months, there are many things carriers can do to educate their drivers on living better to improve their health. Carriers should encourage not only getting proper rest while on the road, but also a better diet, encouraging them away from greasy spoons and getting plenty of exercise when taking a break.
While the new policy set to go into effect in July may indeed affect the carrier’s safety rating, having healthier drivers is good for everyone, on and off the road.