Module 5: Carrier Safety Practices Previous Module Overview Glossary Help Next Module

Introduction

In this module, you’ll learn about how to develop a safety program and how to use your carrier profile to improve driver and vehicle safety.

Timeframe: 30 mins

In this section you will:
  • Learn how to develop a safety program.
  • Learn how to access your own carrier profile online.
  • Learn how to read the information on the carrier profile.
  • Explain what happens when your profile shows you are having safety problems.
  • Identify steps to take to improve your safety records.

For technical assistance please reference the Help and Troubleshooting Guide.

Developing a safety program

All National Safety Code (NSC) carriers must have a safety program. What you’ve studied so far in this course—keeping good records, meeting driver requirements, HOS rules and vehicle maintenance—that’s all part of your complete Safety program. You must have policies and procedures to make sure rules are being followed.

Who writes the safety program?

Anyone can write your safety program as long as it meets minimum requirements. A safety program in Alberta must include written policies for:

  • The safe operation of commercial vehicles, including policies for speed limits, seat belt use, drug and alcohol use, defensive driving, load security and fueling.
  • Proper records and recording of information (e.g. driver’s daily logs, bills of lading, and any other).
  • Driver qualifications, training, conduct, discipline and evaluations.
  • Proper use of safety equipment such as fire extinguishers and personal protective equipment.

All carriers must designate at least one person in the company as being responsible for keeping the safety program up to date and ensuring employees are following company policies.
 

Who has to follow your safety program?

You and all of your employees are required to follow your safety program. This may include drivers, dispatchers, supervisors, mechanics and other employees.

►Alberta Transportation has sample safety and maintenance programs online at: www.alberta.ca/safety-and-maintenance-programs-commercial-carriers.aspx

These sample programs contain the minimum transportation policies required by law and can be used as a guide for developing your own programs. When writing your safety program, you should also include policies for the specific vehicles and equipment your company uses.

What is my Carrier Profile?

Think of your Carrier Profile as your safety record. Just as your drivers have driving records, you have an on-road performance record as a carrier. Alberta Transportation gathers enforcement information from across North America and puts that information on your Carrier Profile. For example: If your driver is involved in a collision or gets a ticket in another province it will appear on your profile.

Carrier Profile

►Points are assigned to convictions and collisions. The point value varies on the severity of the item.

 How is my Safety Rated?

Your safety rating is shown on the front page of your Carrier Profile. It may be:

Rating Description
Satisfactory
  • Carrier has achieved acceptable results on an audit.
  • Carrier has not been identified on Alberta Transportation’s monitoring list in the last 12 months.
  • Carrier has no outstanding compliance issues.
Satisfactory-Unaudited
  • Assigned to all new carriers.
  • Carrier has not undergone an audit.
Conditional
  • Carrier has/had issues of non-compliance and must improve their safety performance.
  • Carrier must meet any conditions given to them by the Registrar.
Unsatisfactory
  • Carrier performance has demonstrated an unacceptable risk to the public.
  • Carrier may no longer register or operate a commercial vehicle registered under alberta’s NSC program.

 

►Alberta also recognizes "Excellent" carriers. In order to be recognized as such, a carries must:
  • Achieve acceptable results on an audit.
  • Consistently demonstrate superior safety performance.
  • Become a member of a carrier excellence program, such as Partners in Compliance (PIC).


You will also have a risk factor score on your carrier profile. This score is calculated using your CVSA inspection results and the points that are assigned to convictions and collisions your company has been involved in.

When you look at your carrier profile, you’re also seeing what Alberta Transportation and roadside enforcement see when they look at your profile to monitor your safety. Customers and the general public can also request a Public Profile, which contains your carrier profile information but does not disclose personal information (for example, driver licensing).

Part 1 – Carrier Information


 
  1. This is the name and mailing address of the company or individual to which your vehicles are registered.
  2. These are your NSC and MVID numbers. Your NSC number is also displayed on your safety fitness certificate. Your MVID number is shown on your vehicle registrations.
  3. This is your safety fitness rating and operating status at the time the profile was requested. In Alberta, there are 5 safety fitness ratings: Excellent, Satisfactory, Satisfactory Unaudited, Conditional and Unsatisfactory. If you have a provincial operating status you are only authorized to operate in Alberta. If you have a federal operating status you may also operate outside of Alberta.
  4. This is your risk factor score. This score is calculated using CVSA inspection results, conviction and collision data over a 12 month period. The lower the number, the better the score. Part 1 also shows a breakdown of what contributed to your risk factor most.
  5. This is the monitoring stage your company was at the time the profile was requested. If your risk factor score gets too high, you may show up on a monitoring stage and a number between 1 and 4 will be displayed here (with 4 representing the highest risk). If you have a low risk factor score and are not on monitoring, this section will be blank.
  6. This shows your average fleet size over a 24 month period before the profile was requested. It also shows your current fleet size as of the beginning of the week the profile was requested.
Part 2 - Carrier Convictions


Part 2 shows a breakdown of conviction information. Points ranging from 0 to 5 are assigned to each conviction depending on the severity of the offence. These point values contribute to your risk factor score.
 
Convictions are shown in order of offence date, with the most recent conviction identified first. Convictions are shown as traffic violation tickets (TVT), out of province tickets (OPC) or long form information (NLF). The conviction section of the profile report also shows the vehicle and driver involved for each conviction.

More information about each conviction can be found in the “Conviction Detail” section of the carrier profile report.
 
►Reviewing convictions on your carrier profile report can help you focus on areas that need improvement. For example, if you notice that 85% of convictions were related to speeding, you may find you need to improve your policy about speeding or that you need to send your drivers to a defensive driving course.

 
Part 3 – CVSA Inspections

Part 3 shows inspections conducted on your vehicles under the Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance (CVSA) inspection program. CVSA inspection results from Levels 1 to 5 are used to determine your Out of Service rate.
 
Each CVSA inspection will result in one of the following results:
 
  • Pass – No defect(s) found.
  • Requires Attention – Defect(s) found, none were “Out of Service” defects.
  • Out of Service – One or more “out of service” defects identified.
 
Inspections in part 2 are shown in order of date completed, with the most recent inspection identified first.  More information about each inspection can be found in the “CVSA Inspection Detail” section of the carrier profile report.


 
►Reviewing this section of your carrier profile will help you track CVSA inspection results and address issues for both drivers and vehicles. For example, if you find out a driver has been placed out of service more than once for hours of service issues, you might find out they need training.

Part 4 - Collisions

Part 4 of the Carrier Profile shows any collisions, reported to the police, that your vehicles and drivers were involved in. Reportable collisions in Alberta are collisions which result in fatality, injury or property damage of $2000 or more. Each collision is assigned points based on severity. These point values contribute to your risk factor score.

Part 4 also includes information about whether you had a collision evaluated. You can submit a collision evaluation application at any time to determine whether a collision was preventable or non-preventable by the driver or carrier. Points will be removed from your carrier profile and will not contribute to your risk factor score if the collision was non-preventable.

►Preventability is not the same thing as fault. According to the National Safety Council, a “preventable” collision is one in which the driver failed to do everything that reasonably could have been done to avoid it.

Part 5 – Violations

Part 5 of the Carrier Profile shows a summary of violations that were recorded by enforcement agencies as warnings. No points are assigned to violations under this part. This information is not used to calculate your risk factor score.

However, violations show that your drivers and vehicles were not in full compliance when stopped at roadside. You should review this information to improve safety and prevent violations from happening again in the future.

Part 6 – Monitoring Information

Part 6 of the Carrier Profile is helpful if you want to see a summary of your overall safety performance over an extended period of time. This part provides a history of changes in your:

  • Monitoring stage
  • Fleet size
  • Risk factor score
  • Industry averages

In this part, a carrier’s monthly monitoring history can be reviewed and compared to other carriers in the same fleet range. The column headings in Part 6 of the Carrier Profile displays the following information:

  • AVG FLEET SIZE – Average fleet size of NSC vehicles over a 24 month period.
  • CONVICTIONS PTS/VEH – Conviction points per NSC vehicle using the 24 month average. This will be blank if there are no points.
  • CVSA INSPECTIONS.
  • TOTAL INSP - Number of CVSA inspections in the last 12 months. This will be blank if there are no inspections.
  • OOS DEFECTS/INSP - The number of Out of Service defects identified over a 12 month period. This will be blank if there are no defects.
  • TOTAL DEFECTS/INSP - The total number of defects found per vehicle (includes out of service and requires attention defects). This will be blank if there are no inspections.
  • OOS% - Out-of-Service inspection rate for level 1-5 inspections (based on 12 month period).
  • OOS/VEH - Number of Out of service inspections per NSC vehicle based on average NSC fleet size.
  • FAILURE RATE - [Number of Out of Service inspections + (0.25 x the number of Required Attention inspections) + (0.0 x the number of passed inspections)] divided by total number of all inspections. The failure rate will be 0 if the carrier has not had the minimum number of inspections, based on their average fleet size.
  • COLLISIONS PTS/VEH - Number of points (2, 4 or 6) per NSC vehicle. Based on carrier’s average NSC fleet size.

Parts 7 – 10 of the Carrier Profile Report

Parts 7 to 10 of the Carrier Profile report are only included at the request of the carrier. A summary of each part is included below:

Part 7 – Facility licence information

  • This part includes information about a carrier’s vehicle inspection facility licence, if applicable.
  • Only carriers that are registered under Alberta’s approved commercial vehicle inspection program (CVIP) will have data in this part.

Part 8 – Safety fitness information

  • This part tracks a carrier’s Safety Fitness Rating and Operating Status changes.
  • This part may be helpful to determine whether a carrier has had a different Safety Fitness Rating or Operating Status in the past.

Part 9 – Profile events

  • This part is used by the Alberta Government for internal purposes and is not available to the carrier or to the public.

Part 10 – Historical summary

  • This part includes a summary of all on-road events, facility audits, monitoring action, station licensing, Operating Status, and Safety Rating changes in chronological order, with the most recent events displayed first.
Tip: By default, carrier profiles typically show 12 months of data. However, you can request a carrier profile report or parts of a report over any period of time (e.g. 18 months instead of 12). More information about how to read your carrier profile report is online at: http://www.transportation.alberta.ca/Content/docType276/Production/howtoreadcarrierprofile.pdf

What if there is incorrect information on my Carrier Profile?

If you find a significant error on your Carrier Profile report, you can contact Alberta Transportation at 403-340-5444 (toll free in Alberta dial 310-0000). The Carrier Services section will investigate and where applicable make the necessary changes. For example, if you notice there is a conviction on your Carrier Profile for a vehicle or driver that is not employed by your company, you can request to have it removed.

How can I access my Carrier Profile?

The Government of Alberta has an online system which allows carriers to quickly and easily apply for carrier profiles and permits. To access this system, you need to register an account.

How to Register for Online Services

  1. Go to https://www.trans.gov.ab.ca/TravisWebLogin/redirect.htm
  2. Click the “Register” link under the “Need a User ID?” text.
  3. Register by entering all required information, including your NSC and MVID numbers.

Once you are registered, you can start requesting carrier profile reports. You can specify which sections of the profile report you want and for what timeframe.

►For more information about how to access carrier profile reports in Alberta, visit http://www.transportation.alberta.ca/5613.htm

What are the benefits of reviewing my carrier profile?

Reviewing carrier profile information may help you to:

  • Evaluate the effectiveness of your safety and maintenance programs.
  • Reduce the likelihood of collisions if you take action to address safety issues right away.
  • Reduce the likelihood of traffic fines, maintenance and insurance costs.
  • Maintain an acceptable safety fitness rating and help you develop a reputation for being a safe and responsible carrier.

Completing the Safety Program

Sample safety and maintenance programs are available online at https://www.alberta.ca/safety-and-maintenance-programs-commercial-carriers.aspx to help you complete your safety program. Please review these and check your program. Is there anything you are missing?

Summary

Your safety program should include all the safety practices you use in your business. A good program will help you run a safe business and meet your legal obligations. Be sure to share your plan with your drivers. This will help both you and them meet the safety standards you put in place.

In this module, you learned that you can monitor your own safety practices by looking at your carrier profile. You now know that if you don’t improve a poor safety record, there are consequences for your business. But you have the power to carry out your own compliance review and make changes that will improve your safety record.

NOTE: To complete the training, save your progress and receive a certificate, you are required to have an account and be logged in with 511 Alberta.

Self-Assessment