In an effort to improve the employment conditions of truck drivers, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) and Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) have signed an agreement to strengthen their collaborative efforts in giving truck drivers more protection against abusive employers. The memorandum aims to enforce the long-standing provisions of the Surface Transportation Assistance Act (STAA) involving anti-retaliation measures designed to prevent commercial trucking companies from coercing truck drivers and taking an offensive stance to prevent them from reporting any committed violations on motor vehicle safety, as well as safety and health conditions. This partnership promises positive ramifications for the trucking industry.
Protecting the welfare of truck drivers
The memorandum of agreement has strengthened the protection accorded truck drivers against employer coercion and abusive employment practices that can compromise driver health and safety. Companies operating as dry-van carriers and all trucking companies in the transportation sectors are required to observe the regulatory measures for road safety. Truck drivers can no longer be coerced to work beyond regular weekly work hours, and they have the right to refuse bookings that are unreasonable and risky to their health and safety. Regional trucking companies are mandated to follow strict regulations in terms of keeping records about their truck drivers’ performances at work so as to prevent the fabrication of the drivers’ performance reports in any potential retaliation process.
Better fleet condition and maintenance
The regular fleet maintenance can be costly and many trucking companies evade from their responsibility of spending for regular repairs and conditioning of their commercial vehicles at a regular schedule. As a result, road safety is compromised, putting the life of truck drivers at risk. The Surface Transportation Assistance Act gives drivers the right to report this kind of practice among trucking companies to ensure that all commercial fleets on the road are safe, secured and less prone to accidental mishaps.
Improve freight management and transportation solutions
The ultimate goals of the memorandum entered by FMCSA and OSHA are to improve the employment condition of truck drivers and to closely monitor the implementation of road safety. Trucking companies in turn will be forced to employ modern logistics to improve their transportation services and technology that will optimize the safety and capability of their fleet to be on the road without the risk on commercial vehicles, truck drivers and other motorists.
Tie-up process with other transportation agencies
The FMCSA and OSHAallow truck drivers to approach several agencies, such as the National Transportation Safety Board, about incidents of unreported safety violations or accidents involving trucking companies. They also tie-up with the state law enforcement agencies to ensure that the safety standards provided in the STAA are diligently implemented for the protection of the commercial drivers and motorists. Both the FMCSA and OSHA work together in order to ensure high regulation in the employment and business practices in the transportation industry.