Section 28 of Ontario Regulation 555/06 requires operators to monitor the compliance of each driver to the regulations. An operator that determines that there has been non-compliance with the regulations shall take immediate remedial action and record the dates on which the non-compliance occurred, the date of issuance of a notice of non-compliance and the action taken.
A proactive approach is a key component of the hours-of- service management program. Operators need to develop and implement written policies and procedures to ensure compliance with the regulations. While demonstrating due diligence, the operator has the ability to undertake corrective action through the application of its disciplinary process.
Effective training of operational staff responsible for driver supervision and dispatch, in addition to driver training, is an integral component of a safety management program. Personnel must have knowledge and understanding of the regulations, and be aware of the policies, procedures and available options.
To achieve a high level of compliance, you need effective training of new drivers and re-training of those who have demonstrated a continuing pattern of violations. This will also ensure minimal intervention from enforcement agencies.
Operators must ensure that drivers are only dispatched when there are a sufficient number of on-duty hours available for use. Therefore, a system to monitor a driver’s available on-duty time is essential. One example of an hours-of-service tracking system is when a driver calls the company dispatcher on a daily basis with the accumulated hours for the previous day, and the dispatcher keeps a record of these hours. From the information provided by the driver, the dispatcher is able to calculate the driver's available hours remaining in the declared cycle.
The operator must have the necessary tools available to react when violations of the regulations and associated company policies are identified. Tools that can help identify and modify inappropriate driver behaviour include a self-audit program, timely reviews of driver records, driver disclosures/non-disclosures and the carrier profile. Corrective measures may include re-training and/or disciplinary action, as identified in the operator's disciplinary process. Failure to take corrective action means that the cycle of non-compliance will continue.
A self-audit is an integral component of an operator's safety program. It provides the operator with the ability to readily identify areas of non-compliance. Audits involve the review of driver logbooks, support documentation such as fuel and lodging receipts, and any other relevant record or information. You need to document the findings to support any corrective/disciplinary action taken. The sample size of the self-audit will vary according to the size of the company. A small operator may choose to audit all driver logs, but a large company may audit a portion of the drivers for a selected period of time.
Driver logbooks should be audited to ensure that:
- There is a log for every day.
- Logbooks are complete with all required information.
- Drivers are in compliance with the regulations (driving limits, required off-duty time and the cumulative cycle limits, as applicable).
- Logs are accurate when compared to supporting documents such as dispatch records, fuel receipts, payroll, bills of lading.
- Logs are accurate when analyzed for distance travelled over a period of time.
- On-duty time logged by the driver agrees with the driver’s statement of hours worked for payroll submission.
- Driving with a co-driver is substantiated, and the hours declared by the two drivers are appropriate (for example, both drivers not log driving at the same time).
- The operator and the driver are complying with any permit conditions.
- Records are being kept in chronological order for each driver, and retained for at least six months.
- Radius-exemption daily records are available, if appropriate, and all four exemption criteria are met every day.