The American National Standards Institute’s (ANSI) z15.1 standard titled “Safe Practices for Motor Vehicle Operations” was formally adopted in 2006; however, some fleet safety professionals may be unaware of the standard or how it can help regulated fleets maintain strong BASIC scores.
ANSI Z15 provides a “baseline” of fleet safety practices that are common to all industries and fleet types. It can be expanded to fit unusual exposures to loss or specialized operations. It separates fleet safety programs into five key areas:
- Management Policies
- Operational Environment
- Driver Issues
- Vehicle Issues
- Incident Reporting and Analysis
Each of these five areas has a direct bearing on the seven CSA BASICS:
- Unsafe Driving
- Fatigued Driving (Hours-of-Service)
- Driver Fitness
- Vehicle Maintenance
- Crash Indicator
Some of the connections are especially obvious: the “Incident Reporting and Analysis” section of ANSI helps fleets systematically address their history of past crashes and try to manage that information to their advantage (ie. use trending to know where to focus current efforts. This is a strong parallel to the “Crash Indicator” section of the CSA BASICs.
Other connections may be less obvious until digging into the standard and exploring its approach to structuring an encompassing program.
Yesterday, at the NJ State Safety Expo, I lead an industry discussion on this topic with both insurance and private fleet professionals. There was considerable interest in re-evaluating ANSI Z15 in light of the FMCSA’s CSA program. Our primary focus was using the Z15 standard as a “self-audit tool” to uncover gaps or weak points in a carrier’s existing safety policies, program elements, etc. It’s a good way to test your program before you ever get a “warning letter” from FMCSA or become engaged in an “investigation” of your safety practices.
Additionally, if a motor carrier does become involved in an investigation, being able to work from an established, National standard provides a backstop to establish a reasonable, documentable “Cooperative Safety Plan (CSP)” which would be used to address any identified deficiences due to one or more low BASIC scores.
Current SafetyFirst clients can access several published articles and slideshows about the ANSI Z15 standard at our secure web site. If you’re curious to learn more about the program we can also recommend two articles published in the ASSE journal called “TransActions” which specializes in transportation safety issues:
If you’d like to learn more about the FMCSA’s CSA program, check out: