Dariel Edey makes her living showing companies how to comply with commercial transportation regulations, with attendance at an Edey Consulting Services’ workshop costing $1,500.
Yet she’s now telling operators how to prepare for and pass a government transportation audit — for free.
Edey has written a book called Most Commercial Carriers Fail Their First Transportation Audit — How to Make Sure Your Company Isn’t One of Them. Available online through Edey Consulting’s website at edeyconsultingservices.com.
The 38-page publication describes how to pass a commercial transportation audit and build a compliance program for your company.
“Right now, we’re trying to get it into as many people’s hands as we possibly can,” she said. “We want as many people to read that as possible, so that they know if they’re compliant.”
A safety fitness certificate is required for commercial vehicles operating in Alberta that weigh 11,794 kg or more, and for those operating beyond Alberta that weigh 4,500 kg or more.
But all that’s required to obtain a certificate, said Edey, is an indication that the applicant has a safety compliance program or is in the process of setting one up.
Thereafter, if they’re audited by Alberta Transportation and are found not to be in compliance with National Safety Code (NSC) requirements, they could be subject to hefty fines or even prevented from registering their vehicles.
“It’s pretty serious,” said Edey, adding that operating infractions or an accident can trigger an audit.
“To the mom and pop business that lose their running rights because they got run into and don’t know how to get that accident off their carrier profile, and then get an audit and find out all the stuff that they should have been doing that they haven’t been doing, and they lose their livelihood — that’s terrible.”
Edey refers to an Alberta Transportation discussion paper on the safety fitness certificate process.
It says: “Despite the availability of educational material and an intervention program, most carriers fail a first-time audit often because the audit is the carrier’s first exposure to the detailed requirements of the NSC program.”
“That’s really incredible to me,” said Edey, pointing out that many companies are taken by surprise when an audit occurs.
“On the surface, they think that they have everything fine.”
Preparing a compliance program to ensure a company can pass an audit is no simple matter, she said. Small and medium-size operators in particular may lack the resources to tackle such a project.
“There are so many things that carriers need to have that they don’t know where to start, and that’s the kicker.”
Edey Consulting has been guiding companies through this process since February.
“I saw that there was a huge need for companies to get proactive, instead of reactive.”
So, why would Edey write a free book telling prospective clients how to develop their own compliance program?
She’s banking that they’ll still use her company’s services. The book, she explained, illustrates the importance of taking action, shows how complex the process is and demonstrates that Edey Consulting knows its stuff.
“We basically wrote that book to help build people’s trust level in us.
“When they come to us, they really want our help.”
That’s easier than calling transportation companies out of the blue and trying to convince them that an Edey Consulting workshop is in their best interest.
“To get them on the phone and try to explain it to them is like pulling hen’s teeth.”
Besides, said Edey, if someone reads her book and improves their company’s safety practices as a result, that’s also a good outcome.
“The more people who want to read this, the better for everybody.”