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The Nightmare Audit: First-Hand Account from a Compliance Representative

silhouette of a stressed businessman sitting in an office

Please note that names have been removed to protect the privacy of the parties involved.

Imagine the lug nut snapped off your company trailer while it was transporting equipment on the freeway and the tire flew off into an oncoming car.

That’s exactly what one compliance representative dealt with while working at one Alberta-based multi-million-dollar oil & gas servicing company.

Efficiency is key to any company’s success, and in turn, inefficiency in any business can hurt the bottom line. Whether it’s disorganized communication practices, subpar budget management, or reliance on outdated technology, plenty of things can bog down a company’s long-term growth.

A great example of this is a company that uses paper forms to complete driver-vehicle inspection reports. One anonymous compliance rep at this company was stuck reviewing the paper inspection forms and saw first-hand how the company’s mistakes led to a stressful government audit.

Day-to-Day

To a driver, paper inspection forms don’t seem like a big deal. After all, everyone knows how to check off boxes and jot down notes, in theory.

Drivers typically complete a pre-trip vehicle inspection, turn in their paper inspection forms and go on their way.

PRE TRIP INSPECTION

Never Rely on An Out-of-Date Paper Inspection Form Again

Digitize your paperwork and immediately get data to the back office with Titan GPS FieldDocs Pre- and Post-trip Inspections. Get instant access to inspection reports, verify your drivers complete all necessary forms in real-time, and ensure damaged vehicles are fixed before they are driven. NSC Standard 13 and CFR §396.11 compliant.

For the administrator that has to handle the inspection forms, it’s a totally different story. At our subject’s company, the forms were rarely turned in on time, and when they were, they were littered with crumples and tears, coffee stains, random notes and doodles, and barely legible writing.

The compliance rep said, “Only about 10% of the forms were actually legible,” and full-vehicle pre-trip inspections were filled out according to regulations only half the time. It proved to be very time-consuming to process all the paper forms in the home office, particularly with their hundreds of trucks in operation.

The company in question usually had 300 trucks out in the field and with each truck driver working a 21-7 schedule (21 days on, seven days off), that added up to 6,300 paper inspection forms per month.

They originally had just one compliance rep to sift through the thousands of paper forms each month, so it was very difficult to get everything processed in a timely manner. It eventually became too much work for one person so they added help. “We had to hire an administrative assistant just to go through the inspection forms,” the compliance rep said.

Resistance and Inefficiency

Many of the drivers resisted doing the paper forms each morning, complaints about filling them out were common, they often lost their logbooks altogether, or just came up with some other reason not to get them done.

All of these problems naturally led to inefficiency in the company. It took a very long time to process all the paper forms and our compliance rep said they sometimes had to hunt down drivers at remote worksites to get their pre-trip inspections.

They did not sufficiently train workers in equipment safety, lacked proper pipeline procedures, and proper site-exclusive training — all because supervisors were constantly preoccupied with paperwork.

Unintended Consequences

As a result of their disjointed inspection-keeping process, the company underwent a government audit because their risk factor (R-factor) based on their on-road performance records was so high. After being dinged for too many out-of-service violations and inadequate pre-trip inspections they were subjected to a six-month audit that included monetary fines and extreme stress for all levels of management.

FieldDocs Savings and Benefits

According to our compliance insider, FieldDocs Pre-Trip inspections from Titan GPS would have saved this company so much time, and more importantly, they would have been able to concentrate more time on deeper safety issues instead of chasing paperwork.

In terms of dollars and cents, they would have saved at least C$30,000 in fines, according to our anonymous source, as well as another person’s salary of C$55,000 who was hired solely to go through paper inspection forms.

They also would have paid “deeper” attention to safety issues like the trailer’s loose lug nuts that led to a tire soaring into oncoming traffic, which could have easily been a fatal accident.

Our anonymous compliance rep recommends you, “Avoid the cumbersome paperwork, unneeded safety risks and unnecessary workplace confusion with FieldDocs Pre-Trip inspections from Titan GPS.”

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