• Large Truck Safety: Regulating Starts in the Factory

Hillary Redd Sospes

By: Hillary Redd

February 13, 2020

From making individual parts to assembling the whole vehicle, there’s a lot riding on a company’s reputation in the automotive industry.

Everyone knows that feeling when you’re driving down a steep mountain road and a sixteen-wheeler comes up behind you and all you can think is “please don’t lose control and hit me”. With the steep increase in large truck accidents, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) has launched a comprehensive study of the causes of these accidents. Their intention? To use the data to guide its enforcement priorities in the future.

Safety in Automotive

Many might assume that simply bad driving is a leading cause of these accidents. While that is a contributor, root causes can go all the way back to when the truck was built in the factory. From making individual parts to assembling the whole vehicle, there’s a lot riding on a company’s reputation in the automotive industry.

This study is the first since 2001-03, when 120,000 large truck crashes were reviewed. Since that time, many changes have occurred in technology, such as vehicle and driver safety, driver behavior, and vehicle design.

While many non-automotive companies primarily concern themselves with the safety of their employees, the EHS department of an automobile manufacturer pulls double duty by also considering the safety of their end users. Quality assurance in the auto industry has never been more important –  both employees’ and consumers’ lives depend on it.

How to Shift Your Vehicle Safety into High Gear

Like other manufacturing companies, automotive producers are turning to web-based EHS software solutions to maintain high quality standards, streamline their health and safety data, and ultimately gain an edge over their competitors.

Quality Standards

Using enterprise EHS software as a daily operations tool can help managers understand and abide by strict quality standards, such as ISO 45001, to ensure that no substandard product leaves the production line. In addition, companies can monitor compliance and quality activities throughout their various locations and activities.

Risk Mitigation

Recovering from the damages dealt by massive auto recalls can be a daunting task – Takata may never recover from their quality issues. Automotive companies are recognizing the risk-reducing features of EHS management software as a best practice, particularly in how such systems boost consistency across global and regional markets.

Public Trust

Part of a solid EHS program is letting consumers who rely on your products know what you are doing to keep them safe. Simply saying you prioritize their safety is easy but proving it can be challenging if you don’t have a way to communicate it.

Implementing EHS solutions, including sustainability software, into your operations can deliver a high level of transparency to all stakeholders. It allows you to showcase your division’s safety metrics on how exactly you are meeting requirements and considering the safety of everyone involved. These metrics are also an important component of your company’s annual sustainability report.

Guiding Safety in the Automotive Industry

With the volatile past decade of automotive disasters (like Toyota’s 4 million-plus vehicle recall in 2009-2010), companies are placing more emphasis on risk mitigation and compliance throughout the supply chain, along with increased quality demands. Safety systems are increasingly recognized as critically important anchor programs in this march to predictable quality.

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