On September 28, 2011, M&K hosted its annual seminar on trucking safety and litigation issues. M&K was pleased to have Natalie P. Hartenbaum, MD, MPH, FACOEM, the president and Chief Medical Officer of OccuMedix, Rebecca Brewster, the president and COO of the American Transportation Research Institute and Pam Jones with Vigillo share their knowledge and expertise.
Pam Jones with Vigillo spoke on CSA. She highlighted what the CSA data is telling us. She also spoke on future changes with CSA. She also pointed out that CSA is a work in progress with FMCSA making modifications and improvements as necessary. Some of the future changes include a change in the basic categories. Hazmat will become its own basic category and cargo securement will move under the maintenance basic. She also anticipates that the weight severity of a violation will move from a 1 to 10 scale to a 1 to 3 scale.
At this time, carriers cannot remove a crash from their CSA score, unless they are incorrectly listed as being involved in the crash. It is anticipated that in the future carriers will be able to challenge a DOT crash listed on their CSA score if it was non-preventable crash. Ms. Jones also pointed out that if a carrier has non-preventable accidents on their CSA score and the carrier is subject to a compliance review, the carrier should ask the investigator to review their record without the preventable accident.
Next, Natalie Hartenbaum, MD, spoke regarding Commercial Medical Examinations. She highlighted current issues and future changes with respect to commercial medical examinations. The Final rule on the changes to the commercial medical examinations is expected by the end of 2011. At this time, no criteria has been finalized by the National Registry of Certified Medical Examiners (NRCME) so no medical examiners have been certified yet.
Another anticipated change she highlighted is with respect to drivers who are on insulin. Currently, a driver who has been diagnosed with diabetes and is on insulin, may only drive after being approved through the exemption process. It is anticipated that in the future it will be the medical examiner who will be able to qualify a driver who is insulin dependent.
Dr. Hartenbaum reminded carriers that the medical long form is governed by HIPPA and a carrier should be careful not to have a non-qualified individual disqualify a driver from driving. She also suggested that carriers have a policy for medication use by drivers (however not a list of disqualifying medications) and that carriers collaborate with the medical examiners.