How to Be Prepared for a DOT Compliance Audit

The Department of Transportation (DOT) could conduct a compliance audit at your propane company at any time. Are you certain that your company is prepared? Find out how you could save thousands of dollars in potential fines by taking corrective action now, instead of waiting to be surprised by a DOT visit to your facility.

What Is a DOT Compliance Audit?

DOT compliance audits can be conducted any time of year. They can be selected at random or be completed based on the regulatory agency’s schedule. Either way, there is never a convenient time for a DOT compliance audit when you are a busy propane company. During a DOT compliance audit, an on-site visit will be conducted to determine if operations are compliant with multiple DOT requirements. Failing to meet these compliance requirements can result in significant fines. The best way to protect your company and avoid possible fines is to evaluate how your company would stack up to audit procedures, before an actual audit occurs. 

How Can My Propane Company Prepare for a DOT Audit?

The best way to prepare for a DOT compliance audit is to conduct a DOT audit review. You can work with a propane safety expert to review your company’s protocol, following the common benchmarks the DOT would use in an actual audit scenario.

P3 Propane Safety is pleased to offer DOT compliance reviews to propane marketers. Our review process is comprehensive, and during the process we will make recommendations to correct any identified deficiencies. After the review, you will receive a detailed audit report summarizing the review findings and providing specific guidance on how to address non-compliance items.

At a minimum, the following will be audited for compliance:

  • DOT Security Plan – (49 CFR Subpart I – 172.80 & 172.802)
  • DOT Hazmat training – (49 CFR 172.704)
  • Controlled Substances and Alcohol Use and Testing records – Part 382 (49 CFR 382.401)
  • Semi-annual lab statistical summaries – Part 382 (49 CFR 382.40 631-3927)
  • Minimum Levels of Financial Responsibility – Part 387 (49 CFR 387.7 or 387.31)
  • Accident register and accident reports – (49 CFR 390.15)
  • Driver qualification and driver qualification files – Part 391 (49 CFR 391.51)
  • Inspection, Repair and Maintenance files, including maintenance records, driver vehicle inspection reports, and periodic inspection reports – Part 396 (49 CFR 396.3, 396.11, and 396.17)
  • Roadside inspection reports – (49 CFR 396.9(d)(3)(ii))
  • Hours of Service review for commercial motor vehicle drivers – Part 395 (49 CFR 395.8)
  • Hazmat Incident Reporting DOT Form 5800.1

Don’t wait until the DOT notifies you of your upcoming DOT compliance audit to be concerned about compliance. Utilize the DOT Compliance Audit process from P3 Propane Safety to prepare in advance and protect your company from potentially expensive fines. Have questions about propane safety? Ask an expert here.