Trucking Industry

Other Federal Agencies

OSHA has authority over off-highway loading and unloading, such as warehouses, plants, grain handling facilities, retail locations, marine terminals, wharves, piers, and shipyards. The Department of Transportation (DOT) has authority over interstate highway driving only if the hazards are addressed by FMCSA regulations, such as Commercial Driving Licensing (CDL), the hours of service and roadworthiness of the vehicles. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has authority over the natural environment and pollution prevention programs. The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) regulates flight crews and some other aspects of the safety of ground crews. OSHA covers most of the working conditions of ground crews and baggage handlers. OSHA has authority unless preempted by another Federal agency such as DOT, EPA or FAA, but OSHA can only be preempted in a specified activity or task. OSHA has the ultimate responsibility for the safety and health of all employees.

These pages are part of OSHA and industry's commitment to provide employers and trucking workers with information and assistance to help in complying with OSHA and other Federal standards to ensure a safe workplace.

The following is an overview of the regulations, training requirements, and other resources from other federal agencies:



When another Federal agency has regulated a working condition, OSHA is preempted by Section 4(b)1 from enforcing its regulations. For example:

  • The Department of Transportation (DOT) regulates driving over public highways, the health and safety of drivers involving their use of drugs and alcohol, hours of service, and use of seat belts. DOT also regulates the road worthiness of trucks and trailers and has specific requirements for the safe operation of trucks.
  • DOT has authority over interstate commerce while OSHA has authority over intrastate commerce except when handling hazardous materials. DOT has issued regulations regarding the shipping, packaging, and handling of these materials. However, if a truck driver becomes an emergency responder in the event of a spill or other disaster, then OSHA has authority.
  • The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) regulates flight crews and some other aspects of the safety of ground crews. If there is a clause that covers a working condition in an operational plan negotiated between the carrier and the FAA, the FAA has authority over that working condition. Otherwise, OSHA covers most of the working conditions of ground crews and baggage handlers.
  • Due to the DOT brake regulation, OSHA does not cite for failure to chock trailer wheels if a vehicle is otherwise adequately secured. DOT's regulation preempts enforcement and DOT has authority. However, if the vehicle is an intrastate truck, OSHA has authority. Only another Federal agency may preempt OSHA's authority.
Department of Transportation (DOT)
  • U.S. Department of Transportation. Oversees the formulation of national transportation policy and promotes intermodal transportation. Its agencies include: Federal Highway Administration (FHWA), Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), Federal Railroad Administration (FRA), Maritime Administration (MARAD), and the U.S. Coast Guard (USCG). The newly created Transport Security Administration (TSA) was initially part of DOT and is now part of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security.

Federal Highway Administration (FHWA)

  • Federal Highway Administration. Coordinates highway transportation programs in cooperation with states and other partners to enhance the country's safety, economic vitality, quality of life, and the environment. Major program areas include the Federal-Aid Highway Program, which provides Federal financial assistance to the states to construct and improve the National Highway System, urban and rural roads, bridges, and the Federal Lands Highway Program, which provides access to and within national forests, national parks, Indian reservations and other public lands. The FHWA also manages a comprehensive research, development, and technology program.

Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMSCA)

  • Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration. Prevents commercial motor vehicle-related fatalities and injuries. On its website, it has links to its regulations and Regulatory Guidance, a series of frequently asked questions that offer detailed answers for specific situations. A self-employed independent owner-operator is covered under the FMCSRs, and defined as an "employee" unlike in OSHA Regulations where a self-employed person is not covered by the OSHA Act and is not considered an "employee".

    The following is an overview of the major sections of the regulations related to driver safety and health:

    • 49 CFR 325, Compliance with interstate motor carrier noise emission standards
    • 49 CFR 350, Commercial motor carrier safety assistance program
    • 49 CFR 382, Controlled substances and alcohol use and testing
    • 49 CFR 383, Commercial driver's license standards; requirements and penalties
    • 49 CFR 385, Safety fitness procedures
    • 49 CFR 386, Rules of practice for motor carrier safety and hazardous materials proceedings
    • 49 CFR 390, Federal motor carrier safety regulations; general
    • 49 CFR 391, Qualifications of Drivers and longer combination vehicle (LCV) driver instructions
      • 391.1, Scope of the rules in this part; additional qualifications; duties of carrier drivers
    • 49 CFR 392, Driving of Commercial Motor Vehicles. Every motor carrier, its officers, agents, representatives, and employees responsible for the management, maintenance, operation, or driving of commercial motor vehicles, or the hiring, supervising, training, assigning, or dispatching of drivers, shall be instructed in and comply with the rules in this part.
      • 392.3, Ill or fatigued operator
      • 392.4, Drugs and other substances
      • 392.5, Alcohol prohibition
      • 392.9, Inspection of cargo, cargo securement devices and systems
      • 392.10, Railroad grade crossings; stopping required
      • 392.11, Railroad grade crossing; slowing down required
      • 392.14, Hazardous conditions; extreme caution
      • 392.16, Use of seat belts
      • 392.22, Emergency signals; stopped commercial motor vehicles
      • 392.24, Emergency signals; flame-producing
      • 392.33, Obscured lamps or reflective devices/material
      • 392.50, Ignition of fuel; prevention
      • 392.60, Unauthorized persons not to be transported
      • 392.62, Safe operation, buses
      • 392.63, Towing or pushing loaded buses
      • 392.64, Riding within closed commercial motor vehicles without proper exits
      • 392.66, Carbon monoxide; use of commercial motor vehicle when detected
      • 392.67, Heater, flame-producing; on commercial motor vehicle in motion
    • 49 CFR 393, Parts and Accessories Necessary for Safe Operation. Every employer and employee shall comply and be conversant with the requirements and specifications of this part. No employer shall operate a commercial motor vehicle, or cause or permit it to be operated, unless it is equipped in accordance with the requirements and specifications of this part.
      • 393.9, Lamps operable, prohibition of obstructions of lamps and reflectors
      • 393.11, Lamps and reflective devices
      • 393.19, Hazard warning signals
      • 393.30, Battery installation
      • 393.40, Required brake systems
      • 393.41, Parking brake system
      • 393.42, Brakes required on all wheels
      • 393.43, Breakaway and emergency braking
      • 393.51, Warning signals, air pressure and vacuum gauges
      • 393.65, All fuel systems
      • 393.67, Liquid fuel tanks
      • 393.69, Liquefied petroleum gas systems
      • 393.100, Which types of commercial motor vehicles are subject to the cargo securement standards of this subpart, and what general requirements apply?
      • 393.102, What are the minimum performance criteria for cargo securement devices and systems?
      • 393.104, What standards must cargo securement devices and systems meet in order to satisfy the requirements of this subpart?
      • 393.205, Wheels
    • 49 CFR 395, Hours of Service of Drivers
      • 395.1, Scope of rules in this part
      • 395.3, Maximum driving time for property-carrying vehicles
    • 49 CFR 396, Inspection, Repair, and Maintenance. Every motor carrier, its officers, drivers, agents, representatives, and employees directly concerned with the inspection or maintenance of motor vehicles shall comply and be conversant with the rules of this part.
    • 49 CFR 399, Employee Safety and Health Standards. Prescribes step, handhold, and deck requirements on commercial motor vehicles. These requirements are intended to enhance the safety of motor carrier employees.

Federal Aviation Administration (FAA)

  • Federal Aviation Administration. Oversees the safety of civil aviation. It also regulates a program to protect the security of civil aviation, and enforces regulations under the Hazardous Materials Transportation Act for shipments by air.
  • Part 139 Airport Certification. In 2004, FAA issued a final rule that revised the Federal airport certification regulation 14 CFR Part 139 and established certification requirements for airports serving scheduled air carrier operations in aircraft designed for more than 9 passenger seats but less than 31 passenger seats. In addition, this final rule amended a section of an air carrier operation regulation 14 CFR Part 121 so it would conform with changes to airport certification requirements. The revised Federal airport certification requirements went into effect on June 9, 2004.
Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)
  • Environmental Protection Agency. Protects human health and safeguards the natural environment - air, water, and land - upon which life depends. The EPA also works with industries and all levels of government in a variety of voluntary pollution prevention programs and energy conservation efforts.

    The trucking industry includes establishments engaged in motor freight transportation and warehousing. This includes local and long-distance trucking or transfer services, and establishments engaged in the storage of farm products, furniture, and other household goods, or commercial goods of any kind. For the purpose of this notebook, the trucking industry also includes the operation of terminal facilities for handling freight, both those with and without maintenance facilities. The trucking SIC sectors covered in this notebook are shown in the following table.

    • Environmental Screening Checklist and Workbook for the Trucking Industry. (August 2000). Includes a checklist and workbook which may be used to evaluate a facility’s compliance with Federal environmental regulations applicable to the trucking industry. The term "facility" refers to, but is not limited to, trucking terminals, truck maintenance shops, etc., that are overseen by owners/operators, managers, field personnel, etc., who engage in trucking operations.