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The AWO Responsible Carrier Program

The industry-initiated Responsible Carrier Program (RCP) is designed as a framework for continuously improving the industry's safety performance. AWO members use the RCP as a guide in developing company-specific safety and environmental programs that are tailored to the unique operational environments found in the barge and towing industry. The program complements and builds upon existing government regulations, requiring company safety standards that exceed those required by federal law or regulation.

The RCP incorporates best industry practices in three primary areas, including company management policies, vessel equipment and human factors. The comprehensive program requires companies to obtain a third party audit by a certified AWO RCP auditor to verify compliance. The program has been lauded by many groups, including the U.S. Coast Guard and shipper organizations. In an unusual step for a trade association, AWO members voted in April of 1998 to require a commitment to RCP compliance as a condition of membership in the association.