FMCSA offers advice to aid transportation security

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) offers advice for trucking companies to increase transportation security measures during high terrorist alerts in the United States.

FMCSA reminds companies to:
•Brief employees to report suspicious incidents or events.
•Post the threat level in the driver's room or other public area.
•Convene a brief security meeting when the threat level increases and review security plans and tips with employees.
•Make sure all employees handling or transporting hazardous materials have adequate communication devices in case of emergency. Test these systems.
•If a management crisis team is in place, verify the 24/7 contact information and place the team on "ready alert."
•Assure that all employees have proper and up-to-date identification.

Also to:
•Assure that company personnel monitor news and other information sources for events or changes in conditions, and respond as appropriate.
•Review driver anti-terrorism tips list. For facility security, FMCSA recommends:
•Cooperation with federal or local law enforcement officials concerning security checks or safety checks.
•Restriction of the availability of information related to facility and employees, and the materials handled.

Also to:
•Restrict access to a single entry or gate. Control who enters and leaves the facility, if possible. Require visitors to show photo identification and have someone accompany visitors at all times.
•Add security guards and increase off-hours patrols by security or law enforcement officials.
•Reduce internal tolerance for "security anomalies," such as overdue or missing vehicles, perimeter of physical plant intrusions, unverified visitors, evidence of tampering and the like.
•Install additional security systems on areas containing hazardous materials, if needed.

Also:
•Do not preload hazardous materials shipments.
•Require employees to display identification cards or badges while at the facility.
•Conduct spot checks of personnel and vehicles.
•Test emergency response communications systems.
•Upgrade security procedures for pick-ups and deliveries.

Also:
•Verify all paperwork and require pick-up and delivery appointments from known vendors.
•Require pick-up drivers to provide driver's name and vehicle number and confirm with vendor.
•Accept deliveries in designated areas only.
•Confirm legitimacy of new vendors though listings in phone book or industry publications, Web sites, or references.
•Secure hazardous materials in locked buildings or fenced areas. Have a sign-out system for keys.
•Secure valves, manways, and other fixtures on transportation equipment when not in use. Secure all rail, truck, and barge containers when stored at the facility.
•Use tamper-resistant or tamper-evident seals and locks on cargo compartment openings.

Also:
•Maintain current inventories of on-site hazardous materials and check account for shortages or discrepancies. En route security measures include:
•Verifying identify of carrier or driver prior to hazardous materials loading. Ask driver for photo identification and compare with information provided by carrier.
•Ask the driver to tell the name of the consignee and the destination for the material and confirm with company records before releasing shipments.
•Identify preferred and alternated routing, including acceptable deviations. Make sure routing complies with local routing restrictions.
•If possible, alternate routes to frequent destinations.
•Minimize exposure in downtown or heavily populated areas and expedite the shipment to the final destination.
•Minimize stops en route; if drivers must stop, select locations with adequate lighting on well-traveled roads and avoid high-crime or dangerous areas.

Also:
•If materials are stored during transportation, make sure storage facilities are secure.
•Train drivers how to avoid hijackings or theft of property. Keep vehicles locked when parked and avoid conversation on open channels or with strangers about route, cargo, and destinations.
•Consider an escort or guard for high-hazard shipments such as explosives, radioactive materials, or inhalation hazard toxics.
•Consider using advanced technology to track or protect cargo en route to destinations (ie, satellite tracking systems, anti-theft systems for trailers and tractors and surveillance systems). GPS tracking systems should relay updates more frequently.
•Install tamper-proof seals on all valves and package or container openings.
•Implement a system for a customer to alert the shipper if a hazardous materials shipment is not received when expected.
•When products are delivered, check the carrier's identity with shipping documents provided by the shipper.
•Get to know customers and their hazardous materials programs. If a carrier suspects it shipped or delivered a hazardous material to someone who may intend to use it for a criminal activity, notify the local FBI office or local law enforcement officials.
•Report any suspicious or unusual behavior or incidents to local law enforcement officials.

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