Keeping employees safe takes many forms in the tank truck industry, but at the National Tank Truck Carriers Safety Council meeting two specific issues were discussed — avoiding identity theft and preventing bodily harm.
Kimberly Ferris, an attorney for the Commercial Drivers Legal Plan, offered solutions to the computer age's contribution to identity theft while Dan Bowen of DuPont displayed personal protective equipment for use with flammable products.
Ferris warned that if one employee reports identity theft, the company's entire database may be compromised. In addition to the employee's personal difficulty, the company may face a lawsuit for having a database that could be corrupted.
She said that most identity theft occurs through job databases that contain personal information such as driver license and social security numbers, background investigation results, medical histories, and financial records. In addition, personal information is available via the Internet, whether the victim accesses it or not.
ID thieves may steal personnel records or bribe employees who have access to them. They also may use false pretenses to obtain records from employers.
Because of laws already in force, and some on the drawing board, certain companies may be subject to rules originally introduced for financial institutions and credit companies. Ferris noted that laws involving identity theft are changing fast and penalties are getting stiffer. She suggested companies require employees to sign confidentiality forms, which would be retained on file. Employees also should be told that insurance against ID theft is available, whether the company provides it or it is available elsewhere. A form should be signed indicating the employee is aware of the insurance.
In addition, companies should develop an ID security policy and require training for all employees. Training should include discussions on how information is stolen and what can be done to avoid it.
“Create a culture of security,” she added, recommending that companies appoint an information security compliance officer to oversee the program.
Turning to personal physical protection, Bowen conducted an outdoor display to demonstrate clothing made with flame retardant materials. A mannequin used by DuPont's research and development program was used in the fire incident exhibit.
Bowen noted that some materials are manufactured with flame retardant materials while others may be made of natural fibers coated with fire retardant products.
He added that clothing is rated by how long it will protect per second. He recommended employers analyze how much time an employee needs to be protected — based on the risk in his work area.
When decisions are made to purchase PPE, several things should be considered, including:
- Protection and compliance
- Cost effectiveness
- Ease of care
- Weather condition