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The Importance of DOT HAZMAT Security Procedures

The importance of DOT HAZMAT Security procedures cannot be understated.  There are specific guidelines to the methods of handling and transport of hazardous materials as ordered by the Department of Transportation.

It has not been long since the terrorist attacks of 9/11 and the memory of the damage done by commercial airplanes should not negate the memory of the initial bomb attacks on the World Trade Center in New York City. A van filled with fertilizer based explosives driven into a parking garage caused extensive damage and loss of life. Everyone that handles hazardous material as a profession or the concerned individual should be familiar with DOT HAZMAT Security procedures.

These senseless attacks and others have not stopped the transportation of materials but necessitated a careful look and development of guides to ensure the safety of facilities, property and life. The Department of Transportation has instituted additions to the required methods of handling and transporting hazardous materials. Consequently awareness training must be provided in companies where these functions are performed by their employees. Inclusive of all jobs that involve creation, moving from one location to another prior to shipping, loading, unloading and any function that involves contact with the substances. Instructions for actions to take in case of an explosion or other result related to inappropriate handling, defects or terrorism.

Secrecy is better than disclosure.

The content, location, type quantity or any other information related to the job or responsibilities is confidential and should never be discussed or provided to any individual or entity without prior authorization. Knowledge is the best weapon of the terrorist and loose discussions or even pride in a career or job well done can cause the death of innocent bystanders. Even casual conversations can fall on the wrong ears inadvertently or someone who is intently listening.

A secure location for material and records is critical.

If left in the open and unguarded a plot to obtain explosivesFree Reprint Articles, flammables and other items is no longer as complex as when proper measures have been taken. Guard systems or special fencing or storage areas will suffice once a determination is made of the level of security required. Paper or electronic files that contain important information regarding inventory or item descriptions are just as important.

Accidents or spillage on the road must be avoided.

Make sure that on rough terrain or bad weather conditions everything on delivery trucks is secure and will not spill onto a highway or other structure. There needs to be a smooth transition from stock to delivery to ensure that critical or dangerous chemicals do not cause bodily harm.

Visitors or strangers are not above scrutiny.

An in depth knowledge of your job and responsibilities is a great first step but other violations can occur by not establishing the identity of visitors or strangers. A secure location need not be open to criminal activity by assuming that everyone on the premises is allowed to be there. Nor that those with evil intentions look a certain way or speak a certain language. Anyone can be recruited and without a standard set of policies will pass through and do damage before being discovered. Visitors should have escorts at all times and strangers should always have identification and if not then they should be escorted to an area where visitor id can be obtained.

Be aware of who your customers are.

New buyers or last minute rush orders should be viewed with caution and followed up before any product is delivered. Any question related to usage that displays a lack of knowledge is a red flag as well as cash orders or lack of proper identification. Any requests to accept a payment or bribe to look the other way must be reported immediately and allow the proper course of action to be followed. Even the receipt of items ordered requires careful review to ensure containers are not damaged or mislabeled.

Avoid the possibility of high jacking or robbery.

Vary delivery routes so observation of where the delivery starts from cannot be logged and charted to weak points where cargo or the entire vehicle can be taken or sabotaged. Conventional methods of warfare have been supplemented and modified therefore it is imperative to carefully watch that working materials are not utilized for other purposes.

Article Tags: Hazmat Security

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Charlie Bentson King is a Vice President for Workplace Safety Videos - The world's most comprehensive source of safety video and safety DVD training programs.

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