protecting your employees and securing your mail center
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Protecting your Employees and Securing your Mail Center. What constitutes a suspicious letter or package?. If you receive a suspicious letter or package: Stop - Don’t handle it Isolate it immediately Don’t open, smell, or taste Activate your emergency plan Notify a supervisor.

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what constitutes a suspicious letter or package
What constitutes a suspicious letter or package?

If you receive a suspicious letter or package:

  • Stop - Don’t handle it
  • Isolate it immediately
  • Don’t open, smell, or taste
  • Activate your emergency plan
  • Notify a supervisor
slide3
How do you prepare?
  • Identify threats
  • Conduct a risk assessment
  • Develop policies
  • Draft procedures/best practices
  • Prepare contingency and continuity plans
  • Communicate and train
slide4
Identify threats.
  • International terrorist
  • Domestic hate group
  • Disgruntled employee/workplace violence
  • Acts of nature (flood, fire, earthquake, etc.)
slide5
Conduct a risk assessment.

Your posture should reflect your company’s mission

slide6
Develop policies.
  • Policy – a plan or guiding principle
  • Address areas identified as priorities in risk assessment
  • Get support from upper management and key officials
  • Examples:
    • Access to mail center
    • X-ray of packages
    • Opening of mail
slide7
Sample policies. (Private Sector)
  • Deliveries for senior executives
  • Packages
slide8
Sample policies. (Government Agency)
  • Personal mail
  • General policy for mail
slide9
Draft procedures.
  • Procedure:
    • Series of steps taken to implement a policy
  • Be as specific as possible
  • Update as needed
slide10
Mail handling and processing operations.
  • Centralizing the mail handling/processing operation at a separate location
  • Centralization:
    • Minimizes risk
    • Reduces costs
    • Increases effectiveness
slide11
Mail handling and processing operations.
  • Initial sort – by hand
  • Individuals who normally sort the mail should perform the initial screening
  • These individuals are most likely to notice packages that are out of the ordinary
slide12
Best practices.
  • Employ professional security personnel
  • All visitors should be greeted
  • Restrict access to facility
  • Keep dated visitor logs
  • Install an intrusion detection system
  • Use surveillance equipment
  • Adequate lighting
slide13
Best practices.
  • Badges
  • Lock and key accountability
  • Secure off limit areas
  • Develop an emergency plan
  • Train employees
  • Restrict drivers
  • Establish communication channel
slide14
Best practices.
  • Screen incoming mail
  • Open mail in authorized areas only
  • Develop screening procedures
  • Develop procedures for:
    • packages identified as suspicious
    • confirming suspicious packages
    • isolating suspicious packages
slide15
Best practices.
  • Conduct unannounced tests for mail center personnel
  • Make available protective wear
  • HAZMAT team information
  • Conduct After Action Review (AAR)
slide16
Enhanced steps.
  • Bomb detection/K-9
  • X-ray all incoming mail
  • Detection devices
  • Hold mail 24 hours or until testing concludes
  • Store mail in containment containers
  • Down draft tables
  • Separate air filtration unit
slide17
Enhanced steps.
  • Monitored mail operations
  • Safe air room for mail processing
  • Monthly swab testing for mail room
  • Showers and decontamination system
  • Wear protective clothing
  • Duress alarm
slide18
Be prepared.

“The government processes billions of pieces of mail each year without incident; however, local, state, and federal agencies alike must prepare for the worst case scenario.”

slide19
Sample procedure.(Private Sector)

Mail and packages for senior executives:

  • “Second Screen” bin sorting
  • Visually inspect packages
  • X-ray
  • Quality control
slide20
Sample procedure(Government Agency)

Procedures for handling mail:

  • Wear latex surgical gloves
  • Encourage respiratory protective masks
  • X-ray incoming mail
  • Visually screen mail
slide21
Necessary plans.
  • Occupant emergency plans
  • Contingency plans
  • Continuity plans
slide22
Training.
  • Education and awareness are essential
  • Employee awareness
  • Design and vigorously monitor security program
  • Reduces risk for all
slide23
Continuity of operations plan.

Implement anticipatory measures

  • Back up site
  • Continuity of Operation Plan (COOP)
  • Enables mail processes to continue
slide24
Continuity of operations plan.

Fundamental needs:

  • To send and receive mail if primary mail operation shuts down
  • Advanced planning is important for security protection
slide25
Recommendations.(Low and Moderate Risk Facilities)
  • Appoint a mail security coordinator
  • Standard Operating Plans (SOPs)
  • Train personnel on policies
  • Limit access of personnel
  • Identify and escort personnel
  • Establish HAZMAT response plans
slide26
Recommendations.(Low and Moderate Risk Facilities)
  • HAZMAT emergency service
  • Post SOP for suspicious packages
  • Phone numbers for emergencies
  • Best practices
  • Intrusion detection system
  • Senior management buy in
slide27
Recommendations.(High Risk Facilities)

These are in addition to Low risk recommendations.

  • Alternate mail security coordinator
  • Mail security response team
  • Offsite copy of plans
  • Staff specialized employees
  • Equipment for team
slide28
Recommendations.(High Risk Facilities)
  • Publish & distribute information, personnel updates & procedures
  • Cameras at entrances and exterior
  • Require employee attendance at mail security briefings
  • Publish AAR reports
slide29
Training.
  • What do people need to know to carry out policies and procedures
  • Keep yourself informed
  • Don’t just react
  • Stay alert
slide30
Training.

Complete training program will include:

  • Basic security procedures
  • Recognizing and reporting suspicious packages
  • Proper use of personal protective equipment
  • Responding to a biological threat
  • Responding to a bomb threat
slide31
Training.
  • Maintain employee training logs
    • Include date completed
  • Follow up with refresher training
    • On a regular basis
slide32
Training.

Educate all other employees too

slide33
Plan review.
  • Be wary of unexpected packages
  • Notify the supervisor
  • Do not shake or bump the item
  • Do not open, smell, touch or taste
  • Isolate the damaged item immediately
  • Cordon off the immediate area
  • Have employees wash hands
slide34
Plan review.
  • Prepare list of affected employees
  • Isolate clothing
  • Shower
slide35
Conclusion.

Mail Center must evaluate situation:

  • Objectively weigh threat circumstances in order to render a prudent decision
slide36
Additional resources.

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

http://www.cdc.gov

Federal Bureau of Investigation

http://www.fbi.gov

Occupational Safety and Health Administration

http://www.osha.gov

FEMA’s Rapid Response Information System

http://www.fema.gov/hazard/hazmat/index.shtm

U. S. Postal Service

http://www.usps.com

slide38
US Postal Inspection Service

About the US Postal Inspection Service

  • Find us on the World Wide Web:
    • http://www.usps.com/postalsinspectors
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