FMSCA posts "security talking points"

| 10/2/2001

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration has announced that the agency's field officials will visit most of the nation's hazardous materials carriers in the coming months. The agency says its mission is to increase the level of awareness of hazardous materials carriers to terrorist threats and will not result in a compliance review or enforcement action.

The information being provided by the field staff will be in the form of recommendations and suggestions except those regulatory requirements affecting the actual movement of hazardous materials. FMCSA says these recommendations will need readjusting, based on current conditions, emphasizing that terrorist activities tend to happen in groups. The agency stresses that security should be heightened if new attacks begin and security measures should be increased if U.S. begins military activity in foreign countries.

Highlights of the "Security Talking Points" are outlined below. Basically, this is what the field staff from FMCSA intends to go over with haz mat hauling companies. These recommendations may not apply to all carriers, based on their size and scope of operation. Additionally, this list is not all-inclusive and will be changed based on future priorities to address terrorist threats.

Recommend to carrier that a security plan be developed and implemented. It should include:
Personal Security
Hazardous Materials and Package Control
En Route Security
Technical Innovations
Management Prerogatives
Readjustment Based Upon Current Conditions
Request the company include security in all decision-making processes.
Recommend that management include all levels in security decisions.

Ask officials to recognize that employees can be substantial security risks.
Review a driver list with the official and, if possible, identify those drivers whose names can be linked to one the countries that have been identified that support terrorist activities. (See the attached list identifying suspected terrorist countries)
Ensure that detailed background checks have been performed on these individuals as required by the regulations. Recommend more detailed background checks for suspicious individuals. Look at the following for indicators:
Gaps in employment
Frequent job shifts
All names used by the applicant
Type of military discharge
Present and prior residence information
Personal references
Criminal history
Verify U.S. citizenship for all employees.
For those employees who are not U.S. citizens, verify that all immigration papers are on file and properly documented.
Make sure that interviews are conducted when hiring new drivers/employees. Obtain information that will help to appraise the personality, character, motivation, honesty, integrity, and reliability and to judge his appearance and personnel characteristics face to face.
Any information or suspicious activity discovered during the review of these files should be reported immediately to your SD/DA for notification of the local FBI office.

Is there adequate lighting for the facility grounds?
Are HM storage areas at the carrier's facility secured in fences or buildings?
Consider requiring personnel identification cards/badges for access to areas with HM.
Check the adequacy of locks and other protective measures.
Require records for removal of HM from secure locations.
Does the company protect HM using alarms and/or other security systems?
Reinforce with drivers the importance to remain aware of their surroundings at all times
Consider if a guard force is appropriate (DOD Shipments, PIH, RAM, other).
Recommend standard procedures on control of packages
Educate all personnel on package control measures
Provide notices to employees on package control procedures. Post procedures prominently at appropriate locations
Conduct security spot checks of personnel and vehicles
Do not accept any hazardous materials shipments from unfamiliar shippers.
Perform credit checks and use other readily available services to determine the authenticity of the business (shippers).
Be familiar with vendors that service your facility

Avoid high population centers, including downtown and/or metropolitan areas where possible.
Use alternate routes that avoid high population areas.
Ensure that all Hazardous Materials are delivered expeditiously.
Instruct drivers to lock vehicles when stopped.
Avoid tunnels and bridges where possible.
Reinforce attendance and parking rules in 49 CFR Part 397.
Consider if a guard is appropriate.

Make yourself aware of technical innovations that could assist in security such as cell phones, satellite tracking, and surveillance systems.
Look at state of the art locks and seals.
Are access control systems appropriate?
Consider tamper proof locking features for 5th Wheels (so that trailers can't be stolen).
Consider use of blanket-type alarms that signal when blanket is moved (more appropriate for small carriers).
Consider installing electronic engine controls that require a code, in addition to a key, to start a vehicle.

Include fingerprinting and photographs of applicants in the employment process.
Be aware of personal identify theft such as using stolen social security numbers, references, etc.
Consider running criminal background checks on individuals with access to very sensitive materials (explosives, poison gases, biological agents)
Consider implementing security training for employees that includes:
Company Security Objectives
Specific Security Procedures
Employee Responsibility
Organizational Security Structure

Develop a communications network with others in the industry in an effort to share information to determine if there is a pattern of activities that, when taken alone are not significant, but when taken as a whole generate concern.
Develop a means of communication within the physical plant and the vehicle (cell phones, satellite tracking, radios, etc.) Is the system capable of reaching all key personnel?
Security messages should be presented to employees in various methods such as newsletters, bulletin boards, etc.

Request that drivers watch for any suspicious activities in their vicinity. If drivers should witness any suspicious activities, they should immediately report it through 311 or 911.