Uncertainty and disruption continue in the UK and Scotland caused by discoveries of suspicious packages. Yesterday, police forces evacuated buildings at two universities after receiving reports of suspicious packages, a day after parcel bombs were sent to two airports and London’s busiest train station. In Scotland, bomb disposal officers detonated an item after it was found in the mailroom on Wednesday morning at the University of Glasgow.
Parcels found at Royal Bank of Scotland headquarters in Edinburgh and the Essex University campus in eastern England, both briefly evacuated, were found to pose no risk to the public.
How do organizations get ahead of these types of disruptions and more importantly, respond to this type of threat?
There are three basic steps for dealing with suspicious packages:
Implement mail handling security procedures to evaluate suspicious packages and respond accordingly.
Train personnel - especially staff who receive and handle mail - to identify questionable mail. There are documented indicators for suspicious packages including excessive or missing postage, misspellings or unusual addressing, no return address, excessive packaging material or restrictive markings like “personal” or “confidential.”
Drill employees on evacuation procedures.
Duty of care standards are high in today’s workplace. Employers need to ensure that they are prepared to handle threats from suspicious mail by following these three steps.