Your Risk Level

You can ensure safe mail handling standards for your organization by conducting a risk assessment of your mail operations. The assessment should focus on the room or area where mail is handled, its physical location, and its accessibility to employees and the public.

Mailrooms may have a low, medium, or high risk level depending on their locations and their customers. If your organization employs security professionals, they can identify your mailroom risks and recommend how to address them. If not, you can immediately set in place some security measures; other measures will require some planning, action, and financing.

Start your risk assessment by evaluating these areas:

Consider the nature of your business. If your organization could attract political or potentially controversial attention, it could be a target for a mailed threat. Your mail center may be situated within a high-risk facility or in a high-risk area of your community. It’s also important to be aware of your customers and the types of business they conduct. International businesses or controversial professions or services can significantly heighten risks. By assessing the people who use your mailroom, you can determine the appropriate security level you need to maintain for it.

Your assessment should identify the jobs, tasks, and personnel most likely to be jeopardized if a suspicious or dangerous letter or package entered the workplace. Postal Inspectors advise you to develop screening procedures for all incoming deliveries, including those from private delivery firms, such as FedEx and UPS. All employees must be trained in safe mail handling procedures and should understand the importance of following protocols.

In any case, it’s important that you’re familiar with your local and state emergency response capabilities.