Partners in Safety - HazMat Information for Shippers and Carriers



In light of the tragic events of September 11, 2001, enhancing the security of our hazardous materials should be one of the highest priorities for transportation and shipping companies. The California Highway Patrol is committed to providing information and services to ensure that hazardous materials are secure and that companies recognize the need for additional security measures. This information is intended to help shipping and transportation companies in addressing possible security deficiencies in their current daily operations.

The security of hazardous commodities is the responsibility of all involved. Shipping and transportation companies who deal with hazardous materials should take it upon themselves to develop security guidelines and appoint a security representative. Terminals have large quantities of hazardous materials and present an easy target for vandals and terrorists to “scope-out” an operation and find its weak links. Transportation companies have fewer options when security is an issue, however, they must be vigilant in their efforts to secure their loads. Working together, we ALL can make a difference in the security of hazardous materials and the protection of those around us.

Common Security Issues:

  • ​Hazardous materials left in open yard

  • Hazardous materials not routinely inventoried

  • Terminal access not secured

  • Security measures not in place

  • ​Lack of a security action plan

  • Company personnel not aware of security issues

  • The “it can't happen to me” attitude

  • Vehicles/trailers not locked or sealed

Security Actions to Consider at Shipping Terminals:

  • ​Restrict access to hazardous materials

  • Implement a photo identification program

  • Appoint a security liaison for the terminal

  • Ensure that personnel are trained in security measures

  • Install surveillance equipment

  • Provide lighting for normally dark locations

  • Relocate the hazardous materials to more secured facility

  • Improve gates and fencing

  • ​Consider gate logs and restricting visitors to limited areas

  • Encourage employees to challenge unknown persons in restricted areas

  • Provide regular training to employees concerning security issues

  • Institute a rewards program recognizing employees who identify security improvements

  • Ship products through transportation companies equipped with Global Positioning Systems (GPS)

  • Develop “security awareness” literature for drivers who transport hazardous materials

  • Inspect facility windows and replace any defective glass or locks

Security Actions to Consider when Transporting Hazardous Materials:

  • Keep vehicle secure at all times

  • Implement the use of load seals and get in the habit of checking them at each stop

  • Establish communication with the load's destination/give approximate arrival time and ensure that there will be someone to receive the shipment

  • Use caution when approached or asked about the load/develop a neutral answer to keep from giving out too much information

  • Become familiar with the contact numbers for law enforcement agencies on your route

  • Stay on a common route and be cautious of suspicious detours

  • Call in any suspicious activity which may affect the load


Partners in Safety


The steps you take to operate safely will often serve to address security concerns as well. Considering the inherent security in the design and operation of any facility will have the benefits of helping prevent unwanted intrusion and access to hazardous materials. Decisions about improving site security should be made after evaluating how vulnerable your site is to a threat. Implement additional security measures, as appropriate, to reduce your vulnerability. This information is just a reminder of some common sense approaches to the security of hazardous materials. The California Highway Patrol appreciates our “Partners in Safety” who willingly make the commitment to ensure all is being done to protect our country's hazardous materials.



CHP has now expanded the 1-800-TELL-CHP (1-800-835-5247) phone number for use in the “Partners in Safety” program concerning hazardous materials security. This number is for reporting any security related problems regarding hazardous materials both at a terminal and during transportation. If you choose, you may remain anonymous.

Training Available Through the California Highway Patrol


The California Highway Patrol offers complimentary on-site training specific to these topics through the Commercial Industry Education Program. This training covers safety and security issues applicable to carriers and drivers as well as terrorism prevention assistance. To learn more, contact the Commercial Industry Education Program Coordinator at (916) 843-3400.

In an emergency, call 911

Disclaimer: These recommendations are for informational purposes only. We do not endorse any particular security product, service, or company.


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