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Defending the dock.

IN MOST BUILDINGS THE SHIPPING and receiving dock receives far less attention than the lobby and other public areas. However, security professionals should treat each site's dock as a unique area that deserves special policies, procedures, and treatment. Securing the dock is a necessary component in protecting any site's assets and people.

Unlike some access points in a building, the dock is mainly defined by people and procedures. It is not easily managed through hardware-that is, seldom can the dock be monitored and controlled effectively from a remote central station. Such a human-centered system requires far more frequent evaluation, monitoring, and quality or integrity assurance than most people like to give. For most security managers, it's difficult to find time to review the dock operation regularly and redirect the operation when they observe flaws.

By making a few considerations part of the dock security program, security managers can develop an effective, userfriendly, and secure dock operation. Because docks vary in layout, size, contain ability, and method of closure, each dock system must be customized.

Controlling dock use is a 24-hour-aday, seven-day-a-week concern, not just a daytime consideration. While a dock may be locked up at night or on weekends, controlling its closing, opening, and removals and deliveries is essential.

After-hours use of my dock compromises my entire site's security. Whether the breach is _from someone trying to park for free on the dock, coming or going as a shortcut, or removing items, I need to have accountability of these activities. Letting people violate afterhours procedures or permitting poor quality standards at night or weekends not only permits losses to occur but actuals, seems to encourage losses. People find Your weakest point. My dock is controlled at all times, 24 hours a day.

Ellen A. York, Security Manager, G Services Inc., Borden Building, Columbus, OH

For a small dock, staffing makes it difficult to ensure even such a simple security procedure as logging contents, vehicles, and persons. Keeping a person at the dock while vehicles are loaded and unloaded is a drain on a small site's staff. Even drivers normally making only deliveries can remove site materials if they are unimpeded in closing their cargo areas and can leave the site without a watchful observer. At the very least, someone should record the vehicle's license number, time of entry, time of exit, and materials delivered or picked up.

In most cases merely monitoring the flow of traffic is not sufficient. Traffic patterns can often be controlled to maximize the efficiency of dock staff, delivery personnel, and elevators in the building. By recording deliveries over time, security managers can schedule deliveries throughout the day to avoid peak-period rushes.

We t to develop schedules for delive services and site suppliers that routinely come to the site. Food vendors start the day and others domino from there on. Delivery people welcome the convenience and efficiency of dock access and minimal lost time waiting for space in exchange for delivering only during certain periods. We don't often have to force the issue because our goodwill and effort sells. The impact of unknown deliveries and events is significantly reduced by this process. -James J. Gogle, Security/Life Safety, G Services Inc., American Electric Power Headquarters Building, Columbus, OH

One well-run dock in downtown Chicago permits drivers to take deliveries up into the high-rise building personally. Such freedom usually clogs docks and causes roadblocks for other deliveries. In the Chicago building, however, the dock security officer takes the delivery driver's license, hands him or her a special ID tag, and, if the driver is new to the building, provides a written time limit for the delivery. A fine is levied if the time limit is not observed. Since instituting the plan, there has been no need to charge a fine.

Controlling deliveries is only one function of the dock operation. Whenever a vehicle is in the dock, the potential for fire and explosion increases. Sprinklered or not, each dock needs a fire plan, easily accessible extinguishers, and training for everyone who works the dock.

A vehicle fire in a confined area can be both frightening and debilitating. You need to have a plan to extinguish the fire rapidly to deter a potential explosion. In addition, you need to remove the vehicle from the area immediately. Sprinklers help, but a car or truck body usually shields the fire source from being extinguished. The sprinkler merely contains the fire on the dock.

Structural damage is a significant concern if heat should reach high levels in your confined dock area. Your people need to be trained not only in extinguishing the fire but also in evacuating the area safely.

-Alan J. Palagy, Manager of Day Operations and Security, Bank One, New Headquarters Complex, Indianapolis, IN

Docks have also become places for storing, compacting, and processing trash from the site. Compactors catch fire like clockwork. Trash removal provides opportunities to remove property from the site in a way that looks natural. If the trash containers are outside the property, the shuttling process needs to be monitored. Also, required compacting of trash and monitored, locked disposal units help prevent theft.

We have highly sensitive data, records, and materials that normally find their way into the trash and need to be kept therefor disposal. You don't want people rummaging through the materials looking for take-home items.

We also have museum storage and art on-site that could accidentally enter the trash cycle or be placed there for surreptitious removal later. Our procedures deny access to trash storage, and we make every possible attempt to ensure the process is unbroken. This not only flags odd events, but it also tells people that such removals should not be attempted.

-Robert H. Taylor, Security Manager, Deaderick Street Complex, John W. Galbreath & Co., Nashville, TN

The upswing in recycling presents great potential benefits to the environment and great dilemmas for dock operation. Storing paper, glass, cans, and computer paper is a fire hazard. Moreover, recycling creates a need to make sure the correct vendor picks up the materials. Companies agreeing to recycle documents risk the diversion of those documents from the recycling process to competitors. Once a tenant or owner accepts that risk, it is the dock operator who ensures the correct carrier makes the pickup.

We have had removal services attempt to buy our recyclable trash. We later learned they were attempting to divert information from computer printouts to our competitors. Our processes of disposal provide reasonable protection from such diversions. We need always to ensure our processes are enforced. Our tenants deserve our best.

-Paul J. Bell, Regional Manager for Security and Life Safety, 100 East Broad Corporation, Columbus, OH

The day-to-day operation of a dock appeals to some people and not to others. Most dock tasks gravitate to someone who likes the work or at least is good at it. However, experience suggests that rotating people's dock assignments is better because it provides fewer opportunities for familiarity with delivery persons-and for bribery. Rotation is the best means of overall control and integrity.

In years past we found that personnel assigned to docks and parking entrance areas became so attached to their assignments that it was difficult to get them to take vacations. We had just taken over a project where the client was emphatic about integrity and tenant services. I knew that in many banks vacations are mandatory as a deterrent to concealing systematic losses created and then repeatedly concealed by one person. The same is true of docks and parking areas, which at my site overlap.

We found not only favoritism but also rental of spaces to delivery people, freelance leasing of parking spots, and other practices that don't fit a professional operation. Rotating personnel eliminated the problems. The client benefited financially because the areas ran more smoothly, there was delivery and contractor accountability, and parking space rental income went where it belonged-to the owner.

-Thomas D. Yocco, Sr., Director of Security and Life Safety, G Services Inc., Pittsburgh, PA

Along with dock responsibilities come obligations to personnel who work in the area. Air quality must be monitored regularly and exhaust procedures ensured. Dock levelers are dangerous as are trash compactors and balers. Each system requires specific skill, training, and maintenance. Although other people may run the equipment, security needs to know all elements of its operation.

Being a traffic designer can also be critical to successful dock operation. Docks can accommodate only a few vehicles, so staging traffic is important. Many types of traffic lights and twoway public address systems can preclude overcrowding at the dock. The security manager may also want to review local codes to make sure on-street vehicular backups will not get delivery people traffic citations.

A city street runs through our dock. When the site was designed, a major parking facility, hotel dock, and office site were all combined with a mid-block alley or street running directly through our work area.

Our operation can congest streets and requires all manner of traffic control. Protecting our people from injury is also critical. Unaware that the setting is not an expressway, cars speed up by workers.

Our security practices are always important because we are vulnerable to drivers who observe our operation and notice an unaware attendant, delivery person, or security officer. One oversight by us, and the drivers disappear with our materials before we can react. Procedures keep such events from occurring.

-Jim Johannigman, Security Manager, Cincinnati Region, Star Bank Center

Docks are a sponge for cameras. Except for the general monitoring of traffic and ensuring appropriate after-hours uses, cameras monitor what is expected to occur on a dock-the conveying of materials to and from the site.

Authenticating removals and deliveries with remote camera monitoring is unimpressive-it is nearly impossible to distinguish good removals from bad. As with other security areas, defining what is expected from camera monitoring is essential.

Our dock is unique for an office building. We have a below-grade, twodoor bay with vehicles staying outside and all loading and preparation done inside. With the sensitivity of materials we ship and recieve, the arrangement is a real plus. Inside we can restrict access and handle the product with absolute attention to our task.

Cameras monitor the exterior for someone intent on disrupting or commandeering a vehicle or driver. We use cameras to observe problems if youusual events, but we cannot rely on them for validating the subtleties of box movement and ensuring that the right box went on the right truck.

If you record, cameras enable you to review the process later. On review, it's possible to observe problems if you know something went wrong. However, at the time of the event everything probably looked quite normal.

-Eric D. Turner, Security Manager, Lausche Building, G Services Inc., Cleveland, OH

Whether to permit pedestrian traffic through the dock and into the building is another question. If the dock is staffed and the pedestrian can follow ingress authorization practices, permitting such entry may be fine.

One variation is to control the contractors and transient workers who come to a site. Tracking them at all site entrances and the dock not only improves security but also helps control project costs by logging workers, hours, and involvement at the site should billings be based on time and materials. Obtaining hidden benefits from necessary operations is a welcome notch on the site security manager's belt.

Docks require a thoughtful, all encompassing approach if they are to work effectively. The preceding considerations are a starting point. Security managers will undoubtedly also want to take into account other factors that are germane to their particular dock operations.
COPYRIGHT 1990 American Society for Industrial Security
No portion of this article can be reproduced without the express written permission from the copyright holder.
Copyright 1990 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

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Title Annotation:security on the shipping & receiving dock
Author:Nyce, Kinsley F.
Publication:Security Management
Date:Jul 1, 1990
Words:1942
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