Rules and regulations are implemented to ensure safety in both personal and professional environments. Just taking U.S. rules into account, there are mandatory rules governing everything from transportation of goods and personnel to the protection of chemical facilities. The presence of these laws brings a welcome uniformity and minimum level of preparedness to numerous vital industries. In turn, leaders must ensure they are aware of the latest versions of the regulations and in full compliance.
Staying current on security regulations is one of the main use cases for security consulting services. These impartial third-party observers can assess companies' present solutions and make suggestions to either get them back into compliance or enhance programs beyond the minimum acceptable levels. They can also work with staff members to ensure essential personnel have the knowledge they'll need to keep their organizations secure and compliant for years to come.
The following are five sets of rules worth monitoring closely, each applying to certain types of businesses.
1. Chemical Facility Anti-Terrorism Standards (CFATS): An attack targeting a chemical processing plant could have devastating consequences for the surrounding area, necessitating protection standards overseen by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security. The program has been in place for a decade, and is based on a tier system. The most stringent requirements apply to chemical facilities designated as high-risk areas.
2. Maritime Transportation Security Act (MTSA): The MTSA was signed into law in 2002 to lay down rules for goods that move through the nation's 300-plus ports. The act's authors noted that energy is especially vulnerable to disruption if something goes wrong in maritime shipping, and that disruption at ports would have a negative effect on the economy and consumers from a fuel perspective alone. The act called for private sector companies to step up in providing visibility into their shipments, and to help law enforcement where needed.
3. Aviation and Transportation Security Act (TSA): The same law that created the familiar Transportation Security Administration, responsible for screening passengers at airports and defending all relevant forms of transit, also generated a series of rules relevant to companies. For instance, all goods shipped by aircraft must be declared electronically by the air carrier.
4. Customs Trade Partnership Against Terrorism (CTAPT): The DHS operates CTPAT to keep cargo safe as it crosses international borders. The project is voluntary, and is based on creating close connections between government and industry that will potentially keep cargo safer as it crosses into or out of the country. Companies that enter into this pact gain the ability to move to the front of the line when border inspections are queued, and gain access to government pilot programs when new supply chain protection options are available.
5. Transportation Worker Identification Credentials (TWIC): The programs described above interact in ways that will prove relevant to companies operating across industries or regions. For instance, TWIC access is a credential system required by the MTSA and based on inspections made by members of the TSA. When an individual has to have access to secure vessels or maritime facilities to complete his or her duties, undergoing this threat assessment protocol becomes a must.
Every organization has its own needs
Some companies are dependent upon international shipments for their operations. Others handle chemicals considered risky by the DHS. No matter what an organization's unique regulatory needs may be, there are relevant programs to register for, and the legal consequences can be severe.
Businesses that team with security consultants to handle their regulatory needs can also engage those personnel for other needs, such as security programs that go beyond federal or state rules. It's always worth thinking ahead rather than finding out a company is falling behind on one of its requirements.