Handling and Opening Mail Packages


Staff Safety

  • Designate selected trained staff to Initially screen and open mail
  • Wash your hands with hot water and soap before and after handling mail
  • You may want to wear disposable medical type gloves and particulate or dust type mask when working with mail.
  • Experts generally agree this may not be necessary on a continual basis
  • Masks will decrease exposure but will not be 100% preventive
  • Do not eat, drink or smoke around mail



Separate Area

  • Whenever possible, open mail in a single, controlled area away from other employees
  • Open mail on a hard surface, such as a counter or table but not over carpet
  • Select an area away from heating, air conditioning, ventilation systems, and ducts
  • Open mail and packages away from your body
  • Have various sizes of plastic bags, such as pint quart, gallon sip lock, and garbage bags immediately available in work area.

Screen Mail

Screen mail for the following characteristics. Any package or envelope that:
  • Is unexpected or from someone unfamiliar to you
  • Is addressed to someone no longer in your organisation or otherwise outdated
  • Does not have a return address, or the return address cannot be verified as legitimate
  • Is of unusual weight, given its size, or is lopsided or oddly shaped
  • Is marked with restricted endorsements, such as “personal” or “confidential”
  • Has protruding wires, strange odors, or stains
  • Has a city or state in the postmark that does not match the return address, or has no return address