With today’s concern of terrorism, cargo theft, and tampering, security has become paramount when considering the storage and transportation of important or sensitive goods. Tamper Evident Seals are effective tools for deterring and detecting unauthorized access, theft, or tampering. The early detection of access by a 3rd party is critical to ensuring the point of breach within the implemented tracing system.

Despite their antiquity and widespread modern use, quite a few misconceptions, poor practices, and misleading terminology remain when it comes to seals and seal use. First off, it is important to be clear on what a seal is and what it is not. Unlike a lock, a seal is not intended to delay or harshly prevent unauthorized entry (except in the case of Barrier seals). Instead, a seal is meant to leave behind unambiguous, nonerasable evidence of unauthorized access. However, Barrier seals are devices that are part lock and part seal. Barrier seals have their uses, but the downside is that they can cause a lot of confusion for users and tend to be a compromise, being neither the optimal lock nor the optimal seal for a given application.

Barrier seals are sometimes misleadingly called “metal or heavy-duty security seals” in contrast to “tamper-evident seals,” but this is sloppy terminology. Other terms to avoid include “tamper-proof seal” and “tamper-resistant” seal. There is no such thing as a seal that cannot be spoofed, and the idea of “tamper resistance” applies more properly to locks, not seals.

Military & Defence Sector

Security seals are already used for a variety of military applications, including cargo security, nuclear safeguards, counterintelligence, theft detection, loss prevention, records security, employee drug testing, and election integrity. They protect money, transportation containers, footlockers, courier bags, filing cabinets, utility meters, hazardous materials, instrument calibrations, drugs, weapons, computer media, warehoused goods, and other critical items.

However, the U.S. Transportation Command plans to further utilize security seals to provide better support to military personnel and families making permanent change of station moves. The new rules will go into effect in May 2021  aim to address problems with loss of personal property, including firearms, due to theft; speed up the claims process; and help moving companies meet expectations for scheduling pickups and delivery.

For overseas and container shipments, moving companies will use tamper-proof seals, which will be placed on the crates at the customer’s residence, unless otherwise directed by the customer. The seal numbers will be noted on the inventory list. At least two seals will be used per box to secure the access at top and ends. Four seals, at a minimum, will be used to secure container doors and side panels.

These simple but tested security systems are being incorporated by even high-level military and intelligence branches, giving validation to the numerous benefits that tamper-evident seals can provide at any security level.

Food Industry

With meal takeout and grocery delivery increasing approximately 75% during the pandemic and spending on meal delivery services increasing 70% this March compared to 2019, food packaging has become a critical tool for retailers and producers to communicate health and safety practices.

Food safety remains paramount for food producers, and regulators are calling on companies to maintain updated, digital data systems for tracing ingredients, vendor supplies, and inventory throughout the production process. High-tech QR codes and tracking data on shipping and transport labels for food items and supplies help improve inventory management, traceability and a faster response to potential food supply and system issues.

Traditionally favoured for pharmaceutical and high-value electronics, tamper-proof labels now provide restaurants, grocers and meal delivery service customers visible proof of responsible handling from preparation to delivery. Many of the major national food delivery companies and many national food and quick service restaurant chains are now using pressure sensitive labels on food packaging, with some restaurant customers, including Papa John’s, advertising the packaging to emphasize a commitment to human health, safety and quality.

Healthcare Sector and Pharmaceuticals

The pharmaceutical industry, transports raw materials in drums, tanks, and bulk containers. You can seal these with either a cargo type seal or a tamper-evident security seal. A typical drum of bulk dry medical ingredients might have a seal on a large drum and a secondary seal on the plastic liner inside the drum. If the outer seal is damaged in transit the inner seal will assure the integrity of the contents.

The storage of medical supplies will also require at least a simple layer of security to protect and prevent access by unauthorised personnel.

Clinical waste is stored and moved in a variety of containers including boxes, bags, pouches, and various specialised vessels. It is also covered by legislation which often requires the secure labelling of clinical waste.

The main legislation in the UK is the Environment Protection Act 1990 (including Duty of Care regulations). It states that all producers of waste have a Duty of Care to ensure the correct management of waste, including documenting the transfer of waste. There are also regulations regarding labelling in The Controlled Waste (England and Wales) Regulations 2012, The Hazardous Waste Directive and The Carriage of Dangerous Goods Regulations.

A cost-effective solution are printed clinical waste ties, which act as a pull-tight sealant to many storage solutions (boxes, bags, containers). We can offer significant price breaks dependant on quantities ordered. You can view our full range of clinical waste seals and products by clicking here.

About JW Products

JW Products have been servicing the security seal requirements of the transport, haulage and aviation industry worldwide, for over 20 years. We have built a reputation for reliability, expertise and excellence since our conception in 2000 and we are ready to help your business thrive in a post Brexit world. You can rely on our dedicated team to identify your business’s security seal requirements and offer approved solutions to meet them. We offer high security tamper proof security seals, conforming to ISO 17712:2013 and effective tamper evident seals, to help your business meet regulatory standards and protect your assets. As a trusted supplier to Government Agencies, NHS and UK Police Forces, your business can engage with JW Products with confidence.