When it comes to packaging physical evidence during evidence collection, there are three distinct goals.

  1.  Protect employees from hazardous evidence.  There may be biohazards associated with the evidence being packaged or the evidence may have sharp edges that could harm an employee who tries to handle it.  Protecting employees from hazardous evidence is a consideration when packaging it.  Label the evidence to clearly warn anyone who handles it of the hazard.
  2. Protect the evidence.  Protect the evidence from loss, contamination or deterioration when packaging it.  This may include packing the evidence in a container that is not too large or small, drying the evidence before packing it if it is wet or storing it in proper temperature.
  3. Label the evidence properly. Labeling the evidence properly includes: a) a description of what is contained in the packaging; b) where it was when it was collected; c) chain of custody; d) a unique identifier, such as a number, so that it not confused with other evidence.

Packaging physical evidence is important to preserving it for the duration of the investigation.  With these three goals in mind, you’ll be off to a good start.

To learn more about evidence collection, join me in Houston, Texas in November for a 3-day root cause analysis and evidence collection course, or just 1 day of evidence collection training.

Thanks for joining me for this week’s tip!  See you next week!