How do Access Control Systems Work?

10/06/2019 in Security

Over the years, access control systems have become an increasingly popular way for site managers to monitor access, providing a cutting-edge construction site security measure that has numerous benefits. These modern entry systems are reliable and can replace outdated manual checks, ensuring that only authorised individuals can gain entry to the site, as well as being able to monitor workforce time and attendance.

Here, we outline how two prevalent types of access control work within a construction site and the advantages they can bring.

Biometric access control

Many modern construction sites make use of biometric access control systems, which contain a biometric reader or a scanning device to identify a person’s individual physical characteristics, in order to verify whether they are authorised to enter. Within biometric access control, this characteristic is normally a fingerprint, though many new devices now use iris or facial recognition.

Fingerprint identification works by using an optical sensor to construct an image of a person’s fingertip ridge structure, determining whether it matches that which is held within the database.

Biometric access control is one of the highest levels of security that you can invest in on a construction site, since there is no room for human error as with previous manual checks – a person either has the physical characteristics which allow for entry, or they do not. This ensures that only those within the system can enter a restricted area, meaning identity cannot be replicated or shared.

Biometric access systems are, therefore, highly beneficial in places where there are several different entry points which require monitoring, or in where there are a large number of workers coming in and out at any given time. Such systems can seamlessly streamline access, making the process far quicker and more efficient. Moreover, audit trails determine who has successfully entered and when, or who has been denied access, making both security and employee attendance monitoring easier than ever before.

Manual checks and key card access points can be removed, which means that there is no longer an issue with lost, stolen or replicated ID cards, or written down passcodes, ensuring the construction site is as secure as it can be, whilst saving time and resources.

Card-based systems

For construction sites in which there may be a large turnover of manual workers at any given time, card-based access control systems might be better suited over biometric access. These work by only allowing access to people who have a valid, up-to-date CSCS SmartCard, ensuring only those with the necessary accreditations and training can gain entry to the job site.

If expired or fake CSCS cards are detected, the system is able to automatically restrict access to those attempting to enter. Text or email alerts can also be set up to notify people when their CSCS cards are nearing expiration, to safeguard against any nasty surprises.

Bespoke requirements

Access control is a fantastic way for organisations to manage the movement of their workers and visitors, and, above all, it offers vital security and health and safety protection. The modern use of biometric or card-based systems means there is no longer room for human error associated with manual checks, or the many problems which can arise when using passcode entry systems.

Access control systems can be fitted on any type of construction site – simply schedule in a bespoke site survey with an accredited security consultant, who will discuss your needs and challenges and help you decide the security measures which are most appropriate.