Essential Security Procedures on Construction Sites
18/11/2019 in Security
Construction sites tend to contain high-value tools, materials, plant, and machinery, all of which, if stolen, normally have some resale value, which means that construction sites are often a target for criminals, especially if not secured properly.
In the UK, the construction industry loses, on average, £400 million worth of equipment each year through theft. Fire, vandalism and arson also pose a significant threat and can cause damage, financial burdens and project delays.
Continue reading as we discuss several essential security procedures to consider on your construction site.
Although every construction site is different in terms of size, location, environmental factors and risks, and therefore has its own individual set of challenges, the same rules apply across the board when it comes to vital security measures to adopt.
For every site, the people responsible should carry out a comprehensive risk analysis, identifying the potential security risks and how they can be mitigated.
Once identified, the correct procedures should be put in place to reduce such risks. This could be limiting unauthorised access of vehicles or pedestrians, or installing vehicle disablers on unattended plant.
Risk analysis should be carried out on a semi-regular basis, as circumstances change rapidly.
Physical security includes the measures which are put in place to support the site’s infrastructure. It should be present on all construction sites, no matter the size or circumstances. In most situations, a combination of several different physical construction site security measures should be utilised.
CCTV and wireless video detection are extremely useful in protecting against and preventing crime, as they allow for 24/7 monitoring of your site, even out of hours and when left unoccupied. If a problem is suspected, the system immediately alerts the user, who can then act quickly and notify the correct authorities.
Moreover, the presence of CCTV cameras and visible signage is often enough to deter would-be trespassers or criminals from entering, making it a highly effective preventative security measure.
Access control systems also act as a robust security initiative, by only allowing authorised personnel or vehicles to enter the construction site. Not only does this assist in managing the flow of people on the site, but it also helps managers monitor who is present at any given time.
Access control offers a state-of-the-art, modern way to grant site access, thus eliminating the need for time-consuming visual checks, in which human error often occurs. Card-based and biometric access systems make the job faster and more secure, ensuring only authorised people can gain entry to your site.
In order to maximise security around the perimeter and at entry and exit points, fencing and barriers are recommended. Fencing is not an effective measure by itself and should be utilised to add an extra layer of protection when safeguarding against unwanted entry. Anti-climb, palisade or mesh fencing are usually the most effective types in successfully preventing access.
Good lighting is essential to secure a construction site, particularly during the winter months, as opportunistic criminals tend to strike when it is darker outside and they believe they are less likely to be spotted. In essence, poor lighting makes your site an easier target and may also affect the clarity of footage captured by CCTV systems.
Where sites are left unattended overnight, secure storage units should be used to lock away valuable tools and machinery so that they are not left visible on the site.
Fuel stores should also be protected, since fuel theft is on the rise, and it may also be used in arson attacks. The construction site access points must be securely locked using methods that cannot be easily tampered with.
Operational security refers to the human aspect of the security within your construction site, which may mean hiring personnel to specifically oversee certain aspects of security. For instance, hiring SIA-licensed guards to protect the site out of hours. These people are fully accredited and trained in security measures, which makes them particularly beneficial for larger sites or where there are multiple entry points.
Other aspects of operational security include the monitoring of risks and health and safety protocols, monitoring exit and entry points (if no access control is present), the locking away and maintenance of plant, tool and equipment inventories, and ensuring physical security measures, like CCTV and alarms, are properly managed and maintained.
Finally, a key part of operational security measures is to ensure that all staff working onsite are properly trained on how to spot security risks and the steps they can take to mitigate them. This might include the correct way to store and mark equipment, how to properly check in and out of the construction site, or the steps to take when reporting a crime.
All of these factors help in keeping the construction site as secure as possible year-round, no matter its size, location or environmental conditions.