Is Construction Site Access Control Worth It?
18/02/2020 in Security
A typical construction site will have from ten up to hundreds of workers, depending on the scope of the project. For instance, during the early stages of a skyscraper, you need about 50 people and then the number balloons to 1,000 at the height of the build.
There are too many moving parts for anybody to monitor everybody. It is the main reason why construction sites are always prime targets for theft and vandalism.
According to the 2015 Theft Report by the National Equipment Register, there were 11,493 reports of vandalism and theft that year. The researchers found that the newer the equipment, the more susceptible it is to be stolen. Although the numbers vary, the report estimated that the annual losses due to construction and agricultural theft could range from a low of £300 million to a high of £1 billion.
However, most of the construction thefts are committed by the employees and the subcontractors themselves. You can secure the perimeter, not knowing that the danger comes from the inside.
There are several reasons why employees steal. Money could be the primary motivation, but the main excuse of those who are caught is that “the opportunity is there.”
And this is where the construction site access control system can help.
Construction Job Sites Offer Value and Opportunity
While legitimate workers look at construction sites as an opportunity to earn legitimate money, thieves also view it as an easy mark.
Here are some factors why theft is common in construction sites:
- With large job sites, construction security personnel could not cover all that ground 24/7
- They are easily accessed with multiple entry and exit points
- As time goes by, the hired workforce becomes complacent
- Weather can also play a part in how security behaves. For instance, when it is raining, they are not likely to make the rounds to inspect the site. The same goes for hot days.
- Security can be too friendly with workers and put too much trust in them. Opportunistic individuals can take advantage of this new dynamic in the relationship.
- High turnover rates of security personnel are also apparent with each stage of the development of the job site.
Taking Advantage of Industry Innovations
In recent years, however, the construction industry has seen massive changes, particularly in how companies exploit new technologies to minimize spillovers, improve timelines and productivity, and cut losses.
For instance, in recent years, advances in augmented reality and virtual reality have been instrumental in enhancing workers safety and speeding up project delivery without compromising the quality of the output.
Head-mounted displays allow engineers to virtually inspect every nook and cranny of the job site without performing a walkthrough. Also, robot arms can now lay down bricks at fantastic speed and accuracy.
Construction Site Access Control
Monitoring small job sites where you only have five workers are easier to do. In case of theft, it would not be complicated to pinpoint the perpetrator after a brief investigation. You only probably need one security personnel and 3-4 CCTVs to cover all grounds.
But it is not the same case with large job sites where you have hundreds of workers labouring 24/7 in multiple shifts.
With the help of the construction site access control system, it will provide you with eyes all over the job site that no human construction security personnel could.
There are several ways the tool can achieve this:
- Security layers — With the tool, you can assign authorized access to different personnel depending on the job sites they want to access. In this way, you can guarantee that masons and bricklayers will only stay in their dedicated areas. Delivery trucks will also remain on specific spots while they unload cargo. By layering security access, you can monitor everybody better.
- Biometric access — One way to make sure that only authorized persons can enter sensitive areas in the job site is the use of biometric access. It can also be used to log in and log out workers for their daily time records.
- RFID — With the use of radio frequency identification, you can now track everybody while they are on the job site. It is easy to find out when a worker attempts to sneak in into an area where they are not supposed to be. In the same vein, you can also monitor visitors by providing them with RFID-equipped plastic cards.
- With your access control system, along with multiple CCTVs, you can reduce theft and vandalism incidents down to zero. In most instances, the cameras can be hooked to the system. But the main objective is precautionary. Once workers understand that all their movements are being tracked and monitored, they are not likely going to be tempted to steal. You take out the “opportunity,” and workers will fall in line.