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How to Conduct a Security Risk Assessment on Your Construction Site

25/02/2020 in Security

Carrying out security risk assessments is an extremely important task, particularly on construction sites where crimes occur all too often. Not only should they form an integral part of any health and safety management plan, but they should also be implemented properly and re-assessed on a regular basis to account for any changes to the work environment.

Here, we discuss a four-step process for conducting a thorough security risk assessment on your construction site.

1. Identify the security risks

Whilst there are numerous health and safety risks to be found on construction sites of any size, this guide will focus predominantly on the physical security risks that exist and could result in theft, trespassing or other crime.

When carrying out a security risk assessment, the first step is to identify the risks that currently exist within your construction site. Security risks can vary from site to site and according to several factors, including the site location, the number of workers, the value of the equipment on the site and the project type. As such, it is important to carefully identify those specifically present on yours, rather than going by a generic list.

Some examples of construction site risk factors to consider may be:

  • The quality of lighting across the site is poor
  • The perimeter is not secure e.g. there are no secure gates, barriers or fencing
  • There are no robust security technology measures in place e.g. CCTV or wireless video monitoring
  • Unauthorised people can gain access to the site
  • Tools and machinery are not safely stored away
  • Plant and vehicles are not secure and are not immobilised after-hours
  • Workers are not adequately trained in identifying or reporting security issues
  • The construction site is in a high-crime area

2. Assess and prioritise risks

Once you have identified the security risks within your construction site, the next step is to evaluate and prioritise them. This could be as simple as labelling them high, medium or low risk, or numbering from 1-5, as long as the priorities are clear and anybody reading the assessment can understand the areas that are most in need of safeguarding.

To get the best out of your security assessment, you may wish to consult with other local bodies, such as the council, police and fire services, who can help you better assess the risks. Moreover, undergoing a thorough on-site security survey, carried out by a professional security expert, such as Millennium Security, is an effective way to identify all the potential risks and assess the overall security needs of the site.

3. Come up with a mitigation plan

Once the risks have been identified and prioritised, a site-specific security mitigation plan should be put in place. The plan should identify the measures that must be taken to prevent or control security risks.

For instance, if a high risk is identified which shows that almost anybody is able to access the construction site currently, then the mitigation plan would make introducing access control measures a priority. Perhaps the plan would include investing in quality access control systems, hiring manned security guards, or carrying out thorough CSCS card checks.

The risk mitigation plan should clearly note who will be responsible for implementing the security measures and carrying out on-going monitoring. In general, the higher the risk, the more robust the mitigation measures need to be.

4. Review and update

Due to the constantly changing nature of a construction site working environment, the security risk assessment should be reviewed and updated periodically.

What is identified as a risk during the first phase of a construction project may not be so as the project continues. Likewise, security risks can change at different points throughout the year. For example, during the dark winter months, the lighting on your construction site may need to become a higher priority than it would during the summer months.

As such, security risk assessments should be on-going and should always be updated in order to reflect the changes to the project, its phases, and the internal and external working conditions on the construction site.