Security for Scotland's Construction Sites
Construction sites have a number of security threats including the loss of workers possessions, valuable machinery and even the loss of someone’s life if trespassers disrupt hazardous materials or wired areas. Different security measures should be deliberated in any site risk assessments.
Clearway has delivered robust and effective security solutions for a many different sites across Scotland ensuring equipment and workers are protected.
Frequently Asked Questions
What are constructions sites threats?
Theft of tools is not the only threat to construction sites. In fact, some extreme security threats can even result in death, so it is vital that all risks are well-thought-out to prevent them. Some of the main risk factors include:
- Tools, machinery or high-valued equipment left unwatched overnight.
- Vehicles at risk for fuel theft when a site is empty.
- Where site access is exposed, site damage and vandalism caused by intruders.
- Risks in workforce where security systems are not strong enough to keep staff safe.
- Site risks in areas where demonstrations or protests can restrict any access to the site or disrupt work-flow.
- Environmental risks, for example, weather damage, flooding and fire.
What are the best methods to keep your building site protected?
Multiple factors will effect your construction site security such as entry points, traffic flow around your site, work hours and the location and storage of valuable assets.
Generally we will advice you the following, in three categories: response, deterrents and detection.
To make thieves think twice about attempting a breach, there is a number of building site security measures that can be put in place. Including security methods such as CCTV and an unclimbable perimeter fencing.
You should consider the following:
- CCTV maintenance and monitoring.
- Security lighting, alarms and sensors.
- Construction site and manned guarding access control.
- Security access points and robust perimeter fencing.
- Concrete block hire to avoid unauthorised vehicles accessing.
- Visible security presence and signage.
You might want to consider:
- Having a restriction to the amount of vehicles on a site and a sign in and out process in place for authorisation. This would be helpful to identify unmarked vehicles or non-scheduled delivered with bad intent.
- Prevention for vehicle access by restricting access points and implementing turnstiles, so you constantly know who might be on your site and giving access to authorised people only.
- Wide and bright lighting – timed lighting and floodlights prevent break-ins and vandalism as well as ensuring staff work safely.
Efficient Detection Systems:
If an offender isn’t deterred by the first line of defense, detection systems should be used to recognise a threat as fast as possible and if a police investigation occurs, give evidence.
Detection systems usually break down into physical detection systems (electronic such as CCTV) and operational solutions (those that require human response). Activities which are operational such as dog patrols and manned guarding increase the deterrence level, which can be expensive. The physical detection systems below often prevent threats to human life and come at a decreased ongoing cost. Systems of physical detection include:
- Advanced alarm systems to detect breaches, smoke, or fire.
- Wireless sensors, CCTV solutions and infra-red monitoring to detect activity immediately.
- Construction site access control to vet and approve each visitor.
- Remote monitoring services – activity is directly sent to the alarm receiving centre. The staff managing the system will alert staff on-site and analyse the intrusion (or set up a response team to investigate).
The first and foremost step to dealing with breaches of security on a construction site is to detect the threats. The response is important to reduce losses and damage. Operators can respond quickly to breaches in security when utilizing a remote monitoring system and if needed, informing emergency services. Response solutions should consist of:
- Live CCTV imaging, monitoring, and high-quality video retention.
- Intruder detection systems.
- Appropriate person informed immediately when intruder alerts take place.
- Keyholding services responding to call-outs and alarm activations.
- Automatic lock and unlock facilities.
What does a site risk assessment include?
A risk assessment is more than an insurance requirement or a checklist exercise, it’s an important tool to help construction site managers to clearly identify key risks and make informed decisions about the best mitigation strategy.
These predefined steps should be taken before the risk assessment process:
- Identify risks when doing a comprehensive site inspection – both secondary and primary.
- Make note of how serious the risks are, and what issues it presents.
- Determine which risks are important to site operations, to start a list of priorities.
- Work with a professional to identify the best safeguards available to mitigate or eliminate the risks and compare other options.
- Make security strategies, and review whenever site operations change, and regularly.
The biggest concerns for construction site managers is the cost of protecting their site, and avoiding critical risks while balancing a tight budget. A cost analysis is an important part of the process of a risk assessment, where different aspects of the construction site security options should be considered:
- The element of workforce risk where employee protection is a top priority.
- Potential costs of not mitigating the risk factor.
- Anticipated effectiveness of the security solutions.
- Security options and the respective costs of each.
Your risk assessment is a strong communication tool, and by using these with your staff and workforces, you help your employees to remain diligent, understand the risk factors and keep your site security to prevent any losses or breaches from occurring.
Why are construction sites often targeted?
Construction sites are often a target due to:
- Vacant sites out of hours and during weekends.
- Trespassers and intruders can cause costs and damage that have a long-lasting impact.
- Open access points and easy vehicular entry.
- High-value assets, equipment and tools.
Many construction businesses have experienced thousands of pounds worth of expenses to repair damage and replace stolen assets, and delays of months while repairs are carried out, due to insufficient security safeguards. Whilst cameras are great for providing evidence after a crime has been committed, by then, the damage is done and the construction project has been delayed until the equipment can be replaced or the damage repaired.
The severe and sometimes business-critical impact of security limitations is far-reaching, and therefore it is crucial to work with an experienced and proficient construction site security partner who can protect your site during every stage of the project.