Construction site security
Worried about theft on your building site?
We’re not surprised.
It’s a big issue in the construction industry. In fact, according to a survey by the Chartered Institute of Building, 92% of respondents confirmed they had been affected by a burglary – and approximately £800 million is believed to be lost each year due to site thefts and vandalism.
The Construction Equipment Association (CEA) has also recently announced a 50% surge in construction crime rates since the start of the pandemic. And is therefore advising the industry to tighten up its construction site security measures against these opportunistic thieves.
Of course, you don’t need us to tell you how vulnerable your site is. With many people coming and going each day and valuable equipment left on-site, there are many potential risks to consider. And as an experienced construction manager, we’re sure you’re aware of these and already have measures in place. Nevertheless, there are always ways in which security can be improved.
Here we explore some of the easiest.
6 ways to improve construction site security
1. Vet workers properly
Vetting staff can be a long and laborious task, particularly for large projects, with hundreds of workers. But it’s crucial to your site security. And if you don’t think you’ll have the time to do it properly, you may benefit from a digital system that can take care of it for you.
For example, MSite features a ‘Registration and Competency’ module, which is specifically designed to automate CITB (Construction Industry Training Board) checks and validate accreditations. It ensures workers are, indeed, who they say they are and confirms they have the correct training for their role.
What’s more, it captures and stores a digital profile for every member of staff working on your site – which can be accessed at any time and will give you a clear picture of who is in the workforce.
2. Digitalise construction site access
Knowing who is on-site (and when) is imperative to your construction site security. Which is why, it’s often worth investing in a digitalised access control system – such as that offered by MSite.
Our site access and attendance solution provides instant visibility of who is on your construction site at any given time. It can also help to keep non-authorised personnel out, by only granting access to those who have completed their registration and have been fully vetted and verified to work.
Various options are available depending on your site setup (e.g. whether it has a perimeter or not). However, MSite Pod is currently the most popular. This features a full-height turnstile, lockable door and an ‘MSite Reader’ – which is a device that uses either biometric finger technology or contactless technology (via the MSite Workforce App) to control access and block anyone without authorisation.
By combining first-class hardware with market-leading software, our solution will ensure the right people are in the right place – and as such, can significantly improve your building site security.
3. Always conduct a risk assessment
It doesn’t matter how many building sites you’ve worked on or how familiar you are with the setup. Every site is different. And it’s always worth carrying out a detailed risk assessment.
To fully protect your assets, you need to know exactly what’s there – and how much it’s worth. So, start by making an inventory of all the equipment and materials that can be found in the vicinity. And establish the potential security breaches those assets could face. Think about both environmental and operational risks and put suitable protocols in place to help reduce them.
4. Secure the perimeter
Sometimes, improving the security of a construction site can be as simple as putting up a fence. Not only will this help to deter trespassers and opportunistic thieves, but – with the addition of the MSite access and attendance solution – it can also give you much greater control over site access.
CCTV is another worthwhile investment. If clearly visible around the perimeter of the site, the security cameras will act as a fantastic deterrent. What’s more, if an incident were to occur, you will have a digital record of what happened, which can hopefully help with both police enquiries and to recoup any losses incurred.
5. Schedule deliveries as required
Ordering in bulk is an effective way to keep costs down. But, in terms of building site security, it can be problematic. Excess materials (that are not yet required) will inevitably be left on-site for long periods of time – and, if they’re not stored safely, they’re an easy target for potential thieves.
Our advice is to schedule deliveries as they’re needed. Perhaps contact the supplier and ask if a bulk order can be delivered in stages? That way, you can benefit from reduced costs, whilst also maximising security. If that isn’t possible, maybe invest in an on-site storage facility – such as a converted shipping container? Keep your supplies safely locked away and take out what is required, only when it is necessary.
6. Train your staff
This is another easy way to improve construction security, which often gets overlooked – but it can make a big difference. Simply make your staff aware of what they can do to help prevent theft.
At the beginning of the project, do a little training and ensure everyone is on the same page. Teach employees how to use access control systems correctly. Show them where to store machinery and valuable supplies at the end of the day and how to set the site security alarms. The more they know about potential security breaches, the more they will do to help minimise the risks.