Construction sites are natural targets for thieves and vandals. It’s your responsibility to make sure the workers on site are kept safe and that operations aren’t delayed by stolen goods or vandalism.
There are a number of security risks that you need to think about and preventative measures you can implement to reduce the risk of a security breach.
What are the Security Risks a Construction Site Faces?
Construction sites face both manmade and natural threats that can delay operations, close the site and even harm workers.
Theft is very common on construction sites thanks to the large turnover of staff and different work crews that can be needed throughout the project. It can be difficult to keep track of who is supposed to be there and who isn’t.
Construction sites offer easy access for thieves, especially if security measures aren’t in place. Hopping over a gate, squeezing under a fence and climbing small buildings are all popular methods of entry for thieves.
Once on the site, there are a number of different things a thief will look to target. For example, tools and materials that haven’t been locked away are easy to take. They’ll also look to take personal possessions of workers, especially if they’ve been able to access the site during the day.
Fuel is another high-value target for thieves as it’s used in vehicles and machinery across the site. It’s difficult to trace fuel once it’s been stolen and is easy to sell on. Arriving on the site the next morning and realising there’s no fuel can delay that day’s work and be costly to replace.
Vandals choose to target your construction site for a number of reasons. If the new building is unpopular with the local community, it’s more likely to be the target of attacks.
Vandalism can be anything from spray painted messages to destroyed machinery. The motivation of the vandals could be political protest or just wanting a place that they can blow off steam.
In more serious cases, vandals may try and completely shut down operations by breaking machines and destroying buildings. They may also use your construction site to try and access nearby buildings.
If the proper security measures aren’t in place, your site could be easily accessed by trespassers during the night and over the weekend. An empty construction site offers the perfect place for people to meet in private.
If a group of people has trespassed onto your site and one of them is injured, then they can take you to court and prosecute.
Large buildings that are under construction need to be aware of the attraction of an empty and tall building. They can be the target of trespassing parkour enthusiasts who film themselves walking atop high buildings and jumping across gaps. Empty construction sites are also unfortunately renowned for being the target of many suicides.
The aforementioned risks are all manmade but there are natural risks that can affect the security of your construction site. Floods can make the area unsafe and offer access into the site. Similarly, damage from storms and high winds can make the site unsafe for workers and those nearby.
How Can You Improve Construction Site Security?
Implementing security measures can reduce the risk of theft, vandalism and trespassing. Keeping the site secure ensures the safety of all workers and prevents anything from delaying the project. Here are some of the key steps you should take to improve construction site security.
Create a Risk Analysis
It’s important to detail all of the potential risks that could take place on site. Walk around the site and work out where you could be targeted by a break in. Are there any low fences that can be hopped over or any windows left unlocked?
Simply introducing fences and gates with padlocks can deter potential thieves. Install CCTV cameras and put up signs so that anyone thinking of visiting after hours will know they’re on film. Employing security guards to monitor the area at night will make even the most brazen of thieves think twice.
Keep Registers and Minimise Entrances
It can be easy for thieves to enter the site during the day. With so many different crews and teams working on site, one more unfamiliar face isn’t cause for alarm. By making sure all workers enter the same way and by keeping a register, you’re more likely to spot someone that shouldn’t be there.
Store Tools and Fit Alarms
Once work is finished for the day, make sure all tools are kept in a padlocked space. Keep the keys to machinery and vehicles locked away and fit them with alarms so that you’re alerted if anyone tries to take them.
Keep the Lights On
If a site is dark and quiet, thieves and trespassers are more likely to sneak in. Keeping the area well-lit acts as a deterrent as they’re more likely to be spotted and caught.
Introduce a Uniform
Making sure all workers wear branded, personalised workwear can make it easier to spot someone that shouldn’t be there. Hi-vis jackets with your company logo on allow you to easily see who is a part of your team and who isn’t.
Keep Your Site and Workers Safe this Summer
Once you’ve secured your site, it’s time to think about the safety and wellbeing of your workers. Construction sites in the summer bring their own set of dangers and hazards for you to think about. Find out more about the steps you should take to keep staff safe this summer by downloading our free outdoor working guide.