Security within the construction sector is as important as any other business sector or even more. For the Construction sector, security is more than physical control and the act of guarding by security personnel. It includes curtailing risks arising from unauthorized access, reducing the risk of financial embezzlements, securing and maintaining the reputation of the built asset, and caring for the lives of personnel working at the construction site. It is therefore very important for construction business owners to understand the principles for prudent security planning, and to devise proportionate measures to mitigate risks posed to construction projects.

Why Construct Sites Invite Crime Scenes

Most construction sites do not operate under security radar hence exposed to criminal extortions. Construction sites attract criminal attention due to the stock of valuable material on them like copper and metal. Some construction sites go through work stoppages and may remain unoccupied for an extended period of time which leads to a spike in crimes at construction sites. Construction site thefts can cause losses in the form of stolen material, equipment, and tools. The need to repair or replace stolen stuff adds time and cost to the construction project.

Construction site managers often ignore small-scale thefts and do not conduct a security review. This results in small crimes escalating into bigger ones causing major financial losses.

Assessing Security Risks at Construction Site

As Construction work involves greater risks due to the involvement of large tools and heavy machinery etc., construction managers must be diligent in assessing the potential impact of the way they discharge their duties. They should be careful in using appropriate technologies according to the sensitivity of the project and the presence of hazardous material on site. They are responsible for implementing appropriate measures for accident prevention along with the provision of safety training and adequate gear to the construction workers.

Security risks to the construction site vary according to the location and construction type. These risks can originate from the outside population as well as people working at the site or workforce. The construction manager must consider the following factor while assessing security risks.

Project Type: This is about the nature of the project, can be a high rise building or a network of buildings, vertical or horizontal projects including built infrastructures such as roads, pipelines, docks, railways, and dams, and the type and value of material and equipment used in the project.

Project Location: It can be urban or rural location, arson neighborhood, crime record of the area pertaining to the crime rate, and types of criminal activities reported in the area.

Potential Exposures: Exposures due to neighborhood, socio-economic profile, public support, and the likelihood of trespass, theft, and vandalism.

This assessment must be reviewed periodically and revised according to changes in security risks, project boundaries and progress, logistic plans, and work methodology, etc.

Major Threats to Construction Sites

Most construction sites have many access points for workers, managers, and other authorized visitors. To develop preventive measures, construction managers need to understand vulnerabilities and threats to their construction. Following are the potential threats common for most construction sites.

  • Theft of tools, equipment, fuel, materials (from the site or off-site storage areas)

  • Trespassing or security breach in partially completed project areas and storage

  • Arson and vandalism

  • Robbery or attempts of assault on workers

  • Natural disasters or other inevitable accidents resulting from the nature of work and project.

  • Crowds and public interference etc.

The Final security plan must address all potential security risks and mitigation methods in view of emerging technologies and security requirements. The whole process of assessing and documenting the assessment can also result in a comprehensive security policy ready to be implemented with the right kind of resources.

Security Essentials

Every construction site is different in terms of location, needs, and environmental factors. The risk analysis for a construction site should encompass both physical and operational security along with changes occurring in different phases of work. Security protocols, such as limiting access to unauthorized people and vehicles and keeping records of visitors should be put in place to address identified risks. Other security measures for the prevention and mitigation of potential threats may include the following components.

Video/Audio: Audio alarms are handy in giving verbal warnings to intruders whereas video helps in identifying high-risk locations. Both of them combines offer remote monitoring and quick alert to problems. Video security systems perform a variety of functions ranging from long-range thermal detection to giving a 360-degree view of your site and advanced analytics.

Light: Lights are very powerful criminal disincentives especially when placed at access points. Lights help in detecting motion at access points with white and infra-red light and act as a visible deterrent.

Physical Barriers: Fences, barbed wire fences, anti-climb barrier walls, and electrified gates are powerful criminal deterrents to secure entrances and exits, vehicles, equipment storage, and other material present at the construction site. Having only single-point access is easy to control in an ideal situation.

Hiring Security Professionals: Hiring security staff pro in the field helps to root out most risks to your construction site while adding a professional perspective to keeping it secure. Your security staff should be apt in their field of work and should be able to serve your site-specific security needs. Construction sites can benefit from hybrid security wherein on-site security personnel communicate with a remote team to coordinate a response. Construction sites with cameras but no proper coverage can utilize the security services of professionals in setting up their surveillance systems.

A single loophole in your security plan is all criminals are waiting for. Working with security professionals at Syndicate Alpha will keep your construction site safe around the clock. Syndicate Alpha provides tailored services to guard infrastructure sites, recycling, scrap, and equipment yards. Our highly specialized team can provide a comprehensive risk assessment of your site to relieve your site security concerns. Contact Syndicate Alpha to speak to our expert to engage our security team.