Many aspects of life have been affected due to the COVID-19 pandemic; however, construction site security is still as important as ever. Whether the site is still in operation or is laying dormant, security measures should be in place to deter criminals from targeting a site.
This blog explores the methods that can be used throughout the COVID-19 period alongside the government’s recommendations on how to stay safe.
But firstly, let’s explore…
Why do you need Construction Site Security?
A construction site is constantly changing and evolving, however the need for security is continuous throughout the entire build process.
A construction site tends to be a natural target for criminals due to its contents and purpose. Theft and vandalism pose a serious threat and should not be seen as light-hearted issues.
Theft is a serious problem for any construction site. By nature, valuable machines and materials will be used. Without adequate security, a criminal may attempt to steal these assets to sell on themselves.
Particularly in the later stages, expensive materials will be on site ready to be fitted and used accordingly. It is particularly important to be careful during this period.
Vandalism posses a threat to the security of a construction site in more than one way. Vandalism may be provoked by different reasons. A criminal may disagree with the origin of the project either commercially or logistically. There is also a chance that someone may just want to cause deliberate damage to something in the local area.
Vandalism may come in the form of damaging materials, defacing property or even arson.
Ensuring you have security for your construction site will help prevent both theft and vandalism. However, how can you ensure that the measures you put in place will keep your workers safe during the COVID-19 pandemic?
Construction sites that stayed open during COVID-19
During the COVID-19 pandemic many construction sites have stayed open across the UK because they are deemed as essential projects. Many of these projects are within the health, transport, and education sector. You can see a full list here.
Whilst a site is open and operating there are several techniques that can be deployed to ensure it is secure.
Putting Construction Site Security into place
When putting security into place on a construction site, three stages must be considered:
- Deterrence – Putting measures in place to prevent a potential threat before it has occurred.
- Delay – Putting measures in place to ensure that if a crime is committed, it will be as hard as possible.
- Response – Putting measures in place so that if a crime is committed, there is a trained, specialist team on hand to respond.
Focusing on these three stages, ensures that at each stage of a potential threat, there is a security deterrent available.
Deterrence is about stopping a crime before it has even happened. Methods to help with deterrence include:
- Having a sign in and sign out process
- Having a barbed wire perimeter
- Installing CCTV across the site
- Using tarpaulins to hide expensive assets
- Using warning signage around the perimeter
- Removing access ladders out of operating hours
- Stopping a crime before it occurs is the safest option available. It removes any danger of a member of staff being injured.
Delaying a crime is about making it as hard as possible for a criminal to succeed. Methods to help delay a crime include:
- Surrounding the perimeter with fencing
- Using mechanical accessories to safeguard expensive materials
- Immobilise expensive equipment out of work hours
- Using secured access points around the site
- Locking up equipment and keeping it out of sight
Making a crime as difficult as possible in the first place will make the criminals life as difficult as possible and maybe even deter them from executing the plan. Secondly, it increases the probability of a criminal being caught in the act and allows more time for a response team to get to the issue.
Response to a crime is about allowing some sort of authority to arrive to the site and respond to the crime. These include:
- A specialist security team
- The police
Having trained specialist respond to a crime will minimise possibilities of injuries or mistakes. It also gives the best chance moving forwards of catching the criminal.
Deploying a Security Process during COVID-19
If a construction site has remained open during the COVID-19 pandemic, it is essential to follow the government’s advice on staying safe. This could include maximising the distance between each worker, not taking public transport where possible and washing hands regularly throughout the day (cleaning hands BLOG).
Whilst incorporating the advice from the government, there are other processes to follow to help maximise the construction site security.
Enforcing site tours at both the start and end of the day will mean that the deterrence and delay methods in place are functioning as should be.
During the pandemic, a singular security officer or a social distanced team can take on these responsibilities. Incorporating these tasks into their daily plan will mean that a process is in place to monitor the effectiveness of your security.
Construction Sites that have been closed during COVID-19
If not considered essential work, some construction sites have been closed and left vacant during the lockdown period. This has left expensive equipment and materials at risk. Ensuring security is as watertight as possible is essential.
Similarly, to the methods deployed on sites that have remained in operation, deterrence, delay, and response should all be in action. Deploying these same methods will mean your security is a functioning operation. Slight tweaks and changes will need to be made to adapt to the site being empty most of the time.
Deterrence measures should be increased to help prevent as much crime as possible. Installing alarm systems and CCTV across the sites will scare off potential criminals. These measures make it easier to monitor the well-being of the sight when it is dormant.
Ensuring that equipment is out of sight and machines are immobilised on-site is essential. As the site is likely to be empty, it is not wise to advertise the assets you currently have.
If the project allows, it may be possible to move equipment and materials off-site to a safer warehouse or holding place.
Due to the site being empty for longer periods of the day than usual, having a response team to attend any alarm activations or CCTV detections will help catch any crimes in the act.
It will also mean that a specialist team can react to any incident in a timely, efficient manner, not putting staff in positions of danger.
Maximising Construction Site Security during COVID-19
Using construction site security will help keep your projects on time and assets untouched during the coronavirus pandemic.
By tweaking methods available and following government guidelines, it is possible to ensure your site is secure and keeps workers as safe as possible. Performing each activity while social distancing and keeping equipment as clean as possible will minimise risk of infection (Non-Abrasive blog).