The following is a guest article by SentrifForce. SentriForce is a leading provider of managed video surveillance. With intelligent, scalable, and effective security services, you can minimize risk and keep your assets secure.
It’s a morbid statistic, but the construction industry experiences more workplace deaths than any other. With so many potential hazards, heavy-duty machinery, and power tools, it’s perhaps not surprising that serious accidents are relatively commonplace.
However, safety risks are far from the only threat that construction sites are exposed to. Security is another major risk for many construction sites, with theft and vandalism commonplace and the exposed nature of many sites making them notoriously difficult to protect.
In this article, we’re going to discuss the best practice steps and technological innovations you can implement to minimize the safety and security risks on your construction site.
1. Be aware of the risks
The first step to creating a safer job site is to understand what risks are present. You need to conduct a thorough risk assessment before your workers step foot on the site. This should involve a comprehensive survey of the site to identify potential causes of harm. If any problem is identified, it should be written down and made known to every worker.
Construction sites are also a highly profitable magnet for criminals. For example, the theft of fuel, materials, and even the personal possessions of construction workers is extremely common. That’s because items such as vehicles, generators, materials, and tools are high value and easy to sell. So, it’s vital that you’re aware of the threats and put appropriate security measures in place.
In many cases, construction sites are the victim of carefully planned thefts, but opportunistic thieves who realize that a site is not adequately protected also pose a threat. There are also other security risks that construction firms need to be aware of. For example, vandalism and arson are also relatively common. This can be carried out at random or by people opposed to the site for personal or commercial reasons.
Although you’ll never be able to remove all of the risks entirely, putting a comprehensive plan in place will play a big part in safeguarding your workers and your site.
2. Use the latest technology
These days, there are many innovative tools and solutions that can help manage construction risks and improve site safety and security levels. One example is job site surveillance cameras, which are increasingly being installed on construction sites around the world.
One of the key benefits of this type of technology is the number of risks it can help construction sites to mitigate. For example, construction site video surveillance can help to ensure that all workers adhere to the correct safety standards and wear personal protection equipment (PPE) when required. In the unfortunate event that an accident does occur, the cameras can identify the root cause of the problem and determine whether safety protocols have been followed.
As well as improving safety compliance on site, surveillance cameras can also help protect assets such as heavy machinery from theft. Job site cameras can be monitored live to provide around-the-clock peace of mind, while audible alarms and remote voice broadcasts can act as a strong deterrent. If there is a security breach, the video footage can form a significant part of the investigation and prosecution.
3. Make site meetings a meaningful event
Site meetings should become much more than just a box-ticking exercise. They should be held regularly, even daily if you’re working on a high-risk site, and employees should be encouraged to speak up about any safety hazards or security issues they’ve encountered.
Simply encouraging workers to talk about safety and security in an open and honest way will make them more aware of their surroundings and the risks they face. Staying alert to the dangers of a construction site is one of the most effective ways to reduce the likelihood of an incident.
4. Provide regular training
It’s one thing to understand the risks, but it can be challenging to implement measures to minimize them without adequate training. Ensuring everyone on site is trained to a reasonable level and understands what to do in the event of an accident is critical to maintaining a good workplace safety record. Training can include everything from how to use machinery or ladders safely to the steps workers must take to keep the site clean, tidy, and hazard-free.
In terms of the site’s security, there are several issues that training can help reduce. Vehicle vulnerability is something that every construction worker needs to be aware of. Regular training can ensure that workers understand the protocols, such as where keys should be kept and how vehicles must be left. Site access points are another high-risk area on job sites. The constantly changing arrangements and access points can lead to vulnerabilities that regular on-site meetings and training can help to address.
5. Jobsite security essentials
We’ve already discussed the role that job site surveillance can play in keeping construction sites secure, but that’s just one small element of the physical security measures that can be put in place. Other job site security essentials include:
Alarm systems and signage – Highly visible alarm systems and signage can act both as a strong deterrent and a quick alert system if security is breached.
Access control – As well as keeping access points to a minimum, controlling those access points through security gating and manned entrances will enhance site security.
Lighting – Lighting provides a visible deterrent and additional visibility around access points. It should be fitted to areas that are inaccessible so it cannot be easily disabled by intruders.
Locks – Lockable storage such as steel tool vaults is essential on any construction site. They keep expensive tools, equipment, and materials secure and away from the gaze of opportunistic thieves.
Fencing and barriers – It’s recommended that construction sites install perimeter fencing that’s at least 2.4 meters high. Barriers within the site can also create separately secure areas, while curbs and bollards can prevent access to uninvited vehicles.
Reduce the risk on your construction site
Security and safety risks are inherent on construction sites, but regardless of the challenges a particular site presents, minimizing those risks should always be a priority. By combining the practical points we’ve discussed above with the latest technology, like managed video surveillance, it is possible to safeguard against losses, accidents, and interruptions and create a productive job site that people want to work on.