CONSTRUCTION SITE SECURITY
Construction sites are easy targets for thieves. The high value of plant and equipment can lead to quick and easy profit for successful thieves.
People working in the industry commit a proportion of construction site crime. This means that great responsibility rests with site managers and supervisors. If they take a strong line on site security by making company policy clear to everyone, they can go a long way towards reducing the problem.
It is important that security measures are discussed at top level and that all senior staff fully understands the implications of poor security. Good control of staff and vehicles on site is essential. Security staff should regularly check and search all employees, contractors, lockers and vehicles. Employees and contractors private vehicles should be kept off the site.
There are a number of measures that should be taken to raise staff awareness of security:
- Make individual members of staff personally responsible for company equipment they use. If equipment is lost through negligence or carelessness, take disciplinary action.
- Make sure that everyone on site knows the company policy on crime management and is familiar with site security procedures.
- Tell everyone that you expect them to report suspicious incidents and that everything they say will be treated in confidence.
- If any plant is stolen, you should report the theft immediately to the local police, giving them as much information as possible about the missing item – including all serial numbers.
SITE OFFICE THEFT
Try to position the site office in an area with limited access for the opportunist thief. Office equipment such as fax machines, computers and telephones are all expensive and can easily be stolen if not properly secured. They should be well marked with indelible marking – for example by branding the company logo onto the equipment.
Also consider protecting valuable business information. This could include payroll figures, work schedules and future ventures, or anything that could undermine your company strategy if it was lost or put in the hands of rivals.
PLANT AND MATERIALS
Even if perimeter fences protect the site, plant should be kept in a secure area and immobilised, using one of the security locks, rings or ground fixings that are available.
Order the minimum amount of materials you need and, as with any deliveries, make sure that there is someone trustworthy on site to accept them. If you have to order materials in bulk, store them in a secure compound or in an area where theft will be noticed quickly.
Daily or weekly stock counts and audits provide a means of reducing stock loss and keeping personnel aware that the company is serious about controlling the integrity of its stock.
To discourage theft, you can permanently mark your company’s property for quick visual identification. The most common way of marking items is to use coloured paint. Some paints have additives to distinguish them from other paints. Stamping, etching, engraving, sandblast marking, acid pens or ultraviolet lacquer can also be used to permanently mark property.
Encourage everyone on site to mark all their tools. This gives the Police a better chance of getting them back if they are lost or stolen and it also prevents arguments over which tools belong to whom. Tools left on site overnight should be kept in locked secure tool stores (using close-shackled padlocks). Contractors must be informed that they are responsible for the safeguarding of their equipment.
It is your duty to report any suspicious behaviour. Such reports will always be investigated and information will be treated in strict confidence. It might be best to have a policy of always prosecuting thieves.
It is in your interest to follow these rules:
- Lock up all your tools when you are not using them.
- Clearly mark all your property.
- Remove ignition keys from all unattended plant.
- Immobilize all plant when not in use
- Whenever possible, park vehicles off the road at night and weekends.
- Return all keys to the Site Manager or whoever is responsible for the keys.
- Wear your ID card at all times!
- Report any thefts or suspicious behaviour immediately to your Site Manager.
Theft and vandalism can lead to job losses. If it’s on site, make sure it’s in sight or safe!
Security fencing is the best form of perimeter protection, and exits and entrances should be kept to a minimum. Companies working in areas where there is good natural surveillance may find it better to use the weld mesh-type fencing panels rather than the solid boarded type which would enable the public to report anything that looks suspicious. Other obvious safeguards are:
- Lighting: good portable lights help ensure good visibility out of working hours. Floodlights operated by sensors could also be installed.
- CCTV and Alarm Systems: should be used to protect the security compounds and offices.
- Warning Notices: stating that security precautions are in force around the perimeter, without providing details.
- Building schedules are up to date, that they clearly show when new contractors are expected and when materials are arriving.
- Challenging persons not wearing ID cards
HOW TO SECURE YOUR SITE
It is a reality of our environment that armed guards are a necessity. These should be on the internal parts of the site, ready to respond if the need arises.
Panic alarm systems to be in place and a solid agreement with a security company for quick response.
Guard house with two (2) security officers by day and one (1) security officer by night. All deliveries to be notified to security personnel on a daily/weekly basis. All delivery vehicles and drivers/sidemen to be logged in and logged out. Deliveries are to be scheduled between the hours of 8:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m. If there are any emergency deliveries out of hours especially, notification of time of delivery, vehicle registration numbers and drivers’ names must be provided.
Guardhouse manned by day and night. All personnel to present ID cards to access the site. Bag searches to be conducted on entry and exit. Personnel to be scanned by hand held metal detector. This must be a WEAPONS FREE site. Refusal to adhere to company policy and procedures will result in access being barred and removal from site.
If personal vehicles are allowed on site, then make, model, registration number and driver’s name must be presented to security. All personal vehicles to be logged in and out. On entry any personal items MUST be declared. ALL vehicles will be thoroughly searched on leaving the site.
Visitors to site must have written authorization from the site manager or his representative.
The main local contractor and his employees are not permitted to have any visitors.
NO VENDORS of any kind will be allowed to access the site.
No individuals will be permitted to remain on site after the close of the working day.
One security officer around the clock responsible for goods receivals and goods issuing.
All goods brought on site will be recorded and logged.
A tidy and well-organized storage area is extremely important to accurate stock control.
All goods being issued to contractors MUST be accompanied by a PASS authorised by a responsible company representative (Site Manager etc.)
Security personnel will be required to patrol the site perimeter and protect the integrity of the site from intruders. These officers would also ensure nightly that all windows and doors on site offices are secured.
SITE SECURITY SUPERVISOR/MANAGER
Ensure that a security supervisor/manager is on site to manage and monitor the security personnel & operations. This individual will also be the first point of contact on a daily basis for the Site Manager. The site will also benefit from regular visits by a senior team of Managers. Contact details (cellulars, email addresses etc.) will be provided to the Site Manager and to relevant company representatives.
The main local contractor is to provide bio-data for each of his employees. This is to include a passport sized photograph. All contractors are to provide Police records for their employees along with the bio-data. All contractors will require an ID card to enter the site. NO ID, NO ACCESS.
A security meeting with the contractors prior to the commencement of works should be arranged; thereafter a monthly meeting should suffice
Ensure the local Police authorities are part and parcel of the security team. Local liaison with the Police.
The following systems are recommended:
- A CCTV system connected to a network and monitored on a 24-hour basis. One camera for the gates; one camera for the gate to the storage yard. An additional camera/s for the site office may also be an advantage. Cameras for perimeters.
- Gate open and close alarm system connected to a network and monitored nightly. This would activate an alarm anytime the storage yard/main gates are opened.
EMERGENCY EVACUATION PLAN
Draft, communicate and if necessary implement the plan. There will also be a separate confidential EVACUATION PLAN for senior management of the site.
Draft, communicate and if necessary implement the plan.
STRIKE ACTION PLAN
Draft, communicate and if necessary implement the plan.
PERSONAL SAFETY EQUIPMENT
Security will monitor and inform site management of any breaches by contractors with regards to the non-wearing of personal protective equipment. This is to be communicated to all principal contractors prior to the start of the project – all persons working/visiting site must wear adequate personal protective gear.
Arrange for a local doctor to be on call. Arrange the services of AMBUCARE (a private ambulance service).
Security will work in conjunction with site management to ensure that at all times there is an assigned vehicle on site to convey persons with minor injuries to hospital.
Liaise with the local Fire Brigade Station to ensure their awareness of the site and any special needs.