One of the responsibilities of construction project managers is to account for risks during the initial planning for a project and mitigate them. With all the tools, construction materials, and heavy machinery during the initial stages of a project, the construction site is a dangerous place to be at.

However, this is not the only risk that project managers need to protect a site from. With plenty of valuables both physical and virtual within a construction site, it is also a prime target for theft and arson.

Improving the security of construction sites

It is important now more than ever that construction business owners and project managers invest in improving the security of construction sites. After all, security on construction sites is for the protection not only of valuable assets but also of workers and members of the public.

Investing in adequate resources for construction site security can prevent several issues, including:

  • Theft of expensive tools and construction equipment
  • Cybersecurity breaches leading to loss of sensitive information such as invoice data
  • Arson resulting in loss of life and property
  • Vandalism of construction site property
  • Trespassing by unauthorised parties and exposure to construction site dangers
  • Risks of injuries that can result in litigation and legal claims

Identifying security issues

Having a dedicated security team in place is a good first step in bolstering a construction site’s security. They will be able to prevent theft, vandalism, and deter unauthorised personnel from entering the site. They can also identify security issues that can potentially arise and even respond quickly to accidents and other calamities should they occur.

They will be able to prevent theft, vandalism, and deter unauthorised personnel from entering the site
Having a dedicated security team in place is a good first step in bolstering a construction site’s security

For a better implementation of construction site security measures, it is critical that business owners and managers assess an assessment of the site itself. This will help identify both internal and external risks that can affect the site’s security and guide project managers in putting systems in place to address them.

Construction site security checklist

To guide you, here is a sample template that you can use to form your own construction site security checklist.

 SECURITY COORDINATION

 YES 

 NO 

1. Does the site have designated security coordinators?

   

2. Are the security coordinators available for contact during non-business hours?

   

3.  Does the construction site provide a means to contact the police, fire department, and other relevant authorities in case of emergencies?

   

4. Does the construction site have a written security plan, including procedures for specific scenarios?

   

5. If so, are construction site employees aware of the security plan? 

   

 GENERAL MACHINERY

 YES 

 NO 

1. Are all machinery adequately marked? (Identification number, corporate logo, tags, etc.)

   

2. Have all the machinery been inventoried? (Serial number, brand, model, value, etc.)

   

3. Does the project have a list of the names of operators handling the machinery?

   

4. Are all the machinery fitted with immobilisers and tracking devices when appropriate?

   

5. Are all the machinery stored in a secure area with a proper surveillance system?

   

6. Are the keys to the machinery stored in a separate, secure area?

   

 TOOLS AND OTHER EQUIPMENT

 YES 

 NO 

1. Are all power tools and hand equipment marked? (Identification number, corporate logo, tags, etc.)

   

2. Have all power tools and hand equipment been inventoried? (Serial number, brand, model, value, etc.)

   

3. Are tools and equipment fitted with tags and tracking devices when appropriate?

   

4. Are tools and equipment stored in a secure place?

   

 INVENTORY CONTROL

 YES 

 NO 

1. Is there a system in place to check material inventory to ensure they are not misplaced or stolen?

   

2. Are there procedures in place for checking materials that go in and out of the construction site?

   

3. Is there a set schedule for checking materials and equipment?

   

4. If so, do the records show that the schedule is followed strictly?

   

5. Are all material suppliers arriving for delivery properly identified? (e.g license plates, driver’s license, etc)

   

 CONSTRUCTION SITE PERIMETER

 YES 

 NO 

1. Is there a physical barrier in place to secure the site?

   

2. Is the number of gates kept to a minimum?

   

3. Are there uniformed guards at every gate to check personnel and vehicles entering and leaving the site?

   

4. Are security warnings displayed prominently at all entry points?

   

5. Are entry points adequately secured? (With  industry-grade padlocks, steel chains, etc.)

   

6. Is there an alarm system?

   

7. Is the locking system integrated with the alarm?

   

8. Is the site perimeter regularly inspected?

   

9. Are “NO TRESPASSING” signs displayed prominently along the perimeter?

   

 LIGHTING AND SURVEILLANCE

 YES 

 NO 

1. Is there sufficient lighting on the construction site?

   

2. Is there a dedicated staff member assigned to check if the lighting is working properly?

   

3. Is the site protected by CCTV cameras?

   

4. Are there signs posted on site indicating the presence of security cameras?

   

5. Are there motion detection lights installed on-site?

   

 INTERNAL CONTROLS

 YES 

 NO 

1. Is there a policy on employee theft?

   

2. Are employees aware of the policy?

   

3. Are employees required to check in and check out company properties when using them?

   

4. Are staff members encouraged to report suspicious activity?

   

5. Is there a hotline employees can call to report security lapses and breaches?

   

 SITE VISITORS

 YES 

 NO 

1. Are visitors checking in and out?

   

2. Are vehicles entering and exiting the site recorded?

   

 CYBERSECURITY

 YES 

 NO 

1. Are the construction site’s documents and other sensitive data stored in the cloud securely?

   

2. Does the company have a strong password policy?

   

3. Are asset-tracking data accessible online?

   

4. Are confidential documents and data regularly backed up?

   

5. Are employees well-informed about current cyberattack methods such as phishing?

   

Security is a serious business in construction. Because of the dangers already present on your construction site, a lapse in security can have devastating effects on your business’s operations. Not only do you risk losing money in a security breach, but more importantly, you also risk endangering the lives of your site’s personnel and third parties.  Business owners and project managers need to make a concerted effort to educate employees about security and double down on their best practices for protecting their sites.

Share with LinkedIn Share with Twitter Share with Facebook Share with Facebook
Download PDF version

Author profile

In case you missed it

What are the physical security challenges of smart cities?
What are the physical security challenges of smart cities?

The emergence of smart cities provides real-world evidence of the vast capabilities of the Internet of Things (IoT). Urban areas today can deploy a variety of IoT sensors to collect data that is then analysed to provide insights to drive better decision-making and ultimately to make modern cities more livable. Safety and security are an important aspect of smart cities, and the capabilities that drive smarter cities also enable technologies that make them safer. We asked this week’s Expert Panel Roundtable: what are the physical security challenges of smart cities?

Access control systems: Ethernet vs proprietary bus network cabling
Access control systems: Ethernet vs proprietary bus network cabling

When designing a security system for a site, the question of how it should be interconnected is often one of the first you need to answer. Should you choose a system that has its own proprietary bus network, which might require twisted pair cabling, or perhaps one based on an ethernet backbone? Both types of network have their advantages and disadvantages as discussed below. Ethernet connectivity Some security systems are based on a number of modules, and each module is connected to its own ethernet connection. One big advantage of a system like this is that, in many cases, it can be much more convenient, allowing the installer to utilise existing network cabling and other infrastructure, rather than needing to install new cabling. On the other hand, if a security system relies entirely on networking infrastructure controlled by others, typically the IT department, then the stability and reliability of the security system is dependent on that network being available when your system needs it. The stability and reliability of the security system is dependent on that network being available Another potential disadvantage is that certain areas of the premises may not be equipped with a nearby network outlet, and if the network in question is not managed by you, it might be necessary to request the IT department add an outlet for you to use. Proprietary bus connectivity A system with its own proprietary bus network can also have advantages. Perhaps the first and most important difference is that, because the network cabling is installed specifically for the security system, the designer has the luxury of being able to decide exactly where the wiring should be placed and terminated. Another advantage is that the cabling would only be used by the security system, so the installation company can be sure the network will always be available, and there would be very little chance part of it could be accidentally unplugged. Another potential advantage is that some systems are able to run bus cabling of distances well over 1,000 metres, whereas individual ethernet connections are typically limited to 100 metres or less. Another consideration, which applies particularly to intruder and holdup alarm systems, is that communications between elements of the security system should not be prevented by other factors, such as a power failure. Obviously, if a part of such a network is formed by ethernet infrastructure, such as network switches and/or media converters, then that infrastructure needs to be battery backed, and the power supply must be monitored. In some cases, the equipment must be able to withstand a power failure of 24 or even 60 hours. Such long standby times are unusual in IT infrastructure, but are quite common in the case of security systems. The equipment must be able to withstand a power failure of 24 or even 60 hours How this all fits together When selecting a system, it is usually most helpful to have a flexible system that can support a number of different deployment options. This is especially true if the system in question can support a combination of different interconnection types. For example, a single system that can contain a variety of interconnections can then be deployed in a very wide variety of systems where existing infrastructure may be used to aid in the design and deployment: Fibre connections – Many modern sites are pre-cabled with existing fibre connections which can be used to form a dedicated interconnection between system components which can be of the order of kilometres apart. Ethernet connectivity – With the increasing ubiquity of networking within premises, some elements of a security system can be deployed using the existing infrastructure. Repeater - For very large or densely packed systems, a device that can be used as a form of “repeater” can be extremely useful to permit very long interconnect cabling distances. Systems can be formed by utilising a fusion of all of the above connectivity methods Some security systems can be set up to enable multiple discrete access control modules to be deployed, connected to an existing ethernet network, and treated as a single ‘system’ by the management software, while retaining full offline functionality in the event the network becomes unavailable. Further, some systems can be formed by utilising a fusion of all of the above connectivity methods. In practice, of course some applications would suit a deployment that relied solely on ethernet connectivity. Some other applications, especially systems or parts of systems that are part of an intruder and/or holdup alarm system, would better suit a deployment using a dedicated proprietary bus network, and other systems would suit a combination of these communications options. Selecting a system that can be deployed in a variety of ways can be enormously helpful in providing the flexibility projects might demand.

Functionality beyond security: The advent of open platform cameras
Functionality beyond security: The advent of open platform cameras

The coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic marks the biggest global disruption since World War II. While the ‘new normal’ after the crisis is still taking shape, consumers are apprehensive about the future. According to a recent survey, 60% of shoppers are afraid of going grocery shopping, with 73% making fewer trips to physical stores. Returning to the workplace is also causing unease, as 66% of employees report feeling uncomfortable about returning to work after COVID-19.  Businesses and employers are doing their best to alleviate these fears and create safe environments in and around their buildings. This also comes at tremendous costs for new safety measures and technologies – including updates to sanitation protocols and interior architecture – that protect against COVID-19. Costs in the billions that most businesses will face alone, without support from insurance and amidst larger macroeconomic challenges. Saving costs and increasing security But what if building operators, retail shop owners, and other stakeholders could save costs by leveraging new functionality from their existing security infrastructure? More specifically, expanding the use of current-generation security cameras – equipped with AI-driven image analysis capabilities – beyond the realm of security and into meeting new health regulations. This is exactly where video analytics algorithms come into play. And in the next step, a new evolutionary approach towards open security camera platforms promises new opportunities. Security cameras have evolved from mere image capturing devices into complex data sensors Over the past decade, security cameras have evolved from mere image capturing devices into complex data sensors. They provide valuable data that can be analysed and used in beneficial ways that are becoming the norm. Since 2016, Bosch has offered built-in Video Analytics as standard on all its IP cameras. On one hand, this enables automated detection of security threats more reliably than human operators. And on the other hand, video analytics collect rich metadata to help businesses improve safety, increase efficiency, reduce costs, and create new value beyond security. Expanding camera functionality beyond security Today, we have ‘smart’ security cameras with built-in video analytics to automatically warn operators of intruders, suspicious objects and dangerous behaviors. The rich metadata from several cameras on the same network can also be consolidated by making use of an intelligent software solution. It offers so-called pre-defined widgets to provide business intelligence by measuring area fill levels, counting building occupancy and detecting the formation of crowds. In combination with live video stream data, these insights enable heightened situational awareness to security operators. What’s more, operators are free to set their own parameters – like maximum number of occupants in a space and ‘off limit’ areas – to suit their needs. These user-centric widgets also come in handy in dealing with the coronavirus pandemic. Specific widgets can trigger an alarm, public announcement or trigger a 'traffic light' when the maximum number of people in a space is exceeded. Building operators can also use available intelligence such as foot traffic ‘heat maps’ to identify problem areas that tend to become congested and place hand sanitiser stations at heavily frequented hotspots. At the same time, the option to perform remote maintenance on these systems limits the exposure of technicians in the field during the pandemic. Again, the underlying camera hardware and software already exist. Cameras will be able to ‘learn’ future functionality to curb the spread of the coronavirus Looking ahead, cameras with video analytic and neural network-based analytic capabilities will be able to ‘learn’ future functionality to curb the spread of the coronavirus. For instance, cameras could monitor distances between individuals and trigger voice announcements when social distancing guidelines are violated. Facial recognition software can be trained to monitor personal protective equipment (PPE) compliance and sound alerts for persons entering buildings without masks. The technical requirements are already in place. The task at hand is to deliver these new functionalities to cameras at scale, which is where open camera platforms hold the key. Why open camera operating systems? When it comes to innovating future camera applications that extend beyond security, no hardware manufacturer should go at it alone. Instead, an open platform approach provides the environment for third-party developers to innovate and market new functions. In essence, an open platform principle allows customers and users to change the behavior of devices by adding software afterwards. This software can either be found in an app store or can be self-developed. For a precedent, we can look at the mobile phone industry. This is where software ecosystems like Android and Apple’s iOS have become the norm. They have also become major marketplaces, with the Apple App Store generating $519 billion in billings on 2019, as users use their phones for far more than just making phone calls. In the same way, intelligent cameras will be used far beyond classic video applications in the future. To get there, adopting an open platform principle is essential for a genuine transformation on an industry level. But establishing an open platform principle in the fragmented video security industry demands a cooperative approach. In 2018 Bosch started a fully owned start-up company, Security & Safety Things, and became one of five founding members of OSSA (Open Security & Safety Alliance). With more than 40 members, the Alliance has collectively created the first Technology Stack for “open” video security devices. This includes the OSSA Application Interface Specification and Compliant Device Definition Specification. An open camera platform for innovating future functionality  Based on OSSA’s common APIs, collective approach on data security and core system requirements for video security cameras, the first camera manufacturers were able to build video security cameras that adopt an open platform principle. Further fueling innovation, OSSA focused on driving the creation of one centralised marketplace to unite demand and supply in the market. Camera devices that are built in accordance with OSSA’s Technology Stack, so-called “Driven by OSSA” devices, can benefit from this marketplace which consists of three pillars: a development environment, an application store, and a device management portal. Security & Safety Things has advanced OSSA’s open camera platform concept, built this marketplace for the security and safety industry and has developed the open OS that powers the first “Driven by OSSA” devices. Making it quick and simple to customise security solutions by installing and executing multiple apps This year, Bosch, as one of the first camera manufacturers, introduces the new INTEOX generation of open platform cameras. To innovate a future beyond security functionality, INTEOX combines built-in Intelligent Video Analytics from Bosch, an open Operating System (OS), and the ability to securely add software apps as needed. Thanks to the fully open principle, system integrators are free to add apps available in the application store, making it quick and simple to customise security solutions by installing and executing multiple apps on the INTEOX platform. In turn, app developers can now focus on leveraging the intelligence and valuable data collected by analytics-equipped cameras for their own software developments to introduce new exciting possibilities of applying cameras. These possibilities are needed as smart buildings and IoT-connected technology platforms continue to evolve. And they will provide new answers to dealing with COVID-19. The aforementioned detection of face masks and PPE via facial detection algorithms is just one of manifold scenarios in which new apps could provide valuable functionality. Contact tracing is another field where a combination of access control and video analytics with rich metadata can make all the difference. Overall, open camera platforms open a future where new, complex functionality that can save lives, ensure business continuity and open new business opportunities will arrive via something as simple as a software update. And this is just the beginning.