Communities nationwide, both urban and rural, are radically transforming. Infrastructure development, agricultural changes, and other construction job sites are popping up more frequently. As new developments are underway, contractors, subcontractors, and property owners are considering safety measures for employees as well as for valuable assets and equipment. Fortunately, as technology evolves, jobsite security system options are going beyond protecting property from possible theft. In fact, advancing technology is capable of increasing loss prevention while providing ongoing support on jobsites, even in areas where infrastructure is scarce.
Different jobsite security systems and functionality can be tailored to specific needs. Read on to learn more about what to look for in these systems.
Jobsite Security System Challenges
What is a jobsite and how does that differ in terms of commercial security options? As defined by Law Insider, job sites refer to work areas with distinguished property lines used to enclose construction, alteration, or maintenance projects. They’re different from buildings and other places of employment, because they often don’t have established buildings or structures that would provide protection as most commercial spaces do.
Jobsites are constantly changing, which means they often face a unique set of challenges different from other commercial employment spaces. On one hand, jobsites don’t usually have basic structure setup like electrical systems, fencing, and other protective equipment. Jobsite security system functions to help mitigate risks specific to remote areas. The other issue many jobsites face is the development of the actual project. As a building or structure progresses, there will likely be several shifts in contractors, subcontractors, materials and value. That is to say that different construction equipment and supplies arrive to replace others.
There are also changes in staff working on site. Service providers who are required to enter the site change as the building stages progress. This lack of consistency makes security protocol difficult. It often requires in-person professionals developing a jobsite security system that can help avoid potential risks.
Every site has unique and shifting security issues. These often depend upon the size and location of the jobsite. They also depend on the nature of the project. Tailored systems that take advantage of growing technologies making vetting features essential.
Jobsite risks and threats include:
Tools, equipment, and materials
Health and welfare of the workers
Why is Jobsite Security Necessary?
Job sites are often theft targets. Many construction sites contain costly tools, equipment, and materials.
Theft, arson, vandalism, and terrorism are the greatest risks on a job site. In addition, there are risks from trespassers who engage in behavior that might harm themselves or others. Job sites also need to guard against protesters who might pose a threat to the workers or the structure. Homeless people can also threaten the integrity of the construction site by squatting there.
Neil Opfer points out in his paper “Site Security Issues for Constructors” theft may cost construction owners between one and two percent of the cost of the project. Indirect thefts or “inside jobs” maybe three times that high.
A CBC News study noted that the theft of construction equipment is big business in North America. Thieves are taking front-end loaders, bulldozers, graders, and paving equipment. One contractor lost a front-end loader valued at $275,000. The cost to Canadian companies is nearly fifty million dollars a year.
While this equipment is insured, the cost of the deductible and rising premiums is crippling. To add to this, companies lose valuable work time while they wait for replacement machinery.
What is a Risk Analysis?
A risk analysis by a qualified jobsite security professional provides a construction site owner with an awareness of where the problems are on a construction site. Thus, owners and security companies can determine what level of security is required. These are invaluable when considering jobsite efficiencies and other factors that may decrease likelihood of delays, setbacks, and costly repairs.
The risk analysis should list all of the potential threats and hazards. An experienced analyst devises a plan to combat these risks.
Each risk should include information regarding the odds of this risk occurring and its impact. The result is a clear plan of action. Plan to revisit risks periodically throughout the construction project. Material and equipment requires frequent change.
Having analyzed the risks, you can deal with them in one of three ways. Where the cost of the solution is bigger than the cost of the threat, risks are often ignored or overlooked as “the cost of doing business”. Risks may also be dealt with by taking out insurance. The third way of combating risks is implementing a jobsite security system. Often all three solutions are used.
Why Invest in Jobsite Security?
It is important to consider technologies and a jobsite security system that can provide a slew of different options in terms of protection and risk management. Of course, there are no fool-proof systems, but technology is closing the gap with dated cameras and tapes. Artificial intelligence within security is also radically transforming how owners, property managers, contractors, and subcontractors protect employees, equipment, and high-priced materials.
An article by Forbes mentions that A.I. is transforming the construction industry, making it more efficient and innovative.
Technology Improves Jobsite Security Systems
Thanks to technology, you can use asset and equipment tracking systems to minimize the risk of theft and damage on a jobsite. Another strategy is to learn as much as possible about different functions and features in security systems that are used to enhance protective measures.
Hiring for 24/7 jobsite security personnel is one option. However, firms and project managers are recognizing that human error in security is also a potential risk. In fact, according to Security Magazine, human error contributes to as much as 95% of security breaches. It’s critical that companies and organizations consider alternatives to security guards and supplement with systems that include machine learning, automation, remote access, and access control.
How do Job Sites Differ from Corporate Offices?
Where corporate offices have power infrastructures and are located in a building or buildings, job sites usually begin as vacant land. They often lack infrastructure like power. Corporate offices are centralized where job sites are scattered about and more spread out. Thus, job sites are more difficult to protect.
Types of Jobsite Security
With increased technology and sophistication of thieves and trespassers, Wiki Systems have explored several types of commercial security systems.
Security system components may include any or all of:
Strategies that control access to the site
Closed circuit video or audio-video components
Security around the jobsite perimeter
Jobsite security systems aim at four solutions.
Practice crime deterrence by adding fences, locks, video surveillance, guard dogs, and/or security officers. These strategies will discourage many would-be trespassers and thieves.
Risk analysis will identify threats to people and property. Detection will also identify perpetrators.
This strategy is aimed at slowing down crime and, thus, increasing the chances of apprehending the suspect.
Any response will apprehend criminals and/or cut the chances of further crime. For example, response strategies might include electrifying a fence, letting guard dogs roam the site at night, the arrival of security guards, calling the police, or installing cameras.
Jobsite Security Strategies
There are few existing technology systems that can successfully prevent theft and vandalism, plus round-the-clock support. Given that remote locations make it difficult to set up high-tech surveillance equipment, it’s important to consider limitations and alternatives. For example, if a particular jobsite doesn’t have access to electricity, especially within the perimeters of a jobsite, alternative forms of energy should be a priority. Solar-operated security devices would be a suitable option to combat this issue.
Other solutions might include:
Access control allows for supervisors, property managers, and higher-level employees to maintain and manage access to certain areas of a jobsite. It may also include securing software and internal computer systems that may be required to protect sensitive information. Access control solutions allow companies and operations to manage which employees and contractors have access and prevent certain teams or employees from breaching important areas of the site.
Additionally, access control can offer a designated entrance and exit zone. Gate systems with personnel can help track individuals accessing a jobsite. This can drastically reduce potential for individuals working to circumvent security without proper credentials.
Automation for Jobsite Security
Companies with operations in remote locations are often in search of monitoring systems that can be accessed from anywhere. With few or sometimes no employees onsite, it can be difficult to check-in and ensure that the property is properly protected. This creates increased risk of unidentified equipment errors, process failures and maintenance issues, leading to expensive repairs and dangerous conditions. Automations can help to alleviate some of these stresses from a jobsite.
Twenty20 Solutions brings online fully automated remote sites. The team conducts site surveys, recommends and procures sensors and devices, programs and designs HMIs and automation panels, and provides connectivity to stand up remote operations smoothly and efficiently.
How Can Twenty20 Solutions Help?
Twenty20 Solutions estimates losses at construction sites cost over a billion dollars annually. Our skilled, experienced staff has data to show they save their valued clients more than that. Twenty20 Solutions provides security and automated solutions including security, surveillance, monitoring, remote access, and much more.
To get more information on our security solutions and services, contact us today.