How to Conduct a Construction Site Security Risk Assessment

Posted by Ryan Cox on January 21, 2021

Construction site security is complex and very much needs a risk assessment. The purpose of a risk assessment is to identify strengths and weaknesses in your security. It helps ensure you have the right security systems in place. The best route to take is to work with a security consultant who not only has experience in doing risk assessments but also doing them on construction sites.

Someone like this can provide an accurate, thorough assessment that catches everything. As the consultant works through the risk assessment to identify potential security solutions, ask the person to prioritize those solutions. You may not have the budget to do everything in one sitting.

What Is a Construction Site Risk Assessment?

A risk assessment takes an inventory of all your construction site assets to determine what needs protecting. Its goal is to close any security holes.

A risk assessment includes the documentation of the construction site layout. The purpose is to inform decisions on what security systems you need and where they belong. For example, if you need video surveillance, you can use the map of the construction site to identify the best spots to install the cameras.

How to Conduct a Construction Site Risk Assessment

A construction site evolves as it progresses through the phases of the project. What security controls are not needed in phase one may be needed in phase two. It could also depend on the time of the year the project starts.

For example, if the project begins in the summer, daylight is available for the entire workday. The construction site most likely won't need lights. However, come winter, that's going to change, but the risk assessment may reveal you need these lights for the entire project.

That's because you will use them at night after everyone has left the site. The lights will make it harder for someone to trespass in fear of being spotted. A security consultant with experience in construction sites should be thinking about these things.

If you're planning to create a construction site security strategy, a risk assessment of the construction site is the first step. Here are the four major steps for completing one. This will help you understand what all is involved in a security risk assessment to help you hire the right security consultant.

1. Identify security risks

The risk assessment focuses on physical security risks. It does not look at health and safety risks. However, some of its recommendations may reduce health and safety risks.

In addition to identifying strengths and weaknesses in security, a risk assessment also looks at who comes and goes on the construction site. Is it just employees? Clients? Vendors? Delivery? How do they enter and exit the site? It's important to review every possibility to create simple processes for allowing people on the construction site.

The security consultant will analyze crime reports to see how many and what kind of crimes strike near your construction site. An excellent resource for this is the FBI's National Incident-Based Reporting System (NIBRS). The system has an interactive map using data from local police departments. It shows the crime rate and the types of crime occurring in the area.

Another factor worth analyzing is the area's weather patterns and history. This will identify potential risks of tornadoes, hurricanes, severe thunderstorms, earthquakes, fires, and other nature-made disasters. These can affect the construction site security as it could knock out cameras and access control systems.

Even if you have video surveillance, one of the most effective security solutions for construction sites, you want to eliminate all the opportunities for intruders to trespass. A risk assessment will help verify this. It's also a valuable starting point for creating a security plan.

2. Prioritize security risks

The risk assessment may contain many risks that will cost more than the security budget allows. That's why you want to determine the risk level and prioritize them. If you end up doing the risk assessment yourself, it would be wise to reach out to your local law enforcement for feedback.

Again, law enforcement will not be experts in construction industry. Every industry has its own risk levels and security requirements. If do the risk assessment yourself, another option is to contact a security consultant with construction site experience to review your assessment.

3. Develop a mitigation plan

Now that you know where the gaps are in your security, you want to develop a plan to close them. The purpose of the mitigation plan is to list the steps to take to reduce security risk.

For example, a risk assessment may state construction sites are at high risk for vandalism, trespassing, crane climbing, and other crimes. A mitigation plan will indicate options to address this risk. This could be security guards, video surveillance, and fencing.

4. Review the risk assessment

The security needs in phase one of the project are different from later phases. A construction site is constantly changing as different equipment is used at different phases of the project. That's why it's critical to review the site security plan on a regular basis. Update the plan as needed.

These are the four steps for conducting a security risk assessment on a construction site. To guarantee the risk assessment is done correctly, security experts advise working with someone who is an expert in construction site security.

If the assessment is not done correctly, it could end up costing more in the long run. This is because you may end up implementing the wrong security solutions, which will be costly in time and money.

Security Technology for Construction Sites

Technology advancements have led to the creation of more cost-effective security solutions. One security technology worth adding to your mitigation plan is video surveillance. With this technology, construction companies no longer need to rely on traditional security measures so heavily.

Video surveillance cameras can view more of the construction site than other security solutions can. They can also monitor these areas without putting anyone's safety at risk.

For the fraction of the cost of traditional security measures, video surveillance offers greater coverage 24/7. Unlike many security options that are reactive, video surveillance is proactive and helps deter crime. A key component of this technology is monitoring. Without artificial intelligence or anyone monitoring the cameras, it turns the technology into passive security. It's less likely to avert crime.

Besides, cameras can give people a false sense of security if AI or anyone is not monitoring the cameras. An effectively implemented video surveillance system monitors for suspicious activity while showing workers you care about their safety.

While some security measures can increase liability, remote video surveillance helps lower liability. This doesn't apply to just any video camera system. It needs to be video surveillance that combines video analytics and human intelligence. This partnership allows the system to analyze and spot suspicious activity in real-time before a crime happens.

As soon as the system or monitoring operator determines there may be a problem, the operator can issue an audible warning to the intruder and call the police.

Video Surveillance Does More Than Deter Crime

Video surveillance not only helps prevent crime and vandalism but also benefits construction sites in other ways. Video surveillance solves many problems. First, the appearance of video cameras can cause potential intruders to run away. For those who don't scare easily, the operator can use the audio system to issue a warning. This often drives potential trespassers to leave the site.

Unlike some traditional security measures, video surveillance can save and store all recordings securely in the cloud for later retrieval and review. This comes in handy anytime you have an intruder. Law enforcement can use it to complete their investigation.

Recordings also help with cases relating to fraud and property liability on a construction site. If someone alleges something happened on the construction site, analysts can check the recordings for evidence of what actually happened. The footage may quickly put an end to an expensive liability lawsuit.

Construction companies can use video surveillance for training. They can create short clips from the video recordings of the right and wrong ways to operate equipment and complete tasks, such as the proper way to use PPE or disinfect equipment.

They could also use footage to identify the best way to organize a construction site to design and optimize traffic flow management. It will help determine the best way to keep transportation and people separate.

Managers at construction companies work with video surveillance companies to find bottlenecks. The high camera views of the construction site make it easy to identify areas for improvement in how to organize the site. It can eliminate duplication while boosting safety.

As you can see, you'll get the biggest bang for your money and see a fast ROI with video surveillance. To learn more about video surveillance security technology, download your free guide to securing your construction site. It'll show you the benefits of a customized security plan for your construction site. If you'd like to learn more now or after reading the guide, please contact us.

Posted in: Video Security Systems, Security Guards & Savings, Video Monitoring