No matter how well-managed and organized your construction site is, keeping it safe
can be a challenge. Theft and vandalism on construction sites extends deadlines and increases budgets. Trespassing on a construction site is dangerous for the trespasser and dangerous for your crew.
That’s where we can help. In this article, I’ll give you a tool chest of tips to help you keep your construction site secure and safe.
Let’s do it.
The costs associated with theft and vandalism on construction sites can be far-reaching. It’s not just about the replacement and repair costs of stolen or damaged property, but the time associated with it.
The same goes with keeping your crew safe. Construction site injuries can hinder manpower. They can also lead to a lawsuit. Both can be costly and time-consuming.
In your line of work, time is money. Interruptions like these can lead to project delays. Project delays could lead to spending overruns, which can cut into your profits.
Ways to help avoid this mess? Read the eleven tips in our construction site security guide below:
Darkness is a criminal’s best friend. If they can sneak around and open doors or tamper with locks under the cover of darkness, they’ll have more time to do their dirty work and steal from — or vandalize — your site.
Darkness also tends to hide the things that can cause injury. Like tripping over some equipment that wasn’t properly stored away.
A good way to help prevent this type of stuff from happening? Install construction site security lighting. At entrances. Around equipment, gear, materials, and machinery. Near storage spaces. Wherever it makes the most sense.
When you keep areas well-lit, you could deter criminals from striking and prevent crew members from getting hurt.
Although securing the perimeter of your location with strong fences and locked gates is always a good idea, it doesn’t offer foolproof protection from unwanted visitors. Fences can be jumped. Locks busted open. Cables can be cut.
Consider a second line of defense. Install security cameras and alarm systems. Their presence alone could keep the criminals away.
Plus, many security systems come with monitoring plans. If you buy into the plan, remote security staff who usually monitor the cameras can take steps to resolve suspicious activity before it becomes a crime.
Some general tips for securing a construction site with security cameras include: choosing a camera system that offers features such as night vision, motion detection, and tamper-proofing; placing cameras in strategic locations around the site; and ensuring that the cameras are properly connected to a power source and monitored at all times.
Generally speaking, an alarm can help with site security in a couple of ways. You can use them to scare off would-be thieves. A system with motion sensors, sirens, and flashing lights can stop an intruder in their tracks.
A silent alarm system also can be an effective site security solution, especially if the intruder isn’t easily spooked. Silent alarms often can alert local law enforcement as well as site management when a trespasser enters your site.
This one might sound like a no-brainer, but it’s easy to overlook. After a long, hard day’s work, you sometimes just want to get out of Dodge.
You may look at your gates and fences and think they’re secure, but without making sure the locks are clicked and checking the perimeter of your construction fencing, you can never be positive.
Work these checks into your daily routine so you don’t make a criminal’s life easier.
A huge part of protecting a construction site is having a plan and putting a policy in place.
The plan means officially laying out what your company does to prevent theft, vandalism, injuries, and other incidents in a construction site security plan.
The policy means making sure everyone buys into the plan. For example, construction site tools can be easy pickings for thieves. Consider making it a policy that they are always inside a locked storage bin or shed when not in use.
Make the policy part of the plan. Put it in writing. Go over it with your crew. And post it in a visible location for all to follow.
Of course, a security plan only works if it’s followed. Even small sites can benefit from security audits. Among the things to check as part of your audit are:
Take a look around your construction site. You probably see big dollar signs when looking at all the tools and equipment lying around. Thieves do too.
All it takes is an act of impulse for them to pull their vehicle up to an open gate and do a snatch-and-grab.
Suddenly, you’re facing the aggravation and expense of replacing everything you lost. Unless you had business personal property insurance. It may not help reduce the anguish caused from the thievery, but it can provide peace of mind, knowing that this type of insurance typically covers financial claims involving:
Construction site theft and vandalism aside, there’s also liability to worry about.
For example, let’s say a trespasser looks at one of your truck beds a little too literally and decides to spend the night in it. Or a bunch of kids walking home after school decide to cut through your job site to shave a few minutes off their commute. In either case, they hear a noise that spooks them. They run for it and fall and hurt themselves.
Even though they were trespassing, they got hurt on your property. It could turn into a lawsuit.
General liability insurance could help to protect you from accidents that happen at your construction site, including potentially helping to pay the legal costs to defend yourself if a trespasser sues you.
You might consider including business personal property coverage as part of your construction liability insurance for more protection and greater peace of mind. You also might consider getting expert help making that decision.
That’s where we come in. At Simply Business, we’ve made finding and buying business insurance that’s right for you simple and easy.
To get a quote, it usually takes just under 10 minutes online, and we can take it from there. Or if you want to talk to a helpful human (one of our licensed insurance agents), you can give us a call at 844-654-7272.
We work with leading insurers to find coverage for your business at an affordable price. And we make it easy to understand what you’re getting and how much it costs.
Many construction site entrances use gates that can be accessed with keys or key cards. Although that works well most of the time, all it takes is for those keys or cards to get into the wrong hands just once.
The locks don’t know if it’s Construction Joe entering the site or Theo the Thief. But Security Guard Sam is trained to know. Having construction site security guards stationed at key entry points can drastically improve construction site security.
While it’s important to properly react to safety incidents, an ounce of prevention can be worth a pound of cure. A construction safety management system can help.
It can offer a more proactive way to identify potential accidents and prevent them from happening. As with other security and safety procedures, it can be a good idea to include your safety management system as part of your standard training.
Putting safety measures in place, or creating a safety checklist or policy means little if no one knows about it. That’s why educating your employees is imperative.
If you want to learn more, check out these 5 helpful steps that we created that can help you improve employee safety.
Your productivity is only as good as your equipment and crew. You can’t get very far with broken equipment or out-of-work employees who were injured using that equipment.
Construction security starts with safety. Regular inspections of equipment can lower the risk of workplace injuries, which in turn can take construction site security — and productivity — to another level.
This tip isn’t just for you to follow. It’s for everyone onsite to follow. Make sure your team understands the importance of reporting security threats, incidents, and safety concerns.
Keep in mind: Some employees may not want to report safety concerns for fear of retribution. Consider a process that allows the person to remain anonymous when reporting any safety concerns.
Taking as many construction site security measures as possible not only can help to prevent theft and vandalism, but also to reduce onsite injury. When that happens, you’re decreasing the chances of a lawsuit and increasing the probability of great productivity.
Still, at the end of the day, even with all the preparation and safety measures in the world, accidents could still happen. Which is why you should consider business insurance.
Having business insurance can protect you if a security event occurs, like a theft or on-site injury. Although it won’t prevent a lawsuit, it can lessen the worry, stress, and financial impact that can come with one.
I went to college to be an accountant and graduated with a degree in creative writing. Words won out over numbers, but barely. All credit goes to my parents. Had they talked about anything other than banking at the dinner table growing up—and had they never bribed me with Pop-Tarts to read books, play with my Matchbox cars and quietly exercise my imagination—who knows where my left and right brain would be today.
Chris writes on a number of topics such as legal resources, small business taxes, and social media marketing.
This content is for general, informational purposes only and is not intended to provide legal, tax, accounting, or financial advice. Please obtain expert advice from industry specific professionals who may better understand your business’s needs. Read our full disclaimer
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