The dangers of leaving scaffolding and construction sites exposed
It’s estimated that theft from and vandalism to construction sites costs over £1 million every day in the UK. If you’re involved in development or redevelopment, here are the things you need to know about keeping your site safe and secure.
Construction sites are a magnet for thieves. Not only are most of these sites not sufficiently secured, but the rich pickings of plant, machinery and equipment more than compensates for the slight risk the robbers run. However, theft is just one side of the story of an insufficiently-secured site. Vandalism, squatting and petty crime can also occur through lax security, and the risk of someone getting injured or even killed is very high indeed.
The law is extremely clear about your responsibility to protect both those working on a construction site, and members of the public. Under Section 3 of the Health and Safety at Work Act, the three major issues involved are site access management, risk of hazards to the public, and protection of vulnerable groups – in particular elderly people and children. Tragically, each year, two or three children die because the access to a construction site was not secure enough.
Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors
The Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors is a UK-based professional body for surveyors designed to effect positive change in the built and natural environments.
Correct site management includes restricting access with the use of correct boundaries and strict authorisation, in order to prevent risks from falling objects, vehicles, strikes from scaffolding poles, insecure material stacking, openings and excavations, as well as the usual slips, trips and falls. In addition, it is vital that the site is properly secured at the end of the day, with the entrance to any excavations or pits closed off through barriers or otherwise covered. Vehicles should be isolated and immobilised, materials stored to prevent toppling, ladders removed and hazardous substances locked away.
Some multinational companies have the resources to hire overnight and weekend security guards. However, this can be prohibitively expensive for owners or developers of commercial property who are operating on a relatively small-to-medium scale. If you have an empty commercial property which may be at risk of vandalism, arson or theft, or if you’re currently in the middle of a refurbishment or construction project, you need a more low-key, cost-effective, site-specific solution.
One solution is to consider having a high-tech remote security system fitted, such as RemoteZone, which both protects the property and its contents and deters unwanted visitors. Using wireless Passive Infrared (PIR) detectors to link to a secure control box, RemoteZone can be controlled via your smartphone, laptop or device to provide instant access to information about security breaches, even on multiple construction sites.
For more information about how you can protect both your property and vulnerable members of the public, talk to a member of our team and ask about RemoteZone. Don’t leave site security to chance.
Written by: Charlotte Peel on Wednesday 22/03/2017