Health & Safety issues arising from unauthorised intrusion onto Construction Sites is a major headache for companies, and even though these intrusions are acts of trespass the burden for safety still falls at the feet of the site owner. It almost seems that Health & Safety Managers are responsible for engineering out all levels of risk on a site with absolutely no regard or ultimate responsibility being placed on the dangerous and reckless acts that some people engage in.
A Health & Safety Incident Can Have A Greater Impact Than Site Theft
We all understand and have probably witnessed the disruption a site intrusion can cause with say loss of materials or even worse equipment and plant theft, add to this damage to site cabins and welfare areas and the costs and inconvenience can soon mount up. At worst incidents of this kind may cause reasonably minor delays on site so other than the actual physical loss from equipment and damage but even a small escalation in the Health and Safety implications can cause far more.
We were recently called to a site where the site had been broken into and because there were no security provision the thieves were able to work through the night completely undisturbed. This particular gang had specifically targeted the building for cable and metal theft so they then began stripping out cabling from the building which as this was a commercial premise included a large quantity of high voltage heavy copper. The client returned to the site the next morning to find the site was completed without power so they ultimately lost a day on site while power was restored and incurred the costs for repair.
Imagine the implications for an incident like this had:
- One or more of the intruders electrocuted themselves
- The building had been left in a severely unsafe state resulting in an electrocution incident of a member of staff or the public.
The severity of this intrusion incident would have escalated to a level where the disruption to site and possible effect on staff members moves this whole scenario to another level. Ultimately it would be up to the contractor to prove that they had done everything in their power to mitigate the risk even though the actual incident was caused by another individuals reckless actions and if this was not accepted then rightly or wrongly a level of blame could then fall on the contractor.
We are being asked more and more to design systems to stop intrusion for Health and Safety reasons, be that risks on major construction projects with open excavations that people could fall into or protection for scaffolding projects that people could fall off regardless of the fact that the persons shouldn’t actually be on site in the first place. There is an old saying that “some people need protecting from themselves” it now seems that this is a genuine reality when it comes to Construction Site Security.
Increasingly Common Risk Scenarios
- Climbing on scaffolds and cranes is a major factor face by our clients and this ranges from the children playing, drunken and reckless behaviour, and organised gangs of so called “free runners” who not only climb your structure they also broadcast themselves it all over social media.
- An age old problem has been intrusion from children who lets be honest just see that great big building site as a massive free adventure playground.
- Homeless people who are desperately looking for somewhere to shelter
The current legislative and commercial backdrop has lead to Security and Health & Safety becoming aligned which is why it’s so important that all site specific risk factors are taking into account when designing and deploying Temporary Security on site. It is not enough to simply adopt a one size fits all approach to security which is why an important part of our Raidervision System service involves working with our clients on the ground to help them identify and then mitigate the risk factors that exist.
“Two boys, 13 & 14, RESCUED after climbing scaffolding to get on this shopping arcade roof”
“It sounds like a bit of a laugh, BUT, if they had got hurt or fallen the contractor would have been in terrible trouble, which is why a Raidervision video confirmed scaffolding alarm system is essential to secure scaffolding effectively. Over 99% of intruders climbing scaffolding protected by Raidervision are deterred from passing the first lift due to camera lights activating and the 45 second high volume siren going off. For the minority that do continue up, our rapid response service arrive on site in minutes, to ensure that the worst doesn’t happen.