Security isn't a dirty word... your responsibilities
Each year construction work injures and kills people who have no direct connection to it. A landowner or occupier of a site is responsible for ensuring the safety of non-employees, trespassers and particularly children. Failure to do so can land them in court, even if the injured party was trespassing with criminal intent. These can be difficult cases to defend, whether in criminal or civil proceedings.
Site security is necessary for preventing a number of serious issues, including:
- Preventing trespassers, especially children, from entering the building site and climbing on the equipment, putting themselves in danger;
- Vandalism and arson to assets on site;
- Risk of serious injury to workers/members of the public that can result in litigation and compensation claims.
The Construction (Design & Management) Regulations 2015 place a number of duties on a design team in relation to site security on a construction project with an aim to prevent these incidents occurring.
- Clients must provide project specific health and safety information at the pre-construction stage. The pre-construction information should include, among other things, arrangements for the security of the site and site hoarding requirements.
- When developing a construction phase plan, the Principal Contractor should set out the organisation and arrangements that have been put in place to manage risk and co-ordinate work on site, including site security. This will include authorisation procedures for the management of visitors and workers on to site and other positive measures to keep others off site.
- There is also a specific duty on contractors not to begin work on a construction site unless there are measures to prevent unauthorised access to site.
It is key to consider site security during the design phase and before any work begins on site. This will allow for an assessment of all security risk factors, which can then be designed out or effectively mitigated with proper planning.
In addition to a clear perimeter, the following basic security measures can greatly reduce the risk of unauthorised access;
- Secure sites adequately when finishing work for the day;
- Isolate and immobilise vehicles and plant and, if possible, lock them in a compound;
- Store building materials so that they cannot fall onto someone;
- Barrier off/cover over excavations and pits;
- Remove access ladders from excavations and scaffolds;
- Lock away hazardous substances;
- Security lighting can act as a deterrent to potential trespassers.