Home > Blog

Why Manned Guarding is a Must-Have for Protecting Your Construction Site

Among the many challenges faced by the construction industry, one of the most difficult to manage is security. This goes beyond ensuring personal protective equipment is used correctly or providing proper training for operating heavy machinery. The focus here is on crime prevention.

Theft from construction sites costs the industry approximately £400 million annually. A staggering 92% of site managers have reported being affected by theft, and 21% of construction sites are targeted by thieves every week. Additionally, 91% of site managers have experienced vandalism.* 

What Are The Security Risks in Construction?

Construction sites are susceptible to a wide range of crimes. This is often because they are located in low-traffic areas or are supposedly protected by barriers that make it difficult for outsiders to see what is happening inside, giving criminals the freedom to act without being caught.

It's important to highlight that these sites can contain many valuable objects coveted by thieves, such as high-value recyclable metals like steel, copper, and aluminium, machinery like excavators, backhoes, cranes, compactors, and loaders, and portable, high-value tools like drills and circular saws.

Building materials themselves can also be targets for theft. Electrical cables, pipes, high-quality wood, cement, bricks, and concrete blocks, for instance, can be resold on the black market. Even PPE such as helmets, boots, reflective vests, gloves, protective glasses, and fire extinguishers can be taken from the work area.

Other examples include power generators and compressors, surveying equipment, GPS devices, monitoring drones, heavy vehicles, glass panels, doors, windows, hammers, screwdrivers, pliers, and wrenches.

Criminals may also target the office area, seeking computers, tablets, and mobile phones. In high-value commercial areas, there is even the risk of theft of trade secrets, such as construction plans, contracts, licenses, and engineering documents. In these cases, all the "spies" need to do is take photos of the documents in a way that no one realises how the data leak occurred.

The risks are not limited to theft. Vandalism is also a common problem in the UK, and in the construction industry, it takes on epidemic proportions.

How Manned Guarding Can Secure Your Site

Many companies believe that manned guarding is essential only to protect the site at night. They are partially correct. During low-traffic hours, the presence of this specialised crew becomes even more critical. However, they are essential at any time of day.

According to Stage Security, a security company in Essex, the mere presence of uniformed guards is a powerful deterrent to thieves and vandals. Their visibility makes potential invaders think twice before trying any illegal activities.

A security officer can check identification, issue visitor passes, and maintain a log of all individuals entering and leaving the premises. Moreover, guards often become familiar with regular site visitors and employees, which allows them to identify and address suspicious behaviour more effectively.

In the event of an emergency, such as a fire, flood, electrical hazard, or medical incident, guards can coordinate with emergency services, provide first aid, and help evacuate the site efficiently.

Regular patrols ensure that all areas are monitored consistently. This reduces blind spots and covers areas that might be missed by CCTV alone.

Furthermore, security personnel provide a sense of protection for both employees and visitors, enhancing their overall safety. Their presence can help manage conflicts and provide assistance in emergencies. They also prevent your team from becoming victims of harassment or assault, which significantly contributes to team morale and productivity.

Manned guards can also maintain detailed logs and reports of all activities, incidents, and observations. This documentation can be crucial for insurance purposes and future security planning.

The Limitations of CCTV

A common mistake made by construction companies is believing that installing CCTV is sufficient to deter criminals. Unfortunately, CCTV has limited reach.

Cameras can capture footage but cannot intervene in or address a situation as it unfolds. Unless monitored continuously, footage is often reviewed after an incident has occurred, leading to delayed responses. Moreover, CCTV systems are reliant on power and network connectivity, making them vulnerable to outages and technical failures, whether intentional or not.

The presence of CCTV cameras can deter some criminals, but it may not be enough to discourage determined intruders. The physical presence of guards is a much stronger deterrent, as criminals are less likely to attempt illegal activities when they know they might be confronted.


More to Read: