Unattended and unsecured construction sites can leave people and equipment vulnerable. With the constant threat of intruders, theft and injuries, there are some safety and security risks on construction sites that only active and intelligent surveillance can prevent.
Construction managers have a duty of care to protect workers and the public from harm, injury or even death. Work sites are full of risks from dangerous machinery, falling objects, break-ins and other crime, which must be eliminated or otherwise managed to prevent people getting hurt, unnecessary expenses and project delays.
According to Safe Work Australia, 169 people were fatally injured on construction sites nationwide in 2021 and there were over 130,000 serious claims between 2020-21, with an average of seven hours of work lost due to incapacitation.
While traditional surveillance can capture criminals in the act or record incidents for evidence, these systems are passive and cannot intervene. Keeping construction sites safe and secure requires active surveillance systems that can respond to danger to prevent crime and safety incidents in the first place.
Security risks for workers and equipment
Theft and vandalism are common security risks on construction sites, with construction managers having to deal with routinely replacing stolen equipment or repairing damage.
With supply shortages affecting the construction sector, thieves are taking advantage of the high costs to steal and resell stolen materials, including copper wiring, timber, tools, fuel and other items. Even before these supply shortages, construction workers had to frequently deal with having equipment stolen from vehicles and sites.
According to specialist insurer Trade Risk, 48 per cent of theft claims on construction sites involve forced entry, which includes smashing windows, cutting padlocks or breaking door locks. Even if a site is locked and secured, it is still possible for criminals to break in, so a physical lock on the door or gate will not keep out the most determined thieves.
Additionally, vandalism can halt construction or cause delays as crews must spend time fixing damage or replacing destroyed equipment. In many cases, construction sites are not deliberately targeted for vandalism, rather people often just wander onto the site and end up opportunistically causing damage.
Safety on construction sites
A construction site needs to be safe not only for construction workers, but also to protect the public.
For construction managers in Western Australia, Regulation 298 of the Work Health and Safety General Regulations 2022 requires that workplaces and sites are secured from unauthorised access. Even if intruders intend no harm to the site or equipment, such as squatters or homeless people, construction managers are still liable if these intruders injure themselves.
For construction workers, there are plenty of safety risks that come with the job, such as workplace injuries and accidents, but there is also workplace bullying, physical violence, robberies and assaults that can happen on site as well.
Workplace bullying and harassment is not tolerated in any workplace, but it often happens out of sight of managers and security cameras.
Similarly, it can be hard to prosecute those responsible for robberies and assaults on employees without video records. When the authorities are unable to track down offenders or managers are not aware of safety issues, construction sites can start to feel unsafe for workers.
The solution lies in setting up a security and safety system that can not only record incidents but also respond to danger.
The difference active surveillance can make
Spectur is an Australian company that provides security and surveillance solutions. While traditional systems can only capture recordings of potential threats, Spectur systems offer active deterrence that can detect and respond to threats in real-time.
At the simplest level and in CCTV mode, Spectur cameras capture all imagery with movement, including “pre-roll” – the 5 seconds leading up to the movement. This means that site users know that there will be a record of activity, which shapes behaviour. Furthermore, if a safety incident occurs, footage of the event can be easily and remotely recovered for analysis and learning.
Spectur surveillance systems are able to sense, think and act. Paired with artificial intelligence (AI), these cameras and sensors can interpret images to distinguish between real threats and false alarms.
This helps with preventing theft and vandalism, since Spectur systems can identify a human or vehicle approaching a site, and respond accordingly to discourage intruders from gaining access to sites. Spectur systems can broadcast a pre-recorded verbal warning, enable live two-way push-to-talk to site, send out alerts to authorities or flash a bright light to scare off any potential criminals.
Spectur sensors can also be linked to items, including gates, to trigger an alert for the security team if someone is using it outside of operating hours.
A prominent security camera system is enough to deter most criminals as they know there is a way to trace the damage or theft back to them. But with active deterrence, Spectur camera systems take it a step further to deter even the most determined of criminals from breaking in whilst avoiding excessive false alarms which reduce system effectiveness.
Security where it matters
Aside from being active, Spectur surveillance systems differentiate themselves from traditional surveillance systems by being self-contained, which means they can function on temporary sites and in remote locations.
Being battery and solar-powered, Spectur solutions are wireless with an in-built 3G/4G modem, meaning they do not require any trenching or digging for installation since there is no need for a wired internet or power connection. With the ability to be installed on the perimeter, Spectur surveillance systems offer a reliable set of eyes for construction sites that can look in.
With a Spectur construction site camera, you can have a clear record of everything that goes on during the work day and at night, which can be used by your own team or handed over to the police.
Remotely capturing image and video data allows construction managers to keep evidence that can be used for safety compliance, police investigations, insurance purposes or other reasons.
Reliable video records also mean it is possible to pursue offenders after a crime has taken place on site. If the offender is unknown, it is difficult for police to track down the person responsible, since there is little evidence to catch the offender or track down stolen goods.
Additionally, with a live-feed of the site, it is possible to check in remotely on your phone or computer, helping catch incidents as they happen or just to assist with project management.
A construction is not secure until there is an active safety and security system in place. With intelligent surveillance systems that can respond to threats, Spectur’s solutions can make these common construction site risks feel preventable rather than inevitable.
For more information on securing your construction site using Spectur’s smart solutions, call 1300 802 960 to talk to our team and find the right solution for your unique onsite challenges.