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Prevention is better than the cure, failings in your perimeter protection can cost you dearly.

Proper site security is crucial in preventing further tragedies, as highlighted by the recent tragic incident at a construction site in Leeds.

Following the death of a seven-year-old, the Health & Safety Executive (HSE) has emphasised the importance of site security.

A legal duty to secure sites

Howard Civil Engineering was fined £600,000 as a result of the safety lapses which resulted in the tragedy. The investigation revealed that inadequate fencing failed to prevent unauthorised entry. Howard Civil Engineering were liable for not meeting the necessary fencing requirements.

The Occupiers’ Liability Acts of 1957 and 1984 stipulates businesses have a legal duty to ensure the safety and security of individuals on their premises. Even in cases where trespassers enter criminally, the building firm may still face prosecution if harm comes to them.

A worrying trend

This incident has shed light on a concerning trend of trespassing incidents.  Not only by children viewing construction sites as playgrounds but also by “urban explorers” seeking climbing activities and recording videos for social media.  Many contractors have resorted to obtaining injunctions to prevent unauthorised access.

However, the cost of securing an injunction can be around £30,000 per construction site.

To address these security challenges, construction companies must prioritize the erection of adequate fencing to prevent trespassing.

Hoardings play a vital role in concealing construction operations, making the site less appealing to trespassers.

They can be supplied as buried and freestanding wooden or steel panels, as well as water-filled barriers.

These barriers serve legal requirements, enhance aesthetics and facilitate normal activities around the construction area.

Firms must erect sufficient security

CCTV systems and intruder alarms  offer enhanced security measures for construction sites. CCTV towers, standalone cameras, and mobile wireless camera systems can complement hoardings by deterring intruders, preventing theft and vandalism.

Scaffold alarms are also gaining popularity. They are wirelessly linked to a dedicated 24-hour monitoring station and feature built-in cameras for visual identification, capturing photographs when alarm beams are crossed.

Wireless detection cameras utilise AI technology, such as SafeSite Facilities’ The Minder Wireless Alarm, and provide advanced intrusion detection capabilities.

These do not require a power grid or WiFi connectivity so are easy to deploy and use.  They record high-definition video upon detecting movement and use AI software to analyse the footage.

Therefore, you can reduce false alarms and enabling prompt response from keyholders, security guards, and the police if necessary.

HSE inspector, Paul Yeadon, emphasised the industry’s responsibility. Children cannot access construction sites and face inherent risks. Proper hoardings, in compliance with legal requirements, can help construction companies fulfill their duty.

It is crucial for the construction industry to invest in comprehensive site security measures, including fencing, CCTV systems, and intruder alarms.

By doing so, you can minimise the risk of further tragedies, protect sites from unauthorized access and criminal activities, and contribute to a safer environment for everyone involved.

For more information and to get in touch, contact SafeSite Facilities today.

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