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Specifiers Journal 2015-2016

Specifiers Journal 2015-2016

Building an effective

Building an effective security plan As the construction industry begins to flourish postrecession, demand for construction site security looks set to rise. Amanda Caton of the British Security Industry Association explores the changing security requirements of construction sites and highlights best practice in security procurement. The construction sector has experienced a positive start to 2015, with figures from the Office for National Statistics (ONS) suggesting that the sector has contributed to a better than expected outlook for economic growth in the first quarter of the year. Making up 6.4% of the UK’s economy, the construction sector suffered the effects of recession particularly keenly, but is now beginning to feel more upbeat, with reports suggesting that customer uncertainty has reduced following the General Election 1 . So, how might these changes affect demand for construction site security? As the number of construction projects rise, it is natural to expect demand for effective site security measures to increase in tandem. With the typical building site playing host to a number of different contractors at any one time, as well as a wide range of valuable equipment, security considerations are always paramount, especially given the often open and accessible nature of construction sites. Left vulnerable overnight, construction sites face the biggest threat from theft, vandalism and terrorism. A security breach or poorly implemented security measure can have a number of negative effects on a construction site or depot. These can include financial losses and unplanned downtime, along with health and safety issued cause by unauthorised tampering of equipment or procedures. Therefore, site security is essential to the successful and timely completion of a project, or the continued success of a business. As such, security should be addressed at the earliest opportunity, ensuring maximum protection throughout the entire construction process. An holistic approach A layered approach to security works best to protect such sites. Starting at the perimeter and working inward, various security measures – both electronic and physical – can integrate successfully to provide an holistic, effective solution to securing even the most complex of construction sites. According to construction industry intelligence analysts, Glenigan 2 , London is leading the way in the market’s recovery, with rising demand for office accommodation set to prompt increased investment in the development of prime office space, while the sharp rise in planning approvals for a number of high-profile residential schemes also looks set to provide the market with a boost. Of course, one of the most highprofile building projects in the capital is Europe’s largest construction project, Crossrail, which employs 10,000 workers across 40 sites as the project continues to work towards its goal of constructing 42 additional kilometres to London’s railway network, providing a more direct route across the city. Started in 2008 and scheduled for final completion in 2018, much of the work on the project is due to take place in the 2015-16 period. Interviewed recently by IFSECGlobal 3 .com, Crossrail’s Security Manager, David Buck, outlined the successful application of the layered security approach that has been deployed at Crossrail sites across the city. Showcasing the busy Farringdon site, near the heart of the city, David explained the blend of physical perimeter security with electronic security measures and manned guarding: “You will see hoarding, you will see gates, you’ll see entry points, and all of these are the physical ‘locks and bolts’ of how a site is secured. On top of that, we will then introduce an electronic system of Access Control, which will allow you access through turnstiles, and then internally, we 6 SPECIFICATION JOURNAL 2015-2016

will zone the site and that will then allow people who need to go through into work areas to get through, and people who don’t need to go into those work areas will be restricted in their access.” In fact, the so-called ‘onion ring’ approach – whereby the most atrisk area lies at the core of a layered defence system – is commonly deployed on construction sites, integrating physical security measures with electronic systems to provide an early warning and speedy response to potential breaches. However, in contrast to the huge Crossrail project, smaller construction sites do not always have the resources and manpower to ensure that the site is being monitored 24 hours a day. Remotely monitored alarm systems can help with this issue. If an alarm is set off at a site, personnel at a Remote Video Response Centre (RVRC) can be notified of the breach and will be able to respond accordingly, allowing for around the clock protection and giving site managers peace of mind when they are not in the area. Making informed choices As the trade body representing the UK’s private security industry, the British Security Industry Association (BSIA) has recently conducted research into the attitudes of those procurement professionals responsible for buying security products and services in a number of industry sectors, including construction. Early results of this research suggest that spending on construction site security actually increased during the economic downturn, with procurement personnel focusing heavily on the quality of solutions – rather than price alone – to determine their purchasing decision. To help construction site managers make informed choices when selecting security measures, the BSIA also published a comprehensive guide to the application of various security measures in the construction sector. Exploring a range of issues from risk assessment and mitigation to the different approaches required between greenfield (new build) and brownfield (redevelopment) sites, the BSIA’s guide provides in-depth, impartial advice to construction site managers seeking to maximise the effectiveness of security measures on their sites. Taking expert advice is an ideal place to start for any construction company wishing to improve the effectiveness of its current security measures. Members of the Association’s Specialist Services section are best placed to dispense advice on risk assessments and security solutions, and a list of such suppliers can be found on the BSIA’s website. To find out more about the security measures mentioned in this article, or to locate a reputable supplier near you, visit the Association’s website at www.bsia.co.uk Alternatively, the BSIA’s guide to construction site security can be downloaded directly from the following link: http://www.bsia. co.uk/publications/publicationssearch-results/123-construction-sitesecurity-a-guide.aspx 1 UK growth outlook brighter after new construction data, The Guardian, 12 th June 2015, http://www. theguardian.com/business/2015/jun/12/ukeconomic-growth-revised-up-as-ons-paints-brighterpicture-of-construction 2 Construction market analysis, Featured Region: London, Glenigan, June 2015 https://www.glenigan. com/construction-market-analysis/news/featuredregion-london-2015 3 Protecting London: Crossrail Security Interactive Documentary, available on IFSEC Global’s YouTube channel: https://www.youtube.com/ watch?v=Dnry2iCbmVA SPECIFICATION JOURNAL 2015-2016 7