018: Using Incident Reporting Software for Construction Site Security
On today’s episode, we cover some of the problems unique to construction site security, and the ways that incident reporting software can help contractors address those issues. Construction sites can be a big revenue generator for security companies, and they require some different methods compared to residential or other commercial properties.
The “Old School” Approach
In the past, the biggest security concern for construction sites was that someone would steal the raw materials, such as copper, to sell for scrap. Security contractors would address this by placing a trailer on site with cameras to monitor the area and doing regular perimeter walks to make sure fences weren’t getting cut or otherwise breached.
Today, construction companies have a number of other concerns, including compliance with the safety regulations of the Occupational Safety & Health Administration (OSHA). Just protecting the site perimeter and preventing theft is no longer enough.
“We have to look at other ways to be a partner,” says Chris, “and one of them is providing… a reporting tool that allows us to report issues that have to do with liability and safety, and equipment checks as well.”
The New Way Of Business
One of the biggest things security companies can do with incident reporting software is tracking arrivals and departures. Keeping a regular log of who’s coming and going helps site supervisors run the operation more efficiently and prevent theft or safety violations. Communicate regularly with the site supervisor to clearly establish who is allowed to be on site and when.
Beyond arrivals and departures, site supervisors usually want help complying with OSHA regulations. Reporting software can be used to communicate a variety of violations to the supervisor, including lack of hard hats or IDs, allowing them to address the issues promptly so they don’t get caught later in an inspection.
In addition to addressing safety concerns, a security incident reporting system helps protect the highly valuable equipment on a construction site. Recording the state of the master key box, ID cards, entrance and exit locks, etc. is an often overlooked but vitally important step.
“It’s one thing to check these,” I tell Chris, “but what we’re saying is it’s important to include it in the reports because that’s when it becomes a reduction in the risk and liability.”
We’ve harped on this before, but unless your activities are recorded, the customer is not going to recognize your hard work. If you check everything on site but don’t record that you did those checks, from the customer’s perspective it’s as if it never even happened.
Communication Is Key with Incident Reporting Software
In the past, construction site security was largely passive. You were there as a deterrent, so the primary job was simply to be present and visible. Nowadays, security contractors are expected to take an active role in the safety of the people, equipment, and materials of an ever-changing construction site.
“This property is going to evolve every single day as these projects progress,” I tell Chris. This means it’s vitally important to maintain a regular dialogue with the site supervisor to ensure that you can adjust your activities to meet the changing needs of the site and the project.
Given the disparity between the old and new approaches, construction site security is one of the easiest areas to differentiate yourself and add value. By making you company the prime point of communication, you can create loyalty on your current project and have an advantage when it comes to bidding for future contracts.