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Security deters crime on construction sites. Now workers’ health can rely on it, too

Security deters crime on construction sites. Now workers’ health can rely on it, too
Security has played an important role in deterring crime on construction sites. Yet with COVID, security technologies can come in handy in improving health and safety on construction sites, too.
For a long time, security technologies such as video surveillance and access control have played an important role in deterring crime on construction site. Now, with the pandemic, they should be deployed to ensure health and safety on construction sites as well.
Needless to say, construction sites are vulnerable to criminals who, for example, steal valuable items from the site during the middle of the night. Security technologies therefore are deployed as a deterrence. Low-light IP cameras with analytics capabilities, for example, can detect criminals and wrongdoers and send alerts to contractors instantly.
Yet with COVID, security technologies are tasked with the health and safety on construction sites as well. In particular, security can help with compliance to certain health-related guidelines for those working in construction. Such guidelines have been issued by agencies from both public and private entities.
The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, for example, has issued construction site safety and health guidelines asking that construction laborers maintain at least six feet distance (about two arms’ length) between workers; maintain social distancing during breaks and when eating; avoid enclosed areas like trailers and tight/confined spaces; and wear face masks in worksites, especially when social distancing is difficult to maintain; and that the employer inform employees of their possible exposure to COVID-19 in the workplace but maintain confidentiality.

Health and safety on construction sites can get a boost from security

To better ensure compliance and monitor construction site safety, security can come in handy. For both now and post-pandemic, contractors and operators should turn to these security technologies, some of which can be leveraged from their existing systems. “Because needs and requirements can change so quickly, many building site managers are hesitant to deploy entirely new solutions that will be temporary. Fortunately, there are proven technologies that exist today that rely on devices already deployed in a construction site’s physical security system that can meet these changing needs,” said Joe Degrassi, Director of Business Development at Genetec.

Video surveillance and analytics

Video surveillance has been used on construction sites for security purposes. Now it can also play a role in detecting whether health guidelines are followed by construction laborers. “Both deployable and installed video surveillance cameras are already being used to monitor movement on a construction site for optimal mobility of vehicles and people as well as regular safety and security purposes. With the pandemic, the application of these systems has become even more diverse," said Andreas Göransson, Global Enterprise Segment Marketing Manager at Axis Communications. "By using video surveillance solutions for people counting and to measure social distancing, these systems can detect crowds that are violating social distancing regulations. Another option is to use video surveillance and apply an object attribute filter to forensically search and for example, detect face mask usage across the video to understand compliance over time and different locations."
“Our products anonymously counts people as they enter/exit a particular area, to help maintain compliance with occupancy rules. These systems can be layered together and integrated into broader health and safety programs that can create a comprehensive picture for how a given organization is following recommendations from public health officials,” said Chris Bainter, VP of Business Development at FLIR Systems.

Health screening

Health screening has become more than ever for the health and safety on construction sites. In this regard, thermal solutions can play an important role. “Thermal temperature screening solutions bring value to any workplace, including construction sites, to rapidly screen a large number of people for elevated skin temperature,” Bainter said. “By implementing this technology, employers have another tool to help ensure the health and safety of their workers. By scanning the inner canthus of the eye and having at least a 0.5 degree C accuracy, these cameras can read individual body temps nearly instantaneously while maintaining social distancing guidelines. For construction sites in particular, handheld or mobile elevated skin temperature screening devices can provide the best option.”

Contact tracing

Contact tracing built into the access control system or visitor management system will allow the contractor or operator to track workers that have come in close contact with a known infected person. “This type of forensic analysis can be extremely beneficial to organizations seeking to use technology they already have to better protect contractor, employees, visitors, and ultimately the broader community,” Degrassi said.

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