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Benefits and considerations for construction site CCTV

March 22, 2024 — Insight

Construction CCTV

Even the most well-managed construction sites can be dangerous places where accidents happen — not to mention magnets for criminals tempted to steal or vandalise expensive equipment and building materials.

In fact, construction site theft is known to cost the industry hundreds of millions (if not billions) a year in losses, with a construction crime survey by the Chartered Institute of Building finding that 21% of respondents deal with theft every week — increasing to 92% on a weekly, monthly or annual basis.

But why?

On top of increasing demand for new and second-hand equipment and widespread supply chain disruption, there’s one factor driving the increase in construction site crime: a lack of adequate security deterrents.

For thieves and vandals, building locations present a low-risk, high-reward opportunity that’s too good to miss. The solution? It’s simple: advanced construction site surveillance.

What are the benefits of CCTV on construction sites?

Although video and audio surveillance equipment has become commonplace on most construction sites, having a state-of-the-art CCTV system might not be every site manager’s top priority considering the other logistical challenges they face.

However, with solid evidence that CCTV can reduce overall crime risk and make it easier to act if an incident occurs, effective construction site surveillance systems are a must-have.

Here’s how they can help…

Improved site visibility

The most obvious advantage of construction site CCTV is better visibility of all assets and personnel across different locations.

Not only can it help keep track of moving inventory, but it can also make it easier to identify suspicious behaviour to mitigate the risk of theft and other crimes. And thanks to remote site audits and access management, site managers can take more proactive steps to streamline production and minimise delays — often without visiting the location.

Health and safety management

According to recent Eurostat data, injuries and fatal accidents are increasing across Europe’s building sites. As such, the enhanced visibility modern CCTV provides can play a crucial role in ensuring worker health and safety.

By harnessing low-latency, high-definition video streams, building managers and contractors can run safer, more efficient sites where poor visibility doesn’t lead to unnecessary incidents. Some modern surveillance systems can even be integrated with AI-based analytics software to automatically highlight hazards and issue audio alerts to prevent accidents in real time!

Insurance against losses

Criminal prosecutors often rely on high-quality video and audio evidence to build their cases — with grainy, lagging footage rendered unusable by police and insurers during an investigation.

So, considering the prevalence of construction site crime, having an up-to-date CCTV system with the necessary storage capacity to save high-quality video and audio recordings is crucial to helping site managers and their operatives recoup their losses following an incident. Plus, having a robust surveillance architecture can help reduce insurance premiums, as most insurers will offer a reduced rate for sites with good CCTV coverage.

Crime deterrence

Having clearly marked CCTV equipment around a construction site can be a powerful deterrent against theft, trespassing, vandalism and more — making criminals think twice about going ahead with their plans due to the increased risk of being caught in the act.

Malicious actors are aware of the new capabilities of AI-powered surveillance technology — from facial recognition to automatic threat verification that triggers an emergency response. Armed with these abilities, building managers can reduce the number of physical security personnel at their sites and dispatch staff or law enforcement when and where they’re needed.

The result? Site leaders can proactively protect assets and meet duty of care requirements to ensure compliant, cost-efficient sites with enhanced worker safety.

When is it time to upgrade your surveillance system?

For any site managers wondering whether their existing surveillance solution is resilient enough to act as an effective crime deterrent and operational aid, there are a few key factors to consider.

Firstly, remote monitoring and system access are a need more than a want these days. These functions enable operators to view sites in even the most isolated locations whilst on the move, helping them better protect people and equipment. Plus, with remote system access, monitoring device health and updating critical firmware is easier than ever — saving time and money in the long term.

Additionally, if any cameras or equipment have been tampered with, degraded by the elements or compromised by a cyber attack, they could become a gaping security vulnerability. So, construction security managers should ensure they have an IP66-rated system that’s robust against damage and corruption.

It’s also important to note that investing in an IP-based system will be essential for UK construction managers using analogue cameras and PSTN lines. Openreach’s PSTN switch-off deadline is December 2025, after which traditional analogue hardware will no longer be able to communicate with the internet.

Fortunately, IP-based CCTV offers construction managers a range of advantages — from advanced video analytics to scalability and cloud access. However, for sites that don’t have the wireless capabilities or cabling infrastructure to support IP devices and streaming codecs, these opportunities might seem inaccessible.

That’s where Digital Barriers comes in. Our real-time video solutions work over cellular networks, allowing operators to monitor their assets and react quickly to incidents at all times whilst controlling the cost of video security deployments.

So, if you’re ready to embrace the latest construction site CCTV solutions and streamline your operations, don’t hesitate to get in touch.

Contact Digital Barriers at 020 3553 5888 to discover our construction security solutions.