The COVID-19 pandemic has had a significant impact on every sector and construction is no exception, reports Cloudview.
Since the pandemic-related lockdown restrictions were imposed, the Construction Equipment Association (CEA) has reported a 50% surge in construction site crime rates.
The changing nature of work at construction sites combined with just-in-time staffing to manage spiralling costs to ensure optimum utilisation of people-power, means that different types of skilled staff are needed to carry out specific types of work on a temporary basis. In this kind of a work environment, implementing a fool-proof, robust site-access control policy and mechanism becomes extremely difficult.
With the constant turnover along with temporary and short term projects, the need to monitor multiple sites concurrently to protect expensive equipment, material and inventory places a tremendous burden on the industry, which is already reeling under the impact of the pandemic.
Even prior to the pandemic, the sector has witnessed losses of approximately £800m per year due to theft at construction sites, a fact corroborated through a survey carried out by the Chartered Institute of Building (CIOB). While 92% of respondents confirmed that they were affected by site theft, 21% reported weekly robberies at their sites. Theft or vandalism, which typically occurs at night when the site is closed and unmanned, leads to missed deadlines and, in many instances, a substantial increase in project costs due to damage and/or loss of equipment.
Additionally, as construction companies must follow stringent norms to ensure that health and safety protocols are maintained throughout the site, any unauthorised access to the site or hazardous areas represents a critical business risk that needs to be managed.
This, combined with the problem of fraudulent accident/compensation claims, means the costs and risks from construction sites are even more complicated. An immediate consequence of an increase in compensation claims is a steep rise in insurance premiums adding yet more cost to each project; the damage caused to company reputation compounds the fact the sector is facing a multitude of challenges that need to be addressed without further delay.
Implementing a CCTV surveillance system appears like a straightforward solution to address most of these concerns. However, as the site undergoes constant change, it becomes difficult to implement an effective CCTV surveillance system. And, when the construction activities are being carried out at remote locations, the quality of the network infrastructure also becomes questionable.
Cloudview: A secure and intelligent CCTV surveillance platform
As the name indicates, Cloudview stores video footage on secure cloud servers in the UK, ensuring that the footage is available anytime, anywhere to users who have the appropriate access rights and privileges. The system can be used to monitor multiple sites during unmanned hours and to capture footage as and when events occur.
As the system captures only event-based footage, it helps save valuable time as the relevant footage can be located and extracted quickly. Moreover, the system can also do the following:
1. Detect if someone is wearing the correct protective equipment
2. Detect if someone tries to access a restricted area
3. Identify specific incidents or accidents quickly and easily
4. System health monitoring service to notify users when a camera is offline and not recording
5. Send alerts to relevant personnel who can initiate corrective actions quickly
Providing legally admissible footage
From a responsible and ethical perspective, the primary objective of a surveillance camera is to collect evidence of an event and capture it for charging and prosecution in a court of law. The Cloudview platform is fully secure and GDPR-compliant and it satisfies a key objective in video surveillance – that of providing legally admissible footage.
With major developments taking place in the world of surveillance analytics, it is vital that, particularly in environments where the focus is on protection of people, footage must be accurately captured, stored, quickly accessed and be usable in a judicial environment or police investigation.
In the context of construction companies, it is imperative that they have footage that could be used to prove cases of criminal damage, sabotage and/or theft. The Cloudview platform comes with rigorous processes, audit trails and locks down the footage and makes it inaccessible to those who do not have authorisation. As a result, Cloudview customers can be assured that if they do capture the footage, it can be used in a court of law.
To learn how to implement an effective and reliable video surveillance system at your construction sites, visit: www.cloudview.com
This article was originally published in the May edition of Security Journal UK. To read your FREE digital edition, click here.