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A Comprehensive Guide to High-Rise Construction Security

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    Construction is one of the world’s riskiest businesses, with high rates of theft, loss, injury, and even death. These risks, unsurprisingly, increase when you’re talking about high-rise construction. 

    High rises range in type from residential towers, or multi-dwelling units (MDUs), to skyscrapers and everything in between. They are especially challenging to design and build. Geotechnical factors and designing around the city’s existing infrastructure can make the addition of a high-rise structure risky.

    But if the building has been designed, approved and slated for construction, a whole new host of concerns crops up related to construction site security.

    Some things to consider when securing a high-rise construction site include:

    • The sheer number of people required to cooperate in a small space
    • The abundance of dangerous materials and jobs
    • The difficulty of site security and safety
    • Heights and precarious situations
    high-rise construction

    Common risks of high-rise construction projects

    Security Risks

    According to the 2016 Equipment Theft Report, theft has historically been the most likely risk facing a job site. Theft is especially prevalent in the construction industry, for three big reasons:

    1. Construction sites are often near large populations and easy to access 
    2. Sites are left unguarded for long periods of time, especially at night
    3. They contain valuable property that’s easy to move

    Materials like lumber, metal, and wire – as well as smaller tools – are usually thieved by authorized personnel who disguise their activities by being deceptive during work hours or else who abuse their access after hours.

    Larger equipment – wheeled equipment, especially – is a common target for trespassing thieves who know how to sneak onsite and work around a vehicle’s basic safety functions.

    Theft of tools, equipment, and materials is not only common but costly. Contractors lose hundreds of thousands of dollars annually in loss by theft and vandalism. Plus the disruption can cost millions due to delayed timelines, added labor costs, insurance costs, and more.

    Safety Risks

    It’s not just security you have to worry about. Job site safety is hard to achieve in the construction business. Risk to life and limb is high on a construction site, especially with high-rise buildings. 

    Unfortunately, the safety risks you face on a high-rise construction site are almost limitless. Just a few of the top concerns include: 

    Construction is the industry with the highest number of total worker deaths, “Falls, slips, and trips” are the most common fatal event, according to a report by the Bureau of Labor Statistics, accounting for just under half of all construction worker deaths.

    Safety risks and security risks overlap, too. When your security isn’t tight enough, even just a curious trespasser could come to harm – or worse, death – from wandering onto your high-rise site. Dealing with an on-site death or injury is always financially and emotionally upsetting, but it can be much worse when you’re dealing with unauthorized personnel.

    high-rise construction

    What can I do to secure my high-rise construction site?

    There is no way to ensure a totally 100% safe and secure construction site – at least not yet. But there are many things you can do to make your construction site safer, more secure, and more productive.

    Create a Comprehensive Approach to Site Security

    What does a comprehensive approach look like? Layered site security.  Layered site security involves a site security plan that encompasses access control, security systems, perimeter strength, construction site surveillance, and more.

    Start with External Perimeter Control

    Perimeter control starts with a security assessment and establishing access points. This controls who is allowed access, and where that access happens. 

    Fencing, barbed wire, and other barriers are common options for perimeter definition. Security guards are often used to control authorized entry and exit at access points.

    Don’t Neglect Effective Internal Security

    It’s important to monitor what goes on within the perimeter of your site as well. Video surveillance is a good option for internal security. Choose a system for 24-hour security – one that allows you to monitor your worksite during the day’s activities as well as deter crime after-hours. 

    High-rise buildings pose additional security risks, with several stages of construction and several levels of security clearance overlapping in close spaces. You can also use security guards and video surveillance cameras to monitor and defend closed-off internal areas and to help with access control at different clearance levels.

    Train and Monitor Employees for Safety Adherence


    Properly training your employees in safety protocol and security measures can go a long way in making your site safer and more secure. Ensure your crews understand all building and safety equipment, and that tests are performed daily on safety equipment.

    You can also contract the services of safety professionals to train hires on safety procedures.

    Video Surveillance

    Monitoring your site with remote-monitored security cameras can also provide a valuable layer of support. The ability to keep a watch over the happenings on-site even while you’re away will help make sure that procedures are followed and standards are met.

    Talk to a Construction Security Expert Today

    Mobile video surveillance technology allows you to protect your site in a cost-effective, efficient way. You can layer this security with the services of armed security guards to get the best security possible. 
    Don’t leave your high-rise construction site unprotected – contact Mobile Video Guard to learn more about remote video monitoring and how our remote site security specialists can improve your project’s budget and timeline.


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