It’s that time of year again when we all look forward to winding down for the year, downing tools and putting our feet up for some much-needed rest and relaxation over the Christmas period. There is nothing like taking a well-earned break after a busy year so you can recharge the batteries before kicking back into gear for another year.
But before you put up your feet and crack open a cold one, it’s important to take all the necessary steps to secure your construction sites first. Not taking the time to properly secure your sites, installing temporary fencing and other security measures, for the duration of the Christmas period can leave yourself exposed to one or all of the following:
Theft and damage
Construction site security over the Christmas period is a must to prevent theft and/or damage. With many builders taking the opportunity to have a well-earned break, thieves and vandals can see an empty worksite as an opportunity to have free reign while no one is around.
Some of the most common items stolen from a construction site include:
- Raw materials such as timber and bricks
- Copper piping
- Electrical wiring
- Fixture and fittings such as tapware and electrical appliances
- Hot water systems
Basically, if it has the potential to be reused or resold then it has the potential to be stolen from your site.
Installing a temporary fence around your construction site is one of the easiest and most effective ways to deter theft and vandalism and reduce the chances of your items or materials from walking off your site.
Removing anything you don’t want taken or damaged, or hiring a security team to regularly monitor your construction site is another easy way to prevent financial loss to your site while you are on Christmas break.
Safety is another important reason to ensure your construction site security is up to scratch over the Christmas holidays. In the 2016 Christmas holiday season a teenage boy was hospitalised with neck injuries due to trespassing and becoming injured on an empty construction site and in 2014 a young boy died after wandering onto a construction site and being crushed by a concrete slab. It’s not enough to think these incidences won’t happen on your site because they can and do happen.
Not considering your construction site security leaves the public vulnerable to injury and also leaves you, the builder, exposed to liability and lawsuits associated with any accidents or injuries occurring on your construction site while you are not there.
As we have seen recently, storms can wreak havoc on homes and construction sites. Not only is it important to keep your site secure on the perimeter by installing temporary fencing but it pays to secure items within your site as well. All it takes is strong wind gusts or a violent storm cell to pick up any loose items on your construction site and send them flying. This can result in a huge amount of damage and even injury.
It’s a no-brainer to remove or lock away any valuable tools, machinery, material and equipment on your site for the duration of your down time, but it’s also vitally important to keep your site clean and free of any lightweight items that can become a weapon of mass destruction during a storm event. Timber offcuts, a half-empty packet of nails, guttering and fascia not yet installed… Any of these items have potential to cause significant damage to property and people during a storm.
If you are not sure exactly what steps you need to take in order to adequately secure your construction site for the duration of the Christmas / New Year break, SafeWork NSW have provided the following tips to help get you started:
- Ensure site perimeter fencing is secure and locked
- Erect appropriate signage, including an after-hours contact number
- Switch off power to the site
- Clear debris
- Block access to elevated floors, scaffolding, and ladders
- Store plant and equipment, tools, chemicals and dangerous goods securely
- Empty water drums
- Cover voids, pits, trenches and pier holes
- Cap all exposed reinforcement bars
A flyer created by the NSW Police also has some timely reminders and advice about how builders and homeowners can prevent theft and damage on their building site.
It’s not too late to order your temporary fencing to secure your construction sites over the Christmas / New Year period and beyond. Give Hire Rite Temporary Fence a call on: (02) 4956 9060 (Newcastle) or (02) 4311 9133(Central Coast) so we can help get your sites secure and give you peace of mind while enjoying your well-earned break.