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20th December, 2013

Securing Your Construction Site For Christmas Shutdown

It's that time of year again. Less than 10 days to go until Christmas and many in the construction industry are planning a well deserved break.

It's been a busy year with the industry finally picking up pace following the recession.

With many sites closed from the 20th December until the 6th of January, planning your site shut down needs to high on the list of priorities... Even if you do still have your Christmas shopping to do!

With Christmas being generally the longest period of closure for construction sites, site security needs to be a top priority to prevent any unwanted visitors.

Since every site is different, you need to assess your own site for the security risks that may be present.

For example, sites in city centres, or within occupied premises, may be at an increased risk compared to sites in low risk rural areas for problems such as trespass, theft or arson.

To reduce the risk of theft make sure you remove any highly valuable items from the site or at least remove from view. Lock vehicles and plant within a secure site compound if possible, and lock up tools and equipment within a secure storage area.

If your site is located in a built up and busy area, any problems on your site are also more likely to have a knock on effect to adjacent premises.

Having neighbours can also bring benefits. For example, if adjacent businesses will remain open throughout your shutdown period, they may be able to notice any problems, such as damaged hoarding or signs of a break in, and report them to you. This allows you to resolve any out-of-hours issues quickly.

It is also important to remember that the Christmas period can bring with it some bad weather. We have seen in recent storms the devastating effects strong winds can have on scaffolding and other temporary structures such as site fencing.

Entire scaffold structures have been ripped down in gale force winds in parts of the country.

Will your site be able to brave the storm?

You should have emergency contact numbers displayed or available should anything urgent need attending to, such as a break in or hoarding damage over the closure period.

Hopefully you are looking forward to some time off with friends and family over Christmas, and by securing your site and planning the shutdown in advance, you can give yourself a better chance of having a worry free break.

Raise awareness regarding site security with your team by downloading our toolbox talk on site security. Used as a 10 minute refresher to provide on site health and safety training to your workforce.

This article was written by Emma at HASpod. Emma has over 10 years experience in health and safety and a degree in construction management. She is NEBOSH qualified and a member of IOSH.

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