Visitor Management for Construction Sites
At a construction site, you will find hundreds or thousands of people working together at mixing concrete and riveting steel beams to bring shape to floors, walls, and roof of a structure. In some cases, the construction involves a new building from the ground up, or the renovation of an existing structure, or in other cases, it involves the expansion of facilities. But regardless of the reason, the commonality will be that people will be working at the construction site. And during a normal construction or renovation project, several workers will be at the site, who have received some training and therefore understand the protocols of safety and security. While the construction site may appear chaotic, governing protocols bring caution and awareness that allow the smooth and seamless operation to unfold with minor incidents.
Many Visitors May Stop by for a Visit at a Construction Site
But in some cases, other people besides construction workers may visit the construction site. These people may include: consultants, community representatives, investors, students – among others. These people could visit for various reasons that may include: curiosity, education, project progress review, and some other form of involvement. Some visitors may be temporary, meaning some will visit for a few hours, and others may stop by with recurring visits. Some visitors will go to a specific area, while others will roam through the entire construction site. But regardless of their length of visit, the fact that they do not have the proper training for safety and security opens the risk to accidents. It is a fact of life, that an outsider can bring intentionally or unintentionally some form of risk to an area that it is already a high-risk area, and increase the possibility of an unfortunate event. Therefore, if people are expected to temporarily arrive, then some form of visitor management at the construction site should be required.
The Present Dangers at a Construction Site are Real
Unfortunately, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (“BLS”), released data showing numbers that in 2016 from the 5,190 worker fatalities reported, 991 were in Construction in private industry and the leading causes were: (i) falls, (ii) struck by object, (iii) electrocution, and (iv) caught-in/between. Despite these accidents, as mentioned before, construction sites can be high traffic areas with visitors from various entities such as: consultants, community members, family members, guided tours, press media, and suppliers would look around the site to preview the work in progress. Inevitably, construction sites by the very nature of their frequent layout changes can represent a hazardous place to both workers and visitors. Such unpredictable dangers may come from falling ladders, materials, tools, or heavy moving equipment. Moreover construction sites, may be defenseless from arson, theft, vandalism, and other threats that would pose a financial and legal burden on the construction project.
Policies for Construction Site Visits
With regards to visiting activity at a construction site so much can occur or not occur. Rather than handling each visiting situation with instincts which can lead to inconsistencies. It is essential to have policies specifying visitation activity (Do’s and Don’ts) and those policies would include several aspects such as visiting hours, allowed areas, and other conditions. While considering regulations requirements, say from OSHA, the following policies should be considered and implemented in some form.
Sign in at the Entrance: To improve visitor management, all visitor should enter through a common entry point where they would be greeted and briefed on safety procedures. But also, importantly ask visitors to provide proper identification to verify their identity, ask about their reason for visit, and grant or deny them access to the construction site. For example, identify what visitors need to be escorted around the site, and who is responsible for doing so. Consider the following scenario, visitors under the age of 18 are not be allowed onsite unless accompanied by an adult. The entrance is also the ideal place to make visitors aware that they are required to wear protective equipment such as steel toe shoes or goggles on the entire site, or in specific areas.
Wear Identification: The visitor management process should start at the entrance point, while signing in this would be the ideal place to issue a wearable pass to the visitor that would provide a visual indication of who they are, so that construction workers can recognize visitors and provide assistance should the need arise. For example, in the event of an emergency, supervisors should be able to gather visitors and guide them to safe locations or off the site. Likewise, by wearing a visitor pass, would provide a visual queue for protecting sensitive areas that are off limits to visitors. The visitor pass below is an actual example of a visitor pass template designed with FAST-PASS 7 and it illustrates the formatting ability to design a pass with different colors and font styles.
Specify Access to Areas: Part of visitor management at a construction site, includes specifying which areas visitors will not necessarily need access to and these should be classified as restricted areas. For example, the electrical room where power sub stations are harnessing high loads of amperes and voltage are too dangerous for an unqualify visitor to wander into. Furthermore, the policy should review and specify whether visitors are allowed to bringing cameras and small cell phones with camera functions into the construction site.
FAST-PASS 7 Visitor Management for Construction Sites
SISCO breaks ground in the Construction Industry! At a construction visiting center, the FAST-PASS 7 visitor system can issue construction visiting cards and help keep a jobsite safer by cross checking against internal watch lists specified by the organization and process visitors according to protocols. The passes can be uniquely designed for inspectors, vendors, and visitors. Moreover, the FAST-PASS 7 system can track construction crew with printed ID's that include demographics data, photo, and a barcode. Likewise, as a tracking system, the information is stored in a database and it can rapidly generate an electronic audit by retrieving the data in the form reports with charts, and they can be e-mailed to management for investigative purposes.
Emergency Evacuation: In the event of an emergency, retrieve an electronic report to know which visitors are still on site? and on what area? and then send assistance to move them to safety.
End of Visit Status: Know when visitors are still on site and when they leave your construction site.
Proper Credentialing: Issuing visitor passes would allow contructions workers and employees the ability to quickly identify unauthorized visitors, and take immediate action to report them or escort them out of the restricted area.
Erci Moisa, MBA