Site Security Toolbox Talk

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Reason: Insufficient security measures can lead to trespassers entering potentially hazardous areas. Leading to accidents and property damage.

Outline: This talk covers matters that require consideration when ensuring a site is secure

Some Facts

  • Over £400m worth of plant and equipment is stolen from sites every year.
  • A growing movement of thrill-seekers on social media has led to an increase in trespassing.
  • Recently a railway terminal operator was fined £6.5m after an 11-year-old boy died when he received a fatal electrical shock from an overhead line after he had gained access to their depot to retrieve his football.
  • According to research released in October 2019 by the Federation of Master Builders (FMB) 15% of builders suffer from anxiety caused by tool theft.

What does the law say?

The Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974 section 3 places duties on employers to ensure that persons other than those directly employed by the company are not exposed to risks to their health and safety.

The Construction (Design and Management) Regulations 2015 state it is a principal contractor’s responsibility to ensure good order and site security as a general requirement for construction sites.

Employer’s duties

site safety signageEmployers are required to:

  • define the boundaries of their site by means of suitable fencing and signage.
  • ensure all signage arranged so that it is readily identifiable.
  • regularly inspect temporary fencing for signs of damage, wear and tear.
  • ensure vehicles or plant on site are inaccessible to unauthorised users.
  • ensure the premises is in good condition (i.e., no fragile surfaces on roofs)
  • consider and implement additional security controls for areas of high risk i.e. deep water, excavations, changes in height.

Make sure your employees know how to stay safe within your site with our RoSPA Accredited Health and Safety Site Induction online training course! Click here for more information

Types of site security

cctv cameraThere are two types of site security, physical barriers and digital barriers.

Physical barriers:

  • Fencing
  • Lights
  • Secure storage containers

Digital barriers:

  • CCTV
  • Proximity sensors
  • GPS trackers on tools/equipment/plant

The most effective way to reduce injury to unauthorised visitors is to prevent them from entering the site in the first place. This means increased attention should be paid to the site boundary.

How can I ensure site is secure?

There are many different approaches and methods which can be implemented commonly seen are:

  • Hide, lock and take

A campaign created in Police Department in America in 1997 to prevent vehicle theft. The principals can be applied to site security.

  1. Hide things such as tools/equipment so they are not visible from anywhere outside of the site.
  2. Lock items away in suitable storage facilities i.e. containers, locked rooms.
  3. Take items away from site including keys to access the storage facilities
  • Multi-layered approach

Using this approach encourages the combination of security systems to provide a layered approach to attempts of unauthorised access.

Such as using physical security elements i.e. fencing and motion sensor lights long with digital barriers i.e. CCTV and outdoor sirens. The visual security systems can deter attempts of theft whereas the digital side can continue to protect and provide evidence if the initial physical barrier is bypassed.

There are more ways that security can be achieved on site, these can also include.

  • Planning deliveries effectively to prevent materials being left out in the open/on display
  • Securing heavy plant and machinery
  • Preventing heavy plant or machinery from being started i.e. removing batteries and keys.
  • Developing, implementing, and communicating an effective lockup procedure

Your duties

  1. Report any defects in, or damage to, security systems immediately.
  2. Report any lapses in site security you have witnessed immediately.
  3. Participate in any training or instruction provided on site security.
  4. Do not attempt to bypass or remove any security device or equipment.




  1. Why is site security important?
  2. How can you help improve site security?

Now inform your workers on the sites own specific security systems and any lockup procedures in place.

If you have any questions about the contents of this Toolbox Talk, do not hesitate to contact us – our team would be happy to help you with any queries. Find more Toolbox Talks here.