Beware of crane climbers!

Beware of crane climbers!

Kai Stok, founder of Stok K9 Security Services, explains how to deter dangerous crane climbers from your site.

Crane climbing is an intrinsically dangerous trend for thrill seekers that’s rising in popularity. As more climbers than ever sneak onto large cranes, posting infamous photos on social media to capture the interest of onlookers, they are endangering not only their own lives but the wellbeing of site employees, expensive equipment and business’ reputations. Their disregard for site safety poses an ongoing risk to projects across the country and this has only become more prominent amidst COVID-19.

As adrenaline junkies continue to explore novel ways by which they can push boundaries and ultimately shock their audiences, incidents of crane climbing have become increasingly frequent over recent years – an outcome that certainly hasn’t been welcomed by the construction industry. However, its popularity has now reached new heights amid the Coronavirus pandemic; with many workers being placed on furlough, a higher number of climbers are able to pursue their interests on a regular basis. Crane climbers have always had the potential to irreparably damage a project, however their presence is now somewhat incessant.

In an effort to better secure their sites both throughout the COVID-19 pandemic and beyond, businesses have subsequently found themselves re-evaluating their security strategies. As they hope to oversee faultless, risk-free projects during this period of wider uncertainty, these strategies must, of course, consider and integrate the threat of crane climbers. The cost of an incident on site, should a climber injure themselves, can cost developers millions, casting a shadow over their reputation for years to come. This is a priority that can’t be ignored.

If you’re yet to encounter crane climbers, or if incidents on your site have shown that you’re falling short, then the prospect of perfecting a security strategy can feel a little confusing. With that in mind, there are three services you ought to consider:

CCTV creates the foundation of any strong security strategy. Monitoring your site and any possible trespassers, it allows you to obtain invaluable footage of criminality on site. Using this footage, you can work with authorities to trace culprits and establish their access points, better protecting your site in the long-term.

However, to ensure that your security measures are forward-thinking and efficient it’s important to consider how CCTV software has adapted as of late. There is always new technology available on the market, designed in response to your needs. It’s important that you monitor these new developments, harnessing any products that can better protect your site and employees. For example, is your CCTV system connected via the internet to a secure monitoring station? At Stok K9 Security Services our clients’ footage is streamed directly to security personnel either 24/7 or during selected hours (for example when the property is vacant). This allows us to provide the best possible view as cameras are re-aligned, zoomed or an alternative viewpoint is selected. Using our state-of-the-art software, we draw digital barriers in and around your chosen areas which trigger immediate alerts to our control room. CCTV needn’t only be a deterrent; it can be a live-action tool to stop climbers in their tracks.

Manned guarding
CCTV is undoubtedly a powerful tool but this does not always deter more resolute crane climbers. In the hope that CCTV is non-operational, some may continue with their efforts to access your cranes. In this instance, the presence of manned guards is proven to be an incredibly effective measure.

I would recommend having manned guards on site to solidify your pro-active approach to site security. Their authoritative presence shows that you’re committed to preventing life-threatening activities like crane climbing. More specifically, I would advise hiring SIA licensed officers who have been vetted in accordance with BS7858. Uniformed staff on your premises will minimise anti-social behaviour, whilst rigorous recruiting processes mean that you can trust the experts protecting your assets on the ground.

Dog handlers
The Coronavirus pandemic has left all of us worrying for the future of the construction industry. Profitable sites now need to be protected more stringently as we navigate the uncertain waters that we’ve found ourselves in; if we hope to safeguard our employees’ jobs, important equipment and our all-important timelines then must take all the steps that we can to shield our sites.

CCTV cameras and on-site manned guards are effective ways of deterring and addressing crane climbers. However, if you want to go further in your efforts to protect your site then I would recommend utilising dog handlers. The proficiency of these experts is all-too-often overlooked. In reality, dogs are equipped with a unique and incomparable sense of smell whilst their training and natural instincts make dogs hyper-vigilant and driven. For example, our security dog handlers are highly trained in line with British standards, are SIA Licensed and operate in line with the Guard Dogs Act 1975 and Dangerous Dog Act 1991. Meanwhile, our uniformed handlers drive marked vehicles on site. If anything promises to reliably deter crane climbers, it’s a possible encounter with trained dog security guards.

To find out more about the services we offer at Stok K9 Security Services click here

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