Securing the Outdoor Construction Site

by Mark Rowe

Author: Kevin Wright Carney

ISBN No: 97801-28023839

Review date: 23/02/2024

No of pages: 274

Publisher: Butterworth Heinemann

Publisher URL:

Year of publication: 13/11/2015


Securing Outdoor Construction Site: Strategy, Prevention, and Mitigation by Kevin Wright Carney


£31.44 (online)

While as important a place as anywhere to be secured, it doesn’t carry the glamour of the finished building, let alone a building with a profile such as a casino or a hotel. There’s more to ‘Securing the Outdoor Construction Site’ than meets the eye, just as there is to the Californian author of the guide.

Scuba diver, collector of water turtles, author of a thriller about the Titanic, what brings Keith Wright Carney to building sites?! We’ll get to that – to adopt the writing style of a thriller – but right away Carney makes the acute point that there’s more to a theft from a construction site of the loss of the goods, whether building material (batteries, cables, anything it seems) or machinery; to the people doing the building, theft means lost time – and that can mean missed deadlines and a cost in money and reputation. He’s got an endearing way of mixing anecdotes and advice (he’s against fitting dummy CCTV cameras for instance, as ever real cameras ‘do little to deter crime’, he says). Nor does he place his faith in technology: “All security devices should be used in convergence with live security personnel.” That said, he is not against use of cameras – he gives a neat story that shows how video can explain when something goes missing, that it’s not stolen but merely shifted somewhere else, which can mean a saving. Rather, he argues that good lighting (’light is the enemy of thieves’) is a must at your site by night.

Much of his wise advice applies to security management in any field, not just on dusty, muddy or remote building sites. Meet with others to have security considered at proposal stage. At staff hiring, do background checks and pick the phone up to check references. Do a site survey – and as Carney points out, this is from a visit (maybe at night too) or a construction plan, to secure something that’s not yet there. Take lots of digital photos as an aid to Crime Prevention Through Environmental Design (CPTED), and to show the security needs. Don’t be lulled into a false sense of security; unpopulated places can suffer loss also.

If you are new to the field, you might want to turn towards the back for the chapter of checklists (’I am a list maker. That’s just the way my Irish brain works’). Worksheets, plus digital photography, helps you to plan and not forget something important. While an American author, and many of his statistics are for the United States, Carney does list international law enforcers, insurers and such services as the UK’s National Plant and Equipment Register, for the recovery of stolen heavy equipment.

To sum up, Carney – now a consultant after a career in law enforcement in Los Angeles – is an advocate of doing things professionally – having a plan, whether for storage of materials, or access control; and of being a member of the security profession as a member of ASIS.


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