When it comes to site access control, there seems to be a lot of options available and to some, it may be confusing as some may not know anything about these new access solutions, so sometimes the best options are overlooked simply because they might be lesser-known.
The access control turnstile is a security system that is frequently overlooked. Yet, with numerous benefits, including:
- Restricting unauthorised access
- Monitoring contractor time on site
- Providing facial recognition capabilities
- Reducing contact to facilitate access to construction sites
You should ask yourself; can I afford not to consider one? Read on to find out more about turnstiles and how they can benefit your construction site…
What Are Access Control Turnstiles and Why Are They Used?
Security turnstiles are used to restrict and monitor pedestrian traffic with entry and exit points into and out of building sites. These sturdy steel turnstile pods, with integral turnstile gates which rotate, are also designed to resist the harsh atmosphere of building sites.
Each day, a typical construction site will welcome anything from ten to a few hundred workers at any one time, with this number fluctuating during a project.
As a result, it’s practically difficult to keep track of everyone, which is why construction sites are prone to unauthorised access, contractor ID fraud, false requests for hours worked and material theft.
Site Access Control: Saving Time
Successful construction managers are saving time, reducing costs and improving health and safety by using access control. construction site access control is proven to actively assist day to day site management.
Site managers can save time by using, pre-enrolment software – reducing site admin time, as new staff can pre-enrol on an app in their own time.
Staff can also pre introduce themselves with the app, removing the need for repetitive tasks. This is done by allowing staff to simply upload information into an interactive portal so that new contractors can complete the induction online, which is emailed directly to a nominated inbox, as a signed PDF. Further savings can be made as costly gate staff aren’t necessary and only authorised users will be granted access.
The software enables the management of contractors’ site hours, and when using the powerful time and attendance software, site managers can check workers’ actual hours against their claimed or invoiced hours. We will explore this further in the blog.
Health and safety Is improved
The software will manage contractor’s certification, by enabling reminders to be set to check staff certificates and qualifications in the database software, ensuring site exclusion on expiry.
Most importantly, it is possible to automate fire evacuation and automatically create a fire muster report from the database whilst ensuring the fire exit automatically permits egress.
Theft On Construction Sites Is Not Just an External Issue
Those of us who have spent time on construction sites know that theft isn’t limited to closed periods when thieves try to gain get access to a site, by breaking in.
Many construction thefts are conducted by employees and subcontractors. To put it another way, you can secure the building site for closed periods with CCTV or maybe security guards, but that may not prevent theft from occurring during the day.
Theft by employees and subcontractors can be prevented with full height turnstiles by restricting egress, enabling gates to be kept closed and forcing everybody to access the site via the access control turnstile.
Employees and subcontractors may also be deterred by the presence of turnstiles on construction sites, knowing that they cannot take large bulky out items through the turnstile, especially if integrated with a CCTV system.
Turnstiles for access control are no exception to the trend of technological advancement. Site managers who may have previously thought of them as “added luxury” are now realising that they are a requirement.
It’s important to know who’s coming in and out of your building, especially when you have expensive equipment and materials on the site.
Turnstiles are a highly efficient security measure, as they only allow access for authorised staff or visitors and they also act as a visual deterrent for anyone attempting to gain unauthorised access to your construction site.
Turnstile Security: Proximity Access
Proximity card access control although an older technology, have seen a resurgence in popularity due to the pandemic and the need for contact-free access control. This method requires the issuing of a proximity card or token to an authorised contractor, who will on entry be required to hold the card or token in the proximity of the reader to gain access, a simple way to reduce entry contact.
Biometric access control although still a very popular medium for granting access to authorised users, because of the contact required when the individual user’s fingerprint is read and the potential for the reader to hold a lot of germs, has seen its popularity reduce, in favour of facial recognition and proximity access which work better when trying to manage the virus.
With the evolution of face recognition technology, turnstile gates used at construction site entry points are now being operated by simply presenting your face at the biometric facial recognition station.
With this technology, you can continue to effectively manage individuals that come and go to a construction site, but with reduced contact. This is an important advancement because faces cannot be stolen or misplaced in the same way that a token or card can.
Interestingly a 2D image of someone will be rejected by the software, because of the complex algorithm that the technology uses when recognising a face. The software is so advanced that it stores unique facial traits and measurements, in the database and only lets individuals in if they meet the system’s criteria. In other words, there will be no unauthorised access or misidentification.
Some facial recognition cameras can recognise your face even if you’re wearing a mask or face covering, which is a crucial feature to keep in mind as we continue to fight the virus’s lingering effects.
Can Turnstiles Replace Security Guards?
COVID-19 has forced us all to think differently in many ways, and this has paved the way for contactless technologies and thermal imaging software to aid in the management of the virus’s spread in a far more effective and efficient manner than any person could.
Security guards on construction sites are frequently used as ‘gatemen,’ monitoring entrances in and out of the site with a clipboard and pen. Is this, however, the most efficient use of their time?
Not only does this expose your site to human error (due to severe weather, on-site chit-chat, etc. ), but most importantly it drives up labour costs. With turnstiles, the likelihood of human error is lowered. Here’s are some of the benefits of turnstiles…
Software For Pre-Enrolment and Induction
We’ve touched on this earlier, however, pre-enrolment functionality is a significant advantage of modern-day turnstiles. Workers can complete a pre-enrolment contact form in their own time before arriving on-site, using an app that they can access on their smartphone or tablet. They can quickly enrol, filling all their details into the system, which is user-definable and can include their image, qualifications and CSCS card validity if necessary.
Site inductions can take up a considerable amount of time, so using the induction software will enable us to upload your induction to our application, which again can be delivered to the site worker remotely on his smartphone, tablet or PC, a pre-determined dwell time will prevent the document being skipped through and on completion the document will be delivered, signed to a nominated email in a PDF format. The advance in technology is proven to increase on-site productivity and save you valuable time and money.
Software For Time and Attendance
Time and attendance software nowadays does a lot more than just inform you who’s clocked in and out. It can also assist you in calculating hours worked by individuals or by companies, which can be cross-referenced against submitted invoices for labour. The advantages are obvious when the report gives accurate details of how many hours were actually worked on-site, as opposed to time spent may be sitting in the van, on extended lunch breaks.
The software will assist you to find much-needed productivity benefits. This means you can determine which contractors are effective and the ones that are squandering your time, maybe putting your project behind schedule? Having this advanced information allows you to make necessary adjustments to improve the efficiency of your construction site.
What is Anti Passback?
This unique feature means that if an authorised user has entered the site but has tried to evade the software by leaving via a goods entrance or other uncontrolled exit, to maybe leave the site to work somewhere else or do other non-work-related tasks in their van.
On re-entry, as they haven’t technically left the site and as the software thinks that they are still on-site, when they try to regain access, they will be refused entry, creating an alert that will have to clear down and can be investigated by the site manager or software administrator. Secure Site UK turnstiles are fitted with an anti ‘pass-back’, as standard helping improve worker efficiency.
For Your Construction Site: Health & Safety, Fire & Emergency
It goes without saying that you will ensure safe practices on-site, in the event of a fire breaking out, with instant reporting generated by either a manual alert or fire alarm integration, on receipt of the signal, the turnstile will then put the gate into free swing. This means that people can leave without being trapped inside the construction site.
At the same time, the system will also create a muster report immediately identifying everybody who was on-site at the time of the fire condition, enabling you to comply with fire safety regulations and providing the information that you will need for the emergency services on their arrival.
Everyone takes fire safety very seriously and in a recent report that was highlighted as “deeply disturbing” some practices when commenting on the sharp rise in the number of fires on construction sites since 2015.
Thermal Imagery Turnstiles
Covid-19 has required temperature testing to become commonplace in many businesses, and the built-in features of some turnstiles mean you won’t have to hire someone to stand at a site’s entry checking people’s temperatures, although this is now abating as the covid regulations reduce, the technology is still there if needed.
In Financial Terms, How Does This Look?
Access control is, of course, not without cost, but when compared with the alternative, such as gate staff or security staff managing your site’s access points and the associated cost is vastly more expensive and maybe their skills may be better suited in other areas on the site.
Factor in the cost savings from utilising pre-enrolment, pre-induction, automated access, not to mention the obvious benefits of time-and-attendance software. You will make saving over manual methods and systems like manual clocking in etc, which can frequently lead to erroneous time reporting, administrative errors, and higher labour costs.
Instead, you can make this process easier for both employees and managers, resulting in a more productive construction site.
Renting And Purchasing Turnstiles
The cost of investing in a new security turnstile system can be reduced and purchase is not the only option, it can be made more affordable, by either renting or leasing.
For shorter terms renting makes it easier and less expensive with lower payments over the term of the contract, alternatively for longer contracts leasing is a tax-efficient way of introducing access control to the site and can work well if you want to move the turnstile pod from site to site. Lease purchase enables you to be able own the system at the term with a purchase option.
What Are the Different Turnstile Systems Out There?
Understanding the need for flexibility Secure Site UK has developed a range of space saver access control pods, including the UK’s smallest footprint biometric turnstile pod, which has a 2.5msq footprint and enables you to make your first saving with the efficiency of space.
Here are the different turnstiles available…
Biometric Turnstile Pod
- The Biometric Turnstile Pod is a full time and attendance reporting, with a complete contractor database, hours and data for payroll and the ability to see who’s on-site at any one time
- Quick enrolment based on qualifications and CSCS card validity
- Muster report is immediately available to enable construction site managers or emergency services to quickly account for all operatives
- The software can link to your CCTV system to provide video evidence of an access control event
- Anti-slip flooring, internal PIR operated lights and fully lockable solid steel roller doors for out-of-hours security for your building site
- Optional intercom system to the main site office for granting visitor access
Inline Biometric Turnstile
- The Inline Biometric Turnstile is a space-saving, 1.76sqm footprint, full-height metal turnstile, that fits any construction site
- Fingerprint/card reader or face recognition and temp options (if fitted internally)
- Software controls contractor access and creates H&S and T&A reporting
- Enrolment reader included for a site office and full training provided
- FOC online pre-enrolment and induction portal, for up to 50,000 contractors or construction site team
Facial Recognition Turnstile Pod
- The Facial Recognition Turnstile Pod is an external turnstile pod with facial recognition readers on entry and exit
- Optional thermal camera for a temperature check, preventing entry if the temperature is high
- 100% contactless to meet all H&S / Covid requirements
- Incorporates full-height, metal, bi-directional turnstile
- Supplied PC pre-loaded with software for access control, H&S and T&A reporting
- The vandal-proof, lockable metal pod can be customised with corporate branding
Biometric turnstiles create a much more effective and streamlined signing in and clocking out process for individuals entering and leaving a construction site.
Therefore, by maximising access control provisions on your construction site, you’ll be able to have a more efficient workforce, lower the danger of unauthorised entry, theft, and damage, and save money in the long term.
If you want to find out more about access control turnstile security and how they can help you, don’t hesitate to get in touch.