How to make sure your construction security guards are doing their Job

Written by LetsBuild

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A quality construction security guard is always alert and always ready to respond to identified risks. You like to think that your security guard provides the level of service needed to protect your materials and keep your construction site secure, but how can you know? The performance metrics you use to evaluate traditional contractors rarely guarantee accurate security guard assessment. Thankfully, a variety of techniques provide in-depth insight into your security guard’s performance, thereby delivering valuable peace of mind:

Occasionally arrive earlier than usual

Employees work harder when under observation or when their supervisor at least can observe them first-hand. Your security guard may perform well when you’re around, but the moment you leave, slacking off is likely to commence. Determine whether your guard is always on task, or merely when you’re in the facility; stop by earlier than usual so you can catch security professionals off guard. It’ll immediately be clear if they’ve been shirking their duties.

Stop in at night

Your security guard doesn’t anticipate an early morning arrival on your part, but a nighttime appearance is even less expected. Problematic security guards are far more likely to display unacceptable behavior when everybody else is away. By showing up between 11 pm and 3am, you establish an element of unpredictability; your security guard will no longer think he or she can get away with goofing off when you’re not around.  They never know when you may show up.

When visiting, converse with your security guard

Your nighttime or early morning visit should consist of more than a quick walk past your security guard’s post. Greet your security guard and chat briefly about the shift. Ask:

  • When was the last time the guard went on patrol?
  • When is the next patrol?
  • What has your security guard observed lately?
  • Has anything unusual happened since your law check-in?

In addition to determining your security guard’s job performance, these questions will help you identify areas in which you can improve, such as scheduling more effectively or using a better tracking system.

Look for signs of sleeping on the job

Few security guard behaviors are as dangerous or blatantly disrespectful as sleeping on the job. Play detective and watch for common signs of snoozing during night shifts:

  • Footprints on chairs — security guards may kick their feet back as they relax
  • Shirts or Jackets balled up to form a pillow
  • Missed patrols or long periods between patrols
  • Office lights turned down in the security area
  • Your security guard appears groggy or frazzled if you stop in unexpectedly

These signs are easiest to catch if you show up late at night or earlier than usual. If you arrive at your usual start time, your security guard will likely have already cleaned up after him or herself and eliminated all signs of nap-time.

Opt for a security company with a patrol tracking system

Don’t limit yourself to nighttime visits or low-quality video footage. A patrol system can grant you instant insight into your security guard’s performance. Work exclusively with a security company that utilizes an advanced tracking system, ideally a system that combines GPS and radio-frequency identification (RFID) or, better yet, near-field communication (NFC) technology. NFC constitutes a subset within the RFID family. It is prized for its superior security and peer-to-peer capabilities.

Whether you opt for a patrol tracking solution featuring RFID or NFC, you should never rely on systems exclusive to GPS, as this approach rarely works within buildings. RFID alone is also undesirable, as it cannot prove that guards are actually in the required setting. Security wand systems that lack GPS and any form of RFID are best avoided.  Patrol tracking that combines GPS and active RFID technology is the best choice.

Find Also: 10 Tips To Prevent Construction Site Theft

Install a video surveillance system

Unexpected visits may help you determine your security guard’s job performance, but this approach remains somewhat unreliable; security guards who catch wind of your arrival will immediately alter their demeanor — and return to undesirable behavior after you leave. Installing a video surveillance service allows you to act like a fly on the wall, observing your security guard’s performance when you’re not there.  Be sure to contract with a security camera company that provides professional installation like this.  Video surveillance provides the additional benefit of serving as a crime deterrent. Other benefits include:

  • Security guards can use the surveillance system as a tool.
  • Video surveillance improves overall security.
  • Surveillance reduces how often you need to show up in person to check on your security guard.

Work with a security company that performs field inspections

You can drop in at all hours of the night, but there’s no guarantee that you’ll observe anything that goes on behind the scenes. In all likelihood, you don’t understand the field enough to catch problematic behaviors, even if they occur right before your eyes. In addition to utilizing a reliable tracking system, your security company should employ qualified field supervisors, who conduct unscheduled inspections and report their findings in great detail. Field inspections will determine:

  • Whether your security guard is awake and alert.
  • Whether patrols occur consistently.
  • How security guards respond to challenges on the job.

Read the security guards’ reports (yes, read them)

Thorough reports are an integral element of your security guard’s job, but how often do you bother to read these with a critical eye? Instead of merely observing reports when something goes wrong, check them out after an average shift. Things to look for while reading reports:

  • Patrol times. If schedule patrols are always at the same time, your security guard may make up listings, which won’t correspond with tracking system reports.
  • Observations of unusual behavior, and how your security guard responded.
  • Check for locations in which your guard claims to scan. Observe for problematic patterns, such as visiting a specific area too often.

In the perfect world every security guard assigned to protecting construction sites would do a great job.  Unfortunately, there are some who provide services that are not so great.  Merely hiring a security company to provide a guard is not good enough.  It is best to follow certain steps to make sure you’re your site is as safe and secure at levels that meet or exceed your expectations.  You’ll never regret putting in the extra effort to ensure you are receiving the best service from your construction security guards.

About the Author:
Rudo Robinson is the Vice President at Trust Security Services.  Rudo has over 12 years experience within the security services industry. Trust Security Service provides fire watch, security guard and video surveillance camera services to client across the Washington DC Metro Area and Greater Baltimore Region.