The Ultimate Guide to Construction Site Access Control

An overview of access control for construction sites, how to implement access control on a construction site, and the best software, systems, and hardware for your site.

Last Updated: 1-8-2024

Last Updated: 1-18-2024

Construction Access Control

What is Construction Site Access Control?

Access control on a construction site refers to the implementation of measures and protocols that regulate who can enter and exit the site, as well as what areas they are allowed to access. This is an important aspect of construction site management to ensure safety, security, and efficient operations. Access control helps prevent unauthorized individuals from entering potentially hazardous areas, reduces the risk of theft or vandalism, and ensures that only authorized personnel are present in specific work zones.

Key components of access control on a construction site include:

  • Perimeter Control: Erecting physical barriers such as fences, gates, and walls to define the boundaries of the construction site and restrict unauthorized access.
  • Identification and Verification: Issuing identification badges, cards, or wearable devices to authorized personnel. These identification methods can be used in conjunction with verification procedures such as PIN codes, biometric scans (fingerprint or retina scans), or access cards with embedded chips.
  • Entry Points: Designating specific entry and exit points where authorized individuals can gain access. These points are often monitored by security personnel or electronic systems.
  • Visitor Management: Implementing a system to track and monitor visitors to the construction site. Visitors should be required to sign in, provide identification, state their purpose for visiting, and be always accompanied by authorized personnel.
  • Access Zones: Dividing the construction site into different zones with varying levels of access. Only personnel with the appropriate authorization should be allowed to enter specific zones. For example, only trained workers should have access to hazardous areas like construction pits or areas with heavy machinery.
  • Time-Based Access: Setting restrictions on when certain personnel can access the site or specific zones. This can help ensure that work is conducted during authorized hours and deter unauthorized access during off-hours.
  • Surveillance Systems: Installing security cameras and monitoring systems to record activities on the construction site. These systems can serve as deterrents to potential trespassers and provide valuable evidence in case of incidents.
  • Security Personnel: Employing security guards or personnel who are responsible for checking identification, verifying credentials, and ensuring that only authorized individuals enter the site.
  • Remote Monitoring: Utilizing technology to remotely monitor access points and receive alerts in real-time about any unauthorized attempts to access the site.
  • Emergency Access: Implementing protocols to allow emergency responders quick access to the site in case of accidents, fires, or other emergencies.
  • Training and Awareness: Educating all personnel, including workers, contractors, and visitors, about the access control procedures, the importance of adhering to them, and the potential risks associated with unauthorized access.

Overall, effective access control on a construction site contributes to the safety of workers, protection of valuable equipment and materials, prevention of accidents, and adherence to regulatory requirements.

Considerations for Construction Site Access Control that Doesn’t Get in the Way

Construction sites are dynamic environments where various activities take place simultaneously, from heavy machinery operations to skilled labor tasks. Ensuring the safety of personnel, safeguarding valuable equipment, and maintaining a controlled work environment are paramount. This is where effective access control comes into play. In this article, we'll delve into the process of implementing construction site access control and provide valuable tips for achieving efficiency.

  • Site Assessment: Begin by evaluating the layout of your construction site. Identify entry and exit points, potential security vulnerabilities, and high-risk zones that require stricter access control.
  • Define Access Levels: Categorize personnel and visitors based on their roles and responsibilities. Assign access levels that determine which areas they can enter. For instance, heavy machinery operators might need access to specific zones, while administrative staff may require access to office areas.
  • Choose Access Control Methods: Select access control methods that don’t get in the way of workers that are supposed to be there. Choose turnstiles, doors, gate arms that work with mag locks, so workers can easily gain access with a beacon, badge or mobile pass. You can also equip guards with scan guns so there is no time spent checking people in or looking up names.
  • Visitor Management: Develop a visitor registration process. Visitors should provide identification, state their purpose, and be issued temporary access credentials. They should be accompanied by authorized personnel at all times.
  • Perimeter Security: Secure the site's perimeter with sturdy fences, gates, and barriers. Clearly mark entry points and post signage indicating that unauthorized entry is prohibited.
  • Surveillance and Monitoring: Install security cameras at entry points, exit points, and critical areas. Implement a monitoring system to track personnel movement and detect any suspicious activities.
  • Access Point Placement: Strategically position access points to streamline traffic flow and reduce congestion. Consider the convenience of workers while maintaining security.
  • Time-Based Access: Implement time-based access restrictions for certain areas or personnel categories. This ensures that construction activities adhere to authorized hours and minimizes unauthorized entry during off-hours.
  • Training and Awareness: Educate all personnel about the access control procedures, emphasizing the importance of compliance and the potential consequences of breaches. Regularly conduct refresher training sessions.

Efficiency Tips for Implementing Construction Site Access Control

  • Centralized System: Utilize a centralized access control system that integrates all access points. There is a lot of data that you can capture and use for automated headcounts and time tracking. This streamlines administration, monitoring, and reporting.
  • Emergency Protocols: Establish clear protocols for emergency situations. Emergency responders should have swift access to the site without compromising security.
  • Regular Audits: Conduct regular audits of access control logs and security measures to identify any vulnerabilities or inconsistencies.
  • Remote Monitoring: Explore remote monitoring options to keep tabs on access points in real-time, enabling quick response to any issues.
  • Collaboration with Contractors: Collaborate with contractors and subcontractors to ensure they adhere to the site's access control protocols.
  • Technology Updates: Stay abreast of technological advancements in access control systems. Upgrading to newer, more efficient systems can enhance security and ease of use.
  • Adaptability: Flexibility is key. As the construction project evolves, periodically review and adjust access control measures to align with changing requirements.

By implementing effective access control on your construction site, you are not only mitigating risks and ensuring safety but also contributing to the smooth progress of the project. Remember that the right balance between security and convenience is crucial. With a well-planned access control strategy and continuous vigilance, your construction site can become a model of safety, security, and efficiency.

How to Set Up Your Construction Site Access Control System 

Step 1: Assess Your Access Control Needs

Before implementing any access control system, assess the specific requirements of your construction site. Consider things like number of entry and exit points, the types of personnel that will need access, high-security areas, and any time-based access restrictions. Here is a list of questions that can help think about your site thoroughly:

1. What are the Entry and Exit Points?

  • Where are the main entry and exit points on the construction site?
  • Are there multiple access points that need to be controlled?
  • Are there restricted areas like the jobsite office(s)?
  • Are there hazardous areas that only certain workers should be allowed in?

2. Who Requires Access?

  • Which personnel categories need access to the site? (e.g., workers, contractors, supervisors, visitors)
  • Are there different access levels required for different personnel?

3. What Access Privileges are Needed?

  • What specific areas or zones do different personnel categories need access to?
  • Are there restricted or high-security zones that require special access authorization?

4. Are There Time Restrictions?

  • Are there specific hours during which access should be allowed or restricted?
  • Do different personnel categories have varying access times?

5. What are the Security Risks?

  • What are the potential security risks and vulnerabilities of the construction site?
  • Are there valuable assets, materials, or equipment that need protection?

6. How Will Visitors Be Managed?

  • What is the process for allowing visitors onto the construction site?
  • How will you ensure that visitors are properly identified and supervised?

7. Do You Need Real-time Monitoring?

  • Is real-time monitoring of personnel movement necessary for security and operational reasons?
  • Do you need the ability to remotely monitor access points?

8. What Type of Identification Methods Are Suitable?

  • Which identification methods are appropriate for your site?
  • Do you need a mix of identification methods for different personnel?

9. How Will Emergency Access Be Handled?

  • What procedures are in place to allow emergency responders quick access in case of accidents or incidents?
  • How can emergency access be facilitated without compromising security?

10. How Will Data Be Managed?

  • How will personnel data be collected and managed within the access control system?
  • Do you need to integrate the access control system with other systems, such as timekeeping or workforce management?

12. How Will Personnel Be Trained?

  • How will personnel be trained to use the access control system?
  • Are there resources available to educate both authorized users and visitors?

14. How Will the System Scale?

  • Can the chosen access control solution accommodate potential growth in personnel or expansion of the construction site?
  • Is the system scalable to adapt to changes in the project's scope?

That’s quite a few questions. We can help you answer every one of them that matters to you and your jobsite.

Step 2: Choose Eyrus Access Control Solutions

We, of course, recommend you choose Eyrus as a centralized software solution. Here’s why:

Eyrus supports software and hardware to provide access control and data capture at all entry, exit, and restricted areas on your site. Also, we can answer every single question from above.

Eyrus provides 4 main components you’ll need to implement Access Control on your construction site:

  1. Access Control Hardware: Turnstiles, Doors, Gate Arms, Scan Guns
  1. Access Control Readers: NFC readers that work with maglocks to unlock turnstiles, doors, gate arms.
  1. NFC and Mobile Badges: Physicial or digital badges that are distributed to workers.
  1. Access Control Software: Eyrus software powers the access control system:
  1. Authorizes entry
  1. Captures and organizes approved access and denied access.
  1. Shows all workers on site and in what areas in real time.
  1. Provides reporting of attendance, time keeping, and denied access.
  1. Bonus! Eyrus also has video monitoring available for your construction site.

Eyrus is fast becoming known for the most robust Construction Site Access Control solution available.

Step 3: Planning the Implementation

Eyrus will help you to plan Access Control on your site.

  • Site Mapping: Create a detailed map of the construction site, marking entry and exit points, high-risk zones, and areas requiring different access levels.
  • Access Levels: Define the access levels for different personnel categories, such as workers, supervisors, contractors, and visitors. Determine which zones each group can access.
  • Worker Registration and Badge Distribution: Eyrus provides an easy registration process for all workers and helps you get physical or digital badges into all registered workers' hands.

Step 4: Installation and Setup

Eyrus will come to your site and help install. Honestly, though, many customers are able to install themselves with simple instructions provided by Eyrus.

  • Hardware Installation: Install RFID readers, QR code scanners, or biometric devices at entry and exit points. Ensure they are strategically placed for maximum efficiency.
  • Software Configuration: Configure the Eyrus software to align with your access control plan. Set up access levels, define user categories, and input site-specific details.
  • Data Input: Input personnel data into the system. This includes names, roles, identification details, and access privileges.

Step 5: Training

Before fully implementing the system, Eyrus will conduct training sessions for all personnel planning to use and maintain the access control system and Eyrus Software:

Step 6: Adaptation and Enhancement

Construction sites are dynamic environments, and needs may change over time:

  • Scalability: As the project progresses Eyrus can easily accommodate more or fewer entry/exit points, more or fewer site zones, and more or fewer workers.
  • Updates and Upgrades: Stay informed about updates and enhancements to Eyrus solutions. Implement upgrades to take advantage of new features and improved security.

Setting up construction site access control with Eyrus empowers you to manage personnel movement efficiently, bolster security, and maintain a safe environment. By following these steps, you'll be well on your way to implementing a robust access control solution tailored to your construction site's unique needs.

Stronger Together: Construction Site Access Control and Video Monitoring

These days, video monitoring on construction sites can enhance access control systems, offering a lot of great outcomes:

  • Cameras can cover the full perimeter of your site.
  • Cameras can be integrated to store snapshots of people as they enter/exit any access control point on your site.
  • Cameras can handle 24/7 monitoring:
  • Cameras capture 24/7 movement, entry, and exit
  • Cameras include flood lights and speakers for security events
  • Camera system performs health check once a day
  • Cameras can be streamed to a US-based monitoring service:
  • - 24/7 monitoring service gets alert and views camera feed for verification.
    - Service connects to speaker and light to engage detected threat as needed.  
    - Service follows customizable SOP for next steps (engage site contact and/or police).
    - Service reviews every camera daily.
    - Service agents are all located in Texas.
    - UL Certified    
  • Cameras can up your access control game so you can be approved for builder’s risk and stick-build insurance policies.
  • Cameras can provide a real-time feed of construction progress to all stakeholders at any time.
  • With Eyrus, you can even see multiple projects in one place.
  • Cameras can provide timelapse videos that make owners happy and look great on websites.

Eyrus will make it easy for you to install an integrated access control and video monitoring system on your construction site.  

Here are the steps we’ll take to make your site secure and keep your site secure:

  • Consult and Create Access Control System Plan (Shown above)
  • Consult and Create Site System Layout  
  • Purchase or Lease Security Cameras Package  
  • Install System with Cellular Connectivity  
  • Introduce Site Monitoring Service Agents
  • Train Your Team on Eyrus Software Platform

Our List of Top Providers of Construction Access Control Tools

Access Control Construction Turnstile Portals, Vehicle Access, and more:

Construction Turnstiles

1) Secured by MAC, from Portable Solutions Group

Secured by MAC (Modular Access Control) offers a range of products to build your perfect access-controlled site -- built out of repurposed shipping containers. This is our number one pick for bringing access control across your site. Their ready-to-go units include:

  • Turnstile Portals
  • Office Units
  • Restroom Units
  • Guard houses
  • Vehicle Access Control (VAC)
  • Blast Resistant Modules

Their units are access control software agnostic, but of course we recommend Eyrus as your construction access control software system.

Construction Turnstiles- Modular Access Control (MAC)

2) Hayward Turnstiles. Hayward makes great turnstiles that work well with many access control solutions. They also just started making a portable turnstile (mounted on a heavy-duty steel plate) that is fully secure but can easily be moved into place with a forklift.  

https://www.haywardturnstiles.com/industries/construction-site-turnstiles/

Doors, Gates, and Roll Doors:

Any door or gate that has a mag lock system to wire an NFC system into.

Scan guns:

Eyrus will sell you one.

Construction Site Access Control Software:

What is the best Construction Site Access Control Software?  

There are a few options out there, but Eyrus is the most easily installed, most reliable, most scalable up and down, and comes with the best customer service.

Construction Site Video Monitoring:

There are great standard providers like Ring and Oxblue in the construction industry. But if you want your access control data and your videos all in the same place, you’ll have to go with Eyrus.