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Construction Site Security – Whose Responsibility?

Why worry about construction site security?! You’ve got your building permit, your highways access permit (if required), your sewer or septic permit, your proof of potable water and supply, your electrical permit, your plumbing and heating permits and your engineered roof plans and whatever else you may require engineered plans for (landscaping? new architectural designs…?etc). What are you worried for – you’re building it yourself! Or, maybe your builder is building it for you. So what’s the big deal?

The question however, remains. What about construction site security? What happens if you’re off-site, no one is there, and some kid goes onto the site and gets hurt? What kind of security have you put in place to try to discourage on site trespassers? In many areas, nothing is required mandatory by the local authorities.

A good example is Edmonton. You can go to virtually any construction site and walk onto it without any barriers or signage warning you against the dangers or warning you not to trespass. Anyone from child to adult can go fall into a hole dug for a basement that has been left open for weeks.

Other areas are more cognizant of the risks and require the builder or the owner or both to secure the construction site as a condition of their building permit approval. For example, some places will require you to put up chain link fencing and very visible signage that trespassers will be prosecuted and anyone entering does so at their own risk. For larger projects, some jurisdictions even require that a full-time security guard be hired and that someone be on duty around the clock.

Construction Site Security   Whose Responsibility?

This step is in addition to proper liability insurance during the construction process.

Protect your investment, make certain you and/or your builder have adequate liability insurance coverage (talk to your insurance agent) and enquire with your local authorities as to their requirements. If your local authority doesn’t have any pertinent guidelines or requirements, it wouldn’t hurt to ensure construction site security by fencing in your construction area.

If your builder doesn’t have any construction site security of any kind, why not request it? If they shrug it off as unimportant, contact your legal counsel and request that they address this issue for you AND GET IT IN WRITING.

At the very least make sure in your contract with your builder that it spells out who is liable if something should happen to someone while your builder is building your home for you. This is not a surprise you want to find out later!

Be safe, be sure and make certain it is clear!