4 Ways Construction Temporary Fencing Saves Lives

One out of every five work-related accidents—and 20% of workplace fatalities—happen on construction sites. That’s not surprising when you consider the nature of construction work. Crew members may forget safety equipment, falls can be common, and heavy equipment abounds on jobsites. Construction safety is a top priority for jobsite managers. As any jobsite manager knows, accidents are emotionally devastating as well as financially costly. As you seek to protect the safety of your workers, temporary fencing is a vital tool. Here are four ways construction temporary fencing can add to the safety of your jobsite and protect crew members from unnecessary risks.

Section off electrocution risks

Electrocutions are among the top four most deadly problems on construction sites. Out of 971 total construction-related deaths in 2017 (the most recent data available), 7%, were due to electrocution. While crew members often need access to electrical equipment and tools, not everyone needs unrestricted access. To protect all crew members, it’s a good idea to add temporary fencing around any electrical elements—even your generator. Even if it seems like too much, it’s better to have too much protection than too little. Also consider temporary fencing around overhead power line equipment or underground electrical lines. This adds an additional level of safety around live wires and electrical units.

Fence around fall hazards

The vast majority of construction site deaths are due to falls. Out of the 971 deaths mentioned previously, a total of 781, or 39.2%, were due to falls. Proper use of safety equipment is the first line of defense when preventing falls, but temporary fencing also helps. And perimeter protection is especially important, because it keeps construction workers and equipment operators away from dangerous edges. Keep in mind some ledges may not be fully visible, especially for equipment operators, so you’ll need some kind of fencing to indicate perimeters and prevent heavy equipment or crew members from tumbling over ledges.

Fencing around trenches

“Caught in between” accidents include injuries or deaths that happen when workers are crushed under collapsing structures, in between equipment, or under equipment or supplies placed in a trench. These accounted for 50, or 5.1%, of fatal accidents. In addition to proper safety measures, you can reduce the risk of these accidents by putting fences around trenches. This will keep crew members from entering a trench or falling in, where they are at risk for getting caught in between the trench and equipment. Any trench or other excavated area five feet or deeper is a risk, so analyze the work area and use temporary fencing appropriately.

Large equipment dangers

“Struck by” accidents are the last of the most dangerous accidents on construction sites. These account for 8.2% of the total number of accidents, and they occur when workers are struck by large equipment. Crew members can reduce personal risk by wearing bright vests or reflective clothing, but sometimes temporary fencing helps as well. Use fencing to section off areas where large equipment is used and include security gates to prevent non-essential crew members from inadvertently getting in the way of equipment. Taking this precaution can help reduce the risk of “struck by” injuries and fatalities.

Temporary fencing protects everyone

There’s more to protecting a jobsite than only protecting crew members. Overall perimeter protection with temporary fencing also keeps non-workers off the site. This protects the construction company from risks when curious onlookers access the site without permission. Keeping the public out removes the risk they’ll fall or be crushed while wandering the jobsite.

Construction sites are, by their nature, dangerous places. While it’s not possible to remove all potential risks, construction temporary fencing can reduce risks significantly. When used as part of an overall construction safety plan, temporary fencing is a wise investment and helps protect workers and the general public.

To find out more about your temporary fencing options, and to schedule temporary fencing for your construction job site, give us a call for a free quote. We’ve been helping construction companies bundle their temporary site services—from fencing to portable toilets to dumpsters, storage, and office trailers—since 2009. We’ve got your jobsite covered.

How to Protect Against Construction Job Site Theft

In the construction industry, job site theft is a serious problem. High-value equipment and materials combined with unsecured locations are tempting to thieves. This is especially true if the job site is in a remote location. The National Equipment Register estimates the cost of equipment theft each year falls between $300 million and $1 billion. And companies that have equipment stolen only recover it around 22 percent of the time, so these losses are usually permanent. In addition to monetary loss, stolen equipment causes your project to come to a screeching halt. You can’t work without your gear, and this sets you behind on your deadlines. So, how do you protect against construction job site theft?

It helps to remember job site theft is a “theft of opportunity.” Thieves look for opportunities that are easy and fast. Make the opportunity less enticing, and you’ll reduce the risk. These five tips will help you protect your job site.

1. Install quality temporary fencing

A barrier between your job site and the rest of the community is your first line of defense. The right temporary fencing creates a barrier that makes it nearly impossible to remove large equipment from the job site. Choose options like barbed wire or a pounded post chain link fence. These deterrents make it harder to move the fencing. When a potential thief sees fencing in place, he already thinks twice about entering the job site and will move on to an easier target.

2. Use lockable construction storage containers

A fence is a first line of defense, but you can do more to make your job site secure. Add lockable, weatherproof construction storage containers for additional security. Insist all tools and valuable materials are stored inside at the end of the day. You can also store large equipment and electronics inside. Doing so protects your equipment and materials from theft and from the elements. Should a thief get across your fence, or a rainstorm hits during your downtime, your most critical items are still safe.

3. Keep it lit

Hiding under the cover of darkness is important to thieves. Keep your space well-lit to deter potential crime. Security lighting that stays on all night is helpful in keeping your space protected, but that can be expensive and not energy efficient. To save on energy, use motion detector lights that only turn on when someone approaches. Also make sure the lighting illuminates the entire job site, or at least any areas where equipment and materials are stored. Eliminate as many shadowy areas as possible, and thieves will go looking for a less-lit target.

4. Set an alarm

Job site theft risk drops significantly when you install an alarm system. If a thief enters your construction job site and hears an alarm, he will run. Alarms also alert those around your job site to the theft, so help can get to the site more quickly. Alarm systems may have flashing lights and other deterrents as well as audio alarms. With most systems, you can set mobile alerts to keep you in the loop when problems happen.

5. Invest in surveillance

Visible surveillance cameras make thieves think twice about entering your job site. They also provide photo and video evidence of any thieves who do steal from you. This increases the chance you will recover your property. It’s not enough to just buy a dummy camera, although that’s an option. Installing a full video surveillance system is relatively inexpensive compared to the cost of a major job site theft.

And one bonus tip: If you know your job site is going to house a lot of expensive equipment and materials, consider investing in a security company. Nothing quite beats a human security guard patrolling the area. On-site security prevents theft, and it also helps prevent illegal dumping and other illicit activities on the property.

Securing a job site against theft requires some thought and action, but it’s a job worth doing. ZTERS offers construction fencing and storage container rentals, and we can help you decide on the right products and services to help protect your job site. We’ve been providing construction site services to companies for more than a decade, and we work with thousands of vendors nationwide. Give us a call to find out how we can help.

waste advice from ZTERS

Ask Angela: What goes into temporary fencing rental fees?

Angela Phillips is a Senior Account Manager III at ZTERS Site Solutions. She helps customers with some of their most challenging site service issues, and she answers your questions here on our website.

Hi, Angela. I was pricing temporary fencing for a construction project. It seems like fencing rental is priced kind of high, in my opinion. Can’t you just put up a few panels and call it a day? Why is temporary fencing so expensive?

Angela: Thanks for asking this question. A lot of people don’t understand everything that goes into installing temporary fencing. Fencing rentals can be expensive for a number of reasons, including (but not limited to):

  • Labor costs—it takes time to load fencing on a truck, drive to a location, set up, break down, and then, of course, there’s removal and offloading it at the yard.

Depending on the length of fencing, a crew of at least two to six installers, on average, is needed for any site. These installers are paid an hourly wage for drive time and the time it takes to actually install the fencing.

Prevailing wage (or government jobs) in most states are higher than installers would typically make elsewhere. And when installers do these jobs, they have to be paid according to a prevailing wage pay standard.

Most places have a minimum dollar amount, which means the installers get paid a set minimum amount for any job. They receive that set rate even if a project comes in at less than that minimum amount.

Additional fees for fencing often include:

  • Hand carry fee—this is a per-panel cost for sites where the installers have to carry panel fencing more than four to six feet. This usually happens when they can’t get the truck closer to the designated fence line.
  • Damages—this fee can be as small as a few dollars for a missing or broken part, or as large as a few hundred dollars if a fence panel has to be replaced. It depends on the damage done to the fence. Ask your broker or hauler for a list of damage fees when you’re ordering your fencing.

Screening is also an additional cost, and there are situations where screening isn’t recommended. This is another place where it’s useful to ask your broker whether screening is really necessary for your project. Sometimes it adds an extra layer of security. Other times it can be left off.

At ZTERS, we offer a six-month minimum rental. Fencing can be removed at any time, but typically with any temporary fencing the initial rental will be six months. Yes, there are exceptions to this rule, but it is on a site-by-site basis. We help you calculate how long you’ll need your fencing, and we work to find fencing that fits your budget.

One other note about fencing: military discounts. While we don’t offer a military discount, per se, we do work with local vendors to make sure that temporary fencing for military installments are as convenient and cost effective as possible. We know sometimes these projects can be a big challenge, so if you need temporary fencing for a military project, give us a call and we’ll see what we can do.

I hope that answered your question about the cost of renting temporary fencing. If you ever need help or have more questions, give us a call! We’re glad to help.

What to Know About the Types of Temporary Fence Rentals

Installing a fence is a costly and labor-intensive project, and you don’t need long-term fencing for construction sites or events. Temporary fence rentals give you the option to place fencing temporarily, provide a solid barrier, and protect your site without a permanent fence structure. Not sure what options are available with fencing rentals? Here’s a closer look at when you’ll need temporary fencing and the types you can rent.

When do you need to rent fencing?

On construction sites and at festivals, safety is usually your top concern. And temporary fencing is a critical component to your safety plan. In fact, it is considered so important to the safety of a construction site, that fencing is required under state and federal laws. It also helps minimize your liability, and your insurance costs, if an accident occurs.

Temporary fencing also helps with outdoor events. Rent event fencing to set up parameters for the event to ensure only paid or invited guests participate. It also helps with crowd control. Not only does it keep people in safe areas, but temporary fencing can set apart VIP areas, keep restrooms more secluded, or to protect talent from excited fans.

Will you have alcohol at your event? Local and state ordinances may require you to fence off areas where alcohol is served. Be sure to check regulations and get the proper fencing.

Types of temporary fencing

Temporary fencing comes in several different varieties to meet a range of needs. Before renting temporary fencing, determine your needs and goals for the fencing. Do you just need a visual barrier, or are you looking for more safety and security to keep out intruders? Here are the most common types of temporary fencing to consider:

Fencing panels

Add the benefit of a chain-link fence without the installation hassle by renting fencing panels. The panels resemble chain link fencing and are typically made from durable steel in 10- and 12-foot widths. They come in heights of 4, 6, and 8 feet to accommodate your specific site needs. These fencing panels create a tall barrier that is difficult to pass. And you can add sandbags, privacy screens, and gates to improve the function and durability of the fence while it is set up. This is the most common type of construction temporary fencing.

Barricades

Barricades are lighter weight and shorter than fence panels, which makes them easier to maneuver into place. Plus, they’re made of strong, galvanized steel. Their strength stands up to aggressive crowds when needed, yet they’re relatively lightweight. Barricades are sometimes also called “bike fencing” because you can also use them as temporary bike racks. Temporary barricades are easy to hook together to create the boundary you need. This means you can easily set them up and take them down, even for one-day events. Use them to establish boundaries for races, concerts, and similar events where spectators need to be able to see while still staying away from the action.

Orange fencing

For areas where heavy machinery or other dangerous tools may be in use, temporary orange fencing is a strong plastic mesh that warns people to stay out of the area. Check local ordinances. You may be able to use orange fencing versus fencing panels as a lightweight alternative. If you have a large or complex site, may want to use both. Either way, make sure your crew and others are safely away from construction danger zones.

Need orange fencing as an add-on to your other site services like portable toilets, portable offices and storage containers? We can get that delivered for you.

No matter which temporary fencing you choose, it will improve the safety and security of your construction site or event. Renting temporary fencing instead of buying it allows you to keep your costs down, because you only pay for the fencing you need as you are using it. Call us to schedule fencing for your project, and we can help you decide on the type and amount you’ll need.