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Why does the construction sector need video analytics?

In 2019, the UK construction industry contributed £117 billion to the economy; providing 6% of the UK’s total economic output, 7% of jobs and 13% of businesses, the sector plays an important role.

This covers all kinds of building work that took place in the past year: residential and non-residential buildings, construction work on civil engineering projects, and specialist construction activities (such as plumbing and electrical installation). 

In May 2020, the UK construction industry recorded its worst slump on record. As a result of the coronavirus pandemic, 86% of construction firms reported a drop in business activity since March. With many sites closed off until it has become safe to return to work, construction site security has become more important than ever.

Remote video monitoring is a cost-effective and convenient way for construction companies to protect their sites around the clock. Karl Walters, Managing Director of Remote Watch Monitoring explains why:

“The main benefit of monitoring construction sites is partly the same as any monitoring; it is there to protect the site stock and plant, but also to ensure the site is kept safe. This also includes keeping the general public safe, as kids especially like to explore!”

False alarms, moving cameras: common monitoring issues

However, construction sites are full of things that can trigger motion sensors and security cameras to send false alarms to remote monitoring stations. This makes it extremely difficult for monitoring operators to focus on the alarms that really matter - when a crime might be taking place. 

Common false alarm triggers on construction sites include loose tarpaulin, windy weather which can blow foliage and materials around on-site and even sunny weather, which can cause reflective glare that triggers a camera. Busy roads next to construction sites can also trigger alarms, as moving cars are picked up by motion sensors. 

Another monitoring problem on construction sites is moving cameras. Often, construction workers will move cameras to get them out of the way whilst they’re working, but this does make it difficult to keep an eye on sites.

It’s important to remind people on-site that security cameras play an important role in keeping sites safe, and that it’s best to leave them in place if possible, or to move them back to their original position at the end of the day.

Intelligent video analytics: a new solution?

When it comes to reducing false alarm volumes on-site, technology is on-hand to provide a cost-effective and easy-to-implement solution. Intelligent video analytics like Calipsa’s False Alarm Filtering Platform identifies alarms containing human activity, and only lets these ones through for review. By filtering out the ‘noise’ of false alarms, monitoring operators are better able to respond to genuine security threats, as they have more time to react and a reduced workload. 

In particular, the masking function that platforms like Calipsa offer allows site managers to reduce alarms even further by tailoring what’s picked up on camera. Masking off certain known triggers, such as nearby roads, enables operators to focus on the site itself. Karl explains:

“Most of the false alarms from building sites come from loose materials. As we’re usually monitoring a site’s perimeter, with Calipsa we can quickly mask off foliage and any off-site areas to reduce false alarms.”


Want to learn about how you could make remote video monitoring on your construction sites even more effective?

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