Articles & Case Studies

World’s first biometric access turnstile installed at construction site

Posted: Friday 12th September 2008

Clugston Construction Ltd has scored a world first by installing a revolutionary health & safety and time & attendance system which claims to offer enhanced worker protection coupled with substantial operating savings. The biometric Site Access Turnstile supplied by Newcastle upon Tyne based UKB International Ltd has been installed at the £50m Derwenthaugh EcoPark site in Gateshead, Tyne & Wear where Clugston is building the worlds largest steam autoclave recycling facility for client Graphite Resources.

The biometric turnstile is believed to be the worlds first secure, unmanned site access system which will provide an irrefutable record of who has accessed the site, and when. Workers, sub-contractors and suppliers who have undergone the Clugston health & safety induction are registered by having their fingerprint scanned. The biometric system identifies minutiae points on the finger which are converted to data, encrypted and stored for future comparison. No actual fingerprints are stored and the reporting data is held only by Clugston.

Once registered, workers simply scan their fingerprint to gain access to, or egress from the site. The system admits one worker at a time, thus eliminating the practice of ‘Buddy punching’, that is, clocking in by workers who have not attended the health & safety induction, or clocking in workmates who leave early or arrive late.

The multi-spectral scanner reads both fingerprint and sub dermal ridges making it impossible to ‘Spoof’ with a fake fingerprint. Both scanner and housing are extremely robust and able to operate in a wide range of temperatures while being impervious to water, dust and dirt. The scanner can read a fingerprint through grease, dirt, paint or latex gloves.

Clugston management know precisely who has worked on site and are assured that staff, sub-contractors and suppliers are health & safety compliant. In trials of the system some sub-contractors requested attendance data for their workers to enable them to invoice with pinpoint accuracy, thus avoiding lengthy disputes.

Clugston Project Manager Gary Parkinson says:

“We have specified the biometric Site Access Turnstile here at Derwenthaugh and it promises to offer substantial health & safety benefits. We know that everyone on site is aware of our safety policy and in the event of an emergency we can advise authorities if everyone has assembled at the muster point, or if workers are missing. The new biometric system means we can operate without the need for static security guards to check workers documentation”.

UKB International Sales Director Steve Barnard says:

“The construction industry has been crying out for a robust, infallible access and time & attendance system which will work with minimum maintenance in harsh environments. We are delighted that Clugston have chosen our system. While this is the first biometric turnstile designed solely for the construction industry, we have fitted the technology to industrial and commercial sites throughout the UK. One call centre operator claims the system has saved her tens of thousands of pounds a year in false wage claims. We anticipate delivering similar cost benefit in the construction sector”.

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