Why Installation and Maintenance is Crucial to Physical Perimeter Protection in the Energy Sector

Find this article interesting or useful? Then you may want to visit IFSEC International 2015 , which features talks and products around these topics Register to visit IFSEC International 2015 now When: 16-18 June 2015 Where: ExCeL, London Companies operating in the utilities market (including production, processing, distribution and supply) face the risk of potential security breaches, which could have significant implications on public safety and / or service availability. To date the UK utilities industry has not experienced a major security violation, but there have been a series of incidents, which highlight the vulnerability in this sector, if the appropriate physical security measures are not in place.

In November 2013, a break-in at a substation in Greenock resulted in a power surge that led to four homes going up in flames and a further 280 properties being without power. Two years previously 50,000 homes in Glasgow were left with no power following an attempted theft at a substation. In the US, over 150 rounds of ammunition were fired, which cut through two critical telecommunication cables to the Pacific Gas and Electric substation in California an event viewed by some as a dress rehearsal for a much broader attack that would result in widespread power outages, causing renewed thinking to legislation related to the security of national infrastructure.

While the installation of physical security products to protect utility sites is an obvious requirement, for those responsible for the procurement of these comes th e burden to correctly specify those products whose design and manufacture have been proven to deliver the security performance, resilience and longevity required in this high risk environment. Equally important is the commitment to the ongoing inspection and maintenance of all physical security devices once they are installed to ensure their continued efficacy. Identifying the risk Following a review of Operational Requirements, usually a two-stage process where the requirement for the security of assets is first established before the solutions are identified, a typical security plan is likely to employ the Onion Principle to provide multi-layered protection to an asset.

The aim is to work from the outside into the centre, treating each different boundary as a layer, which is hardened to delay the attacker, provide greater protection to the target and give security staff the intelligence they need to implement their response. This methodology of assessing the perimeter security requirements of a site from the outside in should be applied when determining the most appropriate security solutions for a site it s far more realistic and effective than working from a printed plan, a web search, a specification sheet or a fixed budget, from a desk in an office rather than from the perspective of someone attempting to get in. There s a lot of discussion around the 5 D s of effective perimeter security to deter, detect, deny, delay and defend and perhaps these days, a little too much is centred around electronic detection and surveillance technologies within the hot topic of the Internet of Things and connected devices.

But perimeter security is also about creating an effective physical barrier, which can deter, delay and deny unauthorised access to the protected area and ultimately defend the asset. A well planned, designed and installed fence and access solution will add real substance to the protection of a perimeter and can also yield significant savings in the overall cost of site security by reducing the requirement for more expensive electronic alternatives or manned guarding. Specify for success Once the threats facing the site have been established and the appropriate types of products designed to mitigate risks and provide the desired level of protection are identified, the focus shifts to selecting the right products from the right producers.

For higher risk sites, various tested and approved or certified products appropriate to mitigating different types of threat are available, which all carry the assurance of proven performance; for example LPS 1175 provides a security rating for products (1 = lowest rating, 8 = highest) which is based on the attack time a product is able to withstand given an allowable tool set and maximum work time. Most utilities sites would employ products, which have been tested and certified under LPS 1175 while for higher risk applications Approved for UK Government Use products may be recommended by CPNI (The Centre for the Protection of National Infrastructure) as part of their advisory remit. Where Hostile Vehicle Mitigation measures to protect against vehicle borne attack is required, both PAS 68 and IWA 14 certified crash rated fences / barriers / gates provide a range of effective solutions.

I nstalling for performance Any physical perimeter security product, regardless of the testing it has undergone to prove its ability to withstand various challenges is only as good as its installation. It can only deliver to its design specification level if it is regularly inspected, maintained and repaired. Therefore, buying decisions need to also consider a number of contributing factors, which affect the integrity of these performance critical products.

For example, materials employed in their construction should be both fit for purpose and able to deliver a long service life. Any steel used which is exposed to the elements above or under ground should at the very minimum be hot dip galvanised to BS EN 1461, inside and out, and ideally after basic manufacturing has been carried out. The steel wire used in the production of mesh fence panels should be coated with a zinc-aluminium alloy treatment in preference to standard galvanised for increased life expectancy.

If timber is used it is good practice to ensure that it is manufactured from the right part of the right species of timber so that it is capable of accepting the required timber treatment, which will protect it against rot and wood boring insects. Attention should be paid to fixtures and fittings tamper evident, single use or integral concealed fixings on fencing and gates are far less vulnerable than nuts, bolts and rivets. Given that physical perimeter security is an essential part of the infrastructure of a site and crucial to its safe operation, selecting products that are supported by a worthwhile quality guarantee makes a great deal of sense; as along with the peace of mind that comes with having immediate recourse in the event of a product failure, it also ensures costs are contained.

Maintaining performance The final element to good physical perimeter security is the regular and scheduled inspection of the fence line to identify any changes, which might impact on its security integrity. Litter, debris and dirt should be regularly cleared to allow an unhindered view of the condition of the fence and all repairs required, identified and remedied in a Condition Report. Gates, turnstiles, barriers and blockers equally need to be regularly tested and checked for mechanical wear and tear, to not only maintain operational efficiency but also to ensure the continued safety of those entering / exiting the site.

Particular attention should be paid to the safe operation of automated gates and barriers, which are classed as machinery and as such, are covered by legislation requiring the occupier of the facility to ensure that they remain in safe working order.

It might sound obvious but just because a product hasn t failed does not necessarily mean that it is working properly and unless there is a standard practice in place to routinely inspect, check, test, maintain and repair the physical elements of perimeter security infrastructure there is the risk that this will go unnoticed.

The Top 5 Types of Security Workplace Hazards

Your employer has a duty of care to ensure, as far as possible, your health, safety and welfare while you re at work. In order to identify potential health and safety hazards in the workplace, it is imperative that a risk assessment is conducted and recorded for future reference.

A hazard is typically defined as a potential source of harm, or an adverse health effect on a person or persons. This simply means that anything that has the potential to cause damage or harm can be considered a hazard.

The most common of hazards are usually physical objects, which include, but are not limited to unguarded machinery, pieces of furniture, or chemicals. However, these are the most often overlooked hazards, and this can be attributed to our familiarity with these objects. Whilst a flight of stairs can be seen as a hazard, we don t necessarily view stairs as hazardous as we constantly use them everyday.

Hazards are not always things that we can physically see.

The exposure to intense and extreme temperatures, vibrations and noise levels can also be regarded as hazardous to our health.

Even if you are not responsible for conducting a risk assessment, it is important to be trained on how to recognise, assess and control hazards found in the workplace. To help you get started, we have addressed below some of the most common examples of workplace hazards, and how risk from these hazards can be prevented.

Slips, Trips and Falls

Slipping, tripping or falling is probably one of the most frequent causes of injury in the workplace, and probably one of the most avoidable. In 2013, there were more than 1,200 slips, trips and falls reported to the HSA.

Findings found that a quarter of those incidents led to the injured person missing over a month from work. The most common reasons why these accidents occur are: wet walkways, floor surfaces that are in disrepair, weather hazards (ice, rain, snow), improper or no signage, and inappropriate footwear. Slips and trips can be easily avoided through good housekeeping (cleaning spills immediately, clearing debris, covering cables), having appropriate flooring (recoating or replacing floors, installing mats, pressure-sensitive abrasive strips or abrasive-filled paint-on coating) and through staff education.

Lack of First Aid

Unsurprisingly enough, although the purpose of first aid is to is to minimise injury and future disability, it is also a common workplace hazard.

This can be due to insufficient training, inadequate facilities, and even companies having not having an appointed first-aider. The Health and Safety (First-Aid) Regulations 1981 states that employers need to provide adequate and appropriate first-aid equipment, facilities and training so that the injured or ill can receive immediate help. What is adequate and appropriate depends on the conditions of the workplace, so it is important that a thorough assessment of first-aid needs is undertaken.

It is also essential to make sure that an appropriate number of staff are trained in first-aid, and that their training is up-to-date. Another common mistake can stem from irregular replenishing the first aid box after use. It is a good idea to make sure that it is checked frequently, and that items are replaced as soon as possible.

Ergonomic Hazards

Ergonomic hazards usually occur when your body position and/or your working conditions cause wear and tear on the body.

These hazards mainly include the manual lifting of objects, and poor lighting, which effectively can be damaging to your eyesight. They are difficult to identify because the effects of the harm they cause to your health is not immediately recognized. Whilst short-term exposure to these hazards may result in soreness of muscles, the long-term effects can often result in detrimental long-term illness.

A number of protective measures can be employed to prevent this, such as using protective clothing and equipment when necessary such as padded gloves and knee pads, and by following safe work practices. When lifting heavy objects, you should never carry more than you can manage. It is also advised to not place weight on your back, but on your legs, whilst keeping the load close to your body.

When possible, report early symptoms such as discomfort or numbness to your employer.

Equipment Hazards

Faulty electrical equipment is the cause of many injuries each year. Other equipment hazards may include lack of planned maintenance, lack of regular testing, lack of training of equipment, and faulty utility services, such as water, gas, electricity and compressed air. Health and safety law states that electrical and utility equipment must be well-maintained in order to prevent danger.

The type and frequency of these checks, and the maintenance needed depends on the equipment, where it is used, and the results of previous checks. It is important that checks are carried out by an expert, or someone who is suitably trained to do so. It is also essential to check with your supervisor how often these checks are required.

Lone Working

Lone workers are those who work by themselves without close or direct supervision.

There are many hazards that a lone worker could encounter, such as accidents or emergencies arising out of their work, inadequate provision of first aid, inadequate provision of rest, hygiene and welfare facilities, and physical violence from members of the public or intruders. In December 2014, it was reported that a security guard1 had died from suspected carbon monoxide poisoning after it is believed he lit a fire in a portable cabin to keep warm. Whilst it is perfectly legal to work alone, employers must access whether an employee is at significantly higher risk when working alone.

It is essential that control measures are implemented in order to eliminate or minimise the identified risks, such as controlled periodic checks, automatic warning devices, and appropriate equipment for communication. As a lone worker, you are responsible looking after your own health and safety by co-operating with the employer s safety and health procedures. You are also at duty to report to your employer if you feel that the provision of facilities are inadequate.

You must also report any instances of accidents, injuries, near-misses and other dangerous occurrences.

Whilst some hazards pose an immediate danger, some hazards may take longer to manifest. Regardless, it is important that all types of hazards are addressed promptly. If you recognize a hazard which may have been overlooked by your employer, it is imperative that you report it immediately.

Once a hazard has been identified, it is the duty of your employer to assess and eliminate the risks posed by the hazard.


  1. ^ security guard (www.get-licensed.co.uk)

TIME ASEAN TURNED TO US for maritime cooperation

China’s accelerated construction activities in the South China Sea have further intensified the ongoing maritime disputes between Beijing and its Southeast Asian neighbours, particularly the Philippines and Vietnam . More than just complicating the nature of the ongoing disputes at the expense of other claimant states, China’s land reclamation activities signal its growing military assertiveness, as the People’s Liberation Army (PLA) moves towards “peripheral defence” and consolidation of its strategic depth in the area.

China’s man-made islands fortify its already expansive presence in the contested areas, fulfilling Beijing’s broader grand strategy of dominating adjacent waters, particularly vital Sea Lines of Communication (SLOCs) such as the South China Sea . The ongoing construction activities could very well pave the way for the establishment of a Chinese Air Defence Identification Zone (ADIZ) in the area, as Beijing completes a network of airstrips and military garrisons across the Paracel and Spratly chain of islands .

There are real implications for freedom of navigation and flight in the area. Multilateral naval force There are growing fears – especially in Manila and Hanoi – that China would increasingly interfere with activities of other littoral countries when it comes to marine surveillance and research, fishing activities, as well as hydrocarbon exploration and development in the South China Sea .

Most fundamentally, China’s actions represent a direct challenge to the sovereignty claims of neighbouring states, undermining their ability to lawfully exercise jurisdiction, in accordance with the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea, within their Exclusive Economic Zone and continental shelf. What is at stake is no less than the vital interests of a number of Asean 1countries as well as the US’s naval primacy in the Pacific . The situation demands no less than a more robust American counter-strategy, given the limited capabilities of Southeast Asian claimant states to rein in China’s territorial assertiveness on their own.

But America need not act unilaterally, nor should its response be primarily military . The best way forward is a cooperative approach, with Washington utilising its unique “convening power” to assemble a coalition of forces to ensure maritime stability in the region. In a recent meeting with Asean 2naval leaders, Vice Admiral Robert Thomas, commander of the US Pacific Fleet, called for Southeast Asian nations to form a multilateral naval force in order to carry out cooperative patrols in the South Sea .

This proposal resembles existing practices in the area such as the joint anti-piracy patrols in the Malacca Strait, carried out by Malaysia, Singapore, Indonesia and Thailand. Apart from a joint patrol force, the US has also proposed the establishment of a South China Sea International Operations Centre in Indonesia . The proposal was forwarded by Commander Harry B Harris of the US Pacific Command (PACOM) in a Congressional hearing at end 2014.

The centre was proposed to be established in Jakarta, the capital of Asean’s informal leader, which has no direct claim in the South China Sea but has repeatedly expressed its willingness to mediate the disputes between Beijing and Asean 3countries . The proposed centre would represent a vital element of broader international efforts to ensure maritime security and freedom of navigation in the Indian and Pacific Oceans. The above proposals reflect Washington’s preference for a cooperative strategy to manage emerging threats to regional security .

American emphasis on cooperative security and multilateral approaches to maritime security has been reflected in a number of policy papers since 2007, namely the American Sea Services, which includes the Navy, the Marine Corps and the Coast Guard. Such a cooperative strategy rests on two principles: Firstly, the necessity for comprehensive collaboration among all concerned nations to manage a specific threat . The ongoing construction activities in the South China Sea represent a threat to regional security .

Secondly, a growing emphasis on burden-sharing and multilateralism in light of America’s fiscal woes and defence budget constraints. Protecting the relevance of Asean It is time for Asean 4to consider the US’s proposals in order to manage the brewing conflicts in the South China Sea, lest the very relevance of the regional body will come under question .

After all, Asean 5and China have barely moved beyond their largely symbolic but inconsequential non-binding Declaration of Conduct of Parties in the South China Sea (DOC) in 2002. Obviously China prefers to settle the disputes through bilateral channels, where it has the upper hand . But China has also shown its willingness to maintain ties with Asean 6and avoid complete estrangement of its Southeast Asian neighbours, as evident in its decision to sign the 2002 DOC; emphasise the importance of “peripheral diplomacy” with neighbours on its fringe; and advocate the “2+7 cooperation framework”, which calls for a two-point political consensus on a Treaty of Good Neighbour-liness, Friendship and Cooperation between Asean 7and China and seven proposals for cooperation.

In short, China will have to engage Asean 8on important issues that affect their two-way relations. Asean 9as a whole and/or key regional states such as Indonesia, Singapore, Malaysia, the Philippines and Vietnam, which share similar concerns vis-a-vis threats to freedom of navigation and the increased militarisation of the South China Sea disputes, can push ahead with joint patrols . At the very least, they could collectively leverage the prospect of joint patrols to convince China to revisit its current policy and consider necessary de-escalation mechanisms such as a freeze on ongoing construction activities and the negotiation of a code of conduct. What is important is for Asean 10members to explore all possible multilateral options, which can contribute to the management, if not resolution, of the disputes .

With sustained and unequivocal international support, including from the US, Asean 11may achieve greater collective resolve to address worrying trends in the South China Sea and re-assert its relevance. For almost seven decades, Washington has stood as the anchor of stability in the region . But as we move towards a more multi-polar order in the region, the US will no longer be in a position to unilaterally dictate events on the ground .

This is precisely why the best way forward is to adopt a multilateral, cooperative security approach, which will involve and empower Asean 12as the engine of integration and dispute-management in the region . The South China Sea is the best place to start. Richard Javad Heydarian is an assistant professor in political science at De La Salle University, Manila, and author of “Asia’s New Battlefield: US, China and the Struggle for the Western Pacific” .

Truong-Minh Vu is director of the Centre for International Studies, University of Social Sciences and Humanities, Ho Chi Minh City.

‘, PubCode: ‘pub-1044823792492543′, CoReHeight: ‘225’, CoReWidth: ‘620’, mCoReHeight: ‘250’, mCoReWidth: ‘300’, CoReType: ‘image_with_title_overlay’, CurrentSolution: ”, ExperimentTraffic: 1, ControlTraffic: 0, CookieName: ‘google_gcr_ab’ }; GcrABTesting.commonCode = function() { var ret = ‘


  1. ^ Asean (www.nationmultimedia.com)
  2. ^ Asean (www.nationmultimedia.com)
  3. ^ Asean (www.nationmultimedia.com)
  4. ^ Asean (www.nationmultimedia.com)
  5. ^ Asean (www.nationmultimedia.com)
  6. ^ Asean (www.nationmultimedia.com)
  7. ^ Asean (www.nationmultimedia.com)
  8. ^ Asean (www.nationmultimedia.com)
  9. ^ Asean (www.nationmultimedia.com)
  10. ^ Asean (www.nationmultimedia.com)
  11. ^ Asean (www.nationmultimedia.com)
  12. ^ Asean (www.nationmultimedia.com)