Cost savvy construction firms fencing in expenses with safety equipment rentals

Paul Eyers
By Paul Eyers
6 Min Read

Prioritising construction site safety is essential to setting up any work zone.

But unfortunately, for those more unique jobs, it can come with a hefty price tag.

With construction costs continuing to rise, having to purchase extra safety equipment that you will rarely ever use can do a demolition job on any project’s bottom line. 

However, cost-savvy firms have found a handy workaround that helps them save on purchasing new safety tools that won’t see regular use.

These construction companies are increasingly turning to hire firms to instead rent the rarely needed types of safety equipment they’d otherwise be forced to buy.

This smart trick can save thousands in unnecessary expenditures, which ultimately has a significant impact on a project’s profitability.

But what types of safety gear can a good equipment hire company provide?

Below are some of the most popular safety tools Build-it readers and construction firms are choosing to hire out instead of purchase in 2024:

Traffic Safety 

A VSLS is a must for any construction site with regular road traffic.

These electronic speed signage boards can be adjusted per site regulations to control the speed and traffic flow through road construction sites.

They also have the ability to display messages to motorists when needed.

One of the added benefits of hiring out a VSLS system is additional savings on traffic controller costs and safety.

The largest equipment hire supplier on Australia’s east coast, Orange Hire, has seen an increased number of construction firms utilise equipment hire to help manage site traffic flow in recent years. 

sign board
Sign boards such as this VMS system can be used to display important messages that help manage surrounding site traffic.

With every work site requiring a different road safety strategy, hiring equipment instead of purchasing can be a more cost-effective traffic management solution that can be adjusted easily if necessary. 

“The benefits of contractors using a VSLS enable them to assist in reducing the likelihood of accidents, which in turn helps to keep not only road users but everyone on-site safe,” Orange Hire National Marketing Manager Simon Hatton told Build-it.

“These units can be used in conjunction with other hireable traffic management equipment like portable traffic lights and road barriers, that will assist with a more effective approach to site safety.” 


Visibility and safety often go hand in hand.

Seeing the surrounding environment and identifying risk factors is paramount to worker safety.

And with project time frames as an ever-important factor when determining profitability, working through the night and low light periods of the day can often be the most efficient and least disrupting way to get the job done. 

Portable lighting towers are a great way to combat any safety issues from poor visibility.

However, every project needs a different amount of lighting, and some not at all; many construction firms have found themselves better placed to rent lighting as and when needed from equipment hire companies.

Mr Hatton told Build-it that popular hire options included security lights, larger portable worksite lights and mobile street lighting.

“They are easy to set up on-site with outriggers set up on the trailers to assist with stability, and are certified wind resistance up to 110km/hr,” he said.

“Even if you are facing a rough night with the elements, your lighting towers will hold fast and provide strong luminosity to help you get the job done and home safe.”

Mobile lighting systems can allow work to be undertaken during more hours of the day, as well improving site safety.

Site Security

Construction sites can be dangerous places for workers for the most part but also for the general public, especially where the job sites are close to high-density foot traffic. 

That’s why keeping your work zone secure is one of the fundamental parts of job-site safety. 

More than just a robust barrier against unauthorised public access, high-quality fencing can also provide comprehensive protection against many other external factors, including weather, space impaction, and environmental impacts.

Fortawall is one of the most popular fencing options construction firms are choosing to hire.

 A vulnerable worksite that has not been properly secured can lead to accidents, injuries and even fatalities. 

The ripple effect of a tragic incident onsite affects the workers and their families and may also affect the business’s reputation, completion times and company costs.

But, with the surroundings, layout, and access routes to every job site being different, many construction firms have benefited from being able to hire their fencing solutions when needed.

Commonly hired options include perimeter applications such as fortawall fencing (low foot print), water-fillable barriers, concrete barriers and visibility-blocking fencing options. 

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Paul Eyers has worked as a journalist for a range of media publishers including News Corp and Network Ten. He has also worked outside of Australia, including time spent with ABS-CBN in the Philippines. Stepping away from the media, Paul spent five years sharpening his tools in construction - building his skill set and expertise within the trade industry. His diverse experiences and unique journey have equipped him with an insider view of Australia’s construction game to dig deep into the big stories.