"MSite installs a high level of confidence for both the secure access of employees onto the Olympic Park Construction Site and also the reporting information that can be obtained as a result."


Human Recognition Systems (HRS) in partnership with Reliance High-Tech were awarded the contract to supply and manage the secure biometric access to the Olympic Park for all construction workers. This ran for the duration of the construction phase of works up until the Olympic Games opened in the summer of 2012. The biometric access solution was required to form part of an overall security strategy to protect this sensitive site.

The challenge

With the construction phase already in progress, the project required both the quick installation of the solution across all access points for both workers and vehicles with minimal disruption, plus the need to manage and perform an enrolment and training for the existing 15,000 workers. This would be required across a continually changing environment as the construction works were completed and new locations added. The nature of the project also meant that once live, the solution would require 24/7 support, with on-site engineering presence to ensure minimum disruptions in the event of system failure.

The project also required that the necessary security protocol was adhered to including the use of securely encrypted MIFARE Desfire cards, plus the access should allow for the inclusion of all workers and therefore require multiple biometric options (e.g. hand geometry and iris recognition) to be provided.

The Solution

HRS deployed its trusted MSite solution to meet the requirements. In order to quickly enrol a large number of workers, HRS organised a mobile enrolment station to perform the initial enrolment of the 15,000 workers, plus set up a full enrolment capability within the OPEPO building, such that the biometric and system enrolment took place seamlessly as part of the full worker induction. This included the integration into the existing workforce management solution to provide worker and reporting information.

The biometric access control system combined both hand geometry and iris recognition templates saved onto smartcards, using secure Desfire encryption, which was the first time iris and hand biometrics have been fused onto a single smartcard. The access was then enabled through high-throughput containers allowing 6 turnstile access per container, located at key access points around the 17km site. The same solution was used to provide access control to the main internal buildings around the site.

The system was further rolled out to link with the Athletes Village mid-way through the project with only configuration updates required to the centralised solution, plus further additions and enhancements were added as the project developed.

The Result

MSite, our biometric access control system, was successfully deployed until the commencement of Games with over 80,000 workers enrolled during this time. The system was also live for the duration of the project, with only minimal downtime and no service penalties, it proved flexible and scalable enough to respond to on-going project requirements. The system deployed has since become the footprint for many large projects, including the integration of the access solution with the target zero accident and Health and Safety initiatives.

The system has subsequently been rolled out on the on-going Olympic Park projects with BAM, Careys and Balfour Beatty, utilising much of the original equipment in the spirit of maximising the Olympic Legacy.

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