Anyone who has waited anxiously for that final Friday whistle that caps a long week of rigorous labor, just to return on Monday to find all of his tools stolen, knows the frustration of dealing with jobsite theft. Each year various experts report that jobsite theft losses total over a billion dollars. When the jobsite gets hit its not just the person or persons whose stuff was stolen whom suffers, but the contractor, employees, insurance companies and others.
“An estimated 90% of all equipment thefts take place between 6 p.m. Friday and 6 a.m. Monday. Holidays and week nights are next.”
- Tempe Arizona Crime Prevention Unit
There are several ways that contractors and employees can protect against jobsite theft.
First post warning signs such as “Private Property”, “Security cameras in use”, and “No Trespassing”. Post the contractors and builders information in visible areas. Another method to help deter would be thieves, is to post reward and bounty information that provides easily accessible contact numbers. Posting warning signs alerts thieves that they are not allowed nor wanted on the premises.
Second use surveillance cameras! Cameras are cost effective, IP Surveillance systems are an inexpensive solution as their mobility means that they can be taken from one site to the next and viewed on a standard PC from any location. Cameras are extremely successful in monitoring work sites and in the detection and prosecution of criminals. Don’t just post cameras though, as in the previous example, provide notice that the worksite or property is being monitored and under surveillance by posting warning signs.
Third use access control strategies. Control strategies like securing your construction site with several round the clock padlock changes, placing a chain link fence around the perimeter, using job site security devices like heavy duty storage sheds, having employees wear identification badges with the name of your company on it, and lastly by challenging strangers on your property or job sites can significantly reduce losses due to theft.
Fourth, mark your equipment. Put the business name or logo on all transportable company property. Paint your tools all the same color, paint the last six digits of the production identification number on the roof of all company vehicles and equipment, put numbers in two spots; one hidden and one obvious, die stamp or electrically engrave your tools and equipment with the companies logo.
Fifth, frequently record inventory and store it in a manner that would immediately call to attention any dramatic reductions in inventory, record serial numbers and numbers you have applied, and take color photos of your large equipment.
Lastly protect your equipment by re-keying, as well as by not leaving them in remote areas, install fuel cutoffs, track locks, alarms and hydraulic bypasses. Always remove keys from big equipment and plan to end the day with an empty tank.
Follow these tips and it will save you the dreaded trip of re-buying a valuable tools and pieces of equipment in the future.