Equipment and material theft is a major source of loss for contractors. While insurance may offset some of the financial costs, many uninsured costs – deductibles, replacing depreciated items with new equipment, production delays, paperwork and time to report and replace stolen equipment – are paid by contractors.
Good planning is essential to construction site security, preventing theft of valuable construction materials and tools.
General contractors and subcontractors can benefit from these 10 tips to improve site security:
- Create a job site security plan before the project commences. Have a written security policy, and a security plan specific to the job site.
- Assign supervisory security responsibilities, and encourage security awareness among all workers. Contact the local police and fire departments before starting a job to establish cooperative efforts. Establish contact with management of neighboring properties, and encourage them to report suspicious activities.
- Identify assets and property onsite, then inventory and track them regularly.
- Secure the site perimeter with proper fencing as a first line of defense, and maintain a clear zone adjacent to fencing.
- Lock up materials, secure vehicles and equipment and install hidden kill switches to disable ignitions.
- Control site access by establishing – and monitoring – only one access point. Consider limiting vehicle access. Provide parking areas outside of the site for employees and visitors.
- Light up the job site to effectively deter theft and vandalism.
- Ask employees and subcontractors to also take responsibility for a secure site and to immediately report any incidents of theft or vandalism.
- Consider using security guards and have them patrol the site. Provide them with a means of communication.
- Consider installing a video monitoring system to capture vehicle traffic entering and exiting the site.
You can address most of these controls by updating procedures. To help with the rest, consider using a security company that offers instant, portable, wireless monitoring for theft, fire, flood, motion, temperature extremes and more.
For more information about job site security or other construction-related issues, contact your local independent agent for loss control information, or review our Web resources at cinfin.com/losscontrol and then Business Tips or Alliances For You.
Also, please see our article, Heavy equipment theft can cost time as well as money.
This loss control information is advisory only. The author assumes no responsibility for management or control of loss control activities. Not all exposures are identified in this article.