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Theft From a Construction Site Toolbox Talk

Minimize theft and put security best practices into place on the construction site.

Theft From a Construction Site Safety Talk

One of the many challenges that construction companies face is theft on the jobsite. Protecting costly tools, equipment, and materials from being stolen isn't always easy.

Understanding the risks of jobsite theft is the first step to theft prevention.

Ways to protect items from being stolen

There are many ways to help prevent theft on construction sites. The tools, equipment, and materials stored on a jobsite are essential for getting project work done according to the timeline. When an important asset is stolen, it can delay the construction process.

The quantity and the type of valuables you need to protect will determine what measures need to be taken to prevent theft. Some assets may require minimal steps to secure, while others may need extensive measures.

Here are some of the basic ways that you can protect your assets on the construction site.

Put security measures in place

Enhancing security is likely the first think you think of when brainstorming ways to protect the jobsite from theft.

You may hire security personnel to monitor the work area around the clock. Whether you hire in-house or use a third party, having security staff onsite is a significant added cost, so you will have to factor that into your budget.

You can also add physical barriers like fencing and barbed wire around worksites. This can help to keep people out of the construction zone, or if they are still able to get in, it can make it more difficult for them to get items out.

Put tools and equipment away

Tools and equipment should always be properly stored and put away after use. Leaving anything out in the open is not only a hazard to employees, but can also encourage theft.

When the workday is over, make sure all items are where they are supposed to be. And, you should avoid storing important items and equipment in close proximity to any safety fences.

Install security cameras

Security cameras help prevent theft. When positioned correctly with a view of equipment and tool storage, you can use security cameras to maximize your security and help discourage theft or identify perpetrators if theft occurs.

Some security cameras are equipped with motion detectors, and you can set up automatic notifications if there is any type of movement happening in the area.

Lock buildings

If you have a shed, pole building, or another structure onsite that can be used for storage, ensure that is locks to deter people from stealing items.

At the end of the workday, crew members can put all the items inside of the building with a lock.

Keep valuables out of sight

When you are storing your most valuable equipment and materials, try to place them in an area that is not easily visible from outside the jobsite.

If your valuable items are not obviously seen, people will be less likely to steal them.

Don’t freely talk about equipment

When you talk to people outside your company about the equipment and tools that are onsite, you put your construction site at risk for theft. If they do not know that the items are there, they won't have a reason to come looking for them.

The fewer people who know about the type of tools, materials, and equipment that you have, the better.

Use tracking devices

There are tracking devices that can be installed on heavy equipment and tools for construction sites. This can help aid location in the instance that something is stolen.

While GPS tracking may be a significant investment, if you consider the cost of the items you are protecting, it can be worthwhile.

Keep the jobsite well lit

When a construction site is dark, it makes it easier for people to steal your items. Even with security cameras, the dark can make it hard to identify perpetrators.

Keeping the site well lit discourages theft.

Keep records

A lot of equipment, materials, and tools are required to run a successful construction site. It can be hard to keep up with everything and know if you are missing items.

Keep detailed records of what the company owns and rents. A detailed record will not only help you better manage your assets, it is also the proof you need that the item belongs to you, if it comes down to needing to file a police report.

security camera on a construction site.

Employees steal too

Most of the time theft is done by an outside source in the construction industry. But, that is not always the case. There are instances of employee theft too.

Having security cameras onsite during working hours can help to put employee theft to a stop.

Workers should also be encouraged to report theft. If you think that you see another employee stealing, you should speak up and notify a supervisor.

Theft reporting can be anonymous. Theft hurts the company as a whole. It affects many different aspects of a project, such as the deadlines, profit, and benefits.

Plan deliveries to minimize theft

One of the most common times that employees can steal items is during deliveries. A good way to avoid this from happening is to plan deliveries for specific days and times. This way, someone can always be supervising while items are being delivered and unloaded.

When deliveries are dropped off when no one is present, items may be sitting out for anyone to walk away with. Timing them intentiaonally can prevent these issues from happening.

Controlling exit and entry of the construction site

Construction zones benefit greatly from controlled entry and exit points. Controlling entry and exits only allows individuals who need to be onsite through. People who don’t have the right to be onsite will not be allowed to enter.

Unauthorized individuals should never be present on the jobsite. This gives them the opportunity to see what tools and equipment you have. Also, they will be able to see where you are storing items at night.

By controlling the entry and exit of individuals, you can cut down on the amount of traffic there is on your construction site.

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