Job site theft has become a rising concern for construction employers across the country—resulting in the loss of valuable equipment and materials. In fact, the latest research revealed that such theft currently accounts for an estimated $1 billion in annual costs throughout the construction sector. What’s more, overall losses related to construction site theft have jumped by nearly 10% every year for the past two decades. Further, as the prices of various building materials—namely, steel and lumber—continue to surge, job site theft is only expected to worsen within the construction industry. Yet, there are several measures that construction employers like you can implement to ensure job site security and minimize theft concerns. Consider these theft prevention tips:
Implement effective security measures. Bolstering the security of your construction site can make it more difficult for potential thieves to access work equipment and materials, as well as deter them from attempting to steal these items altogether. Important job site security protocols include:
- Keeping the premises properly lit (especially during evening hours)
- Utilizing video surveillance throughout the premises
- Installing an alarm system that will sound in the event of a trespassing incident
- Posting signage that outlines premises security measures and emphasizes that trespassers will face consequences
Utilize proper inventory protocols. In addition to enhancing construction site security protocols, it’s crucial to closely monitor all work equipment and materials. Doing so will allow you and your employees to better keep track of these items and easily notice if they go missing. As such, be sure to conduct regular inventory checks and maintain accurate records for all equipment and materials. Require employees to sign equipment in and out of a logbook during use and instruct them to store any equipment not being used in a secure location (e.g., a locked cabinet or fenced-off area). Also, keep in mind that thieves often target construction sites containing large piles or groupings of materials under the impression that it will be less noticeable when only a few items are stolen. That being said, try to avoid storing excess materials at the job site by having your suppliers conduct deliveries on an as-needed basis.
Ensure frequent communication. Lastly, make sure to discuss the value of effective security and inventory procedures with your staff during routine construction site meetings. Recognize and reward employees who uphold these procedures. Additionally, ask your staff to provide regular updates regarding project progress, equipment needs and material usage. Having such frequent communication will show your employees that you take theft prevention seriously—motivating them to do the same.
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