If you’re in charge of a construction worksite, you’re responsible for keeping the equipment safe and secure. Holidays, weekends, and night times are among the high-risk periods for construction equipment theft, so it’s vital to have preventative strategies in place. Whether it’s for a long holiday break or just the weekend, these practical tips will help you keep your worksite equipment safer.
The cost of stolen worksite equipment
Stolen or damaged worksite equipment can lead to losses in a number of ways. Replacement costs are significant, especially for large equipment items, and the delays due to replacing the equipment can also lead to escalating costs as your project stalls. Insurance premiums could go up as a result, and your business reputation could suffer.
Unsecured sites can be easy targets for thieves looking to steal equipment with good resale value. Items with reputable brand names and in good working condition can fetch decent returns for successful burglars. Note it’s not only your equipment that can be stolen; valuable construction materials such metals could be attractive targets for thieves as they also have good resale values.
Worksite security strategies
Poor security, one-key access, and lack of product identification numbers on equipment can all contribute to worksite vulnerabilities. It’s essential for construction project managers to have a comprehensive security policy in place, taking into account the following strategies.
- Lock up and secure equipment
Make it your worksite policy to lock up and secure equipment every day. Lock up all cabs, hoods, fuel caps, and external doors. Switch off isolators, secure padlocks, cover buckets, and secure and hide away all attachments. Make sure miscellaneous items like fire extinguishers are locked away in the cabs. Assign responsibility to each staff member for locking up and securing their equipment.
- Use anti-theft and tracking devices on equipment
Use anti-theft features to add an extra layer of security on individual pieces of equipment. For example, activate wheel locks, shut-off systems, and ignition locks. If your equipment comes with battery switches, activate them as well. Link valuable pieces of equipment to GPS tracking systems where possible, as you’ll be able to then locate the item quickly in the event of a theft.
- Secure your perimeter
Keep your fencing in good condition, and use physical deterrents like barbed wire to discourage unauthorised entry. Regularly check for vulnerabilities such as unlit areas, damaged fencing, and possible entry points. Take measures to reinforce these weakness as soon as you’re aware of them.
- Maintain detailed records of equipment
Keep detailed records of equipment so that in the event of theft you can easily identify items even if identification information has been taken too. Photo records are helpful, as is listing any unique features that helps you identify the item. While this won’t prevent theft, it can help you recover items more quickly if you need to.
- Involve employees in security practices
Make security a priority on your worksite by involving your team in security practices and making them responsible for carrying out security measures. Charge them with reporting any security vulnerabilities they see so you can act to patch patch up these weaknesses.
- Park smart or move equipment to safe storage
Ideally you’ll be able to move heavy equipment to a safe storage location but, when it’s impractical to do so, remember to park smart. Ensure your vehicles are parked facing into a circle with small pieces of equipment in the middle. This might deter thieves by making it harder to access equipment.
- Install an alarm system
An alarm system is essential for your worksite. Motion sensor alarms can occasionally be set off by large wildlife, but with the remote control systems available today you can easily monitor the site through security cameras and switch the alarm off without having to go onsite. Your alarm system can be set to sound out, light up, alert you, or alert a security company in the case of a breach.
- Install surveillance cameras
Surveillance cameras are inexpensive to install and they allow you and your team to monitor the site remotely. You can set up your cameras to activate recording upon motion, or to record continuously during given hours of the day and night. Place your cameras in a discreet location so thieves can’t easily disable them.
- Put up warning signs
Signs can make excellent deterrents, so use warning signs around the perimeter of your worksite. Highlight your security features such as lighting, surveillance cameras, and security guards to deliver a high-impact warning.
- Use motion sensor lighting
Motion sensor lighting is an excellent deterrent for would-be thieves. Install these around the perimeter of your site as well as near vulnerable areas such as expensive equipment and entry points.
- Install a light tower
For large worksites, light towers make great security features. These can be set up to beam light onto the worksite continuously as the tower completes a 360-degree rotation. They can be set up to activate when motion sensors are set off.
- Hire guards
If you have expensive equipment on your worksite, it might be worth hiring security guards. 24-hour patrol guards stay onsite, patrolling the perimeter and checking the equipment. They make highly effective deterrents for would-be thieves.
A comprehensive prevention strategy is critical if you want to minimise the risk of theft on your worksite. Whether you’re renting equipment or own it outright, the steps you take to prevent theft can turn out to be a wise investment by helping you avoid replacement costs.
Solution Plant Hire is an industry-leading dry hire equipment company providing 24/7 support to satisfied customers. To find out more about how our hire equipment can drive the success of your construction project, explore our website today or contact our team for more information.