June 1, 2020

Safety Alert: Construction Worksite Security

The theft of equipment, vehicles and materials from construction sites is a growing problem in the US.  It accounts for about $1 billion in annual losses and other costs for construction companies.  Annual losses are growing on average 10% per year since 1996 and is expected to continue. There are other costs involved with these issues like downtime, delays, and increased in insurance premiums. Most criminals have been conditioned to believe that construction sites are easy targets. The sad truth is that, for the most part, they’re correct.

Here are some tactics to prevent these losses:

  • Keep Your Job Site Well Lit During Off Hours. Thieves count on being able to remain inconspicuous. They like dark, unprotected job sites where they can get in and out undetected. Bear in mind that most construction site thefts are committed by employees or other people with enough access to the site to know their way around in the dark. Even if they think someone might be watching them, most thieves will seek out easier targets, especially employees.
  • Don’t Keep an Excess of Supplies Sitting Around. Purchase what you need when you need it so it isn’t right there waiting to be stolen for weeks at a time. This obviously will require good planning and communication between you and your people so your projects don’t become delayed. The good news is that this ties in with the previous point—if you are in constant contact with your people, you always know where you are on your projects and can plan accordingly.
  • Don’t Make Stealing Your Car Easy.  The quicker a car thief can steal your vehicle, the more attractive it is. From the moment a thief would break a car window, he/she assumes that someone was on the phone with the police. They figured that police could be on the scene in 60 seconds. To play it safe, they give themselves 20 seconds. 20 seconds from the initial window break to being gone. 20 seconds. That’s all it takes. What does that mean for you? It means that the “just a sec” that you “run in” to pick up your carry-out dinner is all we needed.  In 20 seconds, we’d have your stereo, CDs, and anything else that looked cool, and be gone.

A few other simple, but effective best practices include:

  • Keep your vehicle locked at all times, even while driving.
  • When parked, never leave your keys in the car. Close all the windows and the sunroof.
  • Never leave your car running and unattended.
  • Avoid leaving valuables inside your vehicle where passersby can see them.
  • Do not leave your vehicle title in the car. Too often a car thief is pulled over and gets away from the police because he or she can produce the auto registration.

Overall, be vigilant and lead by example.  Share these simple reminders with your co-workers to help keep everyone on your job site safe.

Thanks to Bo Ristic, VP of Safety & Quality, for this safety alert.