10 Ways to Prevent Heavy Equipment Theft on a Worksite

21st March, 2019

The UK construction industry alone is estimated to lose around £800 million every year to equipment theft and vandalism on the worksite.

Heavy equipment theft on worksites is a sad reality. Companies incur huge expenses to replace stolen equipment. Not to mention, the effect on profitability and efficiency because of the downtime.

If a company relies on a funding company for its machinery purchase, such theft incidents can cost a company its reputation and credibility in the eyes of a finance provider.

What can companies do to prevent theft of heavy machinery from their premises? Here are 10 effective solutions.

  1. Secure your Worksite
  • Set up a transparent fence (a chain link fence for example) for high visibility. With such fencing, it’ll be easier for your security personnel to detect trespassing. When setting up a fence, implement the following measures for added security:
  • Remove bushes and debris such as leaves that can get stuck in the fence and reduce visibility.
  • Install the fence at a height of 8 feet. Install posts, preferably made of concrete, at a width that is not greater than the width of the narrowest part of the fence.
  • Use razor tape or barbed wire for additional security.
  • Examine the fence regularly and fix any repairs immediately.
  • Authorise only a few people to enter fenced areas.
  • Install gates made of heavy metal and rigid construction
  • Put up “No Trespassing” boards around the worksite. If possible, include warnings that the equipment is protected by a unique Product Identification Number (PIN), which can help track down the culprit
  1. Build Short, Cost-Effective Barriers for Moving Worksites

Install cost-effective barriers such as dirt berms, ditches and closely-spaced posts. Walls as short as 3-feet provide great visibility and serve as effective barriers.

  1. Ensure Efficient Lighting on the Worksite

Install high-quality light fixtures to ensure that light is directed towards the worksite at all times. This way, there is clear visibility for your personnel and law enforcement officers patrolling the area. Inspect fixtures regularly and replace where needed immediately.

  1. Maintain an Equipment File

An equipment file should have a photo of the machinery and all details including its make, model, serial number and date of purchase. This record will keep you well-informed about your equipment, which makes monitoring and theft prevention easier.

Consider registering with a service such as Equipment Register (ER) that maintains a national record of all equipment of its members for added protection.

  1. Safeguard On-Site Equipment

Use a chain or cable to anchor large equipment in place. Safeguard smaller machines by arranging heavy machinery around them so that moving these smaller items becomes difficult. In case of portable equipment, dismantle the tires where possible.

  1. Invest in Added Security Equipment

An advanced video surveillance system can be a valuable addition to your security infrastructure. Cameras with motion sensors are also highly effective. A light tower is recommended if the worksite has a large fleet of equipment.

  1. Hire Security Guards after Thorough Background Verification

Hire security guards that have been approved by the Security Industry Authority (SIA). SIA is a government-recognised independent body governing the private security industry. SIA reports to the Home Secretary.

  1. Train Your Employees

Train your employees in implementing security measures and identifying criminal activities onsite. Equipment operators must be trained to identify unique identifiers on heavy machinery and log every piece of equipment after work.

  1. Report a Theft Immediately

A delay in reporting can lower the chances of equipment recovery. Provide as many details as you can about the stolen machinery. Keep your insurance company in the loop too. Inform your equipment registry you are a member of, to increase the chances of recovery.

10. Stay in the Loop

Keep up with the latest trends with regards to equipment thefts. What sort of equipment is currently in demand? Take measures to safeguard all such equipment.

Awareness helps you to stay alert and catch any suspicious activity in time.