Preventing Theft on the Job Site

Take these security measures to protect equipment and your bottom line.

Theft, vandalism and pilferage can have a devastating effect on your company's bottom line. While high-tech security devices and techniques are available, most protection methods rely on inexpensive, easily available security items and the use of good old-fashioned common sense. If you make the following suggestions part of the way you run your business, you'll be able to minimize losses and protect your assets:

  • Don't advertise what materials you have on the site, plain and simple. For example, materials such as lumber should be stacked neatly, out of sight and covered, as well as banded with aluminum ties or bungee-type cords. Better yet, park the company bulldozer or truck close enough to the lumber that a thief would have to move the machinery before stealing any of the wood. Remember, any Joe with a pickup truck can drive up and haul off your supplies if you make it easy enough for him.
  • Use the locks that come with virtually all equipment and machinery, and secure tools in a locked area or compartment. That may seem obvious, but people can easily forget security practices. After all, most burglars enter homes through unlocked doors and windows.
  • Post "no trespassing" signs or other signs indicating that the premises are under surveillance even if they aren’t. Consider using a wireless, outdoor closed-circuit-television surveillance camera on the project site. If you have a camera that has a Web connection, you can check on your job site through your laptop, notebook or cell phone.
  • Use tagging and automatic identification technologies to protect, track and locate assets. For large pieces of equipment such as trucks, consider getting a system that uses the spread-spectrum wireless radio network to provide control and data-collection automation for a host of industrial vehicles at a customer's facility. These systems also can monitor driver accountability, OSHA compliance and fleet management.
  • Don't forget to secure computers, laptops, copiers and other items. There are a variety of lockdown devices on the market that are inexpensive and easy to attach to laptops, PDAs and other precious assets. These can even prevent unauthorized users from logging on to your computers. Theft of customer lists and documents could be a tough pill to swallow. The more highly automated your business is, the more important such equipment security becomes.

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