With all of the expensive mobile equipment, tools and materials left unattended after workers leave, construction sites present attractive targets for thieves and vandals.
According to a recent Safety Outlook report, thefts are most common between November and March, and the list of the most targeted equipment includes backhoes, wheel and skip loaders, skid steers and towable equipment. Materials like copper pipes are also often stolen from unattended sites.
To deter such theft and vandalism, lower risk and keep projects on time and within budget, clients can take these seven risk mitigation measures:
1. Use appropriate lighting.
Well-lit construction sites will help to discourage criminal activity by eliminating hiding places and raising the risk of discovery. Motion-activated lighting can be a very effective deterrent.
2. Install fencing.
Perimeter fencing should enclose the job site, including storage areas and trailers. Fencing has two jobs: first, to prevent unauthorized access to the site and second, should someone gain unauthorized access, limit their ability to remove property from the site. To that end, barbed wire or fencing that triggers an alarm will add a layer of protection to site security.
3. Post signage.
After fencing is set up, post conspicuous no trespassing signs as warnings for would-be intruders.
4. Consider surveillance.
Surveillance measures at job sites might include video surveillance, a private security guard, or both — which can help deter criminal activity. Should an act of vandalism or theft occur, having surveillance in place can help with identification and recovery.
5. Secure equipment.
Clients should plan ahead for the placement and nature of equipment and material storage during off-hours at the job site. Lock machinery and secure keys. Contractors or mobile equipment owners may also want to install tracking devices on machinery to facilitate location and recovery of any stolen equipment.
6. Plan deliveries ahead of time.
Knowing in advance when a delivery will be made, and planning deliveries for times when someone will be onsite to secure the packages, will help prevent theft of unattended materials. Planning for deliveries will also decrease the risk of any unauthorized personnel accessing the site.
7. Purchase adequate insurance coverage.
Builders risk and contractors equipment insurance can provide coverage for theft or vandalism of construction site materials, equipment and tools, and are an important risk-mitigation tools for any individual or entity with an insurable interest in a construction project. Builders risk and contractors equipment insurance coverage are not a substitute for the other measures on this list, but can be an important safety net if, in spite of taking appropriate security measures, a loss occurs.
Following these steps can help protect job sites, partially completed structures, tools, equipment and materials from losses due to theft or vandalism. For more guidance and tips for securing construction sites, see US Assure's "Job Site Security" guide.
This is intended as a general description of certain types of insurance and services available to qualified customers. Your policy is the contract that specifically and fully describes your coverage. The description of the policy provisions gives a broad overview of coverages and does not revise or amend the policy.
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