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Controlling Crime at Construction Sites

Crime, and especially theft, at construction sites is huge business! According to industry expert estimates, around 4% of the construction costs are as a result of vandalism or theft or both and this amounts to billions annually. These crimes are not new, and they affect all parties involved; the owner of the building, contractor, insurance company, equipment dealer and manufacturer etc. Sadly, the construction theft industry keeps growing, which is why the involvement of all is required to fight this vice and reduce opportunities of these crimes.

How to Prevent Construction Site Crimes

There are a few measures you can put in place to ensure safety and security at the construction site. Here are Construction Site Security basics.

Proper Property and Assets Identification

It is advisable to develop an identification system that numbers and tracks the inventory and assets on the site. Place a prominent mark such as the company logo on all assets and equipment. Employee’s personal property should also be prominently labeled to avoid in-house theft.

When it comes to equipment, have permanent identification marks on them and always keep them in secure stores. It is also important to have antitheft systems such as alarms, cut-off and track locks as well as tracking systems installed in them as well as in the vehicles that will be left on the site overnight and on weekends. 

Beef Up Surveillance

It is important to have eyes on the site, especially in places where equipment and inventory are kept to prevent incurring costs from site theft. Place security cameras in sensitive places and keep it under wraps. However, it is always a deterrent to thieves to think they will be caught in the act on video. Additionally, keep good relations with the neighbors, they can be pretty helpful in some serious situations and even witnesses should anything happen.

Control Access of Sensitive Areas

Access control is essential; only issue the necessary keys and always have a few people responsible for them. There should always be a log of all the issued keys. This log includes such information as the type issued, to whom, where it accesses, and the date and purpose of issue. All unissued keys should be kept in safe places and the spares should be kept at a minimum. Remember to keep the keys away from the site and do not hide any key or spare anywhere on the site. This keeps access to inventory limited, and prevents tools, inventory, and most especially copper cable theft.

Keep Access Gates Few and Secured

Minimize opportunities of access to the construction site by keeping the access gates as few as possible and always have them locked and guarded. If it is practical to you, hire uniformed guards to man the gates especially during working hours. If not, always keep an eye on all individuals and vehicles approaching the gate. Always have someone on the look out at night and on weekends.

Keep the Site Adequately Lit

Effective lighting is a deterrent to vandalism and theft. Therefore, it is essential to keep all places well lit, especially the office trailers and equipment and inventory store areas. It is also advisable to keep the side of the site that borders heavy traffic well lit. It is also good to install motion triggered lighting as the detectors always show when there is intrusion.

Build Partnerships That Help Avert Crime

It is important to commit to halting theft and vandalism on the site. This can be achieved by building relationships with varied groups that help keep the site safe. Such groups include scrap metal dealers who will alert you whenever something originating from your site gets to them. Good relations with the neighbors and surrounding community can help a great deal. Additionally, keep in touch with other local crime units to have your site among those they can patrol or at least keep an eye on the site. It is important that the local police knows about your site and the emergency contact people.

General Security Recommendations

   Security starts within; therefore, enlist employees to help out in keeping theft and vandalism at a minimum. Encourage them to report all illegal cases, and help by taking record of all equipment and their model and serial numbers. You can also install security systems around the site. Make sure you contract reliable surveillance service such as vps.
   Let the employees keep an eye out for graffiti artists. It is important to prevent graffiti on the site as it encourages more graffiti and vandalism. Therefore, keep the site clean and fences with adequate “No Trespassing” signage. This protects the company from liability in case of vandalism
   It is also very vital to conduct criminal background checks on everyone who will be working on the site; the employees, suppliers and sub traders, contractors and security staff. Additionally, enforce all internal anti-theft and zero tolerance policies that prohibit theft.

Always keep the vulnerable items secured. Such items include equipment, copper and other high price metals, small tools and other portable appliances. Always have everyone working on the site wear an identification badge so as to spot an intruder

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Rupert S. Mason
Mason Cultural Center

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