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September 2, 2021

11 Ways to Prevent Equipment Theft in the Workplace

High-value construction equipment, especially larger ones, are big and conspicuous. On first glance, these definitely don’t seem like a hot target for thieves – or do they? News articles covering stories such as the stolen bulldozers in Vanderhoof, the swiped bulldozer in Innisfil, and the stolen excavator in Nanaimo seem to tell a different story. These are just a few examples of equipment theft in 2021, proving just how important equipment insurance really is. 

In some cases, construction equipment is recovered. In a majority of cases, however, equipment does not get recovered and a replacement is needed. 

It’s safe to say that theft of construction equipment is a debilitating loss unless you have construction equipment insurance to protect you. This article talks about this special type of insurance along with helpful tips to prevent equipment theft

Overhead shot of various construction equipment

The Full Scope of Loss From Construction Equipment Theft

It’s no secret that construction equipment theft leads to significant losses. Probably the first thing that comes to mind is the cost of replacing the lost equipment, which would fall on the company that is liable for the loss. 

Even if the equipment is merely rented from another company, the company storing the equipment or machinery could be liable, especially if there were inadequate security measures that allowed the theft to take place. 

In addition to the cost of the lost equipment, there is also the cost of lost time. An incident of theft will eat up a few hours or even a few days, thereby delaying the ongoing project. 

From the perspective of the clients or the stakeholders in the project, this could lead them to think that the construction company is unreliable. Moreover, significant delays can eventually turn into a lawsuit.  

Equipment Insurance 101: The Most Commonly Stolen Construction Equipment

It would be irresponsible to assume that big machines are not susceptible to getting stolen because of their size. In fact, some of the most common stolen equipment from construction sites include the following:

  • Tractors
  • Wheeled and tracked loaders
  • Towables
  • Skid steer loaders
  • Excavators
  • Utility Terrain Vehicles
  • Bulldozers
  • Generators
  • Welders

Tips for Preventing Construction Equipment Theft

1. Keep the Area Well Lit

A poorly lit project site, whether abandoned for the night or staffed with only a few busy contractors working the graveyard shift – all while machinery is in plain view – is like an open invitation to thieves. 

To discourage thieves from stealing large equipment or smaller tools, make sure that the site has adequate lighting. This works even better when paired with high-quality surveillance cameras.

2. Fence the Area In

Employees are usually busy with their tasks. Therefore, they cannot monitor all areas of the construction site at all times. This is why it’s advisable to invest in temporary fencing, especially for larger project sites. 

Aside from keeping thieves out, you can also keep out curious trespassers who might end up hurting themselves if they find a way into your project site.  

3. Lock Everything Up

If you have temporary fencing, make the most of it. Lock up the project site, especially during times when there are no workers. You can also invest in trailers or storage units where you can safely lock up smaller tools and machinery when not in use. After all, some thieves will settle for smaller items just to make a quick buck.  

4. Have Security Cameras Installed

One of the more advanced ways to keep your project site secure is to have security cameras installed. Not only will this deter thieves, but it will also provide you with workable evidence if theft occurs and will also help when you file construction insurance claims.

A surveillance camera along with temporary fencing

5. Know Your Employees and Subcontractors

Sometimes, threats of theft come from within. This is why it is advisable to do thorough background checks on any new hires in your company. Adding to this, limiting the number of subcontractors present on the project site at a time is also advisable.

6. Have Strict Protocols For Entry and Exit

In conjunction with having temporary fencing for the project, make sure that everyone who enters or exits the site is accounted for. Require everyone to sign in via a logbook and wear ID cards while working. Ideally, such protocols for entry and exit should be enforced by hired security personnel.  

7. Schedule When Items Get Delivered

Items need to be delivered on a strict schedule so that you can make sure that there will be employees ready to receive and secure them. Furthermore, careless delivery processes wherein the gates are left open while everyone inside is confused are the perfect windows of opportunity that thieves want.   

8. Set Protocols for Reporting Theft  

Empower your employees with protocols for reporting when they realize something has been stolen. This way, everyone can take prompt action and you can avoid having a cold trail after a theft occurs.  

9. Track All Your Tools and Equipment

At the end of every workday, track all the tools and equipment. By keeping an updated inventory, you can quickly realize and investigate when items are stolen. 

10. Consider Hiring a Security Service

Hiring a 24/7 security service reinforces all of the above security measures. This is especially recommended for larger projects.  

11. Consider Getting Construction Equipment Insurance

Construction equipment insurance is your safety net in case theft still occurs on your construction site. After all, not even the most thorough security measures will discourage highly determined thieves. This kind of insurance also protects your project site in case of vandalism.  

Protect Your Business with Tailor-Fit Equipment Insurance

The smooth operation of your business may rely on a number of tools and equipment. Both theft and vandalism are potential risks that can happen at any point, leading to financial loss and project delays that will strain your relationship with clients and stakeholders. 

Contractors Insurance, an award-winning insurance brokerage firm in Ontario, offers the best solution for the above risks. Our tailor-fit construction equipment insurance will safeguard your business so that you can have peace of mind and keep your projects on track. 

Because our insurance plans are personalized, you have better control over the finer details of their coverage. We can also remove costly unnecessary riders to help you save in the long run. 

So take the first step towards protecting your construction equipment and contact us today!


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