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Stopping Theft on your Jobsite

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Jobsites are often the unfortunate targets of thieves and vandals. Their open-planned nature, the vast uncovered and unsecured surfaces and areas, not to mention the expensive equipment housed within, make them a goldmine for would-be robbers, vandals, and criminals.

A 2008 report by the Australian Institute of Criminology studied the rate of theft on construction sites, and the results were disturbing. Thirty nine percent of builders were affected by theft or vandalism. The items most often reported stolen included raw materials 61 percent and small hand-held tools 46 per cent, and, over all the mean amount of indirect losses incurred for theft and vandalism was a staggering $10,441.

However, that is not where the losses end. You should also consider the resulting downtime—the lack of availability of materials or equipment due to theft leads to delays in the project. This is further exacerbated by long waits for insurance payouts or hefty premiums, the combined cost of which could lead to a budget blow out on the whole project.

However, all is not lost. There are many options for building companies and project managers looking to protect their jobsites from theft and vandalism, and therefore future-proofing against unnecessary costs.

Jobsite spoke to Kelley Fry from Site Safe, a Melbourne-based company providing safe and secure storage systems for the construction industry since 1974.

Standing up to Rough Conditions

Fry notes that the construction industry is “very tough” on storage equipment, and therefore secure storage units must be manufactured in a unique way.

“The units manufactured by Site Safe are designed strong, to withstand the usage put on them by construction workers,” says Fry.

“Safety requirements of storage units has also improved, including the certification of lifting points. Regular maintenance on site storage units is a must on larger sites. For example, when a crane is lifting a storage unit up 20 stories, the last thing you need to see is the lifting point fail.”

Quality of Materials can Reduce Theft  

According to Fry, there are major differences between variations of shipping containers and site boxes, much of which has to do with the quality of the materials used. This then increases the safety aspects as well as contributing to a longer-lasting unit for the site.

“Structural quality, strength, size, and the locking system are the main differences between different types of containers and site boxes,” says Fry. “Site Safe has a patented locking system that secures a padlock so only the keyhole is shown. If the shank of a padlock is on the handle of a shipping container, thieves have easy access to gain entry using battery powered tools or bolt cutters.”

Fry also believes that theft is on the rise in the industry, noting that inferior products shipped from overseas are contributing to the problem.

“A cheap unit invites a thief to gain access easily, which perpetuates repeat incidents,” he explains.

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