Why using temporary site compounds will help reduce plant theft and potentially save you thousands
Increasing the use of temporary compounds around construction sites by installing barriers and fencing will not only add greater security and help reduce plant theft, but it will also potentially save companies thousands of pounds.
Construction plant theft is on the rise in the UK, with millions of pounds worth of equipment stolen every year. Just one glance at the Construction Plant-hire Association website will make a very disturbing read, with a staggering amount of thefts listed in recent months.
These thefts are costing the UK construction industry some £800million every year, when the full costs of replacing the stolen plant, the subsequent loss of business and increased insurance premiums are taken into account.
Indeed, in a survey as recently as October 2018 by insurer Allianz Cornhill, it was revealed that £70m worth of construction plant had been stolen from sites in the UK in the previous year. That was 665 individual cases of theft – a sharp rise from 428 in 2013. And those numbers are only going to increase.
While there are many security measures implemented to combat thieves and fraudsters from targeting construction sites, more action clearly has to be taken to help prevent them.
What are compound and perimeter security solutions?
There is a range of concrete barrier and fence solutions – both for sale or for hire – available to provide secure, safe perimeters and compounds for your site.
Site protection barriers are designed to deflect vehicles away from the site, protecting the workforce and public, which means they are ideal for perimeter protection along highways, roads and footpaths.
No foundations are required, making them perfect for siting on hard or soft terrain, and can be quickly installed.
Fencing is also available in both metal hoarding and mesh panels, making it a flexible, robust and cost-effective choice for many sites, while gate options are also available.
Why use barriers and fences?
- They provide extra security for plant, materials and equipment, whether located in a main compound or satellite compound
- They prevent unauthorised vehicle access to property, parks, fields and more
- They are ideal for the division of lanes in car parks, or site protective works
- They protect pedestrians and light vehicles in specified commercial and public areas
- They are ideal crowd protection at motor sports and other events
Why compound security should be your top priority
The number of thefts from construction sites is on the up and, while a certain amount of those can be attributed to opportunist thieves, it must also be recognised that this rise can be apportioned to the increased levels of sophistication used by criminals.
They are increasingly finding new methods to overcome security measures that stand in their way, and are becoming more and more professional and organised as they turn theft into a lucrative business for themselves.
Other factors, such as inefficient security for stored keys, the single common key system which is used on many sites around the UK, or the difficulties of keeping track on who is coming and going on-site, are also contributing to the increase of thefts.
What this essentially means is that no stone should be left unturned in finding the most effective ways of preventing them.
Site security is just as important as the work happening on site. If a construction site is left unsecured, it is more vulnerable to theft, and sites that are also left unsecure out of hours are prone to vandalism, trespassing or arson.
It could also be potentially fatal, such is the danger of a site being accessed by untrained people. The worst-case scenario is, of course, that someone could be severely injured or killed – and such unfortunate incidents do occur every year.
Fraudsters are also taking advantage of lapse security measures. This involves fraudulently hiring a large quantity of high-value plant under the guise of being employed by a genuine company, who will appear authentic and pass any necessary security checks. Once the plant has been signed over, the fraudsters will arrange for its resale, pocketing the profits.
It is also worth bearing in mind the Occupiers Liability Act of 1984, which states that a site occupier has a duty of care towards people on their premises, including trespassers.
Preventing unauthorised access to construction sites should not be taken lightly and must be among your highest priorities. The costs of implementing stringent security solutions could prove insignificant compared to the cost of plant or, worse, a life.
Securing the perimeter is key
Thieves are tempted by expensive equipment and, if they can gain access easily, they will try their luck without thinking twice.
That makes an unsecured construction site an easy target. But as well as installing measures that come into effect once a thief has entered a compound – such as CCTV – you should also be focusing on preventing access in the first place.
Security fencing is considered the most effective way of protecting the perimeter of your site, with minimal entrances/exits and secure gates.
Other tips on reducing the risk of plant theft
Why leave anything to chance? As well as ensuring your compound and perimeter is secure, it would be prudent to bear in mind the following:
- Site security – Installing CCTV and alarm systems will certainly help act as a deterrent to would-be thieves, as will signage which clearly displays your security measures. Ensure proper locks are in place, and have greater control over who has access to keys
- Lighting – It is a simple, cost-effective method that is one of the better deterrents for theft. No thief wants to operate under the glare of security lighting
- Security patrols – An on-site security office patrolling your site, especially out of hours, will act as an effective deterrent to thieves, vandals or trespassers. During hours, a security officer can also provide gate control, signing people and vehicles in and out
- Inventories – If something does go missing, you should be able to quickly identify what it is if you have kept detailed, up-to-date records of all your equipment, which will increase chances of recovery if it is stolen
- Visitors – Ensure they are never left to roam around your site unattended. Construction sites are busy, with many people coming and going on a daily basis and, while some of the faces will be familiar, they are not official members of the site and could potentially pose a threat to security
- Technology – We’ve mentioned how sophisticated thieves are becoming, they are moving with the times. Do the same. Don’t get caught lagging behind in the technology stakes by exploring every option available, such as a telematics system that can be used to locate any piece of equipment
- Risk analysis – Certain areas carry certain risks, so know your environment and ensure you are aware which of your equipment is most likely to be at risk of theft
- Good practices – Make sure all tools and equipment, where possible, is securely locked away at night, and ensure site personnel are well-informed and extra vigilant. Also remove all ignition keys from any vehicles or equipment that are unattended. You’d be surprised how many keys are left in the ignition. And if you see something suspicious, make a note of it
Where have our barrier and fencing solutions been used?
APC Civils has a proven track record with a wide range of clients, including major construction firms, national and regional traffic management contractors.
We have completed many successful projects, where we have supplied barriers and fencing to large-scale sites. Some of those examples can be viewed here.
Want to know more about our barriers, fencing and temporary compounds?
APC Civils are specialists when it comes to supplying and installing temporary concrete safety barriers for workforce protection and traffic control for major highways, civil engineering and construction projects throughout the UK.
Our range of concrete barrier and fence solutions will provide secure, safe perimeters and compounds for your site, reducing the risk of theft and potentially saving you a significant amount of money.
If you’d like to discuss anything further with, want some more information or even want a quote, please contact us on 01949 838 647 or 07826 118 216 and we’d be more than happy to have a chat. Or you can fill out our contact form here. We look forward to talking to you.