3 Shocking Stats on Construction Theft: What Can Be Done About This?


The construction industry inherently doesn’t have much security. When you think about just how unguarded most work sites are, you’ll realize why it’s such a big issue. Often, things get stolen that are required to complete the job.

Security isn’t a foolproof option. Some burglars will try anything, no matter how much surveillance a site has. However, with some form of security, you’re already making the job site a more difficult target. Here are some of the most shocking stats on the construction industry’s security.

1. 90% of Construction Sites are Vulnerable

Any supervisor who thinks having no security is fine may soon be proven wrong. Those with little or no protection are the ones most vulnerable. In fact, as much as 90% of construction sites are susceptible to theft. Thieves might be encouraged by that statistic since they’ll likely face no repercussions by walking in and taking something for themselves.

2. Construction Theft Costs $1 Billion Annually

Equipment doesn’t come cheap. Construction site theft is easy when there’s no means of security, so much so that it costs businesses up to $1 billion each year. People could buy some of this stolen equipment online without knowing.

3. There Were 11,000 Site Burglaries in 2021

Over 11,000 burglaries on construction sites happened in the United States in 2021. A lack of records could prevent workers from knowing what’s missing until it’s too late — or until someone needs something that isn’t at the site anymore.

5 Tips for a More Secure Construction Site

Security is crucial, especially when workers deal with necessary machinery or materials you can’t easily replace. Every job site looks different, so simply putting up a fence might not work for every situation. However, it’s up to each worker to analyze how they can help keep their workplace safe. These ideas ensure an extra layer of security on top of what a site already has.

1. Make It Easy to Report When Something’s Missing

Around 90% of employees find themselves working on tedious tasks that take too much time. If a supervisor introduces a way for workers to report when things are missing without them going out of their way for something boring or repetitive, they may be more likely to report. Even a simple form they could access on their phone to note something small or large can make a difference.

2. Close Everything Up

Your work site does need a fence if you don’t have one already. They can prevent people from easily slipping in and out. Supervisors can also keep better track of their site. Otherwise, it might be too easy for thieves to walk in and take something they can resell later.

Before leaving after each shift, supervisors should ensure the fence is closed and all heavy machinery is locked up. These simple tasks might prevent someone from walking in and stealing a machine. Putting locks on smaller machinery can help ensure it’s there the next day of work.

In addition to keeping heavy machinery under lock and key, job sites should ensure every employee and contractor follows safety training to know how best to work with these machines. Deaths in the workplace have dropped by 60% since OSHA was first implemented more than 50 years ago. As people understand safety better, they may also automatically secure the job site, making it more difficult for thievery and injuries to occur.

3. Add Tracking Measures

Keeping records of who uses what — including when materials get swapped from one workgroup to another — can be vital in tracking equipment. It supports a healthy and safe job site, especially since it allows supervisors to replace any stolen property sooner rather than later. These notes might also indicate to everyone when something needs maintenance or replacing.

For the entire site, surveillance makes every space feel safer for an owner with something to lose. Install cameras and alarm systems, and you may notice your job site becomes much more secure.

4. Use Lighting to Your Advantage

Lighting can work wonders to deter nosy visitors on an empty construction site at night. Ideally, you should choose bright lights that cover the entire location, leaving no area in darkness. Choose motion-detection lights to save on power bills and keep neighbor annoyance to a minimum while still defending your site. A thief will likely choose to turn around once they notice they’re in the light and on camera.

5. Inspect the Site Regularly

When you have free time, look around your job site. Supervisors and contractors should look for flaws in fences that could let people in. They may also want to test any surveillance gear — including motion detectors — to ensure they work well. Checking security measures properly is crucial to ensuring your site functions well, even when you’re not there to supervise it.

Stop Theft at Your Construction Site

Whether you’re a decision-maker or an entry-level worker, you can make a difference at your workplace. Unfortunately, construction site theft is all too common, resulting in devastating financial and material losses. When everyone does their job, they can better contribute to the security of a job site.

With just a few changes, any supervisor could rest easy knowing their site is as secure as possible. Putting more effort into security means less of a mess to clean up after potential burglaries.

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