Risk Management

By Jack Grieco, CIC


Jack Grieco


Impliment strategies to reduce theft of tools, materials on worksite


The construction season has be­gun, and we all know that Alaska is experiencing a high amount of property theft. It seems that nothing is safe from thieves who need money to feed their habits. Job sites are too easy for thieves to break into and steal valu­able tools and materials. Construction site theft is especially damaging, since the theft of materials and tools can quickly delay a project. It is more im­portant than ever for construction com­panies to understand theft prevention strategies and processes to reduce this exposure.

Every job site is unique with its own challenges, but there are controls that can be used to better secure a site. Here are some strategies you can use to protect your materials and tools from thieves:

  • Prepare a written policy and job site plan to address security. The plans should assign responsibili­ties to supervisors and encourage awareness. Best practices should be established for securing mate­rials and tools.
  • Let nearby businesses and law enforcement know when you will be working on the project. They can help monitor off-hours activity.
  • Establish a way for employees to report theft or suspicious activity. Keep records of incidents, including vandalism. Share these with local law enforcement so they can track activity.
  • Have all employees pass a thor­ough background check prior to hiring them full time.
  • Keep a list of all authorized people at the jobsite to limit access for non-employees.
  • Put up security fences and limit access at all times. Use locking gates whenever possible. Avoid using low-quality locks or leaving the keys in the lock.
  • Put up night lights and video surveillance.
  • Inspect the jobsite in the morning and at the end of the day to check for missing items or unsecured items.
  • Hire security guards for night time patrols.
  • Prepare an inventory of all tools and equipment used on the job site. Try to keep the inventory list current.
  • Mark all equipment clearly with company name and phone number.
  • Lock all small equipment inside a connex or secure storage.
  • Use Radio-frequency identifica­tion or GPS-tracking devices on expensive equipment.
  • Lock all heavy equipment keys in a secure place.
  • Lock fuel and oil caps.
  • Don’t leave equipment at the jobsite after it’s no longer needed.

Safeguarding your tools should be the responsibility of all employees, supervisors and project managers. Employees should be encouraged to report all losses, no matter how small. Reviewing small losses helps avoid large losses.

When a loss does occur, you should notify the local police and file a report. Contact your insurance agent to review specifics of your poli­cies. File a claim if necessary.

Theft can’t be predicted, but there are so many thefts in Alaska that it’s important to be prepared. Put the controls in place and implement a security plan to minimize your theft losses. Speak to a broker to seek the appropriate insurance coverage.

Jack Grieco, CIC, is a senior account executive/partner at RISQ Consulting, an Acrisure Agency Partner, in Anchorage.