Every year there is up to one billion dollars in construction equipment, materials, and tools stolen from jobsites. Even worse, this figure has grown steadily for several decades. In this six-part series, an Orlando construction lawyer will discuss theft in construction. In this section, we will discuss the common mistakes that lead to an incident of theft and how this impacts the workplace.
Common Mistakes That Lead to Theft
Although there are a variety of ways that theft can transpire on a construction site, here are a few critical mistakes construction firms make that can lead to theft:
- Lack of Security: Some firms fail to invest in or overlook several important security measures. Construction sites that fail to deter thieves are the primary target of theft. In other words, contractors need to protect their sites.
- Materials and Equipment Overlooked: Equipment, tools, and materials should be properly stored away at the end of each shift. Prevention techniques should be utilized including locking up and keeping equipment immobilized.
- No Identification System: When you purchase a car, you are given a title and registration for the vehicle. For construction equipment, there is no formulaic, governing system in place that identifies the equipment by a tag number or any other form of identification.
- Bad Management: Construction sites need to be closely monitored and all of the equipment, tools, and materials should be accounted for each day. Further, communicating with neighboring properties and making certain that your workers understand theft policies is also crucial.
How Does Theft Impact the Workplace?
There are a variety of ways a workplace is impacted by theft including:
- Cost of Replacement: If the equipment wasn’t insured, purchasing new equipment can cripple the budget of a project and potentially bankrupt a business in the process. Of course, if the equipment was insured and replaced, insurance premiums increase after these incidents.
- Waste: Whether it’s time spent reporting the theft, dealing with insurance companies, or waiting on new equipment to be transported to the jobsite, any of these things can greatly impact the time spent on a project.
- Missed Deadlines: When productivity and scheduling are impacted by theft, this can result in missed deadlines. This also results in the contractor’s failure to receive full payment for the project.
- Workplace Morale: Theft can raise suspicion in the workplace and result in mistrust between the employer and their employees.
Disclaimer: The information contained in this article is for general educational information only. This information does not constitute legal advice, is not intended to constitute legal advice, nor should it be relied upon as legal advice for your specific factual pattern or situation.