In this six-part article, an Orlando construction attorney is discussing several ways that contractors can reduce the chances of theft in their workplace. In the first, second, and third sections, we covered many reasons why theft happens in the construction industry. In this section, we will offer a few tips to mitigate theft at your jobsite including keeping records of your equipment.
Using Identification Measures
Unfortunately, the vast majority of stolen equipment is never recovered. Although you are not required to have a title for your bulldozer, backhoe, or generator, you should should take the time to perform the following tasks to help identify your equipment. Labeling equipment will help law enforcement find your equipment if it gets lost and your insurance company during the claims process:
- Unique Labeling: You need a unique way of identifying your equipment. Engrave the serial number and product identification number (PIN) onto every piece of equipment you own. You could even add your driver’s license number. It’s best to mark your equipment in both clear and obvious places and also hidden areas.
- Record Keeping: You should keep records of all the equipment you purchased. Taking this a step further, you should photograph the equipment along with the engravings you created. This will be helpful information for law enforcement during an investigation.
- Due Diligence: Make certain that your equipment and tools are under warranty and can be quickly replaced if you do experience an incident of theft. Contractors should always keep records on the contact information for all of their vendors (manufacturers, suppliers, etc.) if they do need quick replacements.
Many thefts happen because things are left out in the open. It’s critical that all equipment, tools, and materials are secured at the end of every shift. Here are a few tips for securing items:
- Tools and Materials: Never leave tools and materials lying around a jobsite. Every site should have an onsite secure location where gear, tools, and important supplies can be stored. Whether it’s a storage shed or a lockbox on a truck, valuables should be stowed away at the end of each shift and the information should be logged into a system.
- Equipment: It’s important to immobilize your equipment and create a system that deters thieves. Lock all the cab doors to your equipment, ensure there are no universal keys located on the property, remove all batteries or wheels if possible, and park the equipment in a way that prohibits criminals from easy access to machinery.
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.