Earthmoving Machinery, Insurance, NTI

Practical tips for safeguarding your equipment and site during down time

security CCTV camera or surveillance system with construction site on blurry background

If it sounds familiar, it’s because it is – the holiday season continues to be a peak time for theft and damage to mobile plant and equipment, and work sites. But the Yellow Cover experts at NTI are here with practical steps to avoid costly incidents during the holiday period.

At face value, it seems like common sense: inadequately secured work sites are at a much higher risk of theft and malicious damage. In fact, the Australian Institute of Criminology reports a significant increase (over 30 per cent) in these types of criminal offences during the December/January period.

And it’s not just equipment that needs consideration. NTI National Product Manager – Mobile Plant, David Kidd says unsecured sites also pose a risk to members of the public, including falls from partially built structures and scaffolding, live electrical power, open excavations, or building waste and rubble.

“If anything goes wrong onsite during down time, you may still be liable, and the liability costs can be detrimental to your business,” he says.

“The best way to prevent these occurrences is to maintain a clear and organised area and to have site supervisors carry out a few simple checks to ensure safety.

“You may need to be extra vigilant if a site is near homes, public parks, or other recreational spaces. The health and safety risks to the public are higher, especially when children or pets may be in the vicinity.

“Dealing with a serious incident isn’t on anyone’s wish list, so we are encouraging everyone to leave enough time for a thorough clean up and safety check before knocking off for holidays.”

Here are some practical suggestions to help reduce the risk of theft, damage, and injury during this opportune time for offenders:

  1. Manage inventory – keep a log of equipment serial numbers and know where items are
  2. Install sensor lights and/or alarm systems to deter intruders
  3. Add identification to equipment such as DataDots, etching, or tags
  4. Install vandal covers to machinery to avoid malicious damage and deter break ins
  5. Fit machines with GPS tracking systems and immobilisers
  6. Install lockable reservoir caps to the fuel and hydraulic systems on your equipment
  7. Install audible and/or back-to-base alarms on your machines and security cameras
  8. Ensure appropriate fencing, secured gates, and boundaries are in place, and close gaps under and between fences and gates so they can’t be accessed by the public
  9. Consider after hours security patrols or notifying local police of shutdown period
  10. Brace partially built structures (e.g., walls, roofs, temporary fencing) to prevent them from becoming airborne in the event of strong winds or bad weather
  11. Remove surplus equipment and machinery from the site including chemicals and harmful substances
  12. Brace boundary fencing so it can’t be pushed or blown over
  13. Ensure electrical safety by turning off the mains switch and securing the mains switchboard
  14. Backfill excavations or make sure they are covered
  15. Make sure your plant and equipment is insured with a specialist mobile plant underwriter so you’ve got an expert on the case and your business is supported if you need to make a claim.

If you’d like to learn more about risk management and how to protect your business, contact your insurance broker, or NTI, today.

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