Discovering your equipment has been stolen, damaged, or someone has been injured on your site during the holidays is the last gift any business owner wants to receive. EEM spoke to Australia’s leader in mobile plant and equipment insurance, NTI, to gather insight and a checklist for securing your site and minimising the risk during the break.
Inadequately secured constructions sites are high risk for theft and malicious damage. The Australian Institute of Criminology reports an increase of over 30 per cent in these kinds of criminal offences during the holiday period, most of which are avoidable.
NTI’s Mobile Plant and Equipment Risk Engineer – Hayden Reed, says “Malicious damage and theft is prevalent over the holiday season, as opportunists take advantage of vacant sites with unsecured, manoeuvrable equipment.
“Plant and equipment with reputable brand names in good working condition are especially vulnerable. Construction material and metals are also not immune to theft.”
As the international market for stolen plant and equipment grows, so too does the cost to Australian businesses. In 2020, construction site theft costs Australia about $2 billion, with plant and equipment accounting for $790 million.
“NTI encourages owners, operators and hirers of mobile plant and equipment to take extra precautionary measures during the holiday period to minimise risk and alleviate pressures and potential delays at the start of the new year,” said Reed.
“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.”
Reed says, “It’s essential to understand that if something goes awry, you may be liable. The best way to prevent these occurrences is to maintain a clean and organised area, and to have site supervisors carry out a few simple checks to ensure safety.”
“If a site is near homes or parks you may need to be extra vigilant, as health and safety risks to the public are higher, particularly when inquisitive 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 the holidays,” he adds.
HELP REDUCE THE RISK OF THEFT, DAMAGE AND INJURY BY:
- Managing inventory – Keep a log of equipment serial numbers and know where items are
- Installing sensor lights and/or alarm systems to deter intruders
- Adding identification to equipment such as Data Dots, etching or tags
- Installing vandal covers to all machinery to avoid malicious damage and deter break ins
- Fitting machines with GPS tracking systems and immobilisers
- Installing lockable reservoir caps to the fuel and hydraulic systems on equipment
- Ensuring appropriate fencing, secured gates and boundaries are in place
- Installing security cameras – they are a deterrent, and provide evidence in the event of an incident
- Considering after hours security patrols or notifying local police of shutdown period
- Ensuring equipment is parked up safely – moved to higher ground, implements lowered, minimum 3m apart and electrically isolated
- Bracing partially built structures (e.g., walls, roofs, temporary fencing) to prevent them from becoming airborne in the event of strong winds or bad weather
- Removing surplus equipment and machinery from the site including chemicals and harmful substances
- Ensuring electrical safety by turning off and securing the main switch
- Backfilling excavations or ensure they are covered
- Removing unwanted construction materials and waste
NTI specialists understand your unique mobile plant and equipment needs and designed a comprehensive policy that provides cover against thefts, malicious damage, and liability. Speak to your local broker today about NTI’s Yellow Cover policy, so you can kick back and stress less this holiday period.