The construction industry is counting the cost of replacing lost or stolen equipment and despite 40 per cent of surveyors being affected, less than a quarter are taking the necessary security precautions to keep property safe from would-be thieves, a study reveals.
A poll of 100 land surveyors commissioned by technological innovator Topcon GB & Ireland found that two out of five surveyors have been affected by missing items, with the average cost of replacing equipment to complete jobs totalling more than £10,000.
The research reveals the biggest impact of equipment theft was loss of working time and additional cost of replacements.
Damage to equipment (56 per cent) and lost or stolen equipment (39 per cent) were also listed as common causes of delays on site.
Recognising the impact of loss or damage to equipment, the research explored the precautions being taken to protect equipment and data.
Top of the list was using a locked area to store equipment overnight (85 per cent), but 41 per cent said they take the costly measure of employing extra security staff on site to protect equipment.
Despite security software providing a more cost effective means of protecting equipment, the majority of those surveyed do not use security software to protect equipment. Fewer than a quarter take the precaution of ID tagging and less than one in five use remote locking.
Where it might be common place for sites to demand that large machinery is security marked through the CESAR Scheme, the survey showed that this was not the case for security software with 86 per cent reporting they had never been required to have security software for equipment on site.
Peter Roberts, technical support manager at Topcon GB, said: “While advances in technology are reducing the amount of people needed on site and making projects more efficient, it’s essential that the industry is adapting to this to protect equipment against theft too. Locking up equipment at night is no longer a smart enough approach to combat this issue.”
Kevin Howells, managing director at security marking experts Datatag, added: “With less than a quarter of respondents using any form of security marking it’s clear there is a big job for the industry to make the use of this technology standard practice, and complement the use of security software, to further deter thieves.
“The widespread adoption of security marking and tagging large scale plant and machinery on site through the CESAR Scheme, has proved to deter thefts and significantly disrupt the black market for sales of stolen equipment. It’s time to adopt the same technologies for smaller pieces of equipment because, as the survey results show, it’s costing the industry valuable time and money.”