The construction sector is counting the cost of replacing lost or stolen equipment and despite 40 per cent of surveyors being affected, less than a quarter are adopting the necessary security procedures to keep property safe from would-be criminals, a report indicates.
A poll of 100 land surveyors commissioned by technical pioneer Topcon GB & the UK found that two out of five surveyors have been affected by lost items, with the average cost of replacing equipment to finish assignments being more than £10,000.
The research showed the main consequence of equipment theft was loss of working time and additional expense of replacements.
On-site delays were attributed in large part to damaged or stolen equipment (56%), as well as lost or damaged equipment (39%).
Recognising the implications of loss or damage to equipment, the research studied the safeguards being taken to protect equipment and data.
Top on the list was using a closed place to keep equipment overnight (85 per cent), although 41 per cent stated they took the costly measure of employing extra security staff on site to protect equipment.
Security software can secure equipment at a lower cost, yet most people polled said they don’t utilise it. Only about a quarter of people utilise ID tagging as a safety measure, and fewer than a fifth employ remote locking.
Whereas security marking of large machinery under the CESAR Scheme may be frequent, the poll found that 86% of respondents had never been compelled to have security software on site.
Despite the fact that technological advancements are reducing the number of workers needed on site and increasing project efficiency, Topcon GB’s technical support manager Peter Roberts said: “It is critical that the industry adapt in order to protect equipment against theft as well.” Locking up equipment at night is no longer a clever enough method to fight 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 practise, and complement the use of security software, to further deter thieves.
Security marking and tagging large-scale plant and machinery on site through the CESAR Scheme has shown to reduce thefts and disrupt the black market for the sale of stolen equipment. Significantly.” It’s time to implement the same technology for smaller pieces of equipment since, as the study results demonstrate, it’s costing the industry important time and money.”