Top Tips to Keep Your Construction Tools Safe
In 2022, tools were stolen every 15 minutes across England, Wales, and Northern Ireland. A total of 35,098 incidents of tool theft were reported to the police last year, 13% more than in 2021. More than half (55%) of these thefts took place from a vehicle, equalling 19,147 cases, which is up by 10% compared to 2021.
Of those surveyed, the average value of stolen tools equalled £3,425, which makes the combined total value of tools stolen from vehicles a shocking £66m in 2022. London continues to be a hotspot for this type of crime, but it’s an issue across the country. Stolen tools may be sold to a used goods store or resold online without any legal requirement to list a serial number. This makes the second-hand market more affordable and tempting to those buyers who want to keep on working.
With the cost-of-living crisis, skills shortages, and the cost of materials rising, businesses are facing higher challenges than usual. Add to this the worrying rise in tool theft being seen across the UK, and it seems like the pressures that tradespeople are facing is growing.
Which tools are the most stolen?
In 2022, a whopping 78% of tradespeople were victims of tool theft. Out of all the professions, roofers were the hardest hit group, followed by electricians, plumbers, and carpenters.
Between January 2021 and October 2022
• 22,005 powered hand tools were stolen.
• 5,641 standard tools were stolen.
• 1,683 mechanical hand tools were stolen.
• 1,137 garden tools and garden equipment were stolen.
• 414 building materials, including scaffolding, were stolen.
• 295 ladders were stolen.
It seems that powered hand tools are four times more likely to be stolen than any other tool, with 38% of these tools stolen from a van.
It’s important to note that stealing construction tools is illegal and unethical. Construction companies and workers often suffer financial losses due to tool theft, leading to project delays, increased costs, and potential safety risks. Implementing proper security measures, such as locked storage areas, surveillance systems, and regular inventory checks, can help deter theft and protect valuable equipment.
Top tips for keeping your construction tools safe include:
Secure Storage: Lock them in a tool chest, cabinet, or dedicated tool storage area when not in use. This could prevent unauthorised access and reduce the risk of theft.
Organisation: Keep your tools well organised and labelled. Clear labelling makes it easier to identify missing tools and encourages their proper return after use.
Regular Inventory: Conduct regular tool inventory checks. This helps you detect any losses or potential thefts promptly.
Security Measures: Consider using alarm systems or GPS tracking devices for high-value tools. Install fences, surveillance cameras, and proper lighting to deter theft and unauthorised access.
Tracking System: Barcode or RFID-based tracking systems can help you keep tabs on tool usage, reduce loss, and identify any unauthorised removal.
Employee Accountability: Make sure all workers are aware of their responsibilities for tool handling, returning tools after use, and reporting any loss or damage immediately.
Tool Maintenance: Perform routine cleaning, lubrication, and calibration as recommended by the manufacturer. Proper maintenance not only extends the lifespan of the tools but also reduces the risk of accidents caused by faulty equipment.
Training: Provide training to workers on tool safety and proper handling techniques. Teach them how to use, store, and transport tools safely.
Reporting System: Encourage workers to report any tool-related incidents, losses, or damages promptly.
Insured Coverage: Consider obtaining insurance coverage for your construction tools. This could provide financial protection in case of theft, loss, or damage.
It’s important for construction companies and workers to be vigilant and take the necessary precautions to protect their tools and equipment, including taking out the appropriate insurance cover. At 1st Choice Insurance, we have access to a wide range of policies to get your business the level of protection it needs. Call our friendly team on 01743770500 or simply fill out our quote form.
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