Construction site theft of small tools and equipment is an ongoing concern for project stakeholders–including contractors, customers, hired companies, and the police. And—thievery of construction tools is on the rise, as well, impacting projects’ ability to run smoothly and causing increased costs, project delays, and often, damage.


The following guide defines the key practical arrangements that should be in place to mitigate the risk of Small Tool & Equipment (ST&E) theft from construction sites and vehicles—supported by industry theft prevention and recovery best practices. The type and range of small tools and equipment targeted by thieves is extensive. Items may be owned by contractors, tradesmen or hired-in, and can be stolen from construction sites or from vehicles – and typical items can include power tools to hand tools, compressors to disc cutters, and concrete breakers and lifting tackle.


During Work Hours

  • Minimize ST&E stored on site
  • Keep all ST&E locked away and out of sight when not in use
  • Provide suitable and sufficient lockable tool chests and steel storage containers
  • Keep all storage provisions locked during working hours
  • Implement a ST&E sign-in/sign-out policy
  • Never leave ST&E unattended when out on site
  • Mark tools with unique identifiers (e.g. permanent corporate colors with distinctive livery markings, together with combinations of letters and numbers using permanent markers/ultraviolet pens)
  • Provide a gateman/security guard to the site entrance
  • Operate random security checks of vehicles leaving the site

Outside of Work Hours

  • Remove or minimize ST&E held on site, particularly during weekends and long holiday periods
  • Keep all ST&E locked away in secure tool chests and steel containers
  • Store tool chests in a secure location (e.g. inside lockable steel shipping containers)
  • Provide alarms for storage containers
  • Return all ST&E to a depot/plant hire company promptly when no longer required


Parked in a Public Place

  • Only transport/store ST&E required for the day
  • Ensure vehicles are always locked and alarmed when unattended
  • Keep ST&E out of sight (for example, utilize mirrored or blacked-out windows in vans)
  • Park in open, populated, well-lit locations
  • Secure ST&E within a locked steel tool chest fixed to the vehicle
  • Chain larger items of ST&E to the interior of the vehicle

Parked at Home

  • Remove ST&E overnight into a secure storage location
  • Park in a garage or on a driveway
  • Ensure vehicles are always locked and alarmed when unattended

As always – if you have any concerns about theft potential at your job site, get in touch with Weifield’s Safety Department.

Until next time….Work Safe & Be Safe!

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