A Sustainable Workforce Starts With You

ACT Now on Jobsite Security, Part 1 of 4

This article was originally published in the November/December issue of Construction Savvy.  Reprinted with permission.

My first construction boss told me everything he thought I needed to know about jobsite security. He said, “If it is not nailed down, someone will steal it.”

That advice holds true today but needs to be amended to say, “If it is not nailed down, stored in a locked secure container or tool box, behind an 8-foot-high chained and locked perimeter fence with 24-hour 360 video on a jobsite with one entry gate, a 24-hour armed security guard and dogs, it will be driven off, carried off or destroyed.”

In many cases, quoting one subcontractor, “Some construction jobsites are secure, but many are still like the ‘Wild Wild West’ where it is ‘may the lowest bid win’ and ‘winner take all’.”  “Take all” means that they might take tools, equipment and building materials if you don’t have a jobsite security plan that prevents it.  The industry rebound means you have to pay closer attention to the security and safety of your jobsite.  Last year, according to industry sources, the industry lost over a billion dollars in materials and equipment theft.  You do not want your company and your jobsite to become a target and one of those statistics.

We still find jobsites, especially residential, multifamily, and small commercial projects where the prime contractors hire subcontractors who hire other subcontractors or “sub subs” who hire “independent contractors” from a labor broker or service – or even go to Home Depot or Lowes and pick up laborers and day workers.  Those workers may or may not be certified, qualified or identified to do your work.  When they show up on your jobsite, you want to have the means and methods to prevent them from causing damage to the project or injury to other workers on the site.  Your jobsite security plan can make the difference.


As a general contractor, there are three areas of jobsite security that you need to cover as a minimum just to protect the job, your workforce, and the owner’s interests and to ensure that you can complete the build with a minimum of issues and incidents.  Those three key jobsite security items can be remembered by the word ACT.

ACT stands for Access, Control and Technology.  They are the mainstays of jobsite security today, and if you pay attention to them you will fare well during this next “up” cycle.

Editor’s note:  In part two of this series next week, Jim Kollaer’s article ACT Now on Jobsite Security will continue as he explains the first key to jobsite security: Access.

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