Tackling worksite losses with technical monitoring and personnel identification

Fidera ID henkilövalvonta
With readers and cameras placed throughout the site, unauthorized persons moving material, for example, can be detected.


According to a survey done by the Chamber of Commerce in Finland, worksite losses are the biggest problem in construction industry. The construction industry suffers from break-ins, thefts and vandalism more than other industries. The industry needs new methods that minimize the costs of these losses and make the business more profitable. Fidera ID service offers a cost-effective and scalable solution for protecting worksites.

Not all thefts at worksites are reported to police and insurance companies

Eero Seppä remarks in his thesis made for YIT that it is difficult to evaluate the number of thefts at construction sites, as many companies do not report them. Reporting a crime takes time, and the actual insurance compensation might remain low due to a sizable excess. This means that the losses from the thefts are still a burden for the construction companies.

There is a growing demand for worksite protection services and solutions. According to Seppä, while some thefts involve outsiders, some are done internally by other contractors or personnel.

The most crucial aspect in protecting assets is to identify the tools and materials that might get stolen. Seppä states that the more valuable the asset is or the easier it is to resell, hide or transfer, the more it attracts thieves.

The disappearance of materials is even bigger problem than thefts

With the help of Fidera ID asset protection, the materials most prone to losses can be marked with remotely tracked tags. The tags can be integrated with different personnel tracking rules that generate an alarm, if a person unauthorized to move certain materials tries to move them from storage, for example.

The alarm could also be given, if a tagged equipment is being moved out of the worksite. It is then possible to identify the person moving the material out of the site based on camera monitoring.

Moving an asset doesn’t always involve theft. Seppä mentions that materials are moved from one worksite to another on a regular basis. An asset reported missing from one worksite might appear in another even after a longer period of time. Modern asset tracking is now possible with Fidera ID services, and it makes asset tracking easier even from this point of view.

Construction experts interviewed by Seppä explained that missing equipment were a bigger problem than thefts in terms of losses, as a lot of working time is wasted in searching for them. Fidera ID services enable real time warehouse management and asset tracking, and provide a solution even for these problems.

Fidera tavarahallinta

Photo: Seppä (2008). The percentage of stolen and missing assets in worksites. The black bar refers to missing assets, while the stolen ones are marked in white.

Small assets disappear most often, while larger equipment are most likely stolen by professional thieves

According to Eero Seppä’s research for YIT, the most common stolen assets at worksites were angle grinders, power drills and drilling hammers. Additionally, the loss of extension cords and work lights at the sites was exceptionally high.

Fidera työmaahävikki
Photo: Eero Seppä (2008). Distribution of lost assets at the worksite.

Larger equipment was stolen more infrequently. According to Seppä, the thefts of equipment from the worksite appeared to be organised by professional criminals, as there were similar thefts in multiple worksites around the area. Usually, the crimes took place in the evenings or at nights in remotely located worksites.

Seppä explains that as thefts increased exponentially during mid-1990’s, many construction companies did not take insurance coverage for equipment worth under 2,000 euros. Construction companies themselves need to cover the losses of these smaller assets. Also, if rental equipment is stolen, the “ghost rents” for these non-existing equipment could be counted as losses.

Indirect costs of thefts exceed the actual value of the asset

Seppä estimates – conservatively, as he puts it – that the monetary value of assets stolen from YIT’s worksites in a year would be around 100,000 euros (in 2008).

The monetary value remains insignificant when compared to the indirect costs of thefts. Seppä compares the monetary value of a stolen asset to a peak of the iceberg: the most significant part remains unseen below the surface.

Minimizing worksite losses by enhancing technical monitoring and access control

Seppä’s thesis made for YIT was published in 2008, but the themes covered remain valid even in today’s construction sites. Contrary to 2008, we now have technical solutions for all of the issues raised by Seppä.

Fidera ID service infrastructure offers an objective solution for the problems mentioned by Seppä. Fidera’s fully automatic personnel tracking and access control system with integrated asset tracking and video monitoring enables companies to minimize losses.

Seppä suggests the following methods for preventing worksite losses and crime:

  • developing technical monitoring
  • more diverse security services
  • developing the monitoring of small assets
  • preparing for property offences
  • improving personnel identification and access control at worksites.

For more information on Fidera’s solutions to minimize losses at worksite, call our service number +358 (0)207  199580.