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Safety measure

NCE’s plant security event at Ascot in May comes as manufacturers introduce increasingly sophisticated anti-theft systems. Margo Cole reports.

More than £1M worth of construction and agricultural machines are stolen every week in the UK and Ireland, of which just 8% are ever recovered.

In 2010 4,764 items were stolen, with the top 10 including machines that are ubiquitous to most sites, such as mini excavators, telehandlers, dumpers and backhoe excavators.

Inevitably this level of theft is costing the industry a lot of money in increased insurance premiums, but it has wider implications for everyone working on construction sites, according to Martyn Randle, senior engineer at Thatcham, the insurance industry organisation that researches and approves security systems.

Highly organised

“Plant theft is a highly organised activity,” he said. “Serious and professional gangs steal to order, targeting specific items of construction plant in advance, and either smuggle or use the services of legitimate haulers, freight forwarders and shippers to move the equipment to desired destinations such as Ireland, Poland, Greece, the UAE, Cyprus and Turkey.”

NCE is supporting a pan-industry event in May to raise the issue of site security and identify the financial, legal and safety implications for all members of the construction sector.

Plant theft is just one aspect that will be considered at the event. Also on the agenda are the threat from terrorism and the possible corporate manslaughter implications of unlawful access onto sites.

Speakers at the event in Ascot on 17 and 18 May will include representatives from the Olympic Delivery Authority, Amey, Thatcham, law firm Burges Salmon and the Metropolitan Police.

Attendees can also see examples of security solutions from exhibitors including Kosran, JCB, CESAR and Garic.

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