Should you order storage containers early in the fall?

Every year the holiday season launches a festive time. The temperatures drop, pumpkin spice is everywhere (and in everything), pumpkin patches and tree lots pop up in the parking lots of retail centers, and holiday layaway plans kick into gear at big-box stores. If you’re running a construction site, you may not know about the seasonal demand for storage containers, portable toilets, and temporary fencing. So, do you need to order storage containers early in the fall?

What’s so special about fall?

Online shopping may be the go-to solution for buying things nowadays, but layaway is still a popular option during the holidays. Retailers like Wal-Mart, Target, and even grocery stores need a place to store all the layaway purchases and extra holiday merchandise – and they rent storage containers to create that extra space.

As we get deeper into the season, you know who else needs storage containers? Tree lots. They also need to rent a lot of fencing, portable toilets, and office trailers. Construction companies that operate through fall and winter end up competing with retailers and even community groups for temporary storage. Make sure to call as early as possible for the best selection.

When to order storage containers

Do you operate in a rural area where you don’t have many retailers or tree lots? It’s still a good idea to get your order in early. Big-box retailers and grocery superstores usually start placing their storage container orders in August. If you wait until September or October, you may find yourself on a wait list or having to pay extra to bring in containers from other areas.

If an unexpected project comes up, or if you aren’t able to order a container that early, there’s a good chance you can still find one in a neighboring area. However, expect to see travel fees or delivery wait times tacked onto your rental.

What’s the best solution for renting storage containers at the end of the year? Call and schedule as early as you can. Even if you can only call a few days in advance, at least there’s time to find a nearby container before your job starts.

We hear from customers every year who are surprised to find out storage containers in their area are booked all the way from pumpkin season to the day-after-Christmas shopping frenzy. But it’s a reality.

Give us a call when you need site services in the fall – or any time of the year. We do the legwork and find solutions, so you don’t have to.

washing hands

The do’s and don’ts of hand washing stations

Hand washing has been a hot topic in 2020 (for obvious reasons). The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has had hand washing facility requirements in place for decades. But there are updated recommendations when preparing workplaces, retail locations (especially pharmacies), and construction sites for workers in light of COVID-19. If you run a construction site, or you’re managing a location where people have to gather, here are some do’s and don’ts of hand washing stations that you may not have considered.

Do: Set up adequate hand washing stations

Pharmacies were among the first businesses that had to consider installing additional hand washing stations. People stop by to pick up prescriptions, and they often stand in waiting areas. Most often they’re sick or have a compromised immune system. There is also the fact pharmacy employees are coming into contact with people who may be sick.

Many retail locations, as well as construction sites, have installed standalone hand washing stations or hand sanitizing stations. Aim to provide a station for every 10-12 people who work in the area.

Do: Keep units in a climate-controlled area

When temperatures drop in winter, you don’t want hand washing stations freezing up. In order to function, they need to be somewhat climate controlled. If the worksite isn’t enclosed, or if there isn’t an enclosed area nearby to accommodate hand washing stations, consider placing it in a storage container with open doors on either end. Or create a temporary enclosure that protects the unit from wind, snow, and freezing temperatures.

Don’t: Place units far away from service entrances

For retail facilities or enclosed worksites, place hand washing stations near a docking area or fire exit. Service trucks will have to access the units, and service technicians need to easily get to the unit without having to remove it completely. Keeping units indoors near a docking area or major exit also makes things convenient for employees and guests who need to use the stations.

Don’t: Skip the station if you can’t find one

When the 2020 pandemic was at its height, the wait-list for hand washing stations was weeks or even months in most places. Hand wash station manufacturers went into overdrive to produce more units to meet demand. If you ever find it difficult to locate a hand wash station or hand sanitizer dispenser, don’t go without. Get creative and see if you can rig something up. Some of our clients reported converting small food truck trailers into hand washing stations. The University of New Mexico even has an example of how to create a small hand washing station for farm workers (although they could work at any outdoor location).

The old rule of thumb used to be one hand washing station for every 20 employees on a jobsite. To encourage more hand washing, it may be better to lower that ratio down to 10 or 12. No matter how many units you need for your location, we can help you get them scheduled and serviced. Give us a call if you need to add hand wash stations to your jobsite.

Ask Angela: Helping crew members feel safe after the shutdown

Angela Phillips is a Senior Account Manager III at ZTERS Waste Solutions. She helps customers with some of their most challenging site service issues, and she answers your questions here on our website.

Dear Angela, Now that work is ramping back up from the Covid-19 shutdown, how can we help our crew members feel safe being back on the worksite?

This is a great question that a lot of people are asking right now. We know many construction sites continued operation throughout the shutdown because construction is considered an essential business in many places. However, we’re also seeing areas that were previously shut down now slowly starting to resume projects. Every state is different, and we’ve seen a wide range of experiences with our customers.

Like most businesses, we keep a close eye on the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), and they have a Community Mitigation Framework with guidelines around protecting workers and the public in general when congregating at work or in public places. This includes things like practicing social distancing of at least six feet, hand washing regularly, sanitizing areas more frequently, and wearing masks where appropriate.

On a construction site, some of these things can be more difficult—sometimes two-person lifting means you have to stand closer than six feet! However, there are still protections we’re seeing our customers and vendors implement.

For one, portable toilets and common areas like mobile offices are being disinfected more frequently and many jobsites are ordering extra handwashing stations to make sure people can wash their hands more frequently.

We also see a lot of safety managers recommending crew members practice social distancing as much as possible and wear a mask when it doesn’t affect the safety of the work you’re doing. We also see some sites requiring crew members to take their temperature before starting work.

The Laborers’ Health & Safety Fund of North America put out a series of guidelines around worker safety in a post-COVID-19 world. They have social distancing recommendations specifically for construction sites. This includes a “no congregation” rule and not allowing food trucks on worksites. This may mean having safety meetings in smaller groups and asking crew members to bring their own lunch and space themselves further than six feet apart when they eat.  

It’s a good idea to check with your local regulatory agencies to find out if there are any special requirements in your area.

There will definitely be an adjustment period to these new rules. We recommend our customers use resources like these to come up with a written safety plan and communicate it to crew members. Having a written plan and following safety guidelines will go a long way toward protecting crew members and helping people feel safe being back on the jobsite.

We know there have been a lot of delays and back orders when it comes to handwashing stations, so give us a call to find out what’s available in your area and how to get more coverage on your site.

Temporary office trailers: What to know before you rent

Temporary office trailers serve many functions. From construction companies to schools undergoing renovations, mobile office trailers are used in many industries to provide essential space for performing essential duties on a jobsite. Renting a temporary office trailer isn’t complicated, but here’s what you need to know before you rent. Asking these questions will help you avoid wasting money on a trailer that doesn’t fit your needs.   

How will you use the temporary office trailer?

Before you get started, ask yourself the basics. How big should the trailer be? What capabilities should the trailer have? Office trailers are used to provide onsite office space for people who need a desk and a comfortable chair to sit in. They may have electricity, but little else. That may be all you need for your jobsite.

However, larger office trailers can be ordered that offer amenities like a restroom, more than one office space, closet space or a small kitchen. Before you decide whether these functions are needed, you should first decide what your organization will do in the office.

Ask your team:

  • Who will use the office space?
  • How many people will need to use it at the same time?
  • How many pieces of furniture must fit in the office?
  • Will the space need to be large enough for meetings or gatherings?

Where will the office trailer go?

To answer this question, consider factors like foot traffic, vehicle traffic and work activity on the site. Place the office in a location where it will be out of the way of vehicles and employees, but convenient for the people who need to access it. Other factors to consider include noise and accessibility. Noise in the environment around the office may make working inside the office difficult. In addition, if the office is not properly accessible, then it defeats the purpose of having an office onsite. 

What are the delivery requirements?

The rental company may require someone to be on site when the mobile office is delivered. They may also need special access to the site, and the road leading to the site should be adequately wide and in good condition. Find out what requirements must be fulfilled to make the delivery and ensure you can provide those conditions when it’s time to receive the unit.  

Need storage space?

Some mobile office models provide office space and storage space. Businesses like construction companies often need both, so find out if you’ll need additional storage units along with an office. Work with project managers, foremen and other site supervisors to decide whether the jobsite needs storage containers in addition to an office. There are also storage container/mobile office container combos that are economical for small construction jobs where space is needed for both purposes.  

Are permits required?

Many communities require permits for temporary mobile offices. Before you can install a mobile office, even if the office space is only meant to be temporary, contact your local city hall or permitting office to find out what permits are required in your area. The permitting office may have height or size requirements that must be considered before the office can be installed, so contact them about permits before ordering an office with a rental company. 

Whether you have a small renovation or a major new-build construction site, we’ve been helping project managers order temporary offices for more than a decade. Let us help you get a mobile office trailer set up on your next worksite.

Top 5 ZTERS Waste Posts of 2019

As 2020 rises on the horizon, let’s take a look back at the top five ZTERS Waste Solutions blog posts of 2019. Perhaps not surprisingly, our Ask Angela columns were some of the most viewed pages. Do you have waste solution questions? Reach out through our Facebook or LinkedIn pages and ask your most pressing question!

#5 (tie): Temporary Fence Rentals

Number five on the list was a tie, but both posts were about temporary fence rentals. Lots of people were interested in their fencing rental options in 2019.

Ask Angela: Do I really need temporary fencing on my construction worksite?

What to know about the types of temporary fence rentals

#4: Commercial Waste Service

Did you know ZTERS has a commercial waste division that services facilities like warehouses, retail, restaurants, multifamily, and industrial spaces? We had a fair number of site visitors looking for commercial waste solutions. If you manage a real estate portfolio, we have custom solutions to streamline your waste and recycling.

Commercial waste services: expectation vs. reality

#3: Dumpster Rental Fees

Not surprisingly, we had a lot of interest in our post on hidden fees. So many customers call us because they got hit with tons of extra fees when they booked dumpsters with other companies. Our pricing is always upfront, and we won’t stick you with hidden fees.

Top 10 dumpster hidden fees

#2: The ZTERS + PlanGrid Integration

Considering we only launched this integration in November, it’s incredible we had so many visits to the post announcing this new tool. PlanGrid is the number one project management software for construction professionals, and our new integration means they can order temporary service rentals right from their dashboard. If you’re a PlanGrid user, you need to check it out!

Temporary construction rentals streamlined with new ZTERS + PlanGrid integration

And the #1 ZTERS Waste Post…

Planning an outdoor wedding: Here are your toilet options

With so many outdoor weddings hosted each year, it’s probably not surprising that our number one blog post (by a lot!) was our post on wedding toilet options. If you’ve got a wedding or outdoor event coming up in 2020, call us to schedule your portable toilets. We also help with dumpsters, temporary fencing, and storage containers if you need those services.

roll-off container

What Kind of Roll-off Container Rental Do You Need?

You may not realize you have choices when it comes to roll-off container rentals. Most people think they have to go with a regular steel roll-off dumpster, but there are other options available. Depending on your worksite and the type of debris you need to haul, there are several styles to choose from. Here are five kinds of roll-off rentals to consider for your next project.

Roll-off container rentals for solid waste

Most people are dealing with solid waste. That is, waste that has no detrimental impact on the water table or the general environment and human health. Things like standard construction debris (with no possibility of lead contamination) and grease trap waste fall into this category. So, solid waste doesn’t necessarily have to be “solid.” Liquids like sludge and septic waste are also classified as solid waste.

Standard roll-off containers

Rectangular roll-off containers are what most people think of when they’re looking for a roll-off rental. These metal containers are available in light, medium, and heavy-duty grades. If you have light debris, such as a small renovation or clean out, the light grade roll-off should be enough for you. Standard construction debris is heavier and sharp enough that you’d probably want a medium-duty roll-off. And the heavy-duty containers are typically reserved for scrap yards and other industrial uses where the container needs to last a long time under extreme conditions.

Tub containers

As the name implies, these roll-off containers are shaped more like tubs. They have tapered, smooth sides, which makes them easy to dump, and you can customize them with vinyl decals if you need to. Just like standard roll-offs, these are available in light, medium, and heavy-duty grades. These are most often used for recycling materials and scrap collection.

Sealed containers

If you’re dealing with wet solid waste, you’re going to need a sealed container. These are actually a subset of standard and tub containers, because they’re built to the same specifications but they’re able to securely hold liquid. The sludge containers are built to a heavier duty standard, while sealed containers fall into the light or medium-duty category. Because the seams and hinges are sealed on these containers, they’re more secure than standard roll-offs. This makes them good for more than just liquid waste disposal. If you need a secure container with sealed seams—for any reason—look into sealed and sludge containers.

Dewatering containers

You’ll know if you need a dewatering container. These containers are built with special baskets that separate solids from liquids. As you pour waste into the container the solids are kept inside the basket while the liquid drains out and can be disposed of separately. The main benefit is to reduce weight and save on disposal fees, but they can also used for filtration.

Recyclers

While recycling can go into standard or tub-style containers, there are custom recycling containers with internal dividers. This style is used most frequently in areas where recycling is mandatory, however, they are also used on any site where materials are separated for recycling or re-selling. 

Roll-off containers for hazardous waste

Hazardous waste requires special handling because it’s detrimental to the environment and to people exposed to it. There are different container options for different types of hazardous waste, including a version of sealed and sludge containers and specialty containers developed for specific types of waste. Because these are so specialized, it’s best to speak with someone who knows the industry and can help recommend the right container. We help with all kinds of waste, including hazardous.

Give us a call if you have questions about roll-offs for your project. We’ll help you find the right type of rental for your worksite. And want to bundle your site services in one package? We also schedule portable toilets, temporary fencing, storage containers, and mobile offices. Everything you need in one phone call.

construction portable toilets lined up

OSHA Rules for Construction Portable Toilets

On construction sites, whether new builds or renovations, construction companies are obligated under OSHA law to provide access to toilet and sanitation facilities. Construction portable toilets are the way you meet this need, but do you know the rules around how many to rent? If you’re in charge of a construction site, you know you need to ensure your site follows all OSHA rules and regulations. So here’s a closer look at what you need to provide.

How many construction porta potties do you need?

OSHA law dictates employers must provide “adequate and readily accessible sanitation facilities.” But what does that mean, exactly? When it comes to construction porta potties, the number of toilets is based on how many employees are at the worksite at any given time. The OSHA breakdown for toilets is the following:

  • One toilet per gender for one to 15 employees
  • Two toilets per gender for 16 to 35 employees
  • Three toilets per gender for 36 to 55 employees
  • Four toilets per gender for 56 to 80 employees
  • Five toilets per gender for 81 to 110 employees
  • An additional toilet per gender for each additional 40 employees
  • After 200 employees, the number drops to one per 50

A single-occupancy toilet with a locking door counts for both genders, and in addition, temporary worksites may not have to follow these rules if there’s a plumbed toilet nearby or easy transportation to a nearby toilet facility.

There are also voluntary consensus standards in the construction industry. These recommend providing one toilet for every 10 employees during a 40-hour workweek. But if you have crew members on different shifts, or working more than 40 hours a week, it’s a good idea to have extra toilets on site.

Types of construction portable toilets

Believe it or not, there’s more than one type of porta potty. For example, some only have urinals. If you have a primarily male crew, you can order urinal porta potties as long as no more than two-thirds of the facilities are urinal-only. There are also portable toilet trailers with more than one toilet stall inside.

Another option is ordering an ADA-compliant porta potty to accommodate workers with physical disabilities. There are no specific requirements for ADA-accessible toilets, but these should be provided if employees need them. And what if you have sewer toilets on site? If you’re working on a renovation where plumbed facilities are operational, you may not need portable toilets at all. Check local ordinances.

Requirements for hand washing

Hand washing facilities in or near toilets are required, so be sure to ask what’s included in your rental. If hot and cold water aren’t available, then a hand sanitizing gel is required to be mounted in or near the portable toilets. And if the porta potty includes soap and water, then it must also include single-use hand towels or a hand-drying air blower. If your crew members will be exposed to chemicals on the job, you’ll also need a hand washing station in a convenient location.

On a related note, what about eye washing stations? There aren’t a lot of instances where you’ll need a dedicated eye washing station, but if your crew is working with or around chemicals, then you may need to rent one. If you need one on your worksite, give us a call and we can find one to bundle with your other temporary services.

Cleaning and servicing porta potties

The American National Standards Institute recommends cleaning construction portable toilets once per week, or renting additional toilets for the worksite if they can’t be serviced weekly. If you’ve ever seen a porta potty go without service for more than a week, you know why that recommendation is in place.

If you have questions about construction porta potty rentals, give us a call. We’ve helped put portable toilets on thousands of worksites across the country, and we can help you bundle all your temporary services with one phone call.

4 Ways Construction Temporary Fencing Saves Lives

One out of every five work-related accidents—and 20% of workplace fatalities—happen on construction sites. That’s not surprising when you consider the nature of construction work. Crew members may forget safety equipment, falls can be common, and heavy equipment abounds on jobsites. Construction safety is a top priority for jobsite managers. As any jobsite manager knows, accidents are emotionally devastating as well as financially costly. As you seek to protect the safety of your workers, temporary fencing is a vital tool. Here are four ways construction temporary fencing can add to the safety of your jobsite and protect crew members from unnecessary risks.

Section off electrocution risks

Electrocutions are among the top four most deadly problems on construction sites. Out of 971 total construction-related deaths in 2017 (the most recent data available), 7%, were due to electrocution. While crew members often need access to electrical equipment and tools, not everyone needs unrestricted access. To protect all crew members, it’s a good idea to add temporary fencing around any electrical elements—even your generator. Even if it seems like too much, it’s better to have too much protection than too little. Also consider temporary fencing around overhead power line equipment or underground electrical lines. This adds an additional level of safety around live wires and electrical units.

Fence around fall hazards

The vast majority of construction site deaths are due to falls. Out of the 971 deaths mentioned previously, a total of 781, or 39.2%, were due to falls. Proper use of safety equipment is the first line of defense when preventing falls, but temporary fencing also helps. And perimeter protection is especially important, because it keeps construction workers and equipment operators away from dangerous edges. Keep in mind some ledges may not be fully visible, especially for equipment operators, so you’ll need some kind of fencing to indicate perimeters and prevent heavy equipment or crew members from tumbling over ledges.

Fencing around trenches

“Caught in between” accidents include injuries or deaths that happen when workers are crushed under collapsing structures, in between equipment, or under equipment or supplies placed in a trench. These accounted for 50, or 5.1%, of fatal accidents. In addition to proper safety measures, you can reduce the risk of these accidents by putting fences around trenches. This will keep crew members from entering a trench or falling in, where they are at risk for getting caught in between the trench and equipment. Any trench or other excavated area five feet or deeper is a risk, so analyze the work area and use temporary fencing appropriately.

Large equipment dangers

“Struck by” accidents are the last of the most dangerous accidents on construction sites. These account for 8.2% of the total number of accidents, and they occur when workers are struck by large equipment. Crew members can reduce personal risk by wearing bright vests or reflective clothing, but sometimes temporary fencing helps as well. Use fencing to section off areas where large equipment is used and include security gates to prevent non-essential crew members from inadvertently getting in the way of equipment. Taking this precaution can help reduce the risk of “struck by” injuries and fatalities.

Temporary fencing protects everyone

There’s more to protecting a jobsite than only protecting crew members. Overall perimeter protection with temporary fencing also keeps non-workers off the site. This protects the construction company from risks when curious onlookers access the site without permission. Keeping the public out removes the risk they’ll fall or be crushed while wandering the jobsite.

Construction sites are, by their nature, dangerous places. While it’s not possible to remove all potential risks, construction temporary fencing can reduce risks significantly. When used as part of an overall construction safety plan, temporary fencing is a wise investment and helps protect workers and the general public.

To find out more about your temporary fencing options, and to schedule temporary fencing for your construction job site, give us a call for a free quote. We’ve been helping construction companies bundle their temporary site services—from fencing to portable toilets to dumpsters, storage, and office trailers—since 2009. We’ve got your jobsite covered.

Top 10 Dumpster Rental Hidden Fees

Dumpster rentals might seem straightforward—you just have a dumpster delivered and picked up, right? But dumpsters aren’t a one-size-fits-all service. And when you’re gathering quotes, you might be surprised at the wide range of prices quoted to you. If you look up the national average cost for dumpster rentals, it may seem low compared to rates you’ll hear from vendors in your area. That’s because rates and fees vary dramatically from region to region. While some websites claim dumpster rental fees are anywhere from $200 to $900, you’ll quickly find out those “low prices” probably come with dumpster rental hidden fees.

Why is there such a difference in rates? Most often it’s because there are local and regional fees many haulers don’t tell you about in the initial quote. These dumpster rental “hidden” fees can add significant charges to your final invoice. And you may not know they’re coming.

How much more could you be paying on your final invoice? Sometimes as high as double the original estimate. A company may have a low initial quote, then tack on fees for “additional services” that are actually required to use the dumpster rental. If you’re shopping for dumpster rental services, these are 10 of the most common “hidden” fees that drive up the price of your service.

1. Environmental or fuel surcharges

It makes sense to charge for fuel, right? After all, it costs money to buy the fuel to deliver the dumpster to your location. Many companies will charge an additional 5-8% or more to cover this cost. But some companies have been known to charge up to 35% extra as “fuel and environmental” fees! Fuel and environmental fees should be clearly stated in the estimate. If you don’t see an environmental or fuel charge on the initial quote, ask for their rate. Keep in mind some companies may only add this charge if the location is outside a specific service radius.

2. Taxes

We all know we’re going to pay taxes on most items, but would you know to expect dumpster rental taxes if it wasn’t included in your quote? When gathering estimates from different companies, ask them how taxes are handled. State and local tax rates can add as much as 13.25% to a bill, or even more in some areas. While you can’t avoid taxes, you can avoid this “hidden” fee. Be sure to ask if tax is included or what the tax rate will be for your dumpster rental.

3. Trip distance fees

This fee is usually charged for one of two reasons. Either the location was farther than anticipated in the original quote, or the job site is far from the main road or difficult to access. In both cases, you’ll likely see a trip distance fee added. Are you in a rural area? In most cases you’re going to see mileage fee, so be sure to ask about that. And if there are obstacles that prevent the driver from delivering the dumpster, you may still have to pay for the mileage. Avoid this fee by being open about the distance and road availability. And ensure there is enough room for the delivery truck once the dumpster arrives.

4. Pick-up fee

A pick-up fee is usually standard and openly quoted when you rent a dumpster. But what about early or late pick-ups? Or what if you need service outside the normal delivery and pick-up schedule? Sometimes it happens! If things change during your job and you end up needing early, late or more frequent dumpster service, don’t be surprised to see a fee on your final invoice.

5. Damage waiver fees

A damage waiver fee protects you from any costs associated with dumpster rental damage or lost time. These waivers have a limit, such as $500 of damage, but it can be an important type of protection when renting a dumpster. Whether you find it useful or not, you need to know ahead of time if this is a required cost. Be sure to ask if you don’t see it in your estimate.

6. Concrete fees

Ever wondered why haulers ask what kind of debris you’re throwing out when you rent a dumpster? Different materials have to be disposed of differently. It generally costs more to dump concrete, for example, so if you’ll be using your dumpster for concrete disposal, you can expect to pay a higher price. Be sure any special materials charges are noted in your quote. You’ll get charged for things like concrete disposal even if you failed to tell the hauler about it in advance.

7. Insurance coverage

You may or may not want dumpster rental insurance, but some haulers require it. If insurance isn’t mentioned at the outset of your rental agreement, be sure to ask about it. If you don’t, you may be surprised to find that line item on your final invoice. Always ask for upfront pricing, especially on insurance, so you clearly understand what you’ll be paying.

8. Seasonal fees

Certain times of the year cause fluctuations in price. For example, what if you live in an area where winter weather is harsh? you may pay a premium for delivery and service during winter months. This generally comes up in the quoting process, but double check any fees related to extreme weather conditions.

9. Excess tonnage

When you’re looking for a dumpster rental, you’ll need to estimate how much you expect to dump. Some rentals come with a set amount of tonnage included. If you suspect you could go over the included limit, be sure to ask how much excess tonnage will cost. Otherwise, if you exceed the agreed upon amount, you will definitely end up with an excess tonnage fee. A good waste broker will be able to help you estimate tonnage if you’re not sure.

10. Human error

Dumpster rental companies are run by humans, and humans can make mistakes. Maybe the wrong rate was entered, or an extra delivery fee was mistakenly tacked on. After delivery, check your invoices carefully, and ask about any fee that wasn’t included in your quote. In some cases, the fee may be human error. Don’t be afraid to call and ask about any unfamiliar charge.

At ZTERS, we know the questions to ask to avoid dumpster rental hidden fees. We’ve brokered thousands of dumpster deliveries and construction site service rentals nationwide for more than a decade. And we negotiate on your behalf, so you receive upfront pricing and no unexpected “hidden” dumpster rental fees. Give us a call today and let us help find the right dumpster rental for your specific project.

How to Protect Against Construction Job Site Theft

In the construction industry, job site theft is a serious problem. High-value equipment and materials combined with unsecured locations are tempting to thieves. This is especially true if the job site is in a remote location. The National Equipment Register estimates the cost of equipment theft each year falls between $300 million and $1 billion. And companies that have equipment stolen only recover it around 22 percent of the time, so these losses are usually permanent. In addition to monetary loss, stolen equipment causes your project to come to a screeching halt. You can’t work without your gear, and this sets you behind on your deadlines. So, how do you protect against construction job site theft?

It helps to remember job site theft is a “theft of opportunity.” Thieves look for opportunities that are easy and fast. Make the opportunity less enticing, and you’ll reduce the risk. These five tips will help you protect your job site.

1. Install quality temporary fencing

A barrier between your job site and the rest of the community is your first line of defense. The right temporary fencing creates a barrier that makes it nearly impossible to remove large equipment from the job site. Choose options like barbed wire or a pounded post chain link fence. These deterrents make it harder to move the fencing. When a potential thief sees fencing in place, he already thinks twice about entering the job site and will move on to an easier target.

2. Use lockable construction storage containers

A fence is a first line of defense, but you can do more to make your job site secure. Add lockable, weatherproof construction storage containers for additional security. Insist all tools and valuable materials are stored inside at the end of the day. You can also store large equipment and electronics inside. Doing so protects your equipment and materials from theft and from the elements. Should a thief get across your fence, or a rainstorm hits during your downtime, your most critical items are still safe.

3. Keep it lit

Hiding under the cover of darkness is important to thieves. Keep your space well-lit to deter potential crime. Security lighting that stays on all night is helpful in keeping your space protected, but that can be expensive and not energy efficient. To save on energy, use motion detector lights that only turn on when someone approaches. Also make sure the lighting illuminates the entire job site, or at least any areas where equipment and materials are stored. Eliminate as many shadowy areas as possible, and thieves will go looking for a less-lit target.

4. Set an alarm

Job site theft risk drops significantly when you install an alarm system. If a thief enters your construction job site and hears an alarm, he will run. Alarms also alert those around your job site to the theft, so help can get to the site more quickly. Alarm systems may have flashing lights and other deterrents as well as audio alarms. With most systems, you can set mobile alerts to keep you in the loop when problems happen.

5. Invest in surveillance

Visible surveillance cameras make thieves think twice about entering your job site. They also provide photo and video evidence of any thieves who do steal from you. This increases the chance you will recover your property. It’s not enough to just buy a dummy camera, although that’s an option. Installing a full video surveillance system is relatively inexpensive compared to the cost of a major job site theft.

And one bonus tip: If you know your job site is going to house a lot of expensive equipment and materials, consider investing in a security company. Nothing quite beats a human security guard patrolling the area. On-site security prevents theft, and it also helps prevent illegal dumping and other illicit activities on the property.

Securing a job site against theft requires some thought and action, but it’s a job worth doing. ZTERS offers construction fencing and storage container rentals, and we can help you decide on the right products and services to help protect your job site. We’ve been providing construction site services to companies for more than a decade, and we work with thousands of vendors nationwide. Give us a call to find out how we can help.