Preventing Employee Theft in the Workplace

By Michael Bernzweig

No business or manufacturing company can risk losses of raw materials or finished goods. Large companies and warehouses across the United States have seen an increase in workplace loss due to employee theft. Statistics show that employee theft is on the rise as our economy falters. Common installations for metal detectors for security stop loss include facilities involved with chip and high-tech manufacturing, cell phone and high-value consumer electronics distribution, and high-value product fulfillment.

Here are just a few of the astonishing facts:

  • According to the American Society of Employers, 20% of every dollar earned by a U.S. Company is lost to employee theft.
  • The Department of Commerce reports that 60% of all inventory losses are attributed to employees stealing.
  • The Federal Bureau of Investigation has reported that 1/3 of bankruptcies in businesses in the US are directly caused by employee theft.

Although this may be alarming news to business owners, it is the reality of our times. Rest assured; there are ways in warehouses and manufacturing facilities can prevent the loss of raw materials and finished goods. We will discuss how implementing security metal detectors can begin the "Stop Loss" process. By implementing these devices, as part of a comprehensive security plan, both large and small businesses can begin the process of reducing losses from employee theft.

Metal detectors now come in a variety of styles and designs that are adaptable to every business size and need. For facilities with a large number of employees or high-value goods, there are several options available. The first is the Garrett PD6500i Walk Through Security Metal Detector. This model uses the latest DSP technology to provide superior target detection from all angles and from head to toe. The Garrett PD6500i Walk Through Security Metal Detector offers extreme ease of use. Be sure to read our related article on Understanding and Selecting Walk Through Security Metal Detectors.

For warehouses and businesses that require a portable security metal detector, there is the Fisher M-Scope Walk Through Security Metal Detector. This metal detector allows the security staff to be able to easily, quickly, and easily relocate the security checkpoint as the layout or flow of a facility changes. This is very helpful if production workers and raw materials often transition through multiple facility areas in a flexible manufacturing environment. The Fisher M-Scope Walk Through Security Metal Detector has also become very popular for events. This security metal detector can be set up in minutes, has a battery life of 40 hours, and weighs just 87 pounds.

Once the walk-thru security detector has located a target, a handheld security wand is used to pinpoint the item. The Garrett Superscanner V is one of the most popular handheld security wands. Take a moment to read our related article entitled What are the Best Security Wand Metal Detectors?

How to Prevent Theft In Warehouse

Warehouse theft can be a big problem for businesses. Warehouse theft prevention is essential to protecting your inventory and bottom line. From inventory control to cargo theft prevention, utilizing warehouse security measures can help you keep your warehouse safe from theft. Having quality and trained warehouse management staff on site is key as well.

There are a few things you can do to help prevent theft in your warehouse:

  1. Use security cameras and alarms
  2. Use walkthrough metal detectors
  3. Have good lighting
  4. Train your employees
  5. Keep track of inventory

Having a warehouse security guard and a detection system in place is important, but they are not the only security solutions to consider. Taking some simple security measures can go a long way in keeping your warehouse safe from theft.

1. Use security cameras and alarms

A security camera system can help deter thieves and catch them in the act. Alarms can also help scare off potential thieves and alert you to any activity in your warehouse. Security cameras in key places in your supply chain like entrances, exits, conveyor belts, and loading docks, can help you keep an eye on who is coming and going and what they are taking with them.

Like a home security system, warehouse anti-theft video surveillance systems can be a great way to help prevent workplace theft. A well-placed camera can help you keep an eye on your inventory and catch thieves in the act. Video surveillance systems can also be used to monitor employee activity and deter or prevent warehouse theft by employees.

2. Use walkthrough metal detectors

Walkthrough metal detectors can help you screen warehouse employees and visitors before they enter your warehouse. This can help prevent anyone from bringing in weapons or other items that could be used to commit theft. 

Warehouse door metal detectors can also help you track who is coming and going and what they are taking with them. These door metal detectors can be used to screen employees and visitors before they enter your warehouse. 

Walkthrough metal detectors can not only deter potential theft, but they can keep your warehouse safe for your employees by screening for weapons and other dangerous items.

3. Have good lighting

Bright, well-lit warehouses are less likely to be targeted by thieves. Adding motion sensor lights to dark corners and dimly lit areas can also help deter thieves and make it easier to see what is happening in your warehouse. 

Good exterior lighting can help deter burglars & thieves by making it easier to see if anyone is trying to break into your warehouse. Lighting, paired with video surveillance, can make it hard for a potential thief to hide.

To prevent internal theft, it is important to have good lighting in your warehouse. Well-lit warehouses are less likely to be targeted by thieves, and it is easier to see if anyone is trying to break in.

4. Train your employees

Train your employees on how to prevent theft in your warehouse. Teach them about the importance of security, and show them how to properly use security devices like surveillance cameras and alarms. Show them how to report suspicious activity and ensure they know who to contact if they see something suspicious. It is both the people and the process, procedure, and tools you have in place that make up a complete warehouse security system. Preventing warehouse theft should be part of company culture, and the benefits of your loss prevention efforts should be apparent to all on the team.

It is also important to train your employees on the importance of keeping track of inventory. Teach them how to properly keep track of inventory levels and show them how to report any discrepancies.

Access control is another important aspect of employee training. Show your employees how to properly use security badges and an access control system, and make sure they know who should have access to what areas of the warehouse.

Conducting background checks can help you screen out potential thieves and prevent them from getting hired in the first place. Keep an eye out for dishonest employees that may commit time clock fraud. This type of employee fraud or theft can be prevented by using fingerprint time clocks or other biometric devices. Each member of your warehouse employee staff should be trained to spot theft.

5. Keep track of inventory

Keeping track of your inventory can help you quickly notice if anything is missing. This can help you take action quickly to prevent further theft. This is all part of your total supply chain management system.

To prevent cargo theft, consider using cargo tracking security systems. A cargo tracking system can help you keep track of your inventory and make sure that all your shipments arrive safely.

Inventory management software can also help you keep track of your physical inventory and prevent theft. This type of software can help you track inventory levels, create alerts for low inventory or inventory shrinkage, and generate reports.

Inventory theft can also be prevented by keeping track of your inventory electronically. This can be done with:

  • Barcodes, 
  • RFID tags, or 
  • Other tracking devices. 
  • Loss prevention tactics like security cages can also help you keep track of your inventory and prevent theft.

Certified fraud examiners, private investigators, or security consultants can help you assess your risks and develop a plan to prevent theft. Warehouse operations experts can also help you develop security policies and procedures to prevent theft. Separate employee parking lot from spots near dumpsters and other receptacles where employees might stash goods for later pickup.

Security metal detectors have become commonplace in airports, courthouses, and other public facilities worldwide. With a changing economy, metal detectors are now becoming much more common in the workplace than in the past. Stopping Employee theft can be implemented quickly by installing security metal detectors. For a modest investment, both large and small businesses will see an immediate ROI and effectively end the loss of raw materials and finished goods inventory. For a complete overview, view our complete selection of security metal detectors. Contact one of our security product specialists to discuss your specific needs today.

Thieves always look for new ways to break into warehouses and steal valuable inventory. By being aware of the latest trends in warehouse theft, you can be better prepared to protect your business as a business owner or warehouse manager.

Implementing security measures like video surveillance, metal detectors, and good lighting can help deter external theft while creating software for inventory counts can help prevent internal theft in your warehouse. Training your employees on proper security measures, conducting background checks, and investing in access control devices can also help reduce the risk of theft.

© 2012 Detector Electronics Corp. - Revised September 2022