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I can’t remember where I left my portaloo…

by Brian Sims

Mulled wine and festive celebrations can be a dangerous mix and produce unexpected losses for organisations. Wigs, a portaloo, eyelashes and a fire surround are among the most unusual items companies have lost or had stolen according to a new One Poll report commissioned by Avery UK. But these were by no means isolated losses” companies also reported items such as a company mascot, Santa outfit and an open bottle of perfume have disappeared according to the research into the scale of company thefts and losses. In addition to a host of unusual losses the report revealed that almost a quarter of UK companies take no precautions to protect their work tools and equipment yet, around 60 percent of firms admit that having key items stolen or lost would affect their ability to work. ” We have looked at what companies lost and the impact on their business in terms of both cost and time,” said Avery UK labels category manager Ruth Perrin.” But what we also discovered was the amazing range of strange items that companies have had stolen or lost.” In addition to a whole host of strange items, the report reveals that the most common items to be stolen or to go missing are small work tools and stationery followed by keys, electrical equipment and mobile phones. The research was commissioned to mark the launch of the Hands Off Day campaign to encourage more companies to label their valuable work tools. ” Companies in all sectors are affected by a combination of theft and loss and the majority say that any loss would affect their ability to work yet so many do nothing to prevent the problem,” said Perrin.” Companies appear to accept small losses as part of company life.” And while the report highlighted that 60 percent of companies questioned agreed that labelling equipment can act as a deterrent and a third said they thought company theft and losses would be lower if goods were labelled” many still leave their valuable work tools unlabelled. Perrin advises that the most effective deterrent is to lock things away, followed by labelling valuable tools or hiding them.

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