Daily Logs Essential to Jobsite Management (4 min)

by | Jan 5, 2023

Daily Logs: Who, When, What, Why, How Long

The most basic requirement of any jobsite workflow control process (such as safety, risk, project management, HR, visitors, etc.) is knowing who is or was onsite, and when, why, and for how long they were onsite. And that means everyone: employees, subcontractors, and visitors of all types. Attendance data is often at the core of HQ/field misalignment. The daily log (aka daily diary or report) is essential management data.

At most jobsites, the daily log is still largely based on memory or paper records. Too often today the daily log is only created if required by the project owner or required by regulation, as at the start of the Covid pandemic, when screening of workers and visitors at jobsites was required. Most jobsite supervisors don’t take and record attendance, unless:

  • required by project owners,
  • required and enforced by inspectors,
  • required by project managers for project plan updates, or
  • required by the project’s safety plan.

Even if workers and visitors check in and are screened on paper, daily logs on paper are rarely filed or transcribed into digital data. And unless field engineers type in the daily log into software or spreadsheets at the end of a shift, the data cannot be used by project managers to update actual vs plan in a timely fashion. Attendance is especially important at the start of a project before the fan-out of dependent tasks makes the project late as it has barely started. As our Nana might have told us, “well begun is half done”.

Paper handling and human memory are notoriously error prone, especially after a long day when the supervisors and field engineers are eager to get home. Worker and visitor identities, when handwritten, are often impossible to read. Names, phone numbers and email addresses – in other words, essential identity data – is never validated. Supervisors and subcontractor’s, when they do take attendance, choose use their preferred methods independently. Unless the project owner or general contractor requires using a single attendance solution for all workers and visitors, the data will be incomplete and trapped in silos. For example, while timecard apps are widely used, they are only used by each firm’s employees, some salaried, and they only provide hourly site data once a week, and subcontractor and visitors attendance won’t be recorded at all.

Access Control includes Visitor Management

Any jobsite or workplace needs a receptionist function for visitors, even if informally. Workers and visitors alike need to provide their identifying information, reason for being there, and answer basic health and safety questions. Contractors and owners are liable for what happens on the jobsite. They need to be protected from ruinous lawsuits. Visitors should always sign waivers of liability and be informed of required safety check in protocols, such as wearing PPE.

Because there are many types of visitors, it’s often appropriate to notify a host to greet and escort them while onsite, or receive a materials delivery.  Also, visitors can be potential risks for theft of property and trade secrets. Terminated workers can interfere with operations. Especially on larger jobs, with many subs, having a “deny access” protocol, consistently enforced, is critical for keeping bad apples out. Risk management is dependent on the daily log data.

But access control across all jobsites cannot be 100% enforced unless the GC chooses a single solution to authorize jobsite presence. Otherwise, every supervisor and subcontractor will manage visitors using their own apps and the data will be difficult to retrieve, if it exists at all.

Headquarters and Field both Need Daily Log Data

Permitting attendance recordkeeping to be optional — whether called the daily log, or daily diary, or daily report — can affect workflows across the firm: 

Daily Log Data is Used Company Wide
              Role: Super Safety  PMgr  Acct   HR   Tech  Cxx  Sales Owner Union
Check-in/out data E E E R R E R R R R
Images/Notes E E E R R R R
Safety Records E E E E R R R R
Incident Reports E E E E E E R R
Daily Log Report E E E R R E R R R R
GPS data E E R R R
Crew Communications E E E E E E
Worker Profile E E E E R E
Subcontractor Profile E E E E E R R R
Legal/Policy/Waivers E E E R R R
Onboarding Video Links E E E E R R

E:  Essential data for their job    R: Reference, reporting or sometime needed for workflows

The good news is that easy to use daily log solutions like our Safe Site Check In are now readily available and more affordable than ever.

Contact Us to Discuss Your Jobsite Management Needs

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