Construction Daily Log Report Essential for Risk Management (5 min)

by | Jan 10, 2023

daily log essential for risk management

Daily Log Data for Owners, Project, Safety & Compliance Managers

Dailies (aka daily log, daily diary and daily report) are fundamental for many reasons, all of which have one thing in common: If something goes wrong on a jobsite, then attendance data will be essential to handling the problem. Daily log records are fundamental to project risk management. Here are the most common examples:

  • Daily attendance data is needed to justify or explain changes in the estimated completion date (aka the “daily delay rate.”) If you want to be sure you will be paid for costs incurred due to schedule slips, you will need to document the reason. Sometimes it’s supply, equipment or material delays, but often it’s subcontractor performance, weather or jobsite conditions. Project owners want timely, accurate explanation data.
  • Subcontractor management is a good example of “trust but verify”. Almost every general contractor has numerous examples of receiving a subcontractor invoice that cannot be verified: Did that firm even show up on that day? Was their crew the expected size? Did they work the entire shift? etc.
  • If an accident, safety failure, HR event, pay dispute or other incident occurs, it can be a big deal if you don’t have all the details at hand. After an incident of any type, having basic jobsite attendance, identity and presence records is essential. Incident analysis will include everyone who was present onsite at the time, either as a participant, witness, victim or claimant. Good identity data is critical also – the correct name, employer and contact information.
  • Failure to meet OSHA recordkeeping requirements can result in fines, increased insurance costs, or worse. Sure, short term construction projects may not be a risk, but longer term and visible projects funded by the government are another matter. And you can never skimp on recordkeeping if the customer is a Utility.
  • Insurance claim processing is always abor intensive and expensive, even if your deductibles cover the larger cost.. Having all the claim details, many of which will be in the daily log, is essential to submit a claim and get reimbursed quickly.
  • Daily logs should be created daily. Relying on worker memories, subcontractor honesty or owner goodwill is not a great strategy. Daily logs that are not “daily” will be distrusted proportional to how late the data was captured. And paper records – especially paper that is scanned or copied – will be distrusted also.
  • Daily logs also need to be kept for a long period of time, well beyond the end of a project, and not open to tampering during storage. Liability on the contractor’s part may last for years. Many plaintiff lawyers prefer to file complaints just before the contractual or statute of limitations because they expect your data defense to be weak.
  • Daily logs are also a potential resource for workflow improvements: For example, comparing estimated manpower loading vs actuals. Or, for safety improvement, recording tool talk attendance vs accident rates. Most jobsite activities are not captured digitally, but if they are, you need to know the basics of attendance: who, what, where, when, how long, etc.
  • Finally, if daily log data is spread all over the place, even finding the data may be costly. Using a variety of applications for daily logs, can leave data trapped. Logins and subscriptions can lapse making retrieval impossible. 

Beyond Identity: Worker Profiles for Certifications, Credentials, and Skills

Jobsite worker and visitor Identities are always essential, as seen above. But if you also know what capabilities workers bring to the job, then supervisors, project and safety managers can be more effective. 

Supervisors can use profile data to make better real time decisions on the jobsite. Project and safety managers can make better staffing plans.  And when profiles include project experience, they have value not only to management, but for employee development and retention as well. What LinkedIn is to professionals, worker profiles can be for the building trades.

Profile data is also important for safety and compliance. Your project safety plans will certainly include checking that workers have their necessary certifications, licenses, and training.

And if you work on a site that might be visited by Homeland Security, I suggest you capture everyone’s work permits or I9 data. No contractor wants to see a headline implying your workforce is working illegally. That goes for your subcontractor’s workforce too, of course.

Real Time Daily Log Records are Best Practice

Daily log records need to be captured in real time, not after the fact. During the lifespan of a site, there are almost always changes affecting safety. Weather risks from heat, storms and cold, or physical changes such as open trenches or walls, fall risks, or enclosed space aerosol risk; etc.

Memory is fickle, so the best time to advise attendees of jobsite conditions is on arrival. For example, does everyone have the required PPE? The best time to inform workers about unusual jobsite conditions is when someone is onsite, not after. Important observations can come from any attendee, whether worker or visitor.

Jobsite check out time will be the best time to confirm the shift was accident free. Check out data records are also useful to back up timecard submissions and resolve hourly pay disputes.

Emergencies may require broadcast notifications to all onsite right now, which is not possible with paper logs. An emergency is not the time when you want to contact all your subs for safety data sheets or real time data. But if the GC doesn’t require a single integrated solution, attendance data will be difficult to retrieve and use for emergency communications.

When supervisors need to management multiple jobsites, they need real-time data to avoid running or driving between sites. Sharing design drawings, safety data sheets, and project documents – BIM – also falls into this “real time awareness” category. 

You Need a Digital Check In Solution that Automates Daily Logs

A digital “single source of truth” is the answer. You need a jobsite management app that is used on all your sites, ideally integrated with your core project management or ERP platform. Safe Site Check In answers all the above needs, surprisingly affordable, works on any device, no training required, secure and permanent cloud storage.

Contact Us to Discuss Your Needs

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