As cities and projects begin to reopen and recover from the COVID-19 shutdown, construction companies have been forced to change the way in which they operate to ensure safety and compliance. Now more than ever, documentation is critical for protecting both your employees and your business. Here are some of the ways we’ve seen documentation is changing in the wake of COVID-19:
Productivity and liability
On jobsites, productivity is taking a hit as crews continue to adapt to the new safety protocols like social distancing and added cleaning requirements. Having your workers distanced apart creates a new challenge for getting the same amount of work done—and delays and disputes are inevitable. Because of this, it’s crucial to correctly communicate the extra cost and issues to the owner or GC. Daily reports are your most powerful tool for showing exactly what happened and why. Without clean, easy-to-read daily reports your added costs/time may not get accepted, which means you could get stuck with the bill.
Completing comprehensive daily construction reports ensures any delays or liabilities won’t slip through the cracks and can be taken care of in a timely manner. The more detailed your reports are, the faster you can spot any potential issues and address them. Photos and videos that are time and date-stamped and embedded directly into your daily reports (and file storage system) give you even more powerful evidence of any work completed and project delays. Having an organized database of visual proof helps strengthen your business’s case as litigations arise, eliminating any questions or speculation of what happened.
Having trouble getting complete and accurate daily reporting? More often than not, incomplete or missing dailies are a byproduct of an inefficient or complex field process. The last thing your field crew wants to do at the end of the day is to stay late for paperwork and try to remember everything that happened. The easier you make it for them to collect data and complete reports throughout their day via an easy-to-use construction field management software, the more likely they are to do it.
With added OSHA and CDC safety protocols for all jobsites, the need for safety documentation has increased, too. These protocols exist to keep your employees safe and projects able to work, so they should be taken seriously and followed in full. Some of these protocols include taking people’s temperatures before every shift, supplying PPE for everyone, and social distancing wherever possible—which can all be documented as evidence of your compliance using photos and daily surveys in your reports.
Now more than ever, toolbox talks and safety meetings are necessary to keep all your crews informed of the latest protocols and ways to protect themselves. Implementing a digital safety documentation solution makes it easy for you to prove you gave the necessary training and that you’re staying compliant if an issue ever arises. Having things like digital sign-in sheets and the ability to bulk schedule talks gives you more visibility and security in your safety protocols. With everything stored in one central place, you won’t have to go digging the next time you need to find proof that you’ve followed all the safety requirements.
Due to the nature of COVID-19 and how it spreads, digital documentation solutions play a huge role in helping minimize physical contact and keeping everyone safe and able to work. Companies are beginning to embrace more technology into their workflows to create more efficient processes and streamlined communication—and many of these solutions may remain even beyond COVID-19. It has changed the way we work, from establishing remote processes to increased documentation requirements. Technology offers a powerful way for everyone to stay in the loop, even from a distance, and companies who implement digital tools will have more protection and better communication in the long-run.