‘Crowdsource’ your daily log for a clearer picture of what’s happening on site
By Kyle Peacock, CEO, Peacock ConstructionMay 31, 2023
“How was your day?” might seem like small talk but on the job site, it can be a loaded question.
If something unexpected happens and you don’t know everybody involved and the circumstances, you can find yourself in a difficult situation with workers, clients and lawyers. This is the primary reason for creating the daily log. An additional benefit is being able to use the information from the daily log to measure the profitability of each project.
And yet, the daily log is often overlooked, late and incomplete. Everybody wants the information from the daily log, but nobody really wants to write the report because it’s time consuming.
But without the daily log, a general contractor might not know about an issue until it’s too late. They’re also increasing the risk of liability and fines by not properly documenting what happened each day on the job site. And nothing is more fundamental to risk management than knowing who is on your sites, when and why. Instead of dreading the creation of the daily log, why not crowdsource it?
Crowdsourcing, or distributing the responsibility for completing the daily log to everybody on the job site, makes the process easier and the document more comprehensive. You might be thinking that too many contributors can lead to inaccuracies and even more confusion, and that is true if you’re still using paper and pen to create it.
However, if your company is among the 71% that are currently moving to digital transformation, according to a 2022 survey conducted by the National Association of Women in Construction (NAWIC), then crowdsourcing the daily log is simple. The daily log can be digitized and automated.
One way to do this is by using digital check-in technology. It helps account for everybody who entered the job site. When individuals sign in, you can show them training videos, ask them to check off boxes related to skills, training or certifications, and capture their digital signature for compliance and waivers.
Supervisors can make notes or upload pictures from the job site. All of this information can flow right into the daily log without adding more work for the site supervisor. Since it’s recorded each day, there’s no risk of forgetting details.
While the daily log is usually the responsibility of a site supervisor, the reports are read by the general contractor, CEO and CFO. Since the job site is where the company makes or loses money, it makes sense that the executives have visibility and up-to-date information on each project and the ability to dig into project details. The best way to do that is through the daily log.
According to Brian Junginger, construction litigation attorney at McInerney & Dillon, “The daily log is critical when it comes to investigating claims and protecting a business. I can’t stress enough how important it is to have a complete set of daily logs for the project. Having a digital record that includes all relevant job site information and the details of what happened on the day it happened can make all the difference.”
On our job sites, we started using digital check-in at the beginning of the pandemic for health screenings and private contact tracing. Now it’s part of our digital transformation. The check-in lets us know who was on site, what time they arrived, what they are doing, and if there were any issues that day.
The check-in data from Safe Site Check In is automatically uploaded to Procore so we can monitor how each project is progressing and have an accurate
look back of what happened and when, and if there were any issues. This can save anywhere from one to two hours every day on every job site. And it eliminates the need for someone in the office to track down supervisors in the field and remind them to submit their daily log.
That’s not to imply anything negative about site supervisors. In my experience, even the most motivated and dedicated supervisors can fall behind on the daily log. It’s usually because the actual construction part of the job takes precedence. And the previous paper-based processes were time consuming.
GCs that are starting or in the middle of digital transformation can score some really quick wins simply by digitizing daily check-in to automate the daily log.
Kyle Peacock is CEO of San Francisco-based Peacock Construction, a $50-million commercial contractor focused primarily on health care construction.