The Importance of Accurate Jobsite Documentation

A reader of my occasional articles concerning construction law issues suggested I address the importance of accurate, daily jobsite documentation.  What a great topic!  I have seen numerous court cases and arbitrations where information kept in these records was pivotal in determining key facts.  Regular, timely and accurate recording of activities at the jobsite has several benefits:

The primary jobsite record is the superintendent's daily reports.  These reports, however, are only as good as the diligence of the superintendent in keeping them accurate, detailed and up to date.  A good daily report should include at least the following information:

Daily reports should be prepared as soon as practical after the day in question to assure accuracy and completeness.  Copies should be maintained at the job site and at the main office and kept with the project files.

Regular if not daily photographs of the progress of work are as important as daily written reports.  For any issue that arises, photographs and even video should be taken which clearly depict the issue involved.  Photographs should be dated, logged and stored as part of the project file.

When a dispute arises concerning a project issue, daily reports and photographs are the best records of events and can be vital to the prosecution or defense of a claim involving the contractor.   

Spotts Fain publications are provided as an educational service and are not meant to be and should not be construed as legal advice. Readers with particular needs on specific issues should retain the services of competent counsel.