Daily Field Reports — shift liability and minimize litigation

Just want to talk briefly cover a topic that is very important in mostly all construction projects, but very often overlooked — daily field reports.

In medium to large projects, I highly recommended that you create and keep daily field reports.  A well-drafted daily field report is your best ally when confronted with possible litigation, specifically delay claims and other project related issues.  In fact, daily field reports can, practically speaking, minimize litigation; here’s how.  Imagine a construction project gone bad — defective workmanship, delays of several months, and the numerous subcontractors and sub-subcontractors arguing as to who’s at fault.  The owner(s) and general contractors don’t understand why.  Who’s to blame?  The HVAC guy? The drywall guy?  The list goes on and on.

In this scenario, let’s say you’re the plumbing subcontractor.  If you prepared and kept your daily field reports, it may help clarify the issues.  Here’s how — imagine an entry in your daily field report like this: “3 master plumbers and 5 apprentices on-site.  master input and output connections installed.  Drywall tradesman not on site; walls remain unfinished.”

This type of entry reveals that the drywall tradesman has unfinished business.  If this somehow affects your work on the project, any delay claim against you will be difficult to prove.  Why?  Here’s another reason why daily field reports are handy — courts like to rely on them.  Think about it; a daily field report is completed daily.  That’s your best recollection of the day’s events.  What’s better, your recollection on the day of, or months, if not years, later?  Courts understand that and that’s why they rely on these reports to sort out any “recollection” issues between the general contractors, subcontractors and other tradesmen.

If you have any additional questions on how a well drafted daily field report can help your business and make your projects run smoother, let me know.