Be Informed, Be Protected
For contractors and excavators, the risk of incident claims and project losses are never far from our minds. In order to reduce the chances of either, most companies do their best to train employees and educate project managers on regulations, record keeping and on-site protocol. And – as long as everything is running smoothly – many companies seldom revisit the processes in place for site records and data collection. That is, until an accident does happen.
Which begs the question: If you were struck with an incident claim tomorrow, would you have all of the documents needed to mitigate liabilities and give a clear vision of what happened?
For most, the answer is no.
In fact, many excavators are surprised to find that many of the essential records needed during a claim are either missing or were impartially recorded to begin with. This can be because of inconsistent methods of documentation, miscommunication between on-site managers and in-office managers or other inefficiencies within the process.
Either way, it all adds up to a dangerous, costly and time-consuming situation.
The solution? A systematized documentation process that keeps accurate snapshots before, during and after every construction or excavation project your company works on.
Record Keeping Means Accountability
Between 2014 and 2015, there were 65,000 self-reported workplace injuries, resulting in 1.7 million days of downtime and countless open claims (HSE).
Construction and excavation sites are dangerous places by nature, but keeping clear records of a site and it’s surrounding helps project managers identify potential problem and manage quality control during each phase of the project. It also allows companies to maintain on-site efficiency and reveal training opportunities for situations where a better process is available.
When employees are required to keep clear records like this, it creates accountability within the everyday tasks that are often overlooked by upper management, encouraging each person to take responsibility for injury prevention.
Organizations like the Common Ground Alliance have already recognized the importance of damage and injury prevention through documentation – as outlined in their Best Practices Manual and annual DIRT Reports – stating that the risk of onsite accidents decreases as proper reporting increases.
The Bottom Line
A lower chance of onsite incidents means less downtime for companies whose revenue depends on having projects to work on and employees at the site.
Having a systemized way of record keeping also saves companies overhead and inefficiencies by creating a process that can be written down, taught and duplicated over and over again.
At the end of the day, your company is expected to know what’s happening at every site, every day. In order to do this effectively, maintaining critical information and keeping it in an organized place isn’t just recommended, but absolutely essential.
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