Construction Daily Logs: Your First Line of Defense for Claims Avoidance

One of the most important document that is maintained during the construction process is the Daily Logs. Unfortunately, this is often one of the most overlooked and incomplete record of documents. Daily Logs can act as a contemporaneous historic record of the entire project. This is very important for all projects since it can be used to:

1. Calculate Productivity
2. Track Efficiency
3. Identify Delays and Disruptions
4. Help Determine Cause and Effect
5. Establish a Contemporaneous Historic Record of the Project
6. Support Data in the Project Schedule
7. Dispute Resolution / Claims Avoidance

Timely and accurate maintenance of construction daily reports can give the owners/stakeholders insight into the project, keeps the project team informed on the issues that arise as well as the work progress. Furthermore, the CPM Schedules should always be cross-referenced with the Daily Logs to ensure that the Schedules are accurate (1).

It is very important to enter this information as it occurs. The credibility and strength of Daily Logs is derived from the fact they are contemporaneous documents, meaning that these documents were developed as the events occurred. Recording information after-the-fact, loses credibility because people tend to selectively choose which information to remember and which information to forget. Fair and balanced evaluations of the facts are critical to effective dispute resolution.

  • Proper construction daily reports include:
     Date
     Project Description / Contract #
     Weather information
     Log of daily manpower
     Quantity of work performed
     Subcontractor hours worked by each crew
     Site safety observations
     Description of problems encountered
     Delays or disruptions
     Visitors to the site and purpose of visit
     Equipment usage
     Quality control observations
     Materials and equipment received
     Crew / resource allocation (to which work area)
     Photographs

If an issue was encountered that did impact the schedule, record the Start date of the issue, the finish date of the issue, and identify what schedules activities were held up by the impact. If you have to implement any kind of remediation measures such as changing the planned sequence of work, it is important to document this.

Disruption claims can be difficult to quantify without the correct back-up documentation. The best methods of calculating lost productivity due to disruptions are the Measured Miles Analysis, Earned Value Analysis, or a combination of both. The analyst must identify the crew productivity of a non-impacted time period (2), then compare it to the crew productivity during an impacted time period. To accomplish this, the quantities of work completed, and the resource allocation or crew allocation are needed. If the analyst is evaluating a large project with multiple work areas and crews, it is important to identify which crews are working where and what tasks are they working on.

To prove your position, monitor progress, and resolve disputes, daily construction reports are indispensable.  Again, the best approach is to document all events as they occur, so there is an unbiased record of facts. One-sided Daily Logs that omit key events and issues, are not only unethical but can actually do more harm than good, when trying to justify a claim. Many disputes and potential claims can be avoided through proper record keeping and thorough Daily Logs.

1- Wickwire, Jon M., Thomas J. Driscoll, Stephen B. Hurlbut, and Scott B. Hillman. CONSTRUCTION SCHEDULING: PREPARATION, LIABILITY, AND CLAIMS. 2nd ed. Aspen, 2003. Print.

2- Carter, John D., Cushman, Robert F., Gorman, Paul J., and Coppi, Douglas F. Proving and Pricing Construction Claims. 3rd ed. Wolters Kluwer, 2016. Print.