Site inspection report: what it is, and how you can manage it better
Construction site inspection reports or site visits. Occupational safety regulations require the Safety Coordinator for the execution stage (SCE) to perform a series of inspections to verify that everything is happening as it should and that there are no risks to the safety of workers.
Site inspection report: what it is
Construction site inspection reports or site visits. Occupational safety regulations require the Safety Coordinator for the execution stage (SCE) to perform a series of inspections to verify that everything is happening as it should and that there are no risks to the safety of workers. These visits are usually agreed with the construction company or requested by the workers’ associations.
For each inspection, it is essential to issue a report documenting the operations and status of the construction site at the time of the visit. Legally speaking, it is clear that the report carries evidentiary value.
A similar principle is valid for the Project Director, who frequently uses the daily construction log as an uninterrupted report of the day-to-day operations of a construction site. Similarly, we can think of the SCE’s inspection reports as the safety log.
Construction site inspection report: what are its main elements and characteristics?
Here are the characteristics that an inspection report should have:
First and foremost, it should be in writing, as there is no value to a verbal report.
It should also contain the following elements:
Identify the site
Identify the people responsible for the site
The date and place of the inspection
The person performing the inspection and his/her role
The people present during the inspection (not mandatory, but recommended)
A brief narration of the activities done (it is generally recommended to use a checklist).
Possible observations related to issues found and decisions made
The date and signature of the person writing the document
This report will then be accompanied by supporting photographs, which should be time stamped to ascertain when they were taken according to the law.
Construction site inspection report: historical evolution
As we have seen, the construction site report is a necessary tool to keep a documented history of everything that happened, including the possible risks and problems that arise at the site.
During the last century and before the digital revolution, reports were all paper-based. They had to be signed in person, in the presence of all people who participated in or assisted with drafting the document.
After the arrival of digital technologies,these reports began being drafted using MS Word. These documents would then be printed, stamped, and signed by hand. Photographs were done on-site, first with an analogue camera and later with a digital one.
Further advancements came with the arrival of electronic signatures and certified e-mail. Thanks to these technologies, reports could be signed electronically and sent by certified e-mail to guarantee data transmission.
Nowadays, reports can be drafted and sent using digital tools, with an electronic signature automatically attached to them. By choosing an app such as Mela Works, you will be able to create reports directly from your chat, with numbered pages and ready to be printed. Mela will transcribe any voice notes, insert the images, create a letterhead based on the company logo, and add the signatures of all responsible people. All these tasks are done directly from the app.
Construction site inspection report: the Project Director and Safety Coordinator (SCE)
“How many construction sites do I need to follow up with? How many can I manage efficiently at the same time? What’s the limit?” These are some of the questions that keep Project Directors and SCE Safety Coordinators up at night.
The objectives are:
Monitoring the status of the construction site
Guaranteeing that everything is following the established Best Practices, both when it comes to management and safety
If the project director performs a site inspection today, he will see what is happening today and the current state of the works. The same is valid for the SCE: he will declare that Problem A is present, and therefore, in the inspection report, he will describe the problem and that it needs to be solved
Consequently, it will be necessary to guarantee that the problem was solved correctly. This will fall under the project director or SCE who spotted the problem. Since neither of them has the gift of omnipresence, they will need to come to the site in person to verify everything is done correctly. As a result, both the project director and the SCE can either manage only a handful of sites simultaneously or overload their schedule with appointments and risk burnout. Or even worse, they may fail to supervise each site properly and risk accidents or liabilities.
We must find a way to avoid waiting around on-site or to avoid having to come back the next day to see if the issue was solved!
Which digital tools are currently used for this? WhatsApp to send pictures and voice notes? Reports sent via certified e-mail? These tools were not designed for construction sites and are therefore inefficient. Let’s see why.
WhatsApp’s photo archive is not always reliable. How often have we struggled to find the information we want in WhatsApp? Plus, all the photographs (you may need up to 50 per visit!) will drain away from your smartphone’s internal memory.
Reports need to be typed on letterhead paper, uploaded to a certified e-mail server, and sent away. Do you have access to a computer while you jump between sites? No, so you will do it in the evening, after work: but then, how much time have you lost? This is the time you could have spent relaxing, playing sports, or with your family.
Construction site inspection report, the solution: an app like Mela that can manage traceable cloud-based data
How can you write an inspection report without losing information, wasting time, or getting a headache? Using an app that was specifically designed for construction sites, such as Mela
Is there a problem that needs solving? With Mela, a project director or SCE will need to snap a few photographs here to record the problem. The timestamp will certify the time and register the precise time when the incident occurred, which will even be legally valid in litigation.
The Mela app stores all data in a safe and reliable cloud archive, which will record every event to be shared among all the professionals involved.
The project director or SCE can immediately share his findings and requests with the construction company or the team performing the work. Chatting on Mela creates a continuous work log. A collaborative platform will allow you to not only track an issue, but to interact with others to find a solution.
That’s not all. The natural cherry on top is that, with Mela, professionals can reduce the number of site visits to critical moments and then follow up on everything remotely, without having to be physically on the field or without the bureaucratic burden of certified e-mails or couriers.