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Construction-related litigation is always a potential threat facing contractors and businesses. Properly defending oneself during such litigation is complicated by the generation of thousands of pages of plans, schedules, orders, emails, photographs and progress reports throughout the course of any construction project.

Traditional jobsite reporting methods can make curating such massive amounts of data difficult if not impossible. A crucial piece of evidence can’t protect a company during litigation if it is lost among an unorganized collection of log books, text file and spreadsheets.

Cloud-based construction management software can streamline the process of documenting every issue that could result in construction litigation on the jobsite. It not only makes collecting the information easier, but centralizes the data in one easily searchable database.

Ligation can be prevented by being proactive. Construction management software can allow managers to directly upload photos of the jobsite to a project file. By recording and documenting worksite conditions, a company can create evidentiary proof that it followed all applicable safety regulations.

For example, a plaintiff might allege that a company or subcontractor stored hazardous waste or materials on a jobsite in an unsafe manner, exposing workers to health risks or immediate harm; however, construction management software can quickly access full documentation of how hazardous materials were actually handled and stored.

Photos and other supporting evidence can prove the material was handled and stored safely and can short-circuit such claims. Photos can also be used as evidence workers received proper training in the handling or disposal of such substances.

Risk management
A company can’t face litigation for safety incidents that never occurred. Proper documentation is the foundation of risk management. Construction management tools can allow project managers, executives and company owners to tabulate infractions and stay on top of recurring safety issues violations. They also allow superintendents and foremen to note violations, close calls and whether safety briefings occur.

Photo documentation software also helps construction superintendents to capture or upload photos documenting safety issues and violations on the jobsite. Some apps also allow automatic time-stamping that reflects specific times, dates and locations. That data can be valuable should OSHA compliance issues arise. Documenting these infractions can ease the burden of unemployment insurance and serve as a defense should refusal of jobless benefits lead to litigation. The images can be used to provide graphic reminders of the importance of jobsite safety and can serve as a valuable body of evidence when policing or terminating noncompliant workers.

Cloud-based construction monitoring software gives project managers an improved ability to share and communicate about blueprints, contracts and other legal documents. If an error is noted early on in a project, the need for corrections can be quickly communicated by a superintendent to an owner, eliminating potential future claims that a project was not completed as specified.

Automated notifications can ensure critical situation are acted upon immediately. Software can also allow superintendents to send and share real-time information about any incidents, risks or pending weather risks. Project stakeholders can be quickly brought up to date by automatically texting and emailing updates, including photographs.

Cloud-based construction management software can lessen the burden organizing and curating the flood of data associated with a project. Virtually every aspect of the jobsite can be recorded and tracked—from workplace safety issues to weather delays to change orders.

Collation is the key to being able to find the information to project a company, but any database is only as good as its search capabilities. Look for software with an advanced search function that offers type-ahead/autocomplete capability with excerpting and term highlighting so the database can be searched by project, image, date, user or worklog.

Protecting a construction company from legal liability is made much easier through proper organization and documentation of the data generated during the lifecycle of a project. Cloud-based software solutions are giving companies the ability to manage that data more thoroughly and quickly than traditional methods.

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