The classic phrase “A picture paints a thousand words” has long been used to describe how an image can tell a story or inform the viewer in ways that mere words struggle to. Most would probably associate the phrase with a beautiful landscape painting or an artistically framed photo. However, it has never been more relevant to this litigious world, where a mundane image of an everyday situation or moment in time, can be used as proof to back up a written observation or as evidence of something happening, or not happening.
With the rise of smartphone and tablet, camera technology, offering ever increasing quality, sophistication and above all availability, we’ve never had a better opportunity to submit photographic evidence along side our On-site handover check sheets or H & S inspection documents.
To an extent this is already happening with varying degrees of effectiveness. Commonly, a handover check sheet is completed manually (probably on paper), scanned and emailed or filed electronically in a folder on a shared server location. Stored alongside this document, are a separate bunch of images, captured from the mobile device, that relate to the written information recorded.
All sounds very easy, and well within the current capabilities of most site management teams. However, without the discipline of accurate cataloguing and/or annotations on the images, correlating the written word with the relevant image, (especially months later when you’re fighting some litigation or dispute), can be time consuming at best, impossible at worst, rendering the data pretty much useless.
In an industry that is striving to improve communication and collaboration, contract managers and directors are, sadly, still dealing with the consequences of poor quality reporting, wasting hours or their valuable time, in boardroom battles, apportioning blame for inaccurate or substandard work. Inevitably leading to even more time and thousands of pounds spent on rework.
We can’t change the world overnight but using a Mobile App solution to submit this crucial information in an industry standard secure document format, that captures and combines the power of a photo with the written observation, is surely a step towards avoiding such disputes in the first place.
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