Field report checklists guide field engineers and technicians through regular inspections of equipment or work sites. These documents serve as helpful reminders and make it possible for trained employees to record observations that can support preventative maintenance programs. A business can customize a field report template or prepare a field report checklist from scratch. Learn more about the purpose and content of field report checklists and get tips for integrating checklist forms into document workflows.
The Purpose of a Field Report Checklist
A field report checklist is a form intended for recording observations regarding the condition of a worksite or equipment. These checklists guide inspectors through examinations made to monitor the need for maintenance, repairs or other rectification measures.
The contents of each checklist will vary based on the arrangement of worksites and equipment. Field service businesses, construction firms and manufacturing concerns may be able to reduce downtime and the need for emergency repairs by having trained employees complete checklists on a regular basis.
Even though the unique needs of every business vary, it can be useful to reference a field inspection report template. Templates identify the general information useful for employees to provide in these documents.
What To Include on a Field Report Checklist
Every field report checklist, observation or inspection report should include basic worksite or equipment information. Specifics may vary, but all of the following data is likely to be requested on a field observation report template:
- Job Site Location: Indicate the exact location that is being inspected.
- Specific Equipment Numbers: Specify which equipment is getting inspected.
- Condition of Equipment: Observe and report on equipment condition.
- Any Recommended Actions: Recommend maintenance or repair measures.
- Name and Signature: Identify the inspector and certify the accuracy of information.
Most productivity specialists recommend field report checklists engage the five W’s of investigative reporting: what, where, when, who and why. All of these types of information are essential for identifying issues sooner rather than later, pursuing preventive maintenance measures and keeping detailed documentation. An industry-specific field inspection report template may go into greater detail about particular worksites or equipment. Relevant sample documents can be useful, but even a general field report checklist can be modified for use by any business.
How To Customize a Field Report Template
Stakeholders can alter the content of a field observation report template or any other type of inspection template. This may be as simple as specifying the types of equipment that will be inspected or duplicating the inspection information for multiple pieces of equipment on location.
It is a good idea to keep checklists easy for field engineers, inspectors or technicians to fill out in the field. Many checklists phrase items as questions to allow for yes or no responses although this type of feedback may be vague and require more details. Other templates may ask employees to rate the condition of equipment on a set scale. These ratings are more subjective but may suggest the relative urgency of maintenance or repairs.
Any items on a field report should make sense to the employees who perform on-site inspections. It is important that technicians are informed of the scope of the inspection in the field, potential problems to document and ways to ensure that reported issues get rectified. To this end, it is essential that workflows are adjusted in response to checklist feedback.
The following are some of the items that are often on maintenance checklists:
Tips for Adding Checklists to Workflows
Checklists that do not serve as the basis for making support tickets or triggering maintenance procedures are not as useful as documents that serve the intended purpose. Whether a business decides to work from a field inspection report template or creates a unique field report checklist, the answers that engineers or inspectors provide should have rectifying effects down the line.
When a potential problem is identified on a checklist, this data can be used in several ways. A checklist submitted to supervisors may provide these individuals with the information necessary to schedule maintenance or repair work. Enterprises that use comprehensive workflow management software may be able to automate some aspects of arranging for rectification.
Regularly scheduling field report checklists into workflows can keep stakeholders informed about changes in the condition of equipment and worksites. Field checklists should not be overly complicated. Depending on the type of equipment in use, an organization may also find equipment maintenance checklists to be useful. A field inspection template might identify issues that are then followed up with maintenance checklists.
Advantages of Digital Field Report Checklists
Digital field report checklists distributed through document workflow software are easier for inspectors to access, complete and submit. Paper checklists run the risk of becoming misplaced. Digitizing checklist documents can also eliminate confusion caused by unclear handwriting, comments or markings. The digital nature of these materials also reduces the need for manual data entry of responses on the original paper checklists.
Several features of document workflow software make it possible for stakeholders to get more out of digitized field report checklists. It is helpful to use a platform that allows checklists to be completed on devices that are offline since locations in the field may not have reliable internet connections. Finished forms can be submitted automatically as soon as connectivity is restored.
Workflow software that supports automating routine tasks associated with field inspections can optimize productivity and reduce delays and interruptions. It may be possible to integrate automation in ways that shorten the lists of manual checks that are required as part of field reporting. Once workers submit checklists, it may also be possible to automate some corrective responses to checklist feedback.
A field report checklist may be one of several checklists assigned to employees in the field. These documents encourage inspectors or field engineers to record observations that can then be used to initiate maintenance or repair procedures. If a business operates in the field in addition to an office, it may be beneficial to make checklists based on a field report template. Field checklists are useful for keeping stakeholders apprised of changing conditions across an enterprise and may make it possible to reduce unanticipated downtime and increase productivity.
Make Field Reports Faster & Easier
- Document project discussions
- Distribute field reports to all parties involved
- Reduce errors and delays