Hardcopy Records for Legal Proceedings

CMMS software keeps computer versions of important information (e.g. work orders and any comments entered by workers when the work order is closed). However, many organizations find it important to keep hardcopy (paper) records of work orders too.

In particular, if you find yourself facing legal action because of worker injury or some similar problem, a good paper trail can be vital for protecting your company and your maintenance department. For example, when your workers perform a safety inspection, it can be important to have them sign off on the inspection, or even to put their initials on each required element of the inspection. Your lawyers will probably be happy that you have signed paper records as well as the computer records kept by your CMMS.

It's also important to have photocopies. In the event of an inquiry, police or other authorities often take away the originals of your paper trail, to use those papers as evidence. Photocopies of the papers will ensure that your own lawyers have the same evidence to use in preparing a defense.

While a CMMS is a great asset for tracking maintenance work and keeping a workplace safe, the courts still like to see signatures on paper. Check with your legal advisors to see what paperwork might be required in your jurisdiction, and what additional paperwork might be helpful if problems actually arise.