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4.4 Legibility and Format
Maintaining logs as both working documents and permanent legal records requires
precautions to preserve the physical integrity of the log. Logs should be maintained in a
hard-bound ledger with numbered pages, or in a duplicate-type book with numbered pages.
Waterproof black ink is recommended for all logkeeping.
Facilities should provide a method for identifying the persons who make entries in the log.
One method is to list the printed name, signature, and initials of all persons making log
entries. This may be done as part of the initial entry, or on a separate page or form
maintained with the log.
Entries in the log should be easy for others to read and understand. All persons maintaining
a log should ensure that their handwriting can be easily read by others. The language and
style of writing should be in keeping with the intent of a narrative record of operation;
language should be similar to the language one would use if describing the events to another
operator or supervisor. Acronyms and abbreviations should come from an approved list.
Log entries should be reproducible on standard photocopy machines. If colored ink or
highlight pens are used to draw attention to entries, a check should be performed to ensure
that the log text is not obscured, either in the original or when copying.
Detailed instructions for log format should be contained in facility guidelines. The
following subsections, and the example log entries in Appendix A, contain information that
may be helpful in developing the facility guidelines.
General Format
It should be difficult or impossible to alter or add to the entries contained in the
log. All lines on the page should be used, or marked in a manner that designates
them as not used. As a good practice, lines should not be skipped between or
within entries. Unruled spaces on the log page (e.g., the margin at the top of the
page) should not be used for log entries.
The date should be recorded on each page. Entries should be formatted so that
a person reading the log can determine at a glance the date and time of the entry.

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