Ensure Workplace Safety with Safe Work Method Statement Template

Posted by Safety Specialist on March 23rd, 2020

A SWMS is a document that sets out the high hazard construction work activities to be carried out at a workplace, the risks arising from these activities and the measures to be put in place to control the risks.  

A Safe Work Method Statement can be used for work that includes multiple high-risk construction work activities, for instance, a work activity that requires using powered mobile plant, working at heights of more than 2 meters and working adjacent to a road used by traffic other than pedestrians.  

A Safe Work Method Statement is classed as an administrative control and is utilized to support higher-order controls to eliminate or minimise risks to health and safety, for instance, engineering controls.  

A SWMS is generally different from other documents that focus on particular tasks or processes, such as a Job Safety Analysis or a Safe Operating Procedure. A SWMS is not designed to be a procedure—rather it is a tool to help supervisors and workers confirm and monitor the control measures needed at the workplace.  

A Safe Work Method Statement should be short and focus on describing the particular hazards identified for the high risk construction work to be undertaken and the control measures to be put in place so the work is carried out safely. A lengthy, overly detailed SWMS can be hard to understand, apply at the workplace, monitor or review. So, choose Safe Work Method Statement Template to ensure precise Safe Work Method Statement. 

A SWMS must be easily understood by workers, including those from non-English speaking backgrounds. For instance, pictures or diagrams may be a more effective way of communicating information. While there are other legislative needs to ensure health and safety—for example to control exposure to noise and manual task hazards—these hazards and risk controls do not need to be included in a SWMS. 

If the SWMS is based on a workplace-specific risk assessment, evidence of the risk assessment may be needed by the regulator or for auditing purposes but does not need to be detailed in the SWMS.  

The person responsible for executing the high-risk construction project is best placed to develop the SWMS. This is in consultation with the workers or employees directly engaged in the project. Preferably, an SWMS is prepared by the builder for his employees or by the subcontractor for himself and his workers. However, the principal contractor, builder, and subcontractors should consult each other on who is best placed to set up the SWMS. 

A collaborative approach to developing the SWMS ensures that all parties understand the process in detail and that the project is performed as per the document to mitigate involved risks. It should take into account factors in the workplace that may affect how the high-risk construction is carried out. 

A SWMS is work specific and cannot be used for another project, however, a template can be a great way to prepare new documents. The principal contractor should have a copy of the SWMS before the project commences, and it should be simple to read and comprehend. 

So, minimise workplace mishaps and improve workplace productivity with Safe Work Method Statement Template

Safety Specialist

About the Author

Safety Specialist
Joined: January 24th, 2018
Articles Posted: 13

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