Download A Free Safe Work Method Statement Example That You Can Modify
A Safe Work Method Statement or SWMS is a document used in the construction industry. It should detail the different high risk construction works to be done in the job site, the hazards and risks at the workplace, and the measures that have been put into place to eliminate or minimise these risks. Once the statement has been drafted, all works involved in the job site should be performed in accordance to it.
But what exactly is high risk construction work? A few examples of these are: working in confined spaces; work conducted at a height of more than two metres; work that involves the removal or disturbance of hazardous materials like asbestos; digging deeper than 1.5 metres; the use of explosives; work done in roads and railways; work where the danger of electrocution or drowning is high; and anything wherein a worker has to contend with temperature extremes.
All contractors in a work site must prepare the document for their direct employees. Principal contractors, in agreement with subcontractors, can hand out a free safe work method statement example which can be modified. Once the SWMS has been drafted, it is the obligation of the employer to ensure that all work be conducted in accordance to the content of the document. Should work deviate from the statements made in the document, he should call for the cessation of work. Work should only resume when all the workers understand the need to stick with the SWMS or until the document has been revised.
Contractors should understand that the preparation of the SWMS is part of overall planning. Ideally, drafting the document should be done in consultation with health and safety practitioners. Alternatively, employers can download a free SWMS example.
Ideally, an SWMS should list all the procedures involved in a task on a step by step basis. It should be written in a clear, logical and short manner, allowing readers, especially those with limited literacy skills, to fully understand what is stated in the document.
A safe work method statement is not a document that is done once. Due to the changing nature of work sites, it is crucial for employers to revisit the document especially during special situations. These situations include changes in high risk construction or times when the current risk control measures being implemented are deemed to be inadequate.