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Developing a Safe Work Method Statement

by Riskex on May 2, 2010

in Safety Procedures,Work Method Statements

Most large organisations procedures state that Safe Work Method Statements (SWMS) must be provided for all tasks requiring a Permit to Work. A Work Method Statement must be presented to the Site/ Duty Manager prior to the commencement of any high risk task.

Particular attention should be given to those activities that have been assessed to be of high risk (eg. working at heights, in confined spaces, electrical work, working near traffic, working with asbestos etc). These guidelines outline the minimum amount of information that a SWMS should contain.

Safe Work Method Statements (SWMS)

SWMS are sometimes called Safe Operating Procedures or Job Safety Analysis forms. They fulfill a number of purposes.

• They outline a safe method of work for a specific job.

• They provide an induction document that workers must read and understand before starting the job.

• They assist in meeting legal responsibilities for the risk management process, hazard identification, risk assessment and risk control.

• They assist in effectively coordinating the work, the materials required, the time required and the people involved to achieve a safe and efficient outcome.

• They are a quality assurance tool.

SWMS must be prepared in consultation with those people who will be doing the job. This will give a more complete insight into the various steps involved in the job and the associated hazards. They will also encourage ownership and commitment to the safe working methods by those doing the job.

SWMS must be produced on the organisation’s letterhead or contain the organisations identification logo and address. Also included must be the signature of a senior management’s and the date the document was prepared.

SWMS must contain the following details: -

- A description of the work to be undertaken,

- The hazards associated with the work,

- The step by...