SAFE WORK METHOD STATEMENTS AREN’T JUST FOR HIGH-RISK BUILDING WORK.

There requires to be more clearness around SWMS files and their use, and we want to offer that. Whether you use them in high-risk building and construction or somewhere else, they can be one of your most reliable and efficient control steps, and when you do SWMSs well, nearly everything else you do will tend to follow.

Let’s rapidly look at the following:

What they are.
Why are they main to your WHS or OH&S system.
How they are different from a J.S.A. and S.O.P
. What must an SWMS include?
Who is accountable?
The use of SWMSs in high-risk building.
When they’re requested somewhere else.
Some industry plan and system solutions.
WHAT IS A SWMS?
A Safe Work Approach Statement (SWMS) is a file that discusses how specific work environment activities are to be performed. The file determines:

The actions being satisfied.
Associated risks,
The dangers they produce, and
How to control those threats.
WHY ARE SWMS CENTRAL TO YOUR WHS SYSTEM?
There are two reasons why SWMS files are central to your system. In specific instances, they are required. They are efficient, efficient and useful in their implementation.

An SWMS is needed whenever high-risk building work is performed (as specified by the WHS. Act, which we’ll discuss soon). This suggests the Person Carrying out an Organization or Endeavor (the PCBU) need to ensure the preparation, following, and retention of these SWMS and their routine and systematic review.

SWMSs are also one of the most efficient of all control measures. They are the most common and prominent of administrative controls. When their usage ends up being a work-culture centrepiece, they can powerfully allow and proof your responsibility of care observance and due diligence compliance.

Permitting yourself a little imaginative creativity, think of how you manage threats as resembling strapping on a bulletproof vest. The majority of your WHS. or OH&S risk controls resemble the cushioning and absorption functions of the vest. Your Safe Work Approach Statements (SWMS) are like those velcro straps that hold the vest easily and effectively in place.

They can be overdone. More on that soon.

HOW IS A SWMS VARIOUS FROM A J.S.A. OR S.O.P.?
A Task Security Analysis (J.S.A.) and a Safe Operating Procedure (S.O.P.) are more focused than a SWMS. They concentrate on separated tasks and procedures. An SWMS is different due to the fact that:

It is wider in its treatment of activities,
It is extremely focused on identifying and monitoring control procedures.
It can cover both particular activities in addition to mix and complex activities (which most high-risk construction work activities are).
WHAT MUST AN SWMS INCLUDE?
Safe Work Approach Statements (SWMS) are just among various available danger control steps. That said, they are likewise (probably) the centrepiece. When used effectively, they bring structure and stability to other WHS. and OH&S activities.

Like straps on a bulletproof vest, they help other controls work and empower individuals who utilize them. They bring physical integrity to what would otherwise be a loose-fitting and ineffective strategy. A safe work method statement does this by supplying the required details, guidelines, and a means of recording actions in a foreseeable and fuss-free format. They will:.

Recognize the High-Risk Building And Construction Work (HRCW) role – if it is one.
Determine risks and unsafe work practices.
Information the best control procedures, in addition to backup controls.
Describe what enters into the implementation of danger management plans.
Detail the individual or service doing the work and the person responsible.
At a building and construction job, information the primary specialist, worksite address, the date of preparation and when supplied to the principal professional.
List the names of employees consulted, the dates and the signatures.
Program any review date and sum up any changes made.
SWMS danger control strategies, according to the hierarchy of control, generally seek to:.

Get rid of hazards (possibly by using engineering controls),.
Lower them (for example, by creating traffic passages),.
Administratively minimise them (e.g. by SWMS) and/or.
Recommend Personal Protective Devices (PPE).
A well-designed SWMS template is easy to prepare, straightforward for appropriate workers to implement, and will allow an effective and efficient evaluation process. That is what our SWMS design templates do.

WHO IS RESPONSIBLE?
When a safe work technique statement is needed, the PCBU must prepare it; where there is more than one PBCU, or the work costs $250,000 or more, a Principal Professional (PC) is selected. This person is then responsible for gathering, evaluating, keeping track of and examining any SWMS in place.

A PC and PCBU can entrust procedures and work activities, BUT the obligation for SWMS quality and execution stays with them.

The Principal Specialist (or PCBU where there is not a P.C.) is accountable for:.

Preparing SWMS files before work begins,.
Guaranteeing any persons included fulfil their duties regularly,.
Determining and managing hazards and dangers according to the file, and.
Examining and adjusting the SWMS for ongoing effectiveness with time (Note: employees must be consulted – consisting of specialists and subcontractors).
SAFE WORK METHOD DECLARATIONS AND HIGH-RISK BUILDING WORK (HRCW).
Both Australia’s Work Health and Safety Laws (2011) and the Model WHS Laws (last updated in 2022) require using SWMS documents for a series of high-risk building and construction work activities. Specifically, Regulation 291 details 19 High-Risk Category activities and an SWMS should be prepared prior to any such work is carried out.

You can follow the Regulation 291 link to see the particular list, but for ease of understanding, we’ll summarise them as follows.

WHAT ACTIVITIES ARE DEEMED HIGH-RISK CONSTRUCTION WORK?
There are 19 activities categorized as high-risk construction work (HRCW), and they all include hazards and threats with considerable potential for considerable harm. For clarity, we reduce this 19-item list into 5 threat groupings. They are activities that:.

It might result in falling,.
May develop due to proximity (or being close to something/someone),.
Arise from the use of a powered mobile plant, specific equipment or materials,.
Prevail when dealing with specific structures and services, and.
Take place in a range of environmental specifics.
To break this down more specifically, these five activity groups include the following situations: an SWMS is required in such scenarios:.

When there is a danger of a person falling more than two metres or falling into a trench or shaft of excavated depth greater than 1.5 m.
If somebody could drown by falling under a liquid, a structural collapse or as a result of diving work.
Where structural changes are utilized to prevent a collapse.
Wherever a tunnel is included.
When powered mobile plant work is being done or the plant is being moved.
If rail traffic or neighboring roadway users could be damaged.
Whenever asbestos is being disturbed or eliminated.
If tilt-up or precast concrete work is being done.
Wherever dynamites are used or demolition work is being carried out.
When work takes place on or near chemical, fuel or refrigerant lines, energised electrical services, pressurised gas circulation mains, piping or telecom towers.
If a work area might have a contaminated or combustible environment, synthetic temperature level extremes or a confined area.
A safe work method declaration need to be maintained in these prescribed situations. The SWMS can be particular to each high-risk building work item or incorporate numerous products in a single SWMS. The most important thing to bear in mind is that these dangers are identified, and the risks are controlled.

If you want to see the breakdown, follow this Policy 291 link.

WHAT IF YOU’RE REQUESTED A SWMS FOR ANOTHER ACTIVITY?
It’s not unusual for customers to state separate SWMS that surpass the legal minimums for building and construction projects – and it doesn’t matter whether the tender procedure is open, negotiated, selective or staged. These amazing expectations can consist of ask for safe work technique statements beyond the stated high-risk construction work activities. We know from conversations with our customers that this is progressively occurring which there requires to be more clarity around the problem.

These expectations and confusion aren’t assisted by SWMS template providers that do not tell you their additional offerings are not required or who oversell with needless SWMS files. Both are practices we do not do.

We always tell our clients that there are 2 forms of compliance; what is lawfully required and what your clients expect. Both are very genuine and pertinent to win work!

WHEN CLIENTS REQUEST FOR MORE.
Technically, your customer can be as unrealistic as they like. They’re paying for the work, so they can specify whatever control measures they desire. In theory, they can even demand a SWMS for taking a dump (and no, we’re not discussing rubbish removal). Our list of offered templates goes beyond the initial 19 HRCW activities.

When the market demands additional SWMS or industry control measures change, we typically swiftly address the need. In some cases we likewise develop specific solutions for particular clients. At other times we have helped them utilize a generic SWMS design template to fulfill the demand. Eventually, we aim to be as handy as we can afford to be.

There have actually also been times when we have actually coached our clients on challenging the tender requirement, and often, changes result. Sometimes it is a truthful mistake by an overzealous tender writer, and when the proposed steps are politely questioned, they are withdrawn. Numerous do not understand the policies and understand there are less laborious techniques of managing risks to health and safety.

Here, as constantly, we suggest you talk with us. Call 1800 304 336 to take pleasure in higher clearness and performance in your purchase journey.

An SWMS is needed whenever high-risk building work is carried out (as defined by the WHS. Safe Work Approach Statements (SWMS) are just one of numerous offered danger control measures. Like straps on a bulletproof vest, they help other controls work and empower the people who utilize them. The SWMS can be specific to each high-risk building and construction work item or include lots of items in a single SWMS. These remarkable expectations can include requests for safe work approach declarations beyond the specified high-risk building work activities.
For more information, contact:Occupational Safety SolutionsLevel 3/55 Pyrmont Bridge Rd, Pyrmont NSW 20091800 304 336www.occupational-safety.com.au