Safe Work Method Statement (SWMS)
A Safe Work Method Statement (SWMS) is a set of work procedures that identify hazards and control measures with known tasks. It is a way to identify risks associated with a worksite and how best to manage them. SWMS must include the names of the people at the workplace, arrangements for the management of any incidents should they arise, health and safety rules specific to the worksite and ways to collect and review the document.
There are 18 high risk construction activities that require a SWMS under Work Health and Safety Regulations however each industry has different guidelines for the proper management of those risks. For example Master Builders has written their own guidelines for the management of health and safety risks associated with the construction building industry. For the safe management of hazards and risks associated with electrical work, Safe Work Australia has suggested their own codes of practice. Each industry has different health and safety management guidelines so it’s important to keep updated. But what does a Safe Work Method Statement look like? The following 2 images are an example template SWMS supplied by Safe Work Australia. Have a look on pages 46 and 47 of the Construction Work Code of Practice.