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A Comprehensive Guide To Safe Work Method Statements

Work is done by humans, not robots. If mistakes happen, the impact could be dire. That’s why ensuring Safe Work Method Statements are in place is of utmost importance.

Safe Work Method Statements are vital for safety and risk management in high-risk work in Australia. Safe Work Method Statements help to ensure that work practices are safe and risk-free. They can also help boost communication and collaboration among team members who are involved in work procedures together. Read further to understand what Safe Work Method Statements are, how it helps businesses, and how you can create one for your workplace.

Safe Work Method Statements

What are Safe Work Method Statements?

Safe Work Method Statements (SWMS) are documents which outlines the risk controls involved with high-risk work activities. It is used in construction and other industries where safety is vital. These safety-oriented documents are defined as being required for all ‘high-risk construction work’ (HRCW) and are an administrative control used to identify and support higher-order controls to eliminate or minimizes risks to health and safety. Safe Work Method Statements assist the principal contractor or other companies confirm and monitor the control measures required.

Safe Work Method Statements describe the work method to be employed, identifies the controls to be implemented, outlines the hazards and risks associated with that work method, and defines the safe work practices to be followed. They provide relevant information needed by workers, supervisors, and managers for safe work.

Definition and purpose of Safe Work Method Statements

A Safe Work Method Statement (or SWMS) is a document that helps workers and supervisors implement safe work practices when engaging in high-risk construction work. When engaging in high-risk construction work, it is important to have a safe work method statement that provides instructions on how to safely carry out the work. This statement helps workers and supervisors understand the requirements that have been established to carry out high-risk construction work in a safe and healthy manner.

A SWMS should be written for each high-risk construction project and should be tailored to the unique safety needs of the project. It should include information about the types of control measures that are needed to ensure safe work practices and procedures. A SWMS should also include information about who will be performing the work, any safety training required, and any relevant health and safety policies or regulations.

Is a Safe Work Method Statement legally required?

A SWWS is legally required for high-risk construction activities in all Australian states. High-risk construction work is defined in the relevant legislation, and may include work with mobile plant, confined spaces, or work involving the risk of a falls over 2m. There are many tasks that deemed as high-risk within the construction industry and SWMS can be useful tools in reducing risk to workers and keeping work safe and efficient.

Safe Work Method Statements HRCWWhat should be covered in a Safe Work Method Statement, legally?

A Safe Work Method Statement (SWMS) should outline the specific requirements involved with performing a particular high-risk activity at work. It should contain an overview of the High Risk Construction Work activities conducted at a workplace, as well as the hazards and safety measures in place to manage and control associated risks. A SWMS should identify any potential hazards and their associated risks, a risk assessment as well as the control measures put in place to mitigate that risk or eliminate the hazard. Safe Work Method Statements should be reviewed before work begins and referenced throughout a project. A SWMS is a vital tool for ensuring safe work practices throughout a construction project as well as providing a means of monitoring works to ensure compliance.

How to create and use a Safe Work Method Statement

A safe work method statement should take into consideration all the specific hazards and risks of the job or task before implementing relevant control measures. It should also record safety controls, such as how and when to use equipment, work practices, and so on.

The content of the SWMS should be developed in consultation with worker or work group involved in the job or task (or their safety representative). After all, they know the job best. In addition, a safe work method statement should address all relevant hazards and risk factors, including those not directly related to risk control measures. It must include information on safe work practices, such as use of appropriate gear, methods, and machinery for the task at hand. If you need a SWMS template, contact someone from our team.

Elements of an effective Safe Work Method Statement

Safe Work Method Statements should include company details, including contract details of the PCBU, as well the location and project of the works. It should then list the the task steps, hazards and controls as well as information about permits, equipment, site conditions or other items needed to complete the work safely. A SWMS should include a room for a signature of each worker, a review process to amend the statement as necessary. This ensures that work is carried out in accordance with the safe work method statement and any relevant regulations.

Benefits of Safe Work Method Statements for Businesses

Safe Work Method Statements can help workers and supervisors to implement and monitor the control measures established to make sure the work is carried out safely. A SWMS can also help managers, employees, and clients to ensure jobs have the proper planning, coordinate activities, resources, and protections needed to meet the safety regulations. A SWMS statement provides a way for businesses to communicate safety expectations clearly and concisely, which can save time and money in the long run. Additionally, method statements can provide a clear vision for safe work practices that everyone can follow and set high standards for safe work throughout an organization.

A SWMS is useful for businesses of all sizes. They can provide a legal document that outlines safety expectations clearly and concisely, which can save time and money in the long run. Additionally, Safe Work Method Statements can provide a way for businesses to communicate safety expectations clearly and concisely, which can save time and money in the long run. Finally, method statements are useful for businesses of all sizes as they outline safe work practices clearly and concisely, saving time and money in the long run.

Improved safety and risk management

Generic SWMS may be prepared and used as safety standards in a workplace. These statements include information such as the type of work to be performed, training requirements, work site safety procedures, and equipment to be used. Safe Work Method Statements should be available for workers, supervisors, and any other person at the workplace for inspection and review. They can serve as a safety checklist to ensure safe work practices are followed. Generic safe work method statements help companies reduce risk and improve safety at their operations by providing consistent safety standards and guidelines across all work activities.

Improved communication and collaboration

Safe work method statements are templates that provide step-by-step instructions for safe work activities. These statements can be customized to suit a businesses’ specific needs. For example, safe work method statements for construction projects may include detailed safety information about the type of equipment used, safety rules to follow, maximum work duration, and safe work practices for various tasks. These statements help ensure the safety of workers and others on the site. Additionally, safe work method statements can help improve communication and collaboration between workers, supervisors, and other personnel on the site. By having a safe work method statement in place, businesses can ensure safe work activities are being carried out and improve overall project safety as a whole.

Should I review and update my Safe Work Method Statement?

Each SWMS should be reviewed updated on a regular basis. This may include when there are any changes to the works or project, such as new locations, teams, or equipment. Generally, Safe Work Method Statements should be reviewed at least yearly, however the frequency may be much high depending on a number of factors.

Compliance reviews are used to ensure employees and subcontractors are adhering to safe work practices outlined in their method statement. This helps to ensure safety risks are managed throughout the project, and helps avoid costly delays or accidents.


Safe Work Method Statements are an essential part of your overall safety and risk management plan. They help you manage the hazards that are present in your work environment, and they help workers understand how to work safely. With this statement, you can reduce the risk of accidents and work-related injuries by communicating safety instructions to workers clearly and concisely. Documenting safe work procedures also helps improve communication and collaboration among workers. Keep your Safe Work Method Statement up-to-date with regular reviews by changing it as work conditions change. In addition, make sure all workers understand their responsibilities when using the statement.

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