SAFE WORK METHOD STATEMENTS AREN’T JUST FOR HIGH-RISK CONSTRUCTION WORK.
There requires to be more clarity around SWMS documents and their usage, and we want to supply that. Whether you utilize them in high-risk building and construction or elsewhere, they can be among your most effective and effective control procedures, 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 various from a J.S.A. and S.O.P
. What must an SWMS consist of?
Who is accountable?
Making use of SWMSs in high-risk building and construction.
When they’re asked for elsewhere.
Some market package and system solutions.
WHAT IS A SWMS?
A Safe Work Method Statement (SWMS) is a file that explains how particular workplace activities are to be carried out. The document determines:
The actions being satisfied.
The risks they produce, and
How to control those dangers.
WHY ARE SWMS CENTRAL TO YOUR WHS SYSTEM?
There are two reasons why SWMS files are main to your system. In certain circumstances, they are needed. They are efficient, effective and practical in their execution.
An SWMS is needed whenever high-risk building work is carried out (as defined by the WHS. Act, which we’ll discuss soon). This implies the Person Performing a Business or Undertaking (the PCBU) should ensure the preparation, following, and retention of these SWMS and their routine and methodical review.
SWMSs are likewise one of the most efficient of all control steps. They are the most common and influential of administrative controls. When their use becomes a work-culture centrepiece, they can strongly allow and evidence your duty of care observance and due diligence compliance.
Enabling yourself a little imaginative imagination, think about how you manage risks as being like strapping on a bulletproof vest. Your Safe Work Approach Statements (SWMS) are like those velcro straps that hold the vest easily and efficiently in place.
They can be exaggerated. More on that quickly.
HOW IS A SWMS VARIOUS FROM A J.S.A. OR S.O.P.?
A Job Security Analysis (J.S.A.) and a Safe Operating Procedure (S.O.P.) are more focused than a SWMS. They concentrate on isolated tasks and procedures. An SWMS is different due to the fact that:
It is more comprehensive in its treatment of activities,
It is extremely concentrated on recognizing and keeping an eye on control steps.
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 Technique Statements (SWMS) are just among numerous readily available risk control measures. That said, they are also (perhaps) the centrepiece. When utilized successfully, 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 the individuals who utilize them. A safe work technique statement does this by offering the required information, guidelines, and a way of taping actions in a foreseeable and fuss-free format.
Determine the High-Risk Building Work (HRCW) function – if it is one.
Recognize hazards and unsafe work practices.
Detail the best control steps, in addition to backup controls.
Explain what enters into the implementation of risk management strategies.
Information the individual or company doing the work and the individual accountable.
At a building project, information the primary professional, worksite address, the date of preparation and when supplied to the principal professional.
Note the names of employees spoken with, the dates and the signatures.
Show any review date and summarise any modifications made.
SWMS risk control techniques, according to the hierarchy of control, generally seek to:.
Get rid of risks (perhaps by utilizing engineering controls),.
Minimize them (for example, by producing traffic passages),.
Administratively minimise them (e.g. by SWMS) and/or.
Suggest Personal Protective Devices (PPE).
A properly designed SWMS template is simple to prepare, uncomplicated for appropriate employees to execute, and will enable an effective and reliable evaluation procedure. That is what our SWMS design templates do.
WHO IS RESPONSIBLE?
When a safe work technique declaration is needed, the PCBU should prepare it; where there is more than one PBCU, or the work costs $250,000 or more, a Principal Specialist (PC) is appointed. This person is then responsible for collecting, evaluating, keeping track of and reviewing any SWMS in place.
A PC and PCBU can hand over procedures and work activities, BUT the duty for SWMS quality and execution remains with them.
The Principal Specialist (or PCBU where there is not a P.C.) is accountable for:.
Preparing SWMS files prior to work begins,.
Making sure anybodies involved satisfy their tasks consistently,.
Identifying and controlling risks and dangers based on the document, and.
Reviewing and changing the SWMS for continuous effectiveness gradually (Note: employees need to be consulted – consisting of specialists and subcontractors).
SAFE WORK TECHNIQUE DECLARATIONS AND HIGH-RISK BUILDING AND CONSTRUCTION WORK (HRCW).
Both Australia’s Work Health and wellness Laws (2011) and the Design WHS Regulations (last updated in 2022) need using SWMS documents for a series of high-risk building and construction work activities. Particularly, Regulation 291 details 19 High-Risk Category activities and an SWMS should be prepared before any such work is undertaken.
You can follow the Guideline 291 link to see the particular list, but for ease of understanding, we’ll summarise them as follows.
WHAT ACTIVITIES ARE CONSIDERED HIGH-RISK BUILDING AND CONSTRUCTION WORK?
There are 19 activities categorized as high-risk building and construction work (HRCW), and they all include dangers and risks with considerable capacity for considerable harm. For clarity, we decrease this 19-item list into five risk groupings. They are activities that:.
It might result in falling,.
Might establish due to distance (or being close to something/someone),.
Result from making use of a powered mobile plant, specific equipment or materials,.
Are common when dealing with particular structures and services, and.
Occur in a range of ecological specifics.
To break this down more particularly, these 5 activity groups involve the following situations: an SWMS is required in such situations:.
When there is a risk of an individual falling more than 2 metres or falling under a trench or shaft of excavated depth greater than 1.5 m.
If someone could drown by falling into a liquid, a structural collapse or as a result of diving work.
Where structural alterations are used 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 harmed.
Whenever asbestos is being disturbed or removed.
If tilt-up or precast concrete work is being done.
Wherever dynamites are utilized or demolition work is being conducted.
When work happens on or near chemical, fuel or refrigerant lines, energised electrical services, pressurised gas circulation mains, piping or telecom towers.
If a work space might have a contaminated or combustible environment, artificial temperature extremes or a restricted area.
A safe work method declaration must be kept in these prescribed situations. The SWMS can be particular to each high-risk construction work product or encompass lots of items in a single SWMS. The most crucial thing to bear in mind is that these hazards are recognized, and the risks are controlled.
If you want to see the breakdown, follow this Guideline 291 link.
WHAT IF YOU’RE ASKED FOR A SWMS FOR ANOTHER ACTIVITY?
It’s not unusual for customers to specify separate SWMS that surpass the legal minimums for building and construction projects – and it doesn’t matter whether the tender process is open, worked out, selective or staged. These amazing expectations can include requests for safe work technique statements beyond the stated high-risk construction work activities. We know from conversations with our consumers that this is increasingly occurring and that there needs to be more clearness around the issue.
These expectations and confusion aren’t helped by SWMS template suppliers that don’t inform you their additional offerings are not needed or who oversell with needless SWMS documents. Both are practices we do not do.
We constantly tell our clients that there are two kinds of compliance; what is legally needed and what your customers expect. Both are very real and pertinent to win work!
WHEN CUSTOMERS ASK FOR MORE.
Technically, your customer can be as unrealistic as they like. They’re spending for the work, so they can specify whatever control determines they want. In theory, they can even require a SWMS for taking a dump (and no, we’re not speaking about rubbish elimination). Our list of offered templates surpasses the initial 19 HRCW activities.
When the market demands additional SWMS or market control determines change, we typically promptly resolve the need. Often we also develop specific services for particular clients. At other times we have helped them utilize a generic SWMS design template to satisfy the need. Eventually, we intend to be as handy as we can pay for to be.
There have likewise been times when we have actually coached our consumers on challenging the tender requirement, and often, modifications result. Often it is an honest error by an overzealous tender writer, and when the proposed steps are politely questioned, they are withdrawn. Lots of do not comprehend the guidelines and understand there are less tiresome methods of managing threats to health and wellness.
Here, as constantly, we recommend you talk with us. Call 1800 304 336 to enjoy greater clarity and effectiveness in your purchase journey.
An SWMS is required whenever high-risk construction work is performed (as specified by the WHS. Safe Work Technique Statements (SWMS) are just one of various readily available threat control procedures. Like straps on a bulletproof vest, they assist other controls work and empower the individuals who use them. The SWMS can be specific to each high-risk construction work product or include numerous products in a single SWMS. These amazing expectations can consist of demands for safe work method declarations beyond the stated high-risk construction work activities.
For more information, contact:Occupational Safety SolutionsLevel 3/55 Pyrmont Bridge Rd, Pyrmont NSW 20091800 304 336www.occupational-safety.com.au