There needs to be more clearness around SWMS files and their usage, and we wish to supply that. Whether you utilize them in high-risk building and construction or in other places, they can be among your most reliable and efficient control measures, and when you do SWMSs well, nearly everything else you do will tend to follow.

Let’s quickly take a 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 consist of?
Who is accountable?
The use of SWMSs in high-risk building and construction.
When they’re asked for somewhere else.
Some industry bundle and system options.
A Safe Work Method Statement (SWMS) is a file that explains how particular work environment activities are to be performed. The file recognizes:

The actions being satisfied.
Associated dangers,
The risks they produce, and
How to control those dangers.
There are 2 reasons why SWMS files are main to your system. In particular circumstances, they are required. They are effective, effective and practical in their application.

An SWMS is required whenever high-risk building work is carried out (as defined by the WHS. Act, which we’ll discuss quickly). This implies the Individual Performing a Business or Endeavor (the PCBU) need to guarantee the preparation, following, and retention of these SWMS and their regular and organized review.

SWMSs are also among the most reliable of all control steps. They are the most typical and prominent of administrative controls. When their use ends up being a work-culture centrepiece, they can powerfully make it possible for and evidence your responsibility of care observance and due diligence compliance.

Allowing yourself a little creative imagination, believe about how you manage dangers as being like strapping on a bulletproof vest. Your Safe Work Technique Statements (SWMS) are like those velcro straps that hold the vest easily and successfully in place.

They can be overdone. More on that quickly.

A Task Safety Analysis (J.S.A.) and a Safe Operating Procedure (S.O.P.) are more focused than a SWMS. They focus on separated jobs and procedures. An SWMS is different due to the fact that:

It is wider in its treatment of activities,
It is extremely concentrated on recognizing and keeping an eye on control procedures.
It can cover both specific activities as well as mix and complex activities (which most high-risk building work activities are).
Safe Work Approach Statements (SWMS) are just one of different offered risk control procedures. When used successfully, they bring structure and stability to other WHS.

Like straps on a bulletproof vest, they assist other controls work and empower individuals who utilize them. They bring physical stability to what would otherwise be a loose-fitting and ineffective technique. A safe work method declaration does this by offering the required details, guidelines, and a method of tape-recording actions in a predictable and fuss-free format. They will:.

Determine the High-Risk Building Work (HRCW) function – if it is one.
Recognize dangers and unsafe work practices.
Information the very best control steps, in addition to backup controls.
Describe what goes into the implementation of threat management strategies.
Information the individual or organization doing the work and the individual responsible.
At a building and construction job, information the principal contractor, worksite address, the date of preparation and when supplied to the primary professional.
List the names of workers spoken with, the dates and the signatures.
Program any review date and summarise any modifications made.
SWMS risk control methods, according to the hierarchy of control, usually look for to:.

Eliminate hazards (maybe by utilizing engineering controls),.
Reduce them (for instance, by creating traffic passages),.
Administratively minimise them (e.g. by SWMS) and/or.
Suggest Personal Protective Devices (PPE).
A properly designed SWMS design template is easy to prepare, uncomplicated for relevant employees to execute, and will make it possible for an efficient and effective evaluation process. That is what our SWMS templates do.

When a safe work method declaration is needed, the PCBU needs to prepare it; where there is more than one PBCU, or the work costs $250,000 or more, a Principal Specialist (PC) is designated. This person is then responsible for collecting, evaluating, monitoring and evaluating any SWMS in place.

A PC and PCBU can hand over procedures and work activities, BUT the obligation for SWMS quality and execution remains with them.

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

Preparing SWMS documents before work starts,.
Guaranteeing anybodies included satisfy their responsibilities consistently,.
Identifying and managing threats and threats according to the file, and.
Evaluating and adjusting the SWMS for continuous effectiveness with time (Note: workers need to be sought advice from – including specialists and subcontractors).
Both Australia’s Work Health and wellness Laws (2011) and the Model WHS Laws (last upgraded in 2022) need using SWMS documents for a variety of high-risk construction work activities. Specifically, Regulation 291 details 19 High-Risk Category activities and an SWMS must be prepared before any such work is undertaken.

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

There are 19 activities categorized as high-risk building work (HRCW), and they all include threats and dangers with substantial potential for substantial damage. For clearness, we reduce this 19-item list into 5 hazard groupings. They are activities that:.

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

When there is a danger of an individual falling more than two metres or falling into a trench or shaft of excavated depth greater than 1.5 m.
If someone might drown by falling into a liquid, a structural collapse or as a result of diving work.
Where structural modifications 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 close-by road users could be damaged.
Whenever asbestos is being disturbed or gotten rid of.
If tilt-up or precast concrete work is being done.
Wherever dynamites are used or demolition work is being carried out.
When work happens on or near chemical, fuel or refrigerant lines, energised electrical services, pressurised gas circulation mains, piping or telecommunications towers.
If a work space could have a contaminated or combustible environment, artificial temperature extremes or a restricted area.
A safe work method declaration must be retained in these recommended situations. The SWMS can be particular to each high-risk building and construction work product or encompass numerous products in a single SWMS. The most important thing to keep in mind is that these dangers are identified, and the threats are managed.

If you want to see the detailed list, follow this Guideline 291 link.

It’s not uncommon for customers to stipulate different SWMS that exceed the legal minimums for construction projects – and it doesn’t matter whether the tender process is open, worked out, selective or staged. These remarkable expectations can consist of ask for safe work technique declarations beyond the stipulated high-risk building and construction work activities. We understand from conversations with our consumers that this is progressively taking place and that there requires to be more clarity around the issue.

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

We always tell our consumers that there are 2 forms of compliance; what is lawfully needed and what your clients anticipate. Both are very genuine and appropriate to win work!

They’re paying for the work, so they can stipulate whatever control determines they desire. In theory, they can even demand a SWMS for taking a dump (and no, we’re not talking about rubbish removal).

When the market needs additional SWMS or industry control determines modification, we normally promptly resolve the need. At other times we have assisted them use a generic SWMS design template to meet the need.

There have also been times when we have actually coached our customers on challenging the tender requirement, and often, modifications result. Often it is an honest mistake by an overzealous tender author, and when the proposed measures are politely questioned, they are withdrawn. Many do not comprehend the guidelines and know there are less laborious methods of managing threats to health and safety.

Here, as always, we advise you talk with us. Call 1800 304 336 to enjoy higher clearness and performance in your purchase journey.

An SWMS is required whenever high-risk construction work is performed (as specified by the WHS. Safe Work Approach Statements (SWMS) are simply one of numerous available danger control steps. Like straps on a bulletproof vest, they help other controls work and empower the individuals who use them. The SWMS can be particular to each high-risk building and construction work item or incorporate many items in a single SWMS. These extraordinary expectations can include demands for safe work technique statements beyond the stipulated 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