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A SWMS or Safe Work Method Statement is critically important on work sites. It is an integral document, legally required on work sites that carry-out high-risk construction work. 

A SWMS outlines all high-risk activities that take place on site, breaks down hazards associated with these activities and determines appropriate measures to be put in place to control the risks. 

For some, a Safe Work Method Statement may seem like a ‘tick and flick’ document that is filled out quickly at the start of a job. But there are a number of reasons why a SWMS is important on your work site, and why it’s crucial they’re completed correctly.

SWMS what is it and why you need it

Safe Work Method Statements are important for construction sites.

Job Breakdown

When carrying out high-risk work, and a SWMS has been completed thoroughly, you will find each job will be broken down into calculated job steps. This should provide you and your workers with peace of mind that every job has been considered carefully, and the most logical and safe process for completing each job has been identified. 

Taking the time to consider each hazard and the associated risks, means your workers will be across the safe and correct way to carry out their work. In addition, they’ll have an understanding of what could go wrong if proper safety procedures aren’t followed.

A Safe Work Method Statement should be completed before any high risk work commences, and should include:

  • the details of the work being carried out,
  • the hazards associated with this type of high-risk work,
  • the measures of control to be put in place before the job can commence, and
  • an outline of how those control measures will be actioned.

Completing a SWMS is highly beneficial to the safe and successful roll out of high-risk work on your job site and shouldn’t be seen as a ‘tick and flick’.

A SWMS is One Point of Reference

When completed correctly, a Safe Work Method Statement is a fantastic safety resource for all workers. 

As a SWMS is legally required to be completed for any high-risk work, it will contain all the site-specific, relevant and up-to-date information that a worker will need to be across, whether they’ve just arrived on site, or need to revisit safety procedures before carrying out their work.

Your SWMS will ensure that all workers are on the same page and can do their jobs safely, and as part of a team.

Safe Work Method Statement and Incident Reporting and Management

In the unfortunate event of an incident, a Safe Work Method Statement is crucial in the reporting phase. 

Your SWMS will assist the investigation to identify what went wrong, what measures were followed, areas that could have been missed, and how the incident can be prevented in the future. 

In theory, if a Safe Work Method Statement has been followed correctly, the likelihood of any incidents occurring is very minimal. 

To read more about what a SWMS is, who is responsible for the Safe Work Method Statement and what it should include, head to our blog ‘What is a SWMS?’ 

You can view the Work Health & Safety Regulators in your state or territory, by visiting https://www.safeworkaustralia.gov.au/law-and-regulation/legislation. 

SWMS Template

Builder Assist have developed a range of industry compliant SWMS templates for the building and construction industry. 

To purchase your own SWMS template and download it instantly, simply visit https://www.builderassist.com.au/whs-ohs/safe-work-method-statements-swms3/.

Don’t need a SWMS template, and not sure what documents and procedures you might need for your trade? We can help! Head to https://www.builderassist.com.au/trades-people-documentation/, where you can access Builder Assist’s instant downloads of document and procedure templates specific to your trade profession.