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SWMS – The Importance of a SWMS on Work Sites

A SWMS or Safe Work Method Statement is legally required on work sites that carry out high-risk construction work.

A SWMS outlines all high-risk activities that take place on site.  It breaks down hazards and determines appropriate measures to control the risks. 


A SWMS is crucial to the safe and successful roll-out of high-risk work on work sites.


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.  Here's why it’s crucial they’re completed correctly.

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 provides peace of mind that every job has been considered carefully.  

You've taken the time to consider each hazard and the associated risks.  This 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 the safety procedures aren’t followed.

A Safe Work Method Statement is completed before any high-risk work commences, and includes:

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

A SWMS is crucial to the safe and successful roll-out of high-risk work on construction sites.

A SWMS is One Point of Reference

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

It contains all the site-specific, relevant and up-to-date information that workers need to be across, whether they’ve just arrived on site, or need to revisit safety procedures before carrying out work.

A SWMS ensures workers are on the same page and complete jobs safely, and as part of an informed team.

Safe Work Method Statement and Incident Reporting

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

A SWMS will assist the investigation.  It helps identify what went wrong, what measures were followed, and areas that could have been missed.  As a result, it identifies how the incident can be prevented in the future. 

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

To read more about what a SWMS is, who is responsible 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 the SafeWork Australia website.

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 click here.

Download swms template

Don’t need a SWMS template?  Not sure what documents and procedures you might need for your trade? We can help! Head to Tradespeople Documentation.  Here you can access Builder Assist’s instant downloads of document and procedure templates specific to your trade.