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Instant Download of Documents and Procedures for the Australian Building and Construction Industry to assist Developers, Builders, Tradespeople and Owner Builders.

All trades need to be familiar with a number of policies, procedures and safety controls in the construction industry. So it’s understandable that there is confusion around when and where to use certain forms and procedures. One of the common questions we hear is ‘what is the difference between a JSA and a SWMS?’

So, we’re going to break it down for you.

The two major differences between a JSA and a SWMS are;

  • the situation in which they need to be used;
  • and, while both are requirements for a safe workplace, one is a legal-requirement.
What is the difference between a JSA and a SWMS?

There are two main differences between a JSA and a SWMS.

What is a SWMS?

A Safe Work Method Statement (SWMS) is a legal requirement that is completed before any high-risk construction work takes place on site. High-risk construction work relates to 19 different construction activities in Australia that have the potential for serious harm (for example, working at heights or working near traffic).  

The person carrying out high-risk work is responsible for completing a SWMS properly and making sure the principal contractor has been given a copy of the document once it’s completed. 

A Safe Work Method Statement identifies work that is considered ‘high risk’, outlines the hazards that could arise, and the measures to be put in place to control each risk. A SWMS also describes how each safety measure will be rolled out, monitored and reviewed. 

TIP: To learn more about the requirements of a SWMS, read our blog ‘What is a SWMS?’

What is a JSA?

A JSA or Job Safety Analysis (sometimes referred to as a Job Hazard Analysis, or JHA) is a form of risk assessment that’s required to be completed for general construction tasks. While there is no specific legal requirement for a JSA, it’s important for all workers to be aware of the hazards and risks they could face while undertaking work, and a JSA is a fantastic way to communicate the risks.

In addition, employers have a duty of care to ensure their workers are competent in their trade, and are cared for on the job. Having a JSA in place on your worksite is an excellent way to reduce the chance of injury or unsafe practices for the duration of your construction project.

A JSA will outline each construction task in a step-by-step process.  This includes a list of any potential hazards that may arise at each step of the process. Your JSA will outline details of the control measures that have/will be put in place to carry out tasks safely. These control measures will also be detailed in a ‘step-by-step’ instruction format.


Having a solid understanding of where and when to use a JSA or a SWMS is vital to a safe and smooth-running project and will aid in any reporting required in the unfortunate event of an incident. 

Builder Assist have a range of industry compliant SWMS templates and JSA templates specifically developed for the construction industry. Each safety template complies with the Work Health & Safety Act, Work Health & Safety Regulations and applicable Codes of Practice. 

You can download each applicable Legislation, Codes of Practice, and references by clicking here

SWMS Template

To purchase your own, instantly downloadable SWMS Template, simply click here.  


JSA Template

Similarly, to purchase your instantly downloadable JSA Template, click here.  

Don’t need a SWMS template or JSA template?  Not sure what documents and procedures you might need for your trade? No worries! Simply visit Tradespeople Documentation.  We’ve categorised all the document and procedure templates you need to be compliant, safe and efficient in your trade.