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Safe Work Method Statement (SWMS) Template: A Guide

Safe Work Method Statement (SWMS) Template: A Guide

May 30th 2023

Safe Work Method Statement (SWMS) Template: A Guide

A Safe Work Method Statement (SWMS) is a crucial document that outlines the safety procedures that you must follow during high-risk activities. Creating one from scratch can take time, and there's always the risk of missing important details. Using SWMS templates simplify the process, helping workers minimise risk exposure.

Purpose of Safe Work Method Statements

A SWMS outlines high-risk construction work, hazards, and control measures to control risks. It's an administrative control supporting higher-order controls to minimise health and safety risks. It differs from specific documents, like Job Safety Analysis or Safe Operating Procedures. It serves as a tool to monitor workplace control measures. SWMS ensures workers can identify and understand the hazards involved and the appropriate safety risk control measures used to prevent injury.

Some of the purposes of a SWMS include:

  1. SWMS helps in carrying out high-risk construction work safely and healthily. For example, construction work such as excavations, demolitions and working at heights may involve hazards that every person responsible must address. It helps supervisors, workers, and other persons at the workplace understand the established safety requirements. It clearly outlines the procedures everyone follows in carrying out a task safely.
  2. SWMS ensures compliance with the relevant safety laws and regulations. By outlining how to reduce risk in a particular work activity, SWMS help employers fulfil their legal duties of care for workers' safety. You must prepare an SWMS for the 18 most high-risk construction work outlined by WHS Regulations. Failure to have it in place can result in significant fines and legal action.
  3. SWMS assist supervisors and workers in increasing their awareness of potential risks. It helps workers assess the safety risk of a task before starting to minimise potential accidents, injuries or illnesses.
  4. SWMS confirms and monitors control measures required at the workplace. By including details about the safety measures in place, an SWMS helps ensure everyone follows the same procedures.

Female Construction Worker Looking At Tablet in Factory

What is a Safe Work Method Statement Template?

Since SWMS are a crucial document for any high-risk workplace environment, using a template can be a great way to save time. An SWMS template is a customisable document that outlines the safety procedures for a particular task or activity. It includes details such as relevant hazards and risk assessments, safety policies, control measures, roles and responsibilities of workers, and any other relevant information.

They are ready-made documents that guide how to complete an SWMS. Pre-filled with standard sections such as scope, hazards and risks, control measures, and monitoring and evaluation, make creating one easy. Document providers, such as SafetyDocs, that offer SWMS templates for various industries and will make safety easier to manage.

Benefits of Using a Safe Work Method Statement Template

Time-saver

Imagine writing each separate SWMS part from scratch. The process can take time if multiple tasks or activities are involved. A template simplifies the process and helps get things done quickly, as most sections are already pre-filled.

Consistency

Using the same template for all tasks helps ensure that all SWMSs have the same structure and look. This makes it easier to compare and identify discrepancies. When all templates are consistent, it's easier to track and identify areas of improvement. It's also a great way to ensure everyone is on the same page.

Manageability

A template lets you focus on the content rather than worrying about the format. Using a template ensures that all relevant information is in the proper order. Tracking your safety by having a template you can update regularly is more manageable.

Cost-efficient

Using a safe work method statement template can help you save on costs because you don't e need to hire a consultant or document preparer. It also helps avoid duplication of effort and keeps tracking expenses low.