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A Workers Guide

When do I need a SWMS?

In Australia, it is a legislative requirement that a written Safe Work Method Statement (SWMS) is produced for work which is determined to be High Risk Construction Work under the WHS Act.

The purpose of a SWMS is to enable all people involved with specific high risk construction work to have a full understanding of the risks involved with undertaking that work and to implement the risk controls outlined in the SWMS to ultimately increase workplace safety.

Any Persons Conducting a Business or Undertaking (PCBUs) must ensure that SWMS are prepared for all high risk construction work prior to work commencing.

So what is considered high risk construction work?

A SWMS should be developed for works that involve any of the following:

  • asbestos, explosives or diving work

  • building or demolition work involving tilt up or pre-cast concrete

  • confined spaces

  • demolition

  • pressurised gas distribution mains or piping chemical, fuel or refrigerant lines energised electrical installations or services.

  • Structure or building involving structural alterations or repairs that require temporary support to prevent collapse

  • work carried out adjacent to a road, railway or shipping lane, traffic corridor

  • work in an area that may have contaminated or flammable atmosphere

  • working around mobile plant / machinery

  • working at depths greater than 1.5 metres, including tunnels or mines

  • working at heights where there is a risk of falling more than two metres, including work on telecommunications towers

  • working in areas where there is risk of being exposed to artificial extreme temperatures

  • working in or near water or other liquid that involves risk of drowning

Write your own Safe Work Method Statements

Start from scratch. Use our blank SWMS template to develop your own Safe Work Method Statements.

Download blank SWMS Template

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