There needs to be more clearness around SWMS documents and their use, and we want to provide that. Whether you utilize them in high-risk construction or in other places, they can be one of your most efficient and efficient control steps, and when you do SWMSs well, almost everything else you do will tend to follow.
Let’s rapidly take a look at the following:
What they are.
Why are they main to your WHS or OH&S system.
How they are different from a J.S.A. and S.O.P
. What must an SWMS include?
Who is accountable?
Making use of SWMSs in high-risk construction.
When they’re asked for somewhere else.
Some industry package and system options.
WHAT IS A SWMS?
A Safe Work Method Statement (SWMS) is a file that describes how specific work environment activities are to be performed. The file determines:
The actions being fulfilled.
The dangers they produce, and
How to control those dangers.
WHY ARE SWMS CENTRAL TO YOUR WHS SYSTEM?
There are two reasons SWMS files are main to your system. First of all, in particular circumstances, they are required. Secondly, they are effective, effective and useful in their application.
An SWMS is needed whenever high-risk construction work is carried out (as specified by the WHS. Act, which we’ll explain quickly). This suggests the Person Performing a Business or Endeavor (the PCBU) should ensure the preparation, following, and retention of these SWMS and their routine and methodical review.
SWMSs are likewise one of the most effective of all control steps. They are the most common and prominent of administrative controls. When their usage ends up being a work-culture centrepiece, they can strongly make it possible for and proof your responsibility of care observance and due diligence compliance.
Permitting yourself a little innovative creativity, think about how you control risks as resembling strapping on a bulletproof vest. Most of your WHS. or OH&S threat controls are like the padding and absorption functions of the vest. Your Safe Work Method Statements (SWMS) are like those velcro straps that hold the vest conveniently and effectively in location.
They can be exaggerated. More on that soon.
HOW IS A SWMS DIFFERENT FROM A J.S.A. OR S.O.P.?
A Job Safety Analysis (J.S.A.) and a Safe Operating Procedure (S.O.P.) are more focused than a SWMS. They concentrate on isolated tasks and processes. An SWMS is different since:
It is broader in its treatment of activities,
It is extremely concentrated on identifying and keeping an eye on control measures.
It can cover both particular activities as well as mix and complex activities (which most high-risk building and construction work activities are).
WHAT MUST AN SWMS INCLUDE?
Safe Work Technique Statements (SWMS) are simply one of numerous available risk control procedures. That stated, they are likewise (perhaps) the centrepiece. When utilized effectively, they bring structure and stability to other WHS. and OH&S activities.
Like straps on a bulletproof vest, they assist other controls work and empower the individuals who use them. A safe work method declaration does this by supplying the needed information, instructions, and a method of taping actions in a foreseeable and fuss-free format.
Recognize the High-Risk Construction Work (HRCW) role – if it is one.
Identify risks and unsafe work practices.
Detail the very best control steps, as well as backup controls.
Describe what enters into the execution of risk management strategies.
Information the individual or business doing the work and the individual responsible.
At a construction task, information the principal professional, worksite address, the date of preparation and when supplied to the principal specialist.
List the names of employees consulted, the dates and the signatures.
Show any evaluation date and summarise any changes made.
SWMS threat control techniques, based on the hierarchy of control, typically seek to:.
Eliminate dangers (possibly by using engineering controls),.
Reduce them (for example, by creating traffic corridors),.
Administratively minimise them (e.g. by SWMS) and/or.
Suggest Personal Protective Equipment (PPE).
A properly designed SWMS template is simple to prepare, simple for relevant workers to execute, and will make it possible for an efficient and reliable evaluation process. That is what our SWMS design templates do.
WHO IS RESPONSIBLE?
When a safe work approach statement is required, the PCBU should prepare it; where there is more than one PBCU, or the work costs $250,000 or more, a Principal Contractor (PC) is designated. This person is then responsible for gathering, assessing, keeping track of and evaluating any SWMS in place.
A PC and PCBU can hand over processes and work activities, BUT the duty for SWMS quality and execution remains with them.
The Principal Contractor (or PCBU where there is not a P.C.) is responsible for:.
Preparing SWMS documents before work begins,.
Making sure anybodies included fulfil their responsibilities regularly,.
Recognizing and managing risks and threats as per the document, and.
Examining and adjusting the SWMS for ongoing effectiveness in time (Note: workers should be consulted – including contractors and subcontractors).
SAFE WORK TECHNIQUE STATEMENTS AND HIGH-RISK BUILDING WORK (HRCW).
Both Australia’s Work Health and Safety Regulations (2011) and the Design WHS Laws (last upgraded in 2022) require utilizing SWMS documents for a variety of high-risk building and construction work activities. Particularly, Policy 291 details 19 High-Risk Category activities and an SWMS need to be prepared before any such work is undertaken.
You can follow the Policy 291 link to see the particular list, but for ease of understanding, we’ll summarise them as follows.
WHAT ACTIVITIES ARE CONSIDERED HIGH-RISK CONSTRUCTION WORK?
There are 19 activities classified as high-risk building and construction work (HRCW), and they all include hazards and dangers with significant capacity for significant damage. For clearness, we lower this 19-item list into 5 threat groupings. They are activities that:.
It might result in falling,.
May develop due to proximity (or being close to something/someone),.
Result from using a powered mobile plant, specific devices or products,.
Prevail when dealing with particular structures and services, and.
Occur in a range of ecological specifics.
To break this down more particularly, these five activity groups involve the following circumstances: an SWMS is needed in such circumstances:.
When there is a threat of an individual falling more than two metres or falling under a trench or shaft of excavated depth greater than 1.5 m.
If someone could drown by falling under a liquid, a structural collapse or as a result of diving work.
Where structural alterations are used to prevent a collapse.
Wherever a tunnel is included.
When powered mobile plant work is being done or the plant is being moved.
If rail traffic or neighboring road users could be hurt.
Whenever asbestos is being disturbed or eliminated.
If tilt-up or precast concrete work is being done.
Wherever explosives are used or demolition work is being performed.
When work occurs on or near chemical, fuel or refrigerant lines, energised electrical services, pressurised gas distribution mains, piping or telecommunications towers.
If a work space could have a polluted or flammable atmosphere, artificial temperature level extremes or a confined area.
A safe work technique statement must be retained in these recommended situations. The SWMS can be particular to each high-risk building work product or incorporate numerous items in a single SWMS. The most essential thing to bear in mind is that these risks are identified, and the threats are controlled.
If you wish to see the breakdown, follow this Guideline 291 link.
WHAT IF YOU’RE REQUESTED FOR A SWMS FOR ANOTHER ACTIVITY?
It’s not unusual for customers to state separate SWMS that exceed the legal minimums for construction projects – and it doesn’t matter whether the tender process is open, worked out, selective or staged. These amazing expectations can include requests for safe work technique statements beyond the stipulated high-risk construction work activities. We understand from discussions with our clients that this is progressively occurring which there needs to be more clarity around the problem.
These expectations and confusion aren’t assisted by SWMS design template providers that don’t tell you their additional offerings are not needed or who oversell with needless SWMS files. Both are practices we do refrain from doing.
We constantly inform our clients that there are 2 types of compliance; what is legally needed and what your customers expect. Both are extremely genuine and pertinent to win work!
WHEN CUSTOMERS ASK FOR MORE.
They’re paying for the work, so they can state whatever control measures they want. Theoretically, they can even demand a SWMS for taking a dump (and no, we’re not talking about rubbish removal).
When the marketplace demands extra SWMS or market control measures modification, we normally quickly resolve the requirement. Often we likewise establish specific options for particular clients. At other times we have helped them utilize a generic SWMS design template to meet the demand. Eventually, we intend to be as useful as we can afford to be.
There have actually also been times when we have actually coached our consumers on challenging the tender requirement, and often, changes result. In some cases it is a truthful error by an overzealous tender author, and when the proposed steps are pleasantly questioned, they are withdrawn. Lots of do not comprehend the regulations and know there are less tiresome methods of managing dangers to health and wellness.
Here, as always, we advise you talk with us. Call 1800 304 336 to delight in higher clearness and effectiveness in your purchase journey.
An SWMS is required whenever high-risk construction work is carried out (as specified by the WHS. Safe Work Technique Statements (SWMS) are simply one of various readily available threat control measures. Like straps on a bulletproof vest, they help other controls work and empower the people who use them. The SWMS can be particular to each high-risk building work item or incorporate lots of items in a single SWMS. These amazing expectations can include demands for safe work technique declarations beyond the stated high-risk building and construction work activities.
For more information, contact:Occupational Safety SolutionsLevel 3/55 Pyrmont Bridge Rd, Pyrmont NSW 20091800 304 336www.occupational-safety.com.au