There requires to be more clarity around SWMS documents and their use, and we want to supply that. Whether you use them in high-risk construction or somewhere else, they can be one of your most reliable and effective control procedures, and when you do SWMSs well, nearly whatever else you do will tend to follow.
Let’s quickly take a look at the following:
What they are.
Why are they central to your WHS or OH&S system.
How they are different from a J.S.A. and S.O.P
. What must an SWMS consist of?
Who is responsible?
The use of SWMSs in high-risk construction.
When they’re requested in other places.
Some market plan and system services.
WHAT IS A SWMS?
A Safe Work Method Statement (SWMS) is a file that explains how specific workplace activities are to be performed. The file determines:
The actions being fulfilled.
The risks they produce, and
How to manage those threats.
WHY ARE SWMS CENTRAL TO YOUR WHS SYSTEM?
There are 2 reasons SWMS documents are main to your system. To start with, in certain circumstances, they are needed. They are effective, efficient and practical in their implementation.
An SWMS is required whenever high-risk building and construction work is carried out (as defined by the WHS. Act, which we’ll describe quickly). This means the Individual Conducting an Organization or Endeavor (the PCBU) need to make sure the preparation, following, and retention of these SWMS and their regular and systematic review.
SWMSs are likewise among the most efficient of all control measures. They are the most common and influential of administrative controls. When their usage becomes a work-culture centrepiece, they can powerfully enable and evidence your duty of care observance and due diligence compliance.
Allowing yourself a little innovative creativity, think of how you manage threats as resembling strapping on a bulletproof vest. Most of your WHS. or OH&S danger controls resemble the padding and absorption features of the vest. Your Safe Work Technique Statements (SWMS) are like those velcro straps that hold the vest comfortably and effectively in location.
However they can be exaggerated. More on that quickly.
HOW IS A SWMS DIFFERENT FROM A J.S.A. OR S.O.P.?
A Job Security Analysis (J.S.A.) and a Safe Operating Treatment (S.O.P.) are more focused than a SWMS. They focus on separated tasks and processes. An SWMS is various since:
It is wider in its treatment of activities,
It is extremely concentrated on determining and monitoring control steps.
It can cover both specific activities along with mix and complex activities (which most high-risk construction work activities are).
WHAT MUST AN SWMS INCLUDE?
Safe Work Technique Statements (SWMS) are just among various readily available danger control steps. That stated, they are likewise (perhaps) the centrepiece. When used efficiently, they bring structure and stability to other WHS. and OH&S activities.
Like straps on a bulletproof vest, they help other controls work and empower the people who use them. They bring physical stability to what would otherwise be a loose-fitting and inadequate technique. A safe work approach statement does this by supplying the needed info, directions, and a means of recording actions in a predictable and fuss-free format. They will:.
Recognize the High-Risk Construction Work (HRCW) role – if it is one.
Determine risks and risky work practices.
Information the best control steps, as well as backup controls.
Describe what goes into the implementation of risk management strategies.
Detail the person or business doing the work and the person accountable.
At a construction job, detail the primary professional, worksite address, the date of preparation and when provided to the primary specialist.
Note the names of workers spoken with, the dates and the signatures.
Program any review date and sum up any changes made.
SWMS danger control methods, based on the hierarchy of control, normally seek to:.
Eliminate dangers (perhaps by using engineering controls),.
Minimize them (for instance, by creating traffic passages),.
Administratively reduce them (e.g. by SWMS) and/or.
Suggest Personal Protective Equipment (PPE).
A properly designed SWMS design template is simple to prepare, straightforward for pertinent employees to carry out, and will allow an effective and effective evaluation procedure. That is what our SWMS design templates do.
WHO IS RESPONSIBLE?
When a safe work technique statement is needed, the PCBU should prepare it; where there is more than one PBCU, or the work costs $250,000 or more, a Principal Specialist (PC) is designated. This person is then responsible for gathering, examining, monitoring and reviewing any SWMS in place.
A PC and PCBU can hand over procedures and work activities, BUT the obligation for SWMS quality and implementation stays with them.
The Principal Specialist (or PCBU where there is not a P.C.) is responsible for:.
Preparing SWMS documents before work starts,.
Guaranteeing anyones involved fulfil their tasks consistently,.
Identifying and controlling dangers and risks as per the document, and.
Examining and changing the SWMS for continuous efficiency gradually (Note: employees need to be consulted – including contractors and subcontractors).
SAFE WORK METHOD DECLARATIONS AND HIGH-RISK BUILDING AND CONSTRUCTION WORK (HRCW).
Both Australia’s Work Health and Safety Regulations (2011) and the Model WHS Laws (last updated in 2022) require using SWMS files for a range of high-risk building work activities. Specifically, Guideline 291 information 19 High-Risk Classification activities and an SWMS should be prepared prior to 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 DEEMED HIGH-RISK BUILDING WORK?
There are 19 activities categorized as high-risk building and construction work (HRCW), and they all involve hazards and risks with substantial potential for considerable harm. For clearness, we lower this 19-item list into 5 hazard groupings. They are activities that:.
It may result in falling,.
May establish due to proximity (or being close to something/someone),.
Result from using a powered mobile plant, particular devices or materials,.
Are common when handling specific structures and services, and.
Take place in a range of ecological specifics.
To break this down more specifically, these 5 activity groups involve the following scenarios: an SWMS is required in such scenarios:.
When there is a risk of a person falling more than two metres or falling under a trench or shaft of excavated depth greater than 1.5 m.
If someone might drown by falling under a liquid, a structural collapse or as a result of diving work.
Where structural modifications are utilized 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 nearby roadway users could be harmed.
Whenever asbestos is being disturbed or eliminated.
If tilt-up or precast concrete work is being done.
Wherever explosives are utilized or demolition work is being conducted.
When work happens on or near chemical, fuel or refrigerant lines, energised electrical services, pressurised gas circulation mains, piping or telecom towers.
If a workspace could have a polluted or combustible atmosphere, artificial temperature level extremes or a restricted area.
A safe work technique statement need to be maintained in these prescribed circumstances. The SWMS can be specific to each high-risk building and construction work product or incorporate lots of items in a single SWMS. The most essential thing to bear in mind is that these dangers are determined, and the threats are managed.
If you wish to see the detailed list, follow this Policy 291 link.
WHAT IF YOU’RE REQUESTED FOR A SWMS FOR ANOTHER ACTIVITY?
It’s not uncommon for customers to specify separate SWMS that surpass the legal minimums for construction tasks – and it doesn’t matter whether the tender process is open, negotiated, selective or staged. These extraordinary expectations can consist of ask for safe work approach declarations beyond the stipulated high-risk building work activities. We know from conversations with our clients that this is increasingly taking place and that there requires to be more clearness around the concern.
These expectations and confusion aren’t helped by SWMS template suppliers that don’t tell you their extra offerings are not required or who oversell with needless SWMS files. Both are practices we do not do.
We always inform our consumers that there are 2 kinds of compliance; what is lawfully needed and what your customers expect. Both are really genuine and pertinent to win work!
WHEN CLIENTS ASK FOR MORE.
They’re paying for the work, so they can specify whatever control measures they desire. Theoretically, they can even require a SWMS for taking a dump (and no, we’re not talking about rubbish removal).
When the marketplace demands extra SWMS or market control determines modification, we normally quickly resolve the requirement. At other times we have actually helped them utilize a generic SWMS design template to meet the demand.
There have actually also been times when we have actually coached our customers on challenging the tender requirement, and sometimes, changes result. Often it is a sincere mistake by an overzealous tender writer, and when the proposed procedures are politely questioned, they are withdrawn. Lots of do not understand the regulations and understand there are less laborious techniques of handling threats to health and safety.
Here, as constantly, we recommend you talk with us. Call 1800 304 336 to enjoy higher clarity and efficiency in your purchase journey.
An SWMS is needed whenever high-risk building work is carried out (as defined by the WHS. Safe Work Technique Statements (SWMS) are simply one of numerous readily available danger control procedures. 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 and construction work item or incorporate numerous products in a single SWMS. These remarkable expectations can include demands for safe work approach statements 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