There requires to be more clearness around SWMS files and their usage, and we wish to offer that. Whether you use them in high-risk construction or in other places, they can be one of your most reliable and efficient control measures, and when you do SWMSs well, almost whatever else you do will tend to follow.
Let’s rapidly look at the following:
What they are.
Why are they central to your WHS or OH&S system.
How they are various from a J.S.A. and S.O.P
. What must an SWMS consist of?
Who is responsible?
Making use of SWMSs in high-risk construction.
When they’re asked for somewhere else.
Some industry bundle and system options.
WHAT IS A SWMS?
A Safe Work Approach Statement (SWMS) is a file that describes how specific office activities are to be carried out. The file recognizes:
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 files are central to your system. In certain instances, they are required. They are reliable, effective and practical in their execution.
An SWMS is needed whenever high-risk construction work is performed (as defined by the WHS. Act, which we’ll describe quickly). This suggests the Individual Conducting an Organization or Undertaking (the PCBU) must make sure the preparation, following, and retention of these SWMS and their regular and organized evaluation.
SWMSs are likewise among the most efficient of all control measures. They are the most typical and influential of administrative controls. When their usage ends up being a work-culture centrepiece, they can strongly enable and proof your task of care observance and due diligence compliance.
Allowing yourself a little imaginative creativity, think about how you manage risks as being like strapping on a bulletproof vest. Your Safe Work Method Statements (SWMS) are like those velcro straps that hold the vest conveniently and effectively in place.
They can be overdone. 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 due to the fact that:
It is wider in its treatment of activities,
It is highly concentrated on recognizing and keeping track of control steps.
It can cover both specific activities as well as combination and complex activities (which most high-risk building work activities are).
WHAT MUST AN SWMS INCLUDE?
Safe Work Approach Statements (SWMS) are simply one of different offered risk control procedures. When utilized efficiently, they bring structure and stability to other WHS.
Like straps on a bulletproof vest, they help other controls work and empower the individuals who use them. A safe work technique statement does this by providing the needed details, guidelines, and a method of taping actions in a foreseeable and fuss-free format.
Identify the High-Risk Construction Work (HRCW) function – if it is one.
Recognize hazards and hazardous work practices.
Information the very best control measures, as well as backup controls.
Explain what enters into the application of risk management strategies.
Information the individual or service doing the work and the person accountable.
At a building job, information the primary professional, worksite address, the date of preparation and when offered to the principal professional.
List the names of workers consulted, the dates and the signatures.
Show any review date and sum up any modifications made.
SWMS threat control strategies, according to the hierarchy of control, usually seek to:.
Remove dangers (possibly by using engineering controls),.
Minimize them (for example, by creating traffic passages),.
Administratively reduce them (e.g. by SWMS) and/or.
Suggest Personal Protective Devices (PPE).
A properly designed SWMS design template is simple to prepare, straightforward for relevant employees to carry out, and will allow an effective and effective evaluation process. That is what our SWMS design templates do.
WHO IS RESPONSIBLE?
When a safe work technique statement is required, the PCBU needs to prepare it; where there is more than one PBCU, or the work costs $250,000 or more, a Principal Contractor (PC) is selected. This person is then responsible for gathering, evaluating, 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 stays with them.
The Principal Professional (or PCBU where there is not a P.C.) is responsible for:.
Preparing SWMS files before work starts,.
Making sure any persons included satisfy their tasks regularly,.
Recognizing and managing hazards and threats based on the file, and.
Examining and changing the SWMS for ongoing effectiveness with time (Note: workers should be spoken with – consisting of contractors and subcontractors).
SAFE WORK METHOD STATEMENTS AND HIGH-RISK CONSTRUCTION WORK (HRCW).
Both Australia’s Work Health and Safety Laws (2011) and the Model WHS Laws (last updated in 2022) require using SWMS documents for a variety of high-risk building and construction work activities. Particularly, Policy 291 details 19 High-Risk Classification 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 categorized as high-risk construction work (HRCW), and they all include dangers and dangers with significant potential for substantial damage. For clarity, we minimize this 19-item list into 5 danger groupings. They are activities that:.
It might result in falling,.
Might establish due to distance (or being close to something/someone),.
Arise from using a powered mobile plant, specific equipment or products,.
Prevail when dealing with specific structures and services, and.
Occur in a range of environmental specifics.
To break this down more specifically, these 5 activity groups involve the following situations: an SWMS is needed in such scenarios:.
When there is a danger of a person falling more than 2 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 changes are utilized to prevent a collapse.
Wherever a tunnel is involved.
When powered mobile plant work is being done or the plant is being moved.
If rail traffic or nearby road users could be hurt.
Whenever asbestos is being interrupted or eliminated.
If tilt-up or precast concrete work is being done.
Wherever dynamites are used or demolition work is being conducted.
When work occurs on or near chemical, fuel or refrigerant lines, energised electrical services, pressurised gas circulation mains, piping or telecommunications towers.
If an office could have a contaminated or combustible atmosphere, synthetic temperature extremes or a confined space.
A safe work approach statement should be maintained in these recommended circumstances. The SWMS can be particular to each high-risk building work item or incorporate numerous items in a single SWMS. The most essential thing to remember is that these dangers are identified, and the threats are controlled.
If you wish to see the detailed list, follow this Guideline 291 link.
WHAT IF YOU’RE REQUESTED FOR A SWMS FOR ANOTHER ACTIVITY?
It’s not unusual for customers to specify different SWMS that exceed the legal minimums for building and construction tasks – and it doesn’t matter whether the tender procedure is open, negotiated, selective or staged. These amazing expectations can include ask for safe work method statements beyond the stipulated high-risk construction work activities. We understand from conversations with our customers that this is increasingly occurring and that there requires to be more clarity around the problem.
These expectations and confusion aren’t helped by SWMS design template providers that do not tell you their additional offerings are not required or who oversell with needless SWMS files. Both are practices we do not do.
We always tell our consumers that there are 2 forms of compliance; what is legally required and what your clients anticipate. Both are very real and pertinent to win work!
WHEN CLIENTS REQUEST FOR MORE.
Technically, your client can be as unrealistic as they like. They’re spending for the work, so they can state whatever control measures they want. Theoretically, they can even require a SWMS for taking a dump (and no, we’re not speaking about rubbish elimination). Our list of offered templates exceeds the initial 19 HRCW activities.
When the marketplace needs extra SWMS or market control determines change, we usually promptly attend to the need. Often we also develop specific options for specific clients. At other times we have helped them utilize a generic SWMS design template to satisfy the demand. Ultimately, we aim to be as helpful as we can pay for to be.
There have actually likewise been times when we have coached our consumers on challenging the tender requirement, and sometimes, modifications result. In some cases it is a sincere error by an overzealous tender author, and when the proposed measures are nicely questioned, they are withdrawn. Numerous do not comprehend the regulations and understand there are less tiresome methods of handling risks to health and safety.
Here, as always, we advise you talk with us. Call 1800 304 336 to delight in higher clarity and performance in your purchase journey.
An SWMS is required whenever high-risk building work is performed (as defined by the WHS. Safe Work Technique Statements (SWMS) are simply one of numerous offered danger control steps. Like straps on a bulletproof vest, they assist other controls work and empower the people who use them. The SWMS can be specific to each high-risk building and construction work item or incorporate numerous items in a single SWMS. These amazing expectations can include requests for safe work method statements beyond the stipulated 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