There needs to be more clearness around SWMS files and their usage, and we want to provide that. Whether you utilize them in high-risk building or somewhere else, they can be one of your most effective 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 different from a J.S.A. and S.O.P
. What must an SWMS consist of?
Who is responsible?
Using SWMSs in high-risk construction.
When they’re asked for somewhere else.
Some market package and system services.
WHAT IS A SWMS?
A Safe Work Method Declaration (SWMS) is a document that explains how particular workplace activities are to be performed. The file determines:
The actions being satisfied.
The dangers they produce, and
How to control those threats.
WHY ARE SWMS CENTRAL TO YOUR WHS SYSTEM?
There are 2 reasons why SWMS documents are main to your system. In certain circumstances, they are required. They are effective, efficient and useful in their implementation.
An SWMS is required whenever high-risk construction work is performed (as specified by the WHS. Act, which we’ll describe quickly). This implies the Person Conducting a Service or Endeavor (the PCBU) should guarantee the preparation, following, and retention of these SWMS and their routine and methodical evaluation.
SWMSs are also among the most effective of all control measures. They are the most typical and influential of administrative controls. When their usage becomes a work-culture centrepiece, they can strongly make it possible for and evidence your responsibility of care observance and due diligence compliance.
Enabling yourself a little creative imagination, consider how you control risks as resembling strapping on a bulletproof vest. Most of your WHS. or OH&S threat 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 place.
But they can be overdone. More on that soon.
HOW IS A SWMS VARIOUS FROM A J.S.A. OR S.O.P.?
A Task Security Analysis (J.S.A.) and a Safe Operating Treatment (S.O.P.) are more concentrated than a SWMS. They concentrate on isolated jobs and procedures. An SWMS is various because:
It is wider in its treatment of activities,
It is extremely focused on determining and keeping track of control steps.
It can cover both specific activities along with combination and complex activities (which most high-risk building work activities are).
WHAT MUST AN SWMS INCLUDE?
Safe Work Method Statements (SWMS) are just one of various readily available danger control procedures. 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. A safe work approach statement does this by supplying the required details, instructions, and a way of taping actions in a predictable and fuss-free format.
Identify the High-Risk Building And Construction Work (HRCW) function – if it is one.
Determine threats and hazardous work practices.
Detail the very best control steps, along with backup controls.
Explain what enters into the implementation of risk management strategies.
Detail the individual or business doing the work and the person responsible.
At a construction project, detail the primary specialist, worksite address, the date of preparation and when offered to the primary contractor.
Note the names of employees sought advice from, the dates and the signatures.
Show any evaluation date and sum up any changes made.
SWMS danger control strategies, as per the hierarchy of control, normally look for to:.
Eliminate risks (perhaps by utilizing engineering controls),.
Lower them (for instance, by developing traffic passages),.
Administratively reduce them (e.g. by SWMS) and/or.
Suggest Personal Protective Devices (PPE).
A well-designed SWMS design template is easy to prepare, uncomplicated for pertinent workers to carry out, and will make it possible for an effective and efficient evaluation process. That is what our SWMS templates do.
WHO IS RESPONSIBLE?
When a safe work approach 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 Contractor (PC) is selected. This person is then responsible for collecting, evaluating, monitoring and examining any SWMS in place.
A PC and PCBU can entrust processes and work activities, BUT the duty for SWMS quality and application remains with them.
The Principal Specialist (or PCBU where there is not a P.C.) is accountable for:.
Preparing SWMS documents prior to work begins,.
Making sure anybodies involved fulfil their responsibilities regularly,.
Recognizing and managing hazards and dangers based on the document, and.
Examining and adjusting the SWMS for ongoing effectiveness gradually (Note: workers must be sought advice from – consisting of contractors and subcontractors).
SAFE WORK METHOD DECLARATIONS AND HIGH-RISK CONSTRUCTION WORK (HRCW).
Both Australia’s Work Health and Safety Laws (2011) and the Model WHS Regulations (last updated in 2022) need using SWMS files for a variety of high-risk construction work activities. Particularly, Policy 291 details 19 High-Risk Classification activities and an SWMS must be prepared before any such work is carried out.
You can follow the Regulation 291 link to see the particular list, but for ease of understanding, we’ll summarise them as follows.
WHAT ACTIVITIES ARE DEEMED HIGH-RISK CONSTRUCTION WORK?
There are 19 activities classified as high-risk construction work (HRCW), and they all include threats and risks with considerable potential for significant harm. For clarity, we minimize this 19-item list into five hazard groupings. They are activities that:.
It may lead to falling,.
May establish due to proximity (or being close to something/someone),.
Result from making use of a powered mobile plant, specific devices or products,.
Prevail when dealing with particular structures and services, and.
Take place in a range of environmental specifics.
To break this down more particularly, these five activity groups include the following scenarios: an SWMS is required in such circumstances:.
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 somebody might drown by falling under a liquid, a structural collapse or as a result of diving work.
Where structural changes 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 roadway users could be harmed.
Whenever asbestos is being disturbed or removed.
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 flammable atmosphere, synthetic temperature extremes or a confined area.
A safe work approach statement need to be maintained in these recommended situations. The SWMS can be specific to each high-risk construction work product or include lots of products in a single SWMS. The most essential thing to keep in mind is that these risks are recognized, and the threats are managed.
If you want to see the detailed list, follow this Policy 291 link.
WHAT IF YOU’RE REQUESTED FOR A SWMS FOR ANOTHER ACTIVITY?
It’s not unusual for clients to stipulate different SWMS that surpass the legal minimums for building and construction projects – 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 declarations beyond the stipulated high-risk building work activities. We know from conversations with our consumers that this is significantly occurring and that there needs to be more clearness around the issue.
These expectations and confusion aren’t assisted by SWMS design template providers that don’t inform you their extra offerings are not needed or who oversell with needless SWMS documents. Both are practices we do not do.
We constantly tell our consumers that there are two kinds of compliance; what is lawfully needed and what your customers expect. Both are very genuine and relevant to win work!
WHEN CUSTOMERS REQUEST FOR MORE.
They’re paying for the work, so they can stipulate whatever control determines they desire. In theory, they can even demand a SWMS for taking a dump (and no, we’re not talking about rubbish elimination).
When the marketplace needs additional SWMS or industry control determines change, we usually swiftly resolve the need. In some cases we also establish particular options for specific clients. At other times we have helped them utilize a generic SWMS design template to meet the demand. Ultimately, we aim to be as handy as we can pay for to be.
There have likewise been times when we have actually coached our customers on challenging the tender requirement, and sometimes, modifications result. In some cases it is a truthful error by an overzealous tender author, and when the proposed steps are politely questioned, they are withdrawn. Numerous do not understand the policies and know there are less laborious techniques of managing risks to health and safety.
Here, as always, we suggest you talk with us. Call 1800 304 336 to delight in higher clarity and efficiency in your purchase journey.
An SWMS is required whenever high-risk construction work is performed (as specified by the WHS. Safe Work Approach Statements (SWMS) are simply one of numerous offered threat control steps. Like straps on a bulletproof vest, they assist other controls work and empower the people who use them. The SWMS can be particular to each high-risk construction work product or incorporate many items in a single SWMS. These extraordinary expectations can consist of requests for safe work method statements beyond the stipulated high-risk construction work activities.
For more information, contact:Occupational Safety SolutionsLevel 3/55 Pyrmont Bridge Rd, Pyrmont NSW 20091800 304 336www.occupational-safety.com.au