There requires to be more clarity around SWMS files and their use, and we wish to offer that. Whether you utilize them in high-risk building and construction or somewhere else, they can be among your most reliable and effective control steps, and when you do SWMSs well, nearly whatever 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 various from a J.S.A. and S.O.P
. What must an SWMS include?
Who is accountable?
The use of SWMSs in high-risk construction.
When they’re requested in other places.
Some industry bundle and system services.
WHAT IS A SWMS?
A Safe Work Technique Statement (SWMS) is a document that explains how particular workplace activities are to be performed. The file recognizes:
The actions being fulfilled.
The risks they produce, and
How to control those risks.
WHY ARE SWMS CENTRAL TO YOUR WHS SYSTEM?
There are two reasons that SWMS files are central to your system. Firstly, in certain instances, they are required. They are reliable, efficient and useful in their implementation.
An SWMS is required whenever high-risk building work is carried out (as specified by the WHS. Act, which we’ll explain soon). This implies the Individual Carrying out an Organization or Undertaking (the PCBU) must guarantee the preparation, following, and retention of these SWMS and their regular and methodical evaluation.
SWMSs are also among the most effective of all control steps. They are the most typical and prominent of administrative controls. When their use becomes a work-culture centrepiece, they can strongly enable and proof your task of care observance and due diligence compliance.
Enabling yourself a little creative imagination, think about how you manage threats as being like strapping on a bulletproof vest. Your Safe Work Approach Statements (SWMS) are like those velcro straps that hold the vest easily and successfully in place.
They can be overdone. More on that soon.
HOW IS A SWMS VARIOUS FROM A J.S.A. OR S.O.P.?
A Task Safety 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 different because:
It is broader in its treatment of activities,
It is extremely concentrated on identifying and monitoring control steps.
It can cover both specific 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 Method Statements (SWMS) are just among numerous readily available risk control measures. That said, they are also (arguably) 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 individuals who utilize them. They bring physical integrity to what would otherwise be a loose-fitting and inefficient strategy. A safe work approach declaration does this by offering the required info, directions, and a method of taping actions in a foreseeable and fuss-free format. They will:.
Recognize the High-Risk Building And Construction Work (HRCW) role – if it is one.
Identify dangers and hazardous work practices.
Information the very best control measures, as well as backup controls.
Explain what goes into the implementation of threat management strategies.
Detail the individual or business doing the work and the individual responsible.
At a construction job, information the primary contractor, worksite address, the date of preparation and when provided to the principal specialist.
Note the names of workers consulted, the dates and the signatures.
Show any evaluation date and summarise any modifications made.
SWMS danger control strategies, as per the hierarchy of control, usually seek to:.
Get rid of risks (perhaps by using engineering controls),.
Lower them (for instance, by developing traffic corridors),.
Administratively reduce them (e.g. by SWMS) and/or.
Recommend Personal Protective Devices (PPE).
A well-designed SWMS template is simple to prepare, straightforward for appropriate employees to implement, and will make it possible for an effective and efficient review procedure. That is what our SWMS design templates do.
WHO IS RESPONSIBLE?
When a safe work method 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 designated. This person is then responsible for collecting, assessing, keeping track of and examining any SWMS in place.
A PC and PCBU can entrust processes and work activities, BUT the duty for SWMS quality and implementation stays with them.
The Principal Contractor (or PCBU where there is not a P.C.) is responsible for:.
Preparing SWMS files prior to work starts,.
Ensuring any persons involved satisfy their duties consistently,.
Identifying and controlling dangers and threats based on the file, and.
Evaluating and changing the SWMS for continuous efficiency over time (Note: employees must be consulted – consisting of contractors and subcontractors).
SAFE WORK APPROACH STATEMENTS AND HIGH-RISK CONSTRUCTION WORK (HRCW).
Both Australia’s Work Health and wellness Laws (2011) and the Model WHS Laws (last updated in 2022) require utilizing SWMS files for a range of high-risk building and construction work activities. Particularly, Regulation 291 information 19 High-Risk Category activities and an SWMS need to be prepared prior to any such work is carried out.
You can follow the Policy 291 link to see the specific 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 building and construction work (HRCW), and they all include hazards and dangers with significant capacity for significant harm. For clearness, we lower this 19-item list into five hazard groupings. They are activities that:.
It may lead to falling,.
Might establish due to proximity (or being close to something/someone),.
Arise from using a powered mobile plant, particular equipment or materials,.
Prevail when dealing with specific structures and services, and.
Happen in a variety of environmental specifics.
To break this down more specifically, these 5 activity groups involve the following circumstances: an SWMS is required in such situations:.
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 alterations 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 close-by road users could be damaged.
Whenever asbestos is being disrupted or gotten rid of.
If tilt-up or precast concrete work is being done.
Wherever explosives 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 a workspace could have a polluted or flammable atmosphere, synthetic temperature level extremes or a restricted area.
A safe work approach declaration should be maintained in these prescribed circumstances. The SWMS can be specific to each high-risk construction work item or incorporate numerous products in a single SWMS. The most crucial thing to keep in mind is that these threats are identified, and the dangers are managed.
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 uncommon for customers to state separate SWMS that surpass the legal minimums for construction tasks – and it doesn’t matter whether the tender procedure is open, worked out, selective or staged. These remarkable expectations can consist of requests for safe work approach declarations beyond the specified high-risk building work activities. We understand from discussions with our clients that this is progressively taking place and that there requires to be more clarity around the issue.
These expectations and confusion aren’t helped by SWMS 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 always tell our customers that there are 2 forms of compliance; what is legally required and what your customers anticipate. Both are very genuine and pertinent to win work!
WHEN CUSTOMERS REQUEST MORE.
Technically, your customer can be as unrealistic as they like. They’re spending for the work, so they can specify whatever control measures they want. In theory, they can even require a SWMS for taking a dump (and no, we’re not discussing rubbish removal). Our list of available design templates goes beyond the initial 19 HRCW activities.
When the market demands additional SWMS or market control determines modification, we usually quickly resolve the requirement. At other times we have helped them utilize a generic SWMS template to satisfy the demand.
There have actually also been times when we have coached our clients on challenging the tender requirement, and often, modifications result. In some cases it is a truthful mistake by an overzealous tender writer, and when the proposed measures are politely questioned, they are withdrawn. Lots of do not understand the regulations and understand there are less tiresome methods of managing dangers to health and safety.
Here, as constantly, we advise you talk with us. Call 1800 304 336 to enjoy greater clarity and effectiveness in your purchase journey.
An SWMS is needed whenever high-risk building work is carried out (as defined by the WHS. Safe Work Approach Statements (SWMS) are just one of different offered risk control measures. Like straps on a bulletproof vest, they help other controls work and empower the individuals who use them. The SWMS can be particular to each high-risk building and construction work item or incorporate lots of items in a single SWMS. These amazing expectations can include demands for safe work technique declarations 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