There requires to be more clarity around SWMS files and their use, and we want to supply that. Whether you use them in high-risk building and construction or somewhere else, they can be one of your most efficient and effective control procedures, 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 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 responsible?
Making use of SWMSs in high-risk construction.
When they’re requested somewhere else.
Some market plan and system services.
WHAT IS A SWMS?
A Safe Work Method Declaration (SWMS) is a file that describes how specific work environment activities are to be carried out. The file recognizes:
The actions being satisfied.
The dangers they produce, and
How to control those threats.
WHY ARE SWMS CENTRAL TO YOUR WHS SYSTEM?
There are two reasons SWMS files are main to your system. In certain circumstances, they are required. Second of all, they are effective, efficient and useful in their execution.
An SWMS is required whenever high-risk building work is carried out (as defined by the WHS. Act, which we’ll explain quickly). This implies the Person Carrying out a Service or Undertaking (the PCBU) should ensure the preparation, following, and retention of these SWMS and their regular and organized evaluation.
SWMSs are likewise one of the most efficient of all control measures. They are the most typical and influential of administrative controls. When their use ends up being a work-culture centrepiece, they can strongly enable and proof your responsibility of care observance and due diligence compliance.
Enabling yourself a little innovative creativity, think of how you control dangers as resembling strapping on a bulletproof vest. The majority of your WHS. or OH&S threat controls resemble the cushioning and absorption features of the vest. However, your Safe Work Method Statements (SWMS) resemble those velcro straps that hold the vest comfortably and efficiently in place.
They can be exaggerated. More on that quickly.
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 concentrated than a SWMS. They focus on separated jobs and processes. An SWMS is different since:
It is wider in its treatment of activities,
It is highly concentrated on identifying and keeping track of control steps.
It can cover both particular activities along with combination and complex activities (which most high-risk construction work activities are).
WHAT MUST AN SWMS INCLUDE?
Safe Work Method Statements (SWMS) are simply among different available risk control procedures. That said, they are likewise (perhaps) the centrepiece. When utilized successfully, 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 individuals who use them. A safe work approach statement does this by supplying the required information, guidelines, and a means of tape-recording actions in a predictable and fuss-free format.
Determine the High-Risk Building Work (HRCW) function – if it is one.
Recognize threats and risky work practices.
Detail the very best control steps, in addition to backup controls.
Describe what enters into the implementation of danger management plans.
Information the person or service doing the work and the person accountable.
At a building and construction job, information the primary professional, worksite address, the date of preparation and when provided to the principal specialist.
List the names of employees sought advice from, the dates and the signatures.
Show any evaluation date and sum up any changes made.
SWMS threat control techniques, according to the hierarchy of control, generally look for to:.
Get rid of risks (perhaps by using engineering controls),.
Decrease them (for example, 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, uncomplicated for appropriate workers to carry out, and will allow an effective and efficient review process. That is what our SWMS templates do.
WHO IS RESPONSIBLE?
When a safe work method 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 Professional (PC) is designated. This person is then responsible for collecting, examining, monitoring and reviewing any SWMS in place.
A PC and PCBU can entrust procedures and work activities, BUT the duty for SWMS quality and application remains with them.
The Principal Contractor (or PCBU where there is not a P.C.) is responsible for:.
Preparing SWMS files prior to work starts,.
Guaranteeing any persons involved satisfy their duties consistently,.
Determining and managing risks and dangers according to the document, and.
Reviewing and changing the SWMS for ongoing effectiveness gradually (Note: workers should be consulted – consisting of contractors and subcontractors).
SAFE WORK TECHNIQUE STATEMENTS AND HIGH-RISK BUILDING WORK (HRCW).
Both Australia’s Work Health and Safety Laws (2011) and the Model WHS Laws (last updated in 2022) need using SWMS files for a range of high-risk building work activities. Particularly, Regulation 291 details 19 High-Risk Category activities and an SWMS must 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 CONSIDERED HIGH-RISK BUILDING WORK?
There are 19 activities classified as high-risk construction work (HRCW), and they all include dangers and threats with significant potential for substantial damage. For clearness, we minimize this 19-item list into five threat groupings. They are activities that:.
It may lead to falling,.
May develop due to proximity (or being close to something/someone),.
Arise from making use of a powered mobile plant, particular equipment or materials,.
Are common when dealing with specific structures and services, and.
Occur in a series of environmental specifics.
To break this down more particularly, these five activity groups include the following circumstances: an SWMS is required in such scenarios:.
When there is a danger of a person falling more than 2 metres or falling into a trench or shaft of excavated depth greater than 1.5 m.
If somebody could drown by falling into 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 roadway users could be damaged.
Whenever asbestos is being disturbed or removed.
If tilt-up or precast concrete work is being done.
Wherever dynamites are utilized 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 telecom towers.
If a work space could have an infected or combustible environment, artificial temperature extremes or a confined space.
A safe work approach statement must be kept in these recommended situations. The SWMS can be specific to each high-risk building work item or include lots of items in a single SWMS. The most crucial thing to remember is that these hazards are recognized, and the threats are managed.
If you want to see the breakdown, follow this Guideline 291 link.
WHAT IF YOU’RE REQUESTED A SWMS FOR ANOTHER ACTIVITY?
It’s not uncommon for clients to specify different SWMS that exceed the legal minimums for construction jobs – and it doesn’t matter whether the tender process is open, negotiated, selective or staged. These amazing expectations can include ask for safe work method declarations beyond the stipulated high-risk building and construction work activities. We understand from conversations with our consumers that this is significantly occurring and that there needs to be more clarity around the issue.
These expectations and confusion aren’t assisted by SWMS template suppliers that don’t tell you their additional offerings are not needed or who oversell with needless SWMS files. Both are practices we do not do.
We constantly inform our consumers that there are two types of compliance; what is legally required and what your customers anticipate. Both are really real and relevant to win work!
WHEN CUSTOMERS REQUEST MORE.
Technically, your customer can be as unrealistic as they like. They’re paying 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 talking about rubbish elimination). Our list of available templates exceeds the initial 19 HRCW activities.
When the market needs extra SWMS or market control determines modification, we typically quickly deal with the need. At other times we have actually helped them utilize a generic SWMS design template to meet the need.
There have also been times when we have coached our clients on challenging the tender requirement, and sometimes, changes result. In some cases it is an honest mistake by an overzealous tender writer, and when the proposed steps are pleasantly questioned, they are withdrawn. Numerous do not comprehend the guidelines and understand there are less tiresome techniques of managing dangers to health and safety.
Here, as always, we suggest you talk with us. Call 1800 304 336 to enjoy higher clearness and effectiveness in your purchase journey.
An SWMS is required whenever high-risk building work is performed (as specified by the WHS. Safe Work Method Statements (SWMS) are just one of numerous readily available danger control procedures. Like straps on a bulletproof vest, they assist other controls work and empower the individuals who utilize them. The SWMS can be particular to each high-risk construction work item or incorporate numerous items in a single SWMS. These extraordinary expectations can include requests for safe work method declarations beyond the stipulated high-risk building work activities.
For more information, contact:Occupational Safety SolutionsLevel 3/55 Pyrmont Bridge Rd, Pyrmont NSW 20091800 304 336www.occupational-safety.com.au