There needs to be more clarity around SWMS files and their use, and we ‘d like to supply that. Whether you use them in high-risk building or in other places, they can be among your most reliable and efficient control measures, and when you do SWMSs well, practically 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 accountable?
The use of SWMSs in high-risk building and construction.
When they’re requested elsewhere.
Some industry plan and system services.
WHAT IS A SWMS?
A Safe Work Technique Statement (SWMS) is a file that describes how particular office activities are to be carried out. The document identifies:
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 that SWMS files are central to your system. In particular instances, they are required. They are reliable, efficient and practical in their execution.
An SWMS is needed whenever high-risk building work is performed (as specified by the WHS. Act, which we’ll discuss soon). This means the Person Carrying out a Business or Undertaking (the PCBU) need to ensure the preparation, following, and retention of these SWMS and their routine and methodical evaluation.
SWMSs are likewise among the most efficient of all control measures. They are the most common and influential of administrative controls. When their use ends up being a work-culture centrepiece, they can strongly make it possible for and proof your task of care observance and due diligence compliance.
Permitting yourself a little creative creativity, think of how you control risks as resembling strapping on a bulletproof vest. The majority of your WHS. or OH&S risk controls are like the cushioning and absorption features of the vest. Your Safe Work Technique Statements (SWMS) are like those velcro straps that hold the vest easily and successfully in place.
They can be exaggerated. More on that soon.
HOW IS A SWMS DIFFERENT FROM A J.S.A. OR S.O.P.?
A Job Safety Analysis (J.S.A.) and a Safe Operating Procedure (S.O.P.) are more concentrated than a SWMS. They concentrate on separated jobs and procedures. An SWMS is various since:
It is more comprehensive in its treatment of activities,
It is highly focused on determining and monitoring control measures.
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 just among various readily available danger control steps. That said, they are also (probably) 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 the people who utilize them. A safe work technique declaration does this by providing the required info, directions, and a method of taping actions in a foreseeable and fuss-free format.
Identify the High-Risk Building And Construction Work (HRCW) function – if it is one.
Determine hazards and unsafe work practices.
Information the best control steps, along with backup controls.
Explain what enters into the implementation of threat management strategies.
Information the individual or service doing the work and the person accountable.
At a construction project, detail the principal contractor, 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 review date and summarise any modifications made.
SWMS danger control strategies, based on the hierarchy of control, usually look for to:.
Remove hazards (maybe by using engineering controls),.
Decrease them (for instance, by developing traffic corridors),.
Administratively reduce them (e.g. by SWMS) and/or.
Suggest Personal Protective Devices (PPE).
A well-designed SWMS template is easy to prepare, straightforward for relevant workers to execute, and will enable an effective and reliable review procedure. That is what our SWMS design 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 appointed. This person is then responsible for gathering, assessing, keeping an eye on and reviewing any SWMS in place.
A PC and PCBU can entrust processes and work activities, BUT the duty for SWMS quality and implementation remains with them.
The Principal Professional (or PCBU where there is not a P.C.) is accountable for:.
Preparing SWMS documents prior to work starts,.
Guaranteeing any persons included satisfy their tasks consistently,.
Determining and managing hazards and dangers as per the file, and.
Reviewing and changing the SWMS for ongoing efficiency in time (Note: employees should be spoken with – including specialists and subcontractors).
SAFE WORK TECHNIQUE DECLARATIONS AND HIGH-RISK CONSTRUCTION WORK (HRCW).
Both Australia’s Work Health and wellness Laws (2011) and the Model WHS Regulations (last upgraded in 2022) require utilizing SWMS documents for a variety of high-risk building work activities. Particularly, Regulation 291 information 19 High-Risk Category activities and an SWMS should be prepared prior to any such work is undertaken.
You can follow the Guideline 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 AND CONSTRUCTION WORK?
There are 19 activities classified as high-risk building work (HRCW), and they all involve dangers and risks with substantial potential for significant damage. For clearness, we lower this 19-item list into five threat groupings. They are activities that:.
It might lead to falling,.
May establish due to proximity (or being close to something/someone),.
Arise from the use of a powered mobile plant, specific devices or materials,.
Are common when dealing with particular structures and services, and.
Happen in a range of environmental specifics.
To break this down more particularly, these 5 activity groups involve the following situations: an SWMS is needed in such situations:.
When there is a threat of an individual falling more than 2 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 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 neighboring roadway users could be damaged.
Whenever asbestos is being interrupted or eliminated.
If tilt-up or precast concrete work is being done.
Wherever dynamites are utilized or demolition work is being carried out.
When work takes place 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 confined area.
A safe work method declaration must be kept in these recommended scenarios. The SWMS can be specific to each high-risk construction work product or encompass many products in a single SWMS. The most essential thing to bear in mind is that these dangers are determined, and the dangers are managed.
If you wish to see the detailed list, follow this Guideline 291 link.
WHAT IF YOU’RE ASKED FOR A SWMS FOR ANOTHER ACTIVITY?
It’s not unusual for customers to stipulate different SWMS that exceed the legal minimums for building projects – and it doesn’t matter whether the tender process is open, worked out, selective or staged. These extraordinary expectations can include requests for safe work technique declarations beyond the stipulated high-risk building and construction work activities. We know from conversations with our clients that this is increasingly happening and that there needs to be more clearness around the problem.
These expectations and confusion aren’t assisted by SWMS template providers that do not tell you their additional offerings are not needed or who oversell with needless SWMS documents. Both are practices we do not do.
We always tell our consumers that there are two kinds of compliance; what is legally required and what your customers anticipate. Both are extremely real and relevant to win work!
WHEN CUSTOMERS ASK FOR MORE.
Technically, your client can be as impractical as they like. They’re spending for the work, so they can state whatever control measures they want. Theoretically, they can even demand a SWMS for taking a dump (and no, we’re not talking about rubbish removal). Our list of readily available templates goes beyond the original 19 HRCW activities.
When the market demands extra SWMS or market control determines change, we typically promptly deal with the need. At other times we have actually helped them utilize a generic SWMS design template to satisfy the demand.
There have actually also been times when we have actually coached our clients on challenging the tender requirement, and often, changes result. Sometimes it is a sincere mistake by an overzealous tender writer, and when the proposed procedures are pleasantly questioned, they are withdrawn. Numerous do not comprehend the regulations and know there are less tiresome techniques of handling dangers to health and wellness.
Here, as always, we recommend you talk with us. Call 1800 304 336 to delight in greater clearness and performance in your purchase journey.
An SWMS is needed whenever high-risk building work is performed (as defined by the WHS. Safe Work Method Statements (SWMS) are simply one of various available danger control steps. Like straps on a bulletproof vest, they assist 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 include lots of products in a single SWMS. These extraordinary expectations can consist of demands for safe work technique 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