There requires to be more clearness around SWMS files and their use, and we wish to provide that. Whether you utilize them in high-risk building and construction or somewhere else, they can be one of your most effective and efficient control measures, and when you do SWMSs well, practically everything else you do will tend to follow.
Let’s quickly 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?
Using SWMSs in high-risk construction.
When they’re requested elsewhere.
Some industry plan and system services.
WHAT IS A SWMS?
A Safe Work Technique Statement (SWMS) is a document that describes how particular workplace activities are to be performed. The document identifies:
The actions being fulfilled.
The risks they produce, and
How to control those threats.
WHY ARE SWMS CENTRAL TO YOUR WHS SYSTEM?
There are 2 reasons that SWMS documents are main to your system. In certain circumstances, they are needed. They are effective, effective and useful in their execution.
An SWMS is needed whenever high-risk building and construction work is performed (as specified by the WHS. Act, which we’ll discuss quickly). This indicates the Individual Conducting a Company or Endeavor (the PCBU) should ensure the preparation, following, and retention of these SWMS and their regular and systematic evaluation.
SWMSs are likewise one of the most efficient of all control steps. They are the most typical and influential of administrative controls. When their usage becomes a work-culture centrepiece, they can strongly enable and proof your task of care observance and due diligence compliance.
Allowing yourself a little creative imagination, consider how you control risks as being like strapping on a bulletproof vest. Most of your WHS. or OH&S threat controls resemble the padding and absorption functions of the vest. Your Safe Work Method Statements (SWMS) are like those velcro straps that hold the vest comfortably and successfully in place.
They can be overdone. 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 Procedure (S.O.P.) are more focused than a SWMS. They focus on separated jobs and processes. An SWMS is various due to the fact that:
It is more comprehensive in its treatment of activities,
It is highly concentrated on identifying and keeping track of control procedures.
It can cover both specific activities as well as mix and complex activities (which most high-risk construction work activities are).
WHAT MUST AN SWMS INCLUDE?
Safe Work Approach Statements (SWMS) are simply one of different offered risk control procedures. That stated, they are also (arguably) the centrepiece. When used 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 people who utilize them. They bring physical stability to what would otherwise be a loose-fitting and inadequate method. A safe work approach declaration does this by offering the required info, directions, and a means of taping actions in a predictable and fuss-free format. They will:.
Identify the High-Risk Building Work (HRCW) role – if it is one.
Recognize dangers and hazardous work practices.
Information the best control procedures, along with backup controls.
Describe what enters into the execution of risk management strategies.
Information the person or service doing the work and the person accountable.
At a building job, information the principal specialist, worksite address, the date of preparation and when supplied to the primary specialist.
Note the names of employees consulted, the dates and the signatures.
Program any evaluation date and summarise any changes made.
SWMS danger control strategies, as per the hierarchy of control, normally look for to:.
Get rid of threats (perhaps by utilizing engineering controls),.
Lower them (for example, by developing traffic corridors),.
Administratively reduce them (e.g. by SWMS) and/or.
Suggest Personal Protective Devices (PPE).
A properly designed SWMS template is easy to prepare, simple for appropriate employees to carry out, and will enable an effective and reliable review 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 an eye on and examining any SWMS in place.
A PC and PCBU can delegate processes and work activities, BUT the responsibility for SWMS quality and implementation stays with them.
The Principal Specialist (or PCBU where there is not a P.C.) is accountable for:.
Preparing SWMS files prior to work starts,.
Ensuring anybodies included satisfy their duties consistently,.
Recognizing and controlling dangers and risks as per the file, and.
Evaluating and changing the SWMS for ongoing effectiveness with time (Note: employees must be consulted – consisting of contractors and subcontractors).
SAFE WORK TECHNIQUE STATEMENTS AND HIGH-RISK CONSTRUCTION WORK (HRCW).
Both Australia’s Work Health and wellness Regulations (2011) and the Model WHS Regulations (last updated in 2022) need utilizing SWMS documents for a series of high-risk building work activities. Particularly, Policy 291 details 19 High-Risk Classification activities and an SWMS need to be prepared before any such work is carried out.
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 categorized as high-risk building and construction work (HRCW), and they all involve hazards and dangers with significant potential for substantial damage. For clearness, we minimize this 19-item list into 5 danger groupings. They are activities that:.
It may result in falling,.
Might develop due to proximity (or being close to something/someone),.
Result from making use of a powered mobile plant, particular equipment or products,.
Are common when handling specific structures and services, and.
Take place in a variety of ecological specifics.
To break this down more particularly, these five activity groups involve the following circumstances: an SWMS is required in such scenarios:.
When there is a risk of a person falling more than two metres or falling into a trench or shaft of excavated depth greater than 1.5 m.
If somebody might 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 involved.
When powered mobile plant work is being done or the plant is being moved.
If rail traffic or nearby road users could be harmed.
Whenever asbestos is being interrupted or removed.
If tilt-up or precast concrete work is being done.
Wherever dynamites are used or demolition work is being performed.
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 area might have an infected or flammable environment, artificial temperature level extremes or a confined area.
A safe work technique declaration should be retained in these prescribed situations. The SWMS can be particular to each high-risk building and construction work product or encompass many items in a single SWMS. The most essential thing to keep in mind is that these threats are recognized, and the threats are controlled.
If you wish to see the detailed list, follow this Guideline 291 link.
WHAT IF YOU’RE REQUESTED A SWMS FOR ANOTHER ACTIVITY?
It’s not uncommon for clients to stipulate separate SWMS that go beyond the legal minimums for building and construction jobs – and it doesn’t matter whether the tender process is open, worked out, selective or staged. These extraordinary expectations can consist of ask for safe work approach statements beyond the stated high-risk building work activities. We understand from conversations with our customers that this is increasingly happening and that there requires to be more clearness around the problem.
These expectations and confusion aren’t helped 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 constantly inform our consumers that there are 2 kinds of compliance; what is lawfully needed and what your customers expect. Both are very genuine and relevant to win work!
WHEN CLIENTS REQUEST MORE.
They’re paying for the work, so they can specify whatever control measures they desire. In theory, they can even demand a SWMS for taking a dump (and no, we’re not talking about rubbish removal).
When the market demands additional SWMS or market control determines change, we usually swiftly address the requirement. Sometimes we likewise develop specific services for specific customers. At other times we have actually helped them use a generic SWMS template to satisfy the need. Ultimately, we aim to be as valuable as we can afford to be.
There have actually likewise been times when we have coached our customers on challenging the tender requirement, and sometimes, modifications result. In some cases it is a sincere mistake by an overzealous tender writer, and when the proposed steps are pleasantly questioned, they are withdrawn. Many do not understand the guidelines and know there are less laborious methods of managing risks to health and safety.
Here, as constantly, we advise you talk with us. Call 1800 304 336 to take pleasure in greater clarity and efficiency in your purchase journey.
An SWMS is required whenever high-risk building work is performed (as defined by the WHS. Safe Work Method Statements (SWMS) are just one of different offered danger control steps. Like straps on a bulletproof vest, they assist other controls work and empower the individuals who utilize them. The SWMS can be specific to each high-risk building and construction work product or include lots of items in a single SWMS. These extraordinary expectations can include requests for safe work approach declarations beyond the stated 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