There needs to be more clarity around SWMS files and their usage, and we wish to provide that. Whether you use them in high-risk construction or elsewhere, they can be one of 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 main to your WHS or OH&S system.
How they are different 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 plan and system solutions.
WHAT IS A SWMS?
A Safe Work Approach Statement (SWMS) is a document that explains 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 two reasons that SWMS documents are main to your system. In certain circumstances, they are required. Secondly, they work, efficient and practical in their implementation.
An SWMS is required whenever high-risk construction work is performed (as defined by the WHS. Act, which we’ll describe soon). This suggests the Person Carrying out a Business or Endeavor (the PCBU) should make sure the preparation, following, and retention of these SWMS and their routine and methodical evaluation.
SWMSs are also one of the most effective of all control procedures. They are the most common and prominent of administrative controls. When their use ends up being a work-culture centrepiece, they can strongly make it possible for and proof your responsibility of care observance and due diligence compliance.
Permitting yourself a little creative imagination, believe about how you control dangers 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 efficiently in location.
They can be exaggerated. 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 Procedure (S.O.P.) are more concentrated than a SWMS. They concentrate on isolated jobs and processes. An SWMS is different since:
It is broader in its treatment of activities,
It is highly concentrated on identifying and monitoring control measures.
It can cover both particular activities along with mix and complex activities (which most high-risk construction work activities are).
WHAT MUST AN SWMS INCLUDE?
Safe Work Method Statements (SWMS) are simply one of various available danger control steps. That said, they are likewise (arguably) the centrepiece. When utilized successfully, 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 ineffective method. A safe work method statement does this by offering the required info, guidelines, and a method of tape-recording actions in a foreseeable and fuss-free format. They will:.
Recognize the High-Risk Construction Work (HRCW) role – if it is one.
Recognize dangers and risky work practices.
Information the best control steps, as well as backup controls.
Describe what goes into the execution of danger management strategies.
Information the individual or company doing the work and the individual responsible.
At a construction job, detail the primary contractor, worksite address, the date of preparation and when provided to the primary professional.
Note the names of employees spoken with, the dates and the signatures.
Program any review date and summarise any modifications made.
SWMS threat control strategies, according to the hierarchy of control, normally look for to:.
Remove dangers (possibly by utilizing engineering controls),.
Reduce them (for example, by creating traffic passages),.
Administratively minimise them (e.g. by SWMS) and/or.
Recommend Personal Protective Equipment (PPE).
A properly designed SWMS template is simple to prepare, uncomplicated for relevant workers to carry out, and will enable an efficient and efficient evaluation process. That is what our SWMS design templates do.
WHO IS RESPONSIBLE?
When a safe work technique declaration 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, evaluating, keeping track of and evaluating any SWMS in place.
A PC and PCBU can hand over procedures and work activities, BUT the obligation for SWMS quality and execution stays with them.
The Principal Contractor (or PCBU where there is not a P.C.) is responsible for:.
Preparing SWMS files prior to work begins,.
Making sure anybodies involved satisfy their responsibilities regularly,.
Determining and controlling dangers and threats based on the document, and.
Examining and changing the SWMS for continuous efficiency in time (Note: employees must be consulted – consisting of professionals and subcontractors).
SAFE WORK APPROACH DECLARATIONS 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 variety of high-risk building and construction work activities. Particularly, Regulation 291 details 19 High-Risk Category activities and an SWMS should 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 DEEMED HIGH-RISK BUILDING WORK?
There are 19 activities categorized as high-risk building and construction work (HRCW), and they all include hazards and dangers with considerable capacity for substantial harm. For clarity, we minimize this 19-item list into 5 risk groupings. They are activities that:.
It might lead to falling,.
May develop due to proximity (or being close to something/someone),.
Result from using a powered mobile plant, specific devices or materials,.
Prevail when dealing with particular structures and services, and.
Take place in a range of ecological specifics.
To break this down more particularly, these five activity groups include the following circumstances: an SWMS is needed in such scenarios:.
When there is a danger of a person falling more than 2 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 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 performed.
When work takes place on or near chemical, fuel or refrigerant lines, energised electrical services, pressurised gas circulation mains, piping or telecommunications towers.
If a work space could have a polluted or flammable environment, artificial temperature level extremes or a confined space.
A safe work method statement need to be retained in these recommended situations. The SWMS can be particular to each high-risk construction work item or incorporate many products in a single SWMS. The most important thing to bear in mind is that these risks are determined, and the dangers are controlled.
If you wish to see the breakdown, follow this Policy 291 link.
WHAT IF YOU’RE REQUESTED A SWMS FOR ANOTHER ACTIVITY?
It’s not uncommon for clients to specify separate SWMS that surpass the legal minimums for construction jobs – and it doesn’t matter whether the tender process is open, worked out, selective or staged. These remarkable expectations can include requests for safe work approach statements beyond the stipulated high-risk building work activities. We know from conversations with our consumers that this is increasingly occurring which there requires to be more clarity around the problem.
These expectations and confusion aren’t assisted by SWMS design template providers that don’t tell you their additional offerings are not required or who oversell with needless SWMS files. Both are practices we do refrain from doing.
We always inform our clients that there are two forms of compliance; what is lawfully needed and what your customers anticipate. Both are very real and relevant to win work!
WHEN CLIENTS REQUEST FOR MORE.
They’re paying for the work, so they can stipulate 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).
When the market demands extra SWMS or industry control measures change, we generally swiftly address the requirement. At other times we have actually assisted them use a generic SWMS design template to meet the need.
There have actually likewise been times when we have coached our customers on challenging the tender requirement, and sometimes, modifications result. Sometimes it is an honest error by an overzealous tender author, and when the proposed procedures are politely questioned, they are withdrawn. Many do not comprehend the regulations and understand there are less tiresome approaches of managing risks to health and safety.
Here, as constantly, we suggest you talk with us. Call 1800 304 336 to delight in greater clearness and efficiency in your purchase journey.
An SWMS is needed whenever high-risk construction work is performed (as defined by the WHS. Safe Work Technique Statements (SWMS) are simply one of different available threat control measures. Like straps on a bulletproof vest, they help other controls work and empower the people who utilize them. The SWMS can be specific to each high-risk building work item or encompass numerous products in a single SWMS. These amazing expectations can consist of demands for safe work approach statements beyond the stated 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