There requires to be more clearness around SWMS documents and their use, and we want to supply that. Whether you utilize them in high-risk building or somewhere else, they can be one of your most effective and efficient control procedures, and when you do SWMSs well, almost 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 various from a J.S.A. and S.O.P
. What must an SWMS include?
Who is responsible?
Using SWMSs in high-risk building.
When they’re asked for elsewhere.
Some industry 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 identifies:
The actions being fulfilled.
The dangers they produce, and
How to control those dangers.
WHY ARE SWMS CENTRAL TO YOUR WHS SYSTEM?
There are two reasons why SWMS files are central to your system. To start with, in particular instances, they are needed. Secondly, they work, efficient and practical in their application.
An SWMS is required whenever high-risk building and construction work is carried out (as specified by the WHS. Act, which we’ll describe quickly). This indicates the Individual Performing a Company or Undertaking (the PCBU) need to make sure the preparation, following, and retention of these SWMS and their routine and organized review.
SWMSs are also 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 powerfully make it possible for and evidence your task of care observance and due diligence compliance.
Permitting yourself a little imaginative creativity, believe about how you manage dangers as being like strapping on a bulletproof vest. Your Safe Work Approach Statements (SWMS) are like those velcro straps that hold the vest comfortably and efficiently in place.
They can be overdone. 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 focused than a SWMS. They focus on isolated jobs and procedures. An SWMS is different due to the fact that:
It is more comprehensive in its treatment of activities,
It is extremely focused on recognizing and keeping an eye on control procedures.
It can cover both particular activities in addition to mix and complex activities (which most high-risk building and construction work activities are).
WHAT MUST AN SWMS INCLUDE?
Safe Work Approach Statements (SWMS) are simply among different available risk control procedures. That stated, they are likewise (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 assist other controls work and empower the people who utilize them. A safe work approach declaration does this by supplying the required details, guidelines, and a method of tape-recording actions in a predictable and fuss-free format.
Determine the High-Risk Building Work (HRCW) role – if it is one.
Determine hazards and hazardous work practices.
Information the very best control steps, as well as backup controls.
Explain what goes into the application of threat management plans.
Information the individual or business doing the work and the person responsible.
At a building task, detail the primary contractor, worksite address, the date of preparation and when provided to the primary specialist.
List the names of workers sought advice from, the dates and the signatures.
Program any review date and sum up any modifications made.
SWMS risk control methods, as per the hierarchy of control, generally seek to:.
Eliminate threats (maybe by using engineering controls),.
Decrease them (for instance, by producing traffic corridors),.
Administratively minimise them (e.g. by SWMS) and/or.
Recommend Personal Protective Devices (PPE).
A well-designed SWMS template is simple to prepare, uncomplicated for appropriate employees to carry out, and will allow an effective and effective evaluation procedure. That is what our SWMS design templates do.
WHO IS RESPONSIBLE?
When a safe work method statement is needed, 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 collecting, examining, keeping an eye on and reviewing any SWMS in place.
A PC and PCBU can delegate processes and work activities, BUT the obligation for SWMS quality and execution remains with them.
The Principal Professional (or PCBU where there is not a P.C.) is accountable for:.
Preparing SWMS files prior to work starts,.
Making sure anybodies involved fulfil their duties regularly,.
Determining and managing hazards and risks according to the document, and.
Evaluating and changing the SWMS for continuous effectiveness gradually (Note: employees should be spoken with – including contractors and subcontractors).
SAFE WORK APPROACH DECLARATIONS AND HIGH-RISK CONSTRUCTION WORK (HRCW).
Both Australia’s Work Health and wellness Laws (2011) and the Design WHS Laws (last updated in 2022) need utilizing SWMS files for a range of high-risk building and construction work activities. Specifically, Guideline 291 information 19 High-Risk Category activities and an SWMS must be prepared prior to any such work is carried out.
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 DEEMED HIGH-RISK BUILDING AND CONSTRUCTION WORK?
There are 19 activities classified as high-risk construction work (HRCW), and they all involve hazards and dangers with substantial capacity for considerable harm. For clarity, we decrease this 19-item list into 5 hazard groupings. They are activities that:.
It might result in falling,.
Might establish due to distance (or being close to something/someone),.
Result from the use of a powered mobile plant, particular devices or materials,.
Are common when dealing with specific structures and services, and.
Happen in a range of ecological specifics.
To break this down more particularly, these 5 activity groups include the following situations: an SWMS is needed in such situations:.
When there is a risk of a person falling more than 2 metres or falling under a trench or shaft of excavated depth greater than 1.5 m.
If someone could drown by falling into 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 included.
When powered mobile plant work is being done or the plant is being moved.
If rail traffic or nearby road users could be damaged.
Whenever asbestos is being interrupted or gotten rid of.
If tilt-up or precast concrete work is being done.
Wherever dynamites are used or demolition work is being conducted.
When work takes place on or near chemical, fuel or refrigerant lines, energised electrical services, pressurised gas distribution mains, piping or telecom towers.
If an office might have an infected or flammable atmosphere, artificial temperature level extremes or a restricted area.
A safe work technique statement should be kept in these recommended scenarios. The SWMS can be particular to each high-risk construction work product or include many items in a single SWMS. The most essential thing to keep in mind is that these risks 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 unusual for customers to stipulate different SWMS that go beyond the legal minimums for building and construction projects – and it doesn’t matter whether the tender process is open, negotiated, selective or staged. These remarkable expectations can consist of requests for safe work approach statements beyond the specified high-risk building and construction work activities. We know from discussions with our clients that this is significantly occurring and that there requires to be more clearness around the problem.
These expectations and confusion aren’t helped by SWMS design template suppliers that don’t inform you their extra offerings are not required or who oversell with needless SWMS documents. Both are practices we do refrain from doing.
We always tell our customers that there are two forms of compliance; what is lawfully required and what your customers anticipate. Both are extremely real and appropriate to win work!
WHEN CUSTOMERS REQUEST MORE.
They’re paying for the work, so they can state whatever control measures they desire. In theory, they can even require a SWMS for taking a dump (and no, we’re not talking about rubbish removal).
When the market demands extra SWMS or market control determines change, we generally promptly attend to the requirement. At other times we have actually helped them use a generic SWMS design template to meet the demand.
There have also been times when we have coached our consumers on challenging the tender requirement, and sometimes, changes result. Often it is a sincere mistake by an overzealous tender writer, and when the proposed steps are pleasantly questioned, they are withdrawn. Numerous do not understand the policies and understand there are less tiresome techniques of handling dangers to health and safety.
Here, as always, we recommend you talk with us. Call 1800 304 336 to take pleasure in higher clearness and effectiveness in your purchase journey.
An SWMS is needed whenever high-risk building and construction work is performed (as defined by the WHS. Safe Work Approach Statements (SWMS) are simply one of numerous offered threat control procedures. 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 and construction work item or encompass lots of products in a single SWMS. These amazing expectations can consist of demands for safe work approach 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