There needs to be more clarity around SWMS files and their usage, and we ‘d like to supply that. Whether you use them in high-risk building or elsewhere, they can be among your most effective and efficient control steps, and when you do SWMSs well, practically whatever else you do will tend to follow.
Let’s rapidly take a 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 accountable?
Using SWMSs in high-risk construction.
When they’re asked for elsewhere.
Some market package and system solutions.
WHAT IS A SWMS?
A Safe Work Approach Declaration (SWMS) is a document that explains how specific workplace activities are to be performed. The file recognizes:
The actions being fulfilled.
The threats they produce, and
How to control those risks.
WHY ARE SWMS CENTRAL TO YOUR WHS SYSTEM?
There are 2 reasons that SWMS documents are central to your system. To start with, in certain instances, they are needed. Secondly, they work, effective and useful in their implementation.
An SWMS is needed whenever high-risk building and construction work is carried out (as defined by the WHS. Act, which we’ll describe quickly). This indicates the Person Carrying out a Service or Undertaking (the PCBU) must ensure the preparation, following, and retention of these SWMS and their routine and methodical review.
SWMSs are likewise among the most effective of all control procedures. They are the most typical and influential of administrative controls. When their usage becomes a work-culture centrepiece, they can strongly make it possible for and proof your task of care observance and due diligence compliance.
Enabling yourself a little innovative imagination, believe about how you manage risks as being like strapping on a bulletproof vest. Your Safe Work Method Statements (SWMS) are like those velcro straps that hold the vest comfortably and effectively in location.
They can be overdone. More on that soon.
HOW IS A SWMS VARIOUS FROM A J.S.A. OR S.O.P.?
A Job Security Analysis (J.S.A.) and a Safe Operating Procedure (S.O.P.) are more focused than a SWMS. They focus on isolated jobs and processes. An SWMS is various because:
It is wider in its treatment of activities,
It is highly focused on recognizing and monitoring control measures.
It can cover both particular activities in addition to mix and complex activities (which most high-risk construction work activities are).
WHAT MUST AN SWMS INCLUDE?
Safe Work Method Statements (SWMS) are simply among various offered threat control procedures. That stated, they are also (perhaps) the centrepiece. When utilized efficiently, 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 integrity to what would otherwise be a loose-fitting and inefficient method. A safe work approach declaration does this by providing the required info, directions, and a way of tape-recording actions in a predictable and fuss-free format. They will:.
Identify the High-Risk Building And Construction Work (HRCW) role – if it is one.
Determine threats and unsafe work practices.
Information the best control procedures, along with backup controls.
Explain what enters into the application of threat management plans.
Detail the person or organization doing the work and the individual accountable.
At a building and construction job, detail the principal contractor, worksite address, the date of preparation and when offered to the principal professional.
Note the names of employees sought advice from, the dates and the signatures.
Program any evaluation date and sum up any changes made.
SWMS risk control strategies, according to the hierarchy of control, typically look for to:.
Remove threats (perhaps by utilizing engineering controls),.
Minimize them (for example, by developing traffic passages),.
Administratively minimise them (e.g. by SWMS) and/or.
Recommend Personal Protective Equipment (PPE).
A properly designed SWMS template is easy to prepare, straightforward for appropriate employees to execute, and will allow an efficient and efficient evaluation process. That is what our SWMS templates do.
WHO IS RESPONSIBLE?
When a safe work technique declaration is required, the PCBU must prepare it; where there is more than one PBCU, or the work costs $250,000 or more, a Principal Specialist (PC) is appointed. This person is then responsible for gathering, evaluating, keeping an eye on and reviewing any SWMS in place.
A PC and PCBU can entrust processes and work activities, BUT the responsibility for SWMS quality and implementation stays with them.
The Principal Professional (or PCBU where there is not a P.C.) is accountable for:.
Preparing SWMS documents before work begins,.
Making sure anybodies included satisfy their duties regularly,.
Recognizing and managing dangers and dangers based on the file, and.
Examining and adjusting the SWMS for continuous effectiveness in time (Note: workers should be sought advice from – consisting of specialists and subcontractors).
SAFE WORK METHOD STATEMENTS AND HIGH-RISK BUILDING AND CONSTRUCTION WORK (HRCW).
Both Australia’s Work Health and wellness Regulations (2011) and the Design WHS Regulations (last updated in 2022) require utilizing SWMS documents for a series of high-risk building and construction work activities. Specifically, Guideline 291 information 19 High-Risk Category activities and an SWMS must be prepared before any such work is undertaken.
You can follow the Policy 291 link to see the specific 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 work (HRCW), and they all include threats and risks with significant capacity for considerable damage. For clearness, we decrease this 19-item list into five hazard groupings. They are activities that:.
It may result in falling,.
Might establish due to proximity (or being close to something/someone),.
Result from using a powered mobile plant, particular devices or products,.
Are common when handling specific structures and services, and.
Take place in a range 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 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 alterations are used 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 disrupted or eliminated.
If tilt-up or precast concrete work is being done.
Wherever explosives are used or demolition work is being performed.
When work happens 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, synthetic temperature level extremes or a confined space.
A safe work approach statement need to be maintained in these prescribed circumstances. The SWMS can be specific to each high-risk construction work product or encompass numerous products in a single SWMS. The most important thing to remember is that these hazards are identified, and the threats are managed.
If you want to see the detailed list, follow this Policy 291 link.
WHAT IF YOU’RE REQUESTED A SWMS FOR ANOTHER ACTIVITY?
It’s not unusual for clients to stipulate different SWMS that exceed the legal minimums for construction jobs – and it doesn’t matter whether the tender procedure is open, negotiated, selective or staged. These remarkable expectations can include requests for safe work technique statements beyond the stated high-risk building work activities. We know from discussions with our customers that this is increasingly happening and that there needs to be more clearness around the problem.
These expectations and confusion aren’t helped by SWMS template providers that don’t tell you their additional 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 2 kinds of compliance; what is lawfully required and what your clients anticipate. Both are really genuine and pertinent to win work!
WHEN CUSTOMERS ASK FOR MORE.
They’re paying for the work, so they can state whatever control determines they want. Theoretically, they can even demand a SWMS for taking a dump (and no, we’re not talking about rubbish elimination).
When the market needs extra SWMS or industry control determines change, we usually promptly address the requirement. At other times we have actually assisted them use a generic SWMS design template to satisfy the need.
There have likewise been times when we have coached our clients on challenging the tender requirement, and sometimes, modifications result. In some cases it is a truthful error by an overzealous tender writer, and when the proposed measures are nicely questioned, they are withdrawn. Lots of do not understand the regulations and know there are less tiresome approaches of handling threats to health and wellness.
Here, as constantly, we recommend you talk with us. Call 1800 304 336 to enjoy greater clarity and effectiveness in your purchase journey.
An SWMS is needed whenever high-risk construction work is performed (as specified by the WHS. Safe Work Approach Statements (SWMS) are just one of different offered risk control measures. 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 incorporate lots of items in a single SWMS. These amazing expectations can consist of requests for safe work method statements beyond the stipulated high-risk building and construction work activities.
For more information, contact:Occupational Safety SolutionsLevel 3/55 Pyrmont Bridge Rd, Pyrmont NSW 20091800 304 336www.occupational-safety.com.au