There requires to be more clarity around SWMS files and their use, and we want to offer that. Whether you use them in high-risk construction or somewhere else, they can be one of your most reliable and efficient control procedures, and when you do SWMSs well, nearly everything else you do will tend to follow.
Let’s rapidly 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?
Using SWMSs in high-risk construction.
When they’re requested somewhere else.
Some market bundle and system options.
WHAT IS A SWMS?
A Safe Work Method Declaration (SWMS) is a file that discusses how specific workplace activities are to be carried out. The document recognizes:
The actions being fulfilled.
The dangers they produce, and
How to control those dangers.
WHY ARE SWMS CENTRAL TO YOUR WHS SYSTEM?
There are 2 reasons why SWMS documents are central to your system. In specific circumstances, they are required. Second of all, they are effective, effective and practical in their implementation.
An SWMS is required whenever high-risk building and construction work is performed (as defined by the WHS. Act, which we’ll explain quickly). This suggests the Person Performing an Organization or Endeavor (the PCBU) should ensure the preparation, following, and retention of these SWMS and their routine and methodical review.
SWMSs are also among the most effective of all control measures. They are the most typical and prominent of administrative controls. When their usage ends up being a work-culture centrepiece, they can powerfully enable and proof your duty of care observance and due diligence compliance.
Enabling yourself a little creative imagination, believe about how you manage threats as being like strapping on a bulletproof vest. Your Safe Work Method Statements (SWMS) are like those velcro straps that hold the vest conveniently and efficiently 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 Task Security Analysis (J.S.A.) and a Safe Operating Procedure (S.O.P.) are more focused than a SWMS. They concentrate on separated tasks and processes. An SWMS is different since:
It is more comprehensive in its treatment of activities,
It is highly focused on identifying and keeping an eye on control measures.
It can cover both specific activities in addition to mix and complex activities (which most high-risk building work activities are).
WHAT MUST AN SWMS INCLUDE?
Safe Work Approach Statements (SWMS) are simply one of various offered danger control procedures. That stated, they are also (arguably) the centrepiece. When used effectively, 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 inefficient method. A safe work method declaration does this by offering the required details, instructions, and a method of taping actions in a foreseeable and fuss-free format. They will:.
Determine the High-Risk Construction Work (HRCW) function – if it is one.
Identify risks and risky work practices.
Information the best control measures, as well as backup controls.
Describe what goes into the implementation of danger management strategies.
Information the person or business doing the work and the individual accountable.
At a building and construction task, detail the principal contractor, worksite address, the date of preparation and when provided to the primary specialist.
List the names of workers consulted, the dates and the signatures.
Show any evaluation date and sum up any modifications made.
SWMS risk control strategies, based on the hierarchy of control, generally look for to:.
Get rid of risks (maybe by using engineering controls),.
Decrease them (for instance, by creating traffic passages),.
Administratively minimise them (e.g. by SWMS) and/or.
Suggest Personal Protective Devices (PPE).
A well-designed SWMS template is easy to prepare, uncomplicated for relevant workers to implement, and will enable an effective and reliable evaluation procedure. That is what our SWMS design templates do.
WHO IS RESPONSIBLE?
When a safe work technique declaration 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 Professional (PC) is appointed. This person is then responsible for gathering, evaluating, monitoring and examining any SWMS in place.
A PC and PCBU can entrust processes and work activities, BUT the obligation for SWMS quality and application stays with them.
The Principal Specialist (or PCBU where there is not a P.C.) is accountable for:.
Preparing SWMS files before work begins,.
Guaranteeing anybodies involved fulfil their responsibilities consistently,.
Determining and managing dangers and dangers as per the file, and.
Evaluating and changing the SWMS for ongoing efficiency over time (Note: employees should be sought advice from – including professionals and subcontractors).
SAFE WORK METHOD STATEMENTS AND HIGH-RISK BUILDING AND CONSTRUCTION WORK (HRCW).
Both Australia’s Work Health and Safety Regulations (2011) and the Model WHS Regulations (last upgraded in 2022) require utilizing SWMS files for a range of high-risk building work activities. Specifically, Guideline 291 details 19 High-Risk Category activities and an SWMS must be prepared prior to 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 CONSIDERED HIGH-RISK CONSTRUCTION WORK?
There are 19 activities classified as high-risk building and construction work (HRCW), and they all include threats and threats with substantial potential for significant harm. For clarity, we lower this 19-item list into five risk groupings. They are activities that:.
It may lead to falling,.
Might establish due to distance (or being close to something/someone),.
Result from the use of a powered mobile plant, specific devices or products,.
Prevail when dealing with particular structures and services, and.
Occur in a range of ecological specifics.
To break this down more particularly, these 5 activity groups include the following scenarios: an SWMS is needed in such scenarios:.
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 alterations 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 roadway users could be harmed.
Whenever asbestos is being disrupted or removed.
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 distribution mains, piping or telecom towers.
If a work space might have a contaminated or flammable atmosphere, synthetic temperature level extremes or a restricted area.
A safe work approach statement must be kept in these recommended scenarios. The SWMS can be particular to each high-risk construction work item or incorporate lots of products in a single SWMS. The most important thing to bear in mind is that these threats are recognized, and the threats are controlled.
If you wish to see the breakdown, follow this Guideline 291 link.
WHAT IF YOU’RE ASKED FOR A SWMS FOR ANOTHER ACTIVITY?
It’s not unusual for customers to state separate SWMS that go beyond the legal minimums for construction tasks – and it doesn’t matter whether the tender procedure is open, worked out, selective or staged. These amazing expectations can consist of requests for safe work approach declarations beyond the stated high-risk construction work activities. We understand from discussions with our clients that this is progressively taking place which there needs to be more clearness around the issue.
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 files. Both are practices we do refrain from doing.
We always tell our consumers that there are 2 forms of compliance; what is lawfully required and what your customers anticipate. Both are extremely genuine and relevant to win work!
WHEN CUSTOMERS ASK FOR 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 elimination).
When the market needs additional SWMS or industry control determines modification, we typically promptly deal with the requirement. At other times we have actually helped them utilize a generic SWMS design template to meet the need.
There have also been times when we have actually coached our customers on challenging the tender requirement, and often, changes result. Sometimes it is a sincere error by an overzealous tender writer, and when the proposed measures are nicely questioned, they are withdrawn. Numerous do not understand the guidelines and know there are less laborious techniques of managing threats to health and wellness.
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 needed whenever high-risk construction work is carried out (as specified by the WHS. Safe Work Approach Statements (SWMS) are simply one of various offered risk control steps. Like straps on a bulletproof vest, they assist other controls work and empower the people who utilize them. The SWMS can be specific to each high-risk construction work item or incorporate lots of products in a single SWMS. These remarkable expectations can include requests for safe work technique 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