There needs to be more clarity around SWMS files and their usage, and we ‘d like to offer that. Whether you use them in high-risk construction or somewhere else, they can be among your most efficient and effective control procedures, 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 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 include?
Who is accountable?
Using SWMSs in high-risk building and construction.
When they’re requested in other places.
Some market package and system services.
WHAT IS A SWMS?
A Safe Work Method Declaration (SWMS) is a file that discusses how particular work environment activities are to be performed. The file determines:
The actions being satisfied.
The risks they produce, and
How to control those risks.
WHY ARE SWMS CENTRAL TO YOUR WHS SYSTEM?
There are two reasons that SWMS documents are central to your system. Firstly, in certain circumstances, they are required. Secondly, they are effective, effective and practical in their execution.
An SWMS is needed whenever high-risk construction work is performed (as specified by the WHS. Act, which we’ll describe quickly). This indicates the Person Performing a Business 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 efficient of all control procedures. They are the most common and prominent 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 control dangers 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 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 Security Analysis (J.S.A.) and a Safe Operating Procedure (S.O.P.) are more concentrated than a SWMS. They focus on separated jobs and procedures. An SWMS is various since:
It is more comprehensive in its treatment of activities,
It is highly concentrated on determining and keeping track of control measures.
It can cover both specific activities as well as combination and complex activities (which most high-risk building and construction work activities are).
WHAT MUST AN SWMS INCLUDE?
Safe Work Technique Statements (SWMS) are just among various offered risk control procedures. That said, 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 use them. A safe work technique declaration does this by offering the required information, guidelines, and a way of tape-recording actions in a foreseeable and fuss-free format.
Recognize the High-Risk Building And Construction Work (HRCW) role – if it is one.
Recognize hazards and hazardous work practices.
Information the very best control measures, along with backup controls.
Describe what enters into the implementation of risk management plans.
Detail the individual or company doing the work and the individual responsible.
At a building and construction job, information the primary specialist, worksite address, the date of preparation and when provided to the principal professional.
List the names of employees sought advice from, the dates and the signatures.
Program any review date and sum up any modifications made.
SWMS risk control techniques, as per the hierarchy of control, generally seek to:.
Get rid of risks (maybe by utilizing engineering controls),.
Lower them (for instance, by creating traffic passages),.
Administratively reduce them (e.g. by SWMS) and/or.
Suggest Personal Protective Devices (PPE).
A well-designed SWMS template is easy to prepare, straightforward for pertinent employees to execute, and will make it possible for an effective and efficient evaluation procedure. That is what our SWMS design templates do.
WHO IS RESPONSIBLE?
When a safe work approach 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 designated. This person is then responsible for gathering, assessing, keeping track of and reviewing any SWMS in place.
A PC and PCBU can hand over procedures and work activities, BUT the duty for SWMS quality and application remains with them.
The Principal Professional (or PCBU where there is not a P.C.) is responsible for:.
Preparing SWMS files before work starts,.
Ensuring anyones included satisfy their duties regularly,.
Determining and controlling dangers and dangers as per the document, and.
Examining and adjusting the SWMS for ongoing effectiveness with time (Note: workers need to be sought advice from – consisting of contractors and subcontractors).
SAFE WORK APPROACH STATEMENTS AND HIGH-RISK BUILDING AND CONSTRUCTION WORK (HRCW).
Both Australia’s Work Health and Safety Regulations (2011) and the Model WHS Laws (last updated in 2022) need using SWMS files for a range of high-risk building work activities. Specifically, Policy 291 information 19 High-Risk Category activities and an SWMS must be prepared before any such work is undertaken.
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 CONSIDERED HIGH-RISK CONSTRUCTION WORK?
There are 19 activities categorized as high-risk building work (HRCW), and they all involve risks and risks with significant potential for considerable damage. For clearness, we lower this 19-item list into five hazard groupings. They are activities that:.
It might result in falling,.
May establish due to distance (or being close to something/someone),.
Result from the use of a powered mobile plant, specific devices or products,.
Are common when handling specific structures and services, and.
Occur in a range of ecological specifics.
To break this down more particularly, these five activity groups include the following scenarios: an SWMS is needed in such circumstances:.
When there is a threat of a person falling more than two metres or falling under 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 modifications 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 neighboring road users could be damaged.
Whenever asbestos is being disrupted or gotten rid of.
If tilt-up or precast concrete work is being done.
Wherever explosives are used or demolition work is being conducted.
When work occurs on or near chemical, fuel or refrigerant lines, energised electrical services, pressurised gas distribution mains, piping or telecommunications towers.
If a work space could have an infected or combustible atmosphere, artificial temperature extremes or a restricted area.
A safe work approach statement need to be maintained in these recommended circumstances. The SWMS can be particular to each high-risk building and construction work item or include lots of products in a single SWMS. The most essential thing to bear in mind is that these hazards are identified, and the dangers are controlled.
If you wish to see the detailed list, follow this Guideline 291 link.
WHAT IF YOU’RE ASKED FOR A SWMS FOR ANOTHER ACTIVITY?
It’s not uncommon for clients to state different SWMS that exceed the legal minimums for building and construction projects – and it doesn’t matter whether the tender process is open, worked out, selective or staged. These amazing expectations can consist of requests for safe work technique declarations beyond the specified high-risk building work activities. We understand from discussions with our consumers that this is increasingly occurring which there needs to be more clarity around the concern.
These expectations and confusion aren’t assisted by SWMS template suppliers that don’t tell you their extra offerings are not required or who oversell with needless SWMS files. Both are practices we do refrain from doing.
We always inform our consumers that there are 2 forms of compliance; what is legally needed and what your clients expect. Both are extremely genuine and pertinent to win work!
WHEN CUSTOMERS REQUEST MORE.
They’re paying for the work, so they can specify 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 needs extra SWMS or market control measures change, we generally swiftly attend to the requirement. At other times we have assisted them utilize a generic SWMS template to satisfy the need.
There have actually also been times when we have coached our customers on challenging the tender requirement, and in some cases, modifications result. Often it is an honest mistake by an overzealous tender author, and when the proposed procedures are politely questioned, they are withdrawn. Numerous do not understand the policies and know there are less tiresome methods of handling threats to health and safety.
Here, as always, we advise you talk with us. Call 1800 304 336 to delight in higher clearness and efficiency in your purchase journey.
An SWMS is needed whenever high-risk building work is performed (as defined by the WHS. Safe Work Approach Statements (SWMS) are just one of numerous offered danger control measures. Like straps on a bulletproof vest, they assist other controls work and empower the individuals who utilize them. The SWMS can be particular to each high-risk building work item or incorporate lots of items in a single SWMS. These extraordinary expectations can include demands for safe work technique 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