Our documents explained

This help article will explain each section of our Safe Work Method Statements to give you a better understanding of how to use our Safe Work Method Statements.

All OHSDocs SWMS are based on the format detailed by the WorkCover NSW publication, Guidelines For Writing Work Method Statements In Plain English. OHSDocs also use the WorkCover NSW risk matrix detailed in the publication, !HAZPAK Making Your Workplace Safer, A Practical Guide To Basic Risk Management. OHSDocs further reference our documents from The Construction Safety Alliance and Victorian Construction Safety Alliance publication, OHSE Subbypack Contractor Management Tool. Feel free to click on the links to compare our documents, our format is designed to mirror the most widely accepted format within the construction industry.

All this means easy understanding, and quick acceptance of your companies safety system by a Builder or Principal Contractor.

The First Page

This is where all of your business and jobsite information is put in. Your business details and the jobsite details are a necessary requirement, but you will find it easy to complete. Underneath this is a table that explains how a hazard is classed. Taken from the WorkCover Hazpak guide it is a way to rate how dangerous a hazard is. This allows you to judge how important it is to control a particular hazard that you might encounter.

The Second Page

This lists all of the requirements and pre-requisites you will need to complete the job. This includes Personal Qualifications, Duties or Responsibilities, Training Required, Engineering Details / WorkCover Approvals for works, Legislation / Codes Of Practice / Australian Standards used to create the safe work method statement, Plant / Equipment To Be Used, Maintenance on plant and equipment and any Emergency Procedures required. Be sure to add any extra details here yourself if they are specific to your job.

Page 3 and onwards

From page three this is where the safe work method statement goes into detail about the work that is to be done.

In the five columns read from left to right it shows:

  • The task being completed – this is the particular task that might be done during the course of a job.
  • Possible Hazards – these are the hazards that you might encounter undertaking that task.
  • The risk class or risk rating – a number given to those hazards by using the hazard classification table on page one. It rates the likelihood of a hazard occuring and its affects on a person if it did occur.
  • The Controls – These are ways that the hazards can be controlled or eliminated to reduce the likelihood of that hazard occurring.
  • The Result Risk – This is the result rating after you have put the controls in place (not all principal contractors require this column).
  • Person Responsible – This lists the person who is affected by these hazard and who are responsible for carrying out the controls used to reduce or eliminate the hazards.

After this you will notice that there is a section of these columns left blank just before the last page. The reason we have done this is that all Safe Work Method Statements are ever-changing documents. You might have an extra task that you need to complete, or you have identified another hazard that you need to control, this blank space allows you to add to the Safe Work Method Statement to suit the particular job you are carrying out.

Final Page

The final page is the sign off sheet, anyone who is carrying out the job must read and understand the Safe Work Method Statement. To show that an employee has read and understood it, you have them print their name and sign the last section. A supervisor can then sign the “SWMS Training Conducted By” column and fill in the date to prove that all employees carrying out the task have read and understood it. There are multiple lines to allow for many employees who may be completing this task.

Final Note

You will note that our Safe Work Method Statements are not covered in gimmicky pictures or graphics, that's because they do absolutely nothing to help your business comply with OHS Regulation or be accepted by a Builder or Principal Contractor. 

The only thing that ensures acceptance of a document by a Builder or Principal Contractor is pure safety content and correctly completing the sections which are mandatory by OHS Regulation.

Each section is important and are required by regulation, so do not leave any section incomplete or left out altogether. This will help you comply with OHS legislation while easily allowing a Builder or Principal Contractor to accept your safety system and get you started on site.