What is SWMS
Safe Work Method Statement
SWMS is a legal document that one has to fill in before work can begin on their construction site, and describes the hazardous activities that will be carried out, the dangers they pose to the worker or residents in a residential area, and measures put in place to minimize these dangers.
Have you been told before you start work on your site you must first address the SWMS condition? Have you heard people mention SWMS at your new site and wondered what it was? It is an acronym for Safe Work Method Statement. SWMS is a legal document that one has to fill in before work can begin on their construction site, and describes the hazardous activities that will be carried out, the dangers they pose to the worker or residents in a residential area, and measures put in place to minimize these dangers. The technical term for activities that are considered very risky is High Risk Construction Work (HRCW).
If in the course of your construction work you foresee (and you should do an assessment) activities that pose danger to your workers, you should lay them out carefully in your SWMS form. Secondly, clearly state what danger is involved, and thirdly how you have planned to handle that danger in order to minimize the risk. Each site has to have its form. Examples are Safe Work Method Statement for Working at Heights, and Safe Work Method Statement for Carpentry.
A SWMS contains such details as automation number, project details, name of contractor and supervisor, company details, and name of risk activity involved. The date the high-risk construction work was done and the name of the person processing the document should also be indicated.
High-Risk Construction Work
HRCW means activities that are considered to have a high risk of causing danger to workers and others on construction sites. Here a few examples of HCRW:
Let us say you are building a road and a section of it lies alongside a cliff. There are high chances that a worker busy driving a grader while in a poor state of mind can head straight for the cliff! Does that sound extreme? Accidents do occur when least expected. Working on a risky area on a site can cause unexpected death to workers. Many a construction worker has died or been maimed in the course of their work on various sites.
When working on a site like mentioned above, you should fill your SWMS before work commences. You have to say the road you are constructing will pass through a dangerous or risky point. You have to also say why the place is dangerous, and how you intend to ensure your employees are safe while working on that spot.
Another example is where a house is being constructed many floors high. On that site there are many high-reaching machines that help carry loads to the highest point. There is high risk that a worker could be hit by a piece falling of off one of the machines and hitting someone on lower floors real hard. A SWMS would need to be filled right at the beginning mentioning the existence of such an occurrence, possible impact and necessary measures to prevent or minimize the same.
Importance of SWMS
Safe Work Method Statement, just like its name, is a very important document. SWMS is developed by contractors and given to their workers to read, understand sign in agreement that they will abide by what is written there in. This document is used by law enforcers to encourage companies to take care of the health of its workers. It acts a reference point for the stake holders. Workers refer to it when they want to know or remember risky aspects of their job. It also acts as a checklist with which to carry out processes that involve HRCW. The document helps you be organized when it comes to people health risk management. It gives workers information concerning what they should do to avoid dangers mentioned.
You need SWMS if your company deals with dangerous and difficult activities during the different stages of construction because it will act as a record of what risks are evident, how will they affect your workers and what you will do to avoid or reduce those risks. This document is good because it helps keep you ‘on your toes ‘in terms of compliance.
For a SWMS to be effective, it should be made with your workers in mind because they are the ones who will be working in the areas detailed it covers. Its language needs to be one spoken by everybody who will be involved in on the site mentioned.
How to Create SWMS
SWMS is a statement (form in nature) that is now available in software form. You can just use the inbuilt format. Alternatively, you may adjust the software template and come up with your own unique one specific for your needs. Using a software is much better because you can easily update without being stressed out. It can also reach all parties and individuals concerned within a very short time. In addition, it is possible for you to send specific SWMs according to your workers functions.
In conclusion, SWMS stands for Safe Work Method Statement. It is a legal document that companies must comply with where their workers have to face risk everyday due to nature of work. The document is used to show high risk activities that exist on a site, what kind of danger such an activity poses, and what management would do to curb it.
Companies categorized as HRCW should all fill the SWMS. HRCW an acronym for High-Risk Construction Work. For any SWMS to be successful, it needs to be created in consultation with all the people it will affect. It is a very important document because you cannot start work on a high risk site without it. It is acts as a record that workers refer to when in doubt as to how they are to avoid certain risks. It helps the employer keep track of how to handle potentially harmful activities that cannot be avoided.