WorkSafe ACT is currently putting the spotlight on Safe Work Methods Statements (SWMS). Commonly used in the construction industry, they are important to ‘get right’ and be effective if they are to save lives.
WorkSafe ACT have produced a range of guidance material on SWMS including when they are required by legislation, what a SWMS is, who is responsible for producing a SWMS, how to produce a SWMS, how to implement a SWMS and how to review their effectiveness. They have also provided a template SWMS to assist people get started.
WorkSafe ACT have emphasised that SWMS shouldn’t be overly complicated or lengthy. Reminding people that SWMS must be able to be easily read by those who need to use them. SWMS need to be clear about what has been planned to manage the risks and how to implement the control measures. WorkSafe ACT identify people who are likely to implement a SWMS to include:
- the supervisor of the high risk construction work
- the worker carrying out the high risk construction work
- the principal contractor (if it is a construction project) or the person who has management and control over the high risk construction work.
Are SWMS in your workplace effective? For more information, including the guidance material mentioned above, head to the WorkSafe ACT website.