Risk Management / Hazard Identification 2 of 3

Safe Work Method Statement (SWMS)

A Safe Work Method Statement:

  • involves identifying all potential hazards associated with the work activities, assessing the risks associated with these activities and recording how to eliminate, or minimise (control) the risk to worker health and safety
  • identifies specific safety control measures which must be followed when completing a task
  • can be read in conjunction with induction documents that workers must read and understand before starting a job
  • helps meet legal responsibilities for such requirements as hazard identification, risk assessment and risk control
  • helps effectively coordinate the work, the materials needed, the time required and the people involved to achieve a safe and efficient outcome.

Safe Work Method Statements must include the following:

  • a description of the work to be completed and potential hazards
  • safety controls and precautions that will be used to minimise hazards and protect health and safety
  • identification of all health and safety law, standards or codes applicable to the work
  • identification of plant and equipment needed on site to do the job
  • names and qualifications of those who will supervise the work and inspect and approve work methods, protective methods, plant and equipment.

It is difficult to identify every hazard in advance. A SWMS is an active document which is consistently reviewed, refreshed and updated.