There have been a number of recent queries regarding the incorrect application of Safe Work Method Statement (SWMS) at construction sites. A WorkSafe Construction Manager stated, “Over a three month period, some 226 sites were directed to stop work because of SWMS breaches’. It is a requirement in all States to complete a SWMS for all high risk construction work. This includes work; where there is a falls risk of >2m, involving demolition, asbestos removal, trench excavation with a depth >1.5m, involving confined space and work on or near pressured gas or chemical lines.
A SWMS must;
- Identify work that is high risk;
- Specify hazards relating to the work;
- Describe control measures to be implemented;
- Describe how the control measures are to be implemented, monitored and reviewed;
- Be readily accessible and understandable to the persons using it.
The person in control of the work, e.g. principal contractor, must also ensure compliance with the SWMS and that the SWMS is kept available until the work is completed.