SWA releases interactive Safe Work Method Statement tool

Wednesday, 14 February, 2024

SWA releases interactive Safe Work Method Statement tool

Safe Work Australia has developed a Safe Work Method Statement (SWMS) interactive guide with information about the purpose of an SWMS, when it is required and how to use it. In the construction sector, there are activities that are classified as high risk because they have the potential to cause serious injury or death. For such activities, the workplace must develop an SWMS before work starts. A review of their effectiveness found that Safe Work Method Statements are often not used as intended, with many perceiving it as unnecessary paperwork, rather than a key step in managing the risks of hazardous work.

The SWMS interactive guide includes interactive elements and videos that can be used for toolbox talks or as a learning activity. The guide aims to change the culture around SWMS, to ensure PCBUs genuinely consider hazards and risks, and use the best possible controls to keep workers safe. It provides a step-by-step guide about how to complete an SWMS and signposts and reinforces SWMS requirements.

The tool aims to increase understanding of the practical purpose of an SWMS and includes videos, interactive content and plain-English messages across three modules: Understanding an SWMS, Preparing an SWMS, and Using an SWMS. The tool also includes case studies (simple examples of control measures for various high risk construction work activities) and a toolkit with jurisdictional resources. It will be a useful resource for small businesses that prepare their own SWMS, and people new to the construction industry.

To learn more about the SWMS interactive guide, visit the Safe Work Australia website.

Image credit: iStock.com/AzmanL

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