The Importance of Safe Work Method Statements (SWMS)

18 May 2019

Safe Work Method Statements (SWMS) are vital in keeping you, your staff and your subcontractors safe at work when completing high-risk construction work, and are a central part of any worksite’s occupational health and safety procedures. Enforced by Work Health and Safety laws, a site-specific copy of each SWMS written needs to be provided to the principal contractor on the job before any work can be commenced.

SWMS help to hold both employers and employees accountable in ensuring that any high-risk construction work completed is done according to the procedures as outlined in the statement. While each SWMS needs to be unique and written prior to commencing work, for businesses that regularly complete similar high-risk work, generic templates can be used and edited as needed. In order for the SWMS to be compliant with the WHS Regulations, it needs to be reviewed and revised for each new activity that is started on the job site.

SWMS can be handwritten or completed and stored digitally. For businesses who need to complete SWMS regularly or even daily, completing the statements by hand is not only time-consuming, but there’s also a great risk of losing or damaging the physical copy. Digital copies also risk being erased or corrupted unless they are stored via cloud servers or through an app – which is one of the many reasons trade management applications such as Trade Trak are useful.

 

How Trade Trak Can Help

On Trade Trak, you’re able to build SWMS templates that are custom for your business completely from scratch. Your SWMS templates can even include personal protective equipment (PPE) that may be required for the job. You can add as many SWMS templates to your company’s profile, rename them for easy location in the future, and select the users you would like the statement to be available to.

Once the templates are set up and saved, workers can complete them within seconds while on the job by editing hazards and risks if needed, adding risk scores, entering control measure and usage data, and finally selecting a residual risk score. To make sure that the statement is compliant, obtain signatures from workers directly onto the electronic form – they don’t even have to be Trade Trak users! Once completed, your SWMS can be shared on as needed, or they will be saved against the job on Trade Trak for safekeeping.

 

To find out more about how Trade Trak can help with the way your business runs, contact us here.