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How to write up an SWMS.
A Safe Work Method Statement is a document that sets out the High risk construction work (HRCW) activities to be performed at a work environment, the hazards occurring from these activities and the measures to be put in place to control the threats to health and wellness.
Tuesday, 24th May 2022.
Its main purpose is to assist employees and supervisors to implement and keep an eye on the control measures developed to make sure the work is carried out securely.

What is 'high risk construction work' (HRCW)?
High risk construction work is defined in WHS policies as construction work that:.

includes a danger of an individual falling more than 2 metres (3 metres in South Australia); or.
includes demolition of an element of a structure that is load-bearing or otherwise related to the physical stability of the structure; or.
includes, or is most likely to include, the disruption of asbestos; or.
involves structural changes or repairs that require short-term support to prevent collapse; or.
is performed in an area at a workplace in which there is any movement of powered mobile plant; or.
is carried out in or near a confined space; or.
is carried out in or near:.
a shaft or trench with an excavated depth greater than 1 5 metres; or.
a tunnel; or.
involves the use of dynamites; or.
is performed on or near pressurised gas distribution mains or piping; or.
is carried out on or near chemical, fuel or refrigerant lines; or.
is performed on or near energised electrical setups or services; or.
is performed in an area that may have a polluted or flammable atmosphere; or.
involves tilt-up or precast concrete; or.
is carried out on, in or adjacent to a road, railway, shipping lane or other traffic passage that remains in use by traffic besides pedestrians; or.
is performed on a telecommunication tower; or.
is carried out in a location at a workplace in which there is any movement of powered mobile plant; or.
is carried out in an area in which there are synthetic extremes of temperature level; or.
is performed in or near water or other liquid that involves a risk of drowning; or.
includes diving work.
Note: Victorian OHS policies have some minor variations of the above definition of HRCW.

How do I tackle preparing a SWMS?
A typical approach to developing a SWMS includes the following:.

Collect all pertinent information about the work.
The very first task is to determine the kinds of HRCW that the work involves and how it is to be carried out.

Learn the dangers.
Review the proposed work and information about each task to identify the threats, i.e., the occasions or things that may cause damage to workers or other individuals. Information, such as codes of practice or assistance product, might be offered in the website of your regional workplace health and safety regulator for particular construction jobs.

Seek advice from the relevant workers.
In assessment with the workers that will undertake the HRCW, their managers and health and safety representatives (if any) examine the regional health and safety requirements, and the proposed work.

Consider the views of employees about the hazards, the potential risk control measures and any site-specific matters that might impact the safety of the work. If there are other employees that could be affected by the work they should likewise be sought advice from.

Note: There is a legal obligation to consult affected workers and their health and wellness representatives when identifying hazards or selecting measures to control risk, and to take their views into account.

Select the most appropriate control measures to get rid of or lower threats.

To pick the most suitable control measures you require to apply the 'hierarchy of control' as detailed in steps 1 to 5 listed below. HIA's details sheet The Hierarchy of Control describes how the hierarchy of control applies to the requirements for handling office risks and risks.

You need to seek to eliminate dangers so far as is reasonably practicable (e.g., doing as much work as possible on the ground rather than at height).
If it is not reasonably practicable to remove risks, you should carry out any specific control measures that are obligatory by law in your State or Area.
Some office health and wellness laws prescribe particular control steps that need to be made an application for managing dangers to health and safety developing from particular threats or activities. Examples consist of, however are not restricted to, work including asbestos, work at height, operate in confined spaces. Specific requirements remain in the work environment health and wellness laws readily available in the website of your local office health and wellness regulator.

After executing step 2, if a threat remains, the risk needs to be decreased up until now as is reasonably practicable by implementing one, or a combination of the following:.
Substituting a procedure or compound with one that is less dangerous. For example, damp sweeping instead of dry sweeping of hazardous dusts such as crystalline silica.
Separating employees and other individuals from the risk. For example by setting up barriers in between employees and mobile plant.
Utilising engineering controls. For example, Utilising an elevated work platform or a scaffold to minimise the risk of falling from height.
If after executing the above control determines a risk to health or safety still stays, lower that risk, up until now as is reasonably practicable, by using administrative controls. This consists of, safety training, work instructions, warning signs and supervision. For instance, if a scaffold used to reduce threats you may require to include scaffold tags showing acceptable maximum loads, signs for incomplete scaffolds. You may likewise need to explain the training required for those putting up the scaffold and the supervision of scaffold users.
If a danger to health or security still remains after implementing the above, minimise that danger, up until now as is fairly practicable by supplying personal protective equipment (PPE). This consists of using protective clothes such as safety glasses, hard hats, gloves, respiratory defense, or a mix of suitable PPE.
A mix of control steps will require to be used to minimise dangers as far as is fairly practicable.

Coming up with up the SWMS - What info must be included?
A SWMS needs to:.

recognise the work that is high danger construction work.
define the threats associating with the high danger construction work and the risks to health and wellness.
describe the steps to be carried out to control the risks, and.
describe how the control procedures are to be carried out, kept track of and evaluated.
For an example of how to do this see: How to complete a SWMS when Utilising silica.

The control measures need to be set out and expressed in a manner that is readily accessible and understandable to the individuals who will utilise the SWMS. Describe in clear terms how dangers to health and wellness are to be managed to make it possible for the work to be done safely, and how the control procedures are to be executed.

You can use any type or design template to write up the SWMS, consisting of paper and electronic formats, offered the above details is consisted of and is readily available.

Can I utilise a generic SWMS?
A generic SWMS can be utilised after it has been reviewed and modified as essential to ensure that it covers all the threats and dangers that are present on the website where the work is to be carried out. A generic SWMS requires to be reviewed/revised prior to commencing the work and prior to beginning a brand-new activity or a modification in work place or situations.

For more details about SWMS and your responsibilities go to the site of your regional office health and wellness authority and search for safe work approach statements.
how to write an SWMS

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