The preparation and use of Safe Work Method Statement (SWMS) may be required by the state bodies that manage work place health and safety, eg. NSW WorkCover, Worksafe Victoria, etc. You should check the relevant legislation and requirements of the controlling authority in your state.
A SWMS is a document that:
- lists the type(s) of work being done
- states the health and safety hazards and risks arising from that work
- describes how the risks will be controlled, and
- describes how the risk control measures will be put in place.
Preparing a SWMS is part of the planning for any work. They are there to help employers and employees think through the hazards and risks involved in the work, and to choose effective control measures. They should be updated regularly.
Employees, as well as contractors and their employees, must be consulted in the preparation of a SWMS so far as is reasonably practicable.
A SWMS should:
- list the type of work being done,
- identify the health and safety hazards in the workplace,
- identify the risks which may result from the hazards,
- describe either how:
- hazards will be eliminated, or, if not possible
- risks will be controlled, eg. via the hierarchy of controls,
- describe how the risk control measures will be implemented, monitored and reviewed,
- take into consideration factors that may affect the way in which the high risk work is carried out,
- be readily accessible and easy to read.
One SWMS can be prepared to cover a variety of tasks, if it takes into account the changing nature of the work environment. Alternatively, a separate SWMS can be prepared for each type of work. This is the usual model within the bush regeneration industry.
These are draft templates for some of the jobs involved in basic bush regeneration.
They are presented here to help those preparing their own versions and are not intended to cover all the possibilities of your work or workplaces.
AABR accepts no responsibility for the currency or relevance of these documents.
The requirements of your state and federal Workplace Health & Safety authorities must be checked and met when producing your own documents. Generic templates are available on the websites of most of the state authorities.