Keep Workplace Accidents And Hazards At Bay With A Free SWMS Template
If you are a person conducting a business or undertaking (PCBU), it is integral to be aware of the specific regulations, standards and best practices in your industry in order to abide with prevailing rules and laws and, more importantly, ensure your venture’s long term growth and viability.
For businesses that carry out high-risk work like working on communication towers and confined spaces, handling of explosives or hazardous chemicals, demolition, working in temperature extremes and diving, it is crucial to prepare a safe work method statement or SWMS before any type of work commences.
An SWMS is prepared by a PCBU for workers and details the inherent hazards in the work that is to be conducted, the measures put into place to prevent or mitigate these, and even the proper sequence or breakdown of each task. The document may also list down the tools, equipment and materials to be used in the performance of the work, the contact information of the principal contractor and ABN, and the location of the project.
SWMS is used in a wide variety of industries and specialisations including civil and road works, air conditioning, carpentry, earthmoving, farming, garden maintenance and hairdressing. The document may also be used in the training and orientation of new hires.
The document is typically prepared by the PCBU in consultation with the workers who perform high-risk work. If you have not prepared an SWMS before, you can download a free safe work method statement and modify it based on the specifics of the work that you need to undertake. This will help eliminate some of the guesswork and help you craft one in a shorter amount of time. Do note that a free SWMS template is by no means a complete document and you will still need to consult your workers and conduct a risk assessment of the project.
Once the template has been modified, the final copy should be readily available at the job site. It is also imperative to conduct regular inspection in order to ensure that workers adhere to the measures outlined in the document.
The template may sometimes require amendments, taking into account that some projects may be vastly different from the others. In this case, the SWMS should be reviewed and modified accordingly and copies of it should be made available at the project site. Again, this review should be done with the aid of the workers who will perform the work in the project.