Safe Work Method Statements–SWMS


safe work method statementOn this page you will find links to a number of sources and references for safe work method statements. The safe work method statement (JSA) should always reflect the actual task and risks of the work being performed. If you are new to the process or need something in a hurry then I understand why obtaining a generic SWMS would be attractive. BUT they should be used to guide you and MUST be modified in consultation with those involved to properly reflect your unique circumstances.

Example Safe Work Method Statements and all of our free Safety And Risk Management Downloads can be found here: FREE DOWNLOADS



A few articles we highly recommend you read before developing or buying a SWMS:

Create Safe Work Method Statements & Risk Assessments For Free

clip_image002Latest News: Ensafe have just launched an online-based portal called Compliance Lion where contractors can create, edit and manage Safe Work Method Statements (SWMS) and Risk Assessments quickly and easily. These can be used in conjunction with the WHS management plans and OHS management systems that they can also provide. The portal allows contractors to create docs for an unlimited amount of projects and you can access it on the field using portable devices such as phones and tablets (both iOS and Android) as long as you have an Internet connection. It’s free to sign up and you can start using it right away. You can find more information about it including demo videos by clicking visiting our website at

How to do your own Safe Work Method Statement WMS Development Toolkit for Contractors

Training for writing SWMS Guide to writing work method statements

Problems with safe work method statements

Developing a Safe Work Method Statement

Here are a few links to examples of safe work method statements templates and resources that may be useful:

Free Safe Work Method Statement By following this link : anyone can download a free Safe Work Method Statement, a completed example and a checklist to help with completion.

What is a Work Method Statement and when is it required? According to QLD DEIR, a work method statement is always required for high-risk activities which include:

  • tilt-up and precast construction work
  • structural alterations that require temporary support to prevent collapse
  • moving powered mobile plant at the workplace
  • working on a telecommunications tower
  • working in, over or adjacent to water where there is a risk of drowning
  • working on, or adjacent to, a road or railway
  • working on or near a pressurised gas distribution mains and consumer piping
  • working on or near a chemical, fuel or refrigerant line
  • work near an exposed energised electrical installation
  • work in an area that may have a contaminated or flammable atmosphere
  • work in an area where there are artificial extremes of temperature.
  • Great guide from Ipswich City Council: Contractors Work Method Statement (13516)
  • New company in the SWMS market – ENSAFE – Visit their SWMS CENTRAL WEBSITEThey offer a pre-written SWMS that requires minor touches to make specific to your particular site and task; and you can easily do it in consultation with your working team. They claim that their SWMS satisfies the requirements of Workcover authorities, the Office of Federal Safety Commissioner and State government guidelines.UPDATE: Ensafe have just launched a new website

From Worksafe Victoria – How Do You Develop An SWMS? Preparing an SWMS is part of the planning of the work. The SWMS is designed to help employers think through the hazards and risks involved in the work, and to choose effective control measures. Employees, HSRs, as well as contractors and their employees, must be consulted in the preparation of the SWMS so far as  reasonably practicable.

To assist industry, WorkSafe has: developed a template Safe Work Method Statement

ARE YOU WORKING FOR THE COLES GROUP? For all works completed on a Coles Group site Contractors must complete a Safe Work Method Statement. It must describe the work being done step by step, any hazards/risks and details on teh controls you will develope and implement. Download a blank Work Method Statement (84 KB). Not sure I agree with this as all sites are different in some way but they will let you use a generic work method statement for same work conducted and a number of sites if the task is the same .


  • Safe Work Method Statement – A basic explanation
  • Guidelines for writing safe work method statements in plain English – Workcover:  DOWNLOAD HERE:Workcover WMS Plain English Guidelines (19050)
  • Requirements issued by QLD DEIR for Construction work method statements
  • Use this template to conduct job hazard analysis and risk assessments on individual tasks to assist in developing Job Safety Analysis (JSA) and Safe Work Method Statements (SWMS). Download Here:
  • Worksafe Victoria Guide to Work Method Statements including legal requirements, samples of completed statements and a blank proforma. Victoria used to call their SWIMS a Job Safety Analysis
  • Download a PDF sample of a safe work method statement.
  • Download a Word Version Here: Worksafe SWMS Template (22296)
  • Building and construction-safe work method statement/job safety analysis information from Worksafe WA – What is a job safety analysis (JSA) or a safe work method statement? To make sure that everyone is aware of what is going on, JSA’s and safe work method statements are used in building and construction as a way to assess what hazards may come up on the job and deal with them safely.

When and why would you do a JSA or safe work method statement?

  • if there was an incident in the past involving that job
  • new jobs
  • jobs that more dangerous than usual like working at heights, in holes, near electricity or moving equipment. These jobs are classified as high risk work.

There are three steps in developing them:

  1. Direct observation: Your boss watches and discusses job steps, hazards and solutions with the worker doing the job.
  2. Group discussion: A team of people who know a job well work out steps, hazards and solutions.
  3. Recall and check:Your boss writes up a summary of the work and then checks with the workers to make sure it’s right.

Construction and Contractor Work Method Statement Toolkit

In the Tool Kit you will find everything you need to help you develop a WMS. It is the reader’s responsibility to refer to legislation when reading this guide or using any of the tools in the tool kit to ensure the most up to date information is being used. Failing to do this could lead to a breach of legislation and legal action being taken.  Refer to samples in the tool kit for further prompts on completing WMS. Download HERE: WMS Toolkit (7260) and WMS Guidelines and Toolkit (11855)

Struggling with how to write a safe work method statement? Workcover have produced this excellent guide for writing work method statements in plain English. DOWNLOAD HERE: Workcover WMS Plain English Guidelines (19050)

Coles Contractor Work Method Statement Requirements:

Contractors must complete a Work Method Statement for all works conducted on Coles Group sites. A Work Method Statement is a document which describes the job to be completed, outlines the steps involved, the hazards associated with the work and the controls to be implemented to ensure that the work is completed safely. Work Method Statements are completed by the contractor company as the contractor is expected to be experienced in the work and the hazards associated with it.

  1. Download an example of a completed Work Method Statement (47 KB)
  2. Download a blank Work Method Statement (28 KB)

If the work to be completed is routine work, one Work Method Statement is sufficient for all occasions where the work is conducted as long as the conditions do not change and all relevant staff are trained in the practice and understand the controls to be implemented. Generic work method statements can be used at a number of sites as long as the task and conditions do not change. The store/site manager or delegate must be able to view a copy of the Work Method Statement when the contractor arrives on site to complete a particular task. While on site the contractor must have access to a copy of the Work Method Statement and be able to make it available on request. Contractors may use an alternative format to the Coles Group format for a Work Method Statement (eg JSA) however, it must contain at least the information required in the Coles Group format.

More Examples of Work Method Statements

We are being inundated with requests for free examples of safe work method statements, particularly for lawn mowing? Here are some really good examples from the The Municipal Works Officers Association (MWOA) Website.

Where to purchase SWMS:

These are a good starting point but don’t forget that you have a legal obligation to consult with people actually performing the task and modify accordingly. A switched on Principal Contractor or Safety Officer will throw a generic SWMS back in your face!

BlueSafe By legislation, every tool or machine that has the potential to cause injury or damage in the workplace, must have a safe working procedure, educating personnel on how to operate the piece of machinery or tool effectively and safely. This is a pretty big job if you have 30 machines, and another 50 tools in the workplace. Employing someone to do it will also be quite expensive, especially if your budget hasn’t allowed for it. What are the other options? Run the risk of not having them in place? What if an accident happens and it’s not in place – what happens then? Lose the 10 years of hard work you’ve put into your business by one little incident?

Keven Dickenson Consulting Consultants who specialise in writing high quality work procedures for the mining industry. They go to site, facilitate a JSA and job step definition, capture the data (photos, work methods), then collate this information to a point where they send the procedure for review. Reviews are conducted both internally and externally resulting in high quality, well syndicated, work procedures, creating high consistency across site, in extremely easy to read layout. This site lists a large range of complete Safe Work Method Statements for Construction, Industrial, Manufacturing and Professional Services. They regularly add procedures for all types of plant, equipment and workplace processes. SWMS’s are developed after consulting with manufactures recommendations, Australian Standards, Industrial Relations and other Government bodies who provide valuable information for developing the safest work methods. Average price is around $70 Safety Culture has a large library of prefilled Safe Work Procedures for around $80. For an additional fee they can customise one unique to your needs. To do this, their will inspect the equipment, consult the manufacturers recommendations in conjunction with the Australian Standards and relevant government legislation. All Safe Work Procedures are written in Microsoft Word format and can be easily implemented into your current OH&S System. Matrix Compliance Management Safe Work Method Statements are designed to provide safety guidance for a specific work activity. No matter what trade or trades you do they can can develop safe work method statements to suit. They try to keep them simple, compliant and easy to follow and include pictures. They can develop SWMS for workers with a poor understanding of english. OHS Documents Australia –OH&S documentation for your small business. OHS Docs specialise in Safe Work Method Statements (SWMS), which are sometimes called Job Safety Analysis (JSA). These are the documents that your small business presents to a principal contractor to explain how you will safely carry out your work. They also have a full range of other supporting documents to suit your needs.

How do you develop your own WORK METHOD STATEMENTS