Think Before Undertaking Dangerous Tasks
People often think of a SWMS (Safe Work Method Statement) as mere paperwork – but, if used correctly, it can save lives.
In 2022, 27 people died while working in the Australian construction industry, and more than 15,000 were compensated for serious injuries or illness.
Most people who work in the construction industry understand that it involves hazards. However, deaths and injuries are not ‘just part of the job’. Identifying the hazards, assessing the risks and putting in place the right controls is essential to ensuring no one gets hurt or killed.
A SWMS is an important tool used for the most dangerous types of construction work. There are 18 construction work activities that are classified as high risk and require a SWMS. For these tasks, completing a SWMS before work commences ensures that risk controls are understood and followed by everyone in the workplace.
However, a review of SWMS found many people didn’t understand their purpose, or were using them incorrectly. For this reason, Safe Work Australia has developed a new interactive SWMS tool aimed at providing clear information on what a SWMS is for and how to use it.
Safe Work Australia CEO, Marie Boland says “We have developed a new step-by-step tool to help employers and workers in the construction industry better understand how, when and why to complete a SWMS.”
“SWMS are valuable for ensuring workers’ health and safety on construction sites. By knowing the procedures that must be followed, employers and workers can manage risks, meet legal obligations, and provide evidence of due diligence in the event of an accident or injury – used properly, a SWMS can save lives.”
The SWMS tool is available online and it can also be downloaded and plugged into existing L&D systems.
Using this tool can help employers develop better-quality SWMS which will reduce the likelihood of accidents, injuries, and illnesses and promote a safe and healthy work environment.
Go to the website and check out the SWMS tool and share it with those you know in the construction industry.