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I have a Safe Work Method Statement, now what?


We have had an increasing number of enquiries recently regarding the use and administration of Safe Work Method Statements (SWMS) on site.

A SWMS is a document that must be prepared by a PCBU in consultation with workers who will be carrying out the work before work commences which specifies:

  1. the high risk construction work that needs to be carried out in a workplace;
  2. the hazards that may potentially arise from carrying out high risk construction work and the subsequent risks to health and safety; and
  3. the measures that must be put in place to eliminate or minimize the hazards as far as is reasonably practicable.

Members are reminded that each site would have its own high risk construction work and associated hazards, this means that a PCBU must complete a SWMS for each new site and ensure that their workers are familiar with the content and control measures identified in the SWMS.

Review and repeat

It is important to review your SWMS at regular intervals or when your control measures are revised. You must have regard to the control measures that is reasonably practicable and ensure that the conduct of your workers is in accordance with what is set out in your SWMS.

Members are reminded that a failure to follow your SWMS is a breach of the Work Health and Safety Act (2011) and may result in prosecution or fines issued against the company and the individual.

If you have any questions relating to your responsibilities as PCBU, please contact our Workplace Relations and Legal Team on (02) 6175 5900.