Prepare safe work method statement

If you carry out high risk construction work, you must ensure a safe work method statement (SWMS) is prepared before work commences. If you employ a principal contractor, they must take all reasonable steps to get a copy of the SWMS before the work commences.

Take into account all relevant matters, including circumstances that may affect the work and work health and safety management plans that may be prepared in connection with a construction project.

If the SWMS is not followed, stop work immediately and only recommence when the statement can be followed.

The SWMS must be understandable to those who use it and should outline:

  • the work involved
  • the hazards and risks
  • the control measures and how they will be implemented, monitored and reviewed

Give a copy of the SWMS to the principal contractor before the work commences. Keep a copy available for inspection and readily accessible to workers until the work is completed, or for at least two years if there is a notifiable incident.

The SWMS must be reviewed and, if necessary, revised when control measures are changed after a notifiable incident.

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