What to look for in a Safe Work Method Statement


Safe Work Method Statements OHS Regulations 2007 (OHS Regulations) require employers and self-employed persons to prepare a SWMS before commencing ‘High Risk Construction Work’ (HRCW). HRCW is stipulated by the Worksafe Victoria guidance ‘Information about: Safe Work Method Statements’ as any of the following:


  • Where there is a risk of a person falling more than two metres
  • On or adjacent to roadways or railways used by road or rail traffic
  • In, over or adjacent to water or other liquids where there is a risk of drowning
  • At workplaces where there is any movement of powered mobile plant
  • Structural alterations that require temporary support to prevent collapse
  • In an area where there are artificial extremes of temperature
  • On or near energised electrical installations or services
  • Involving a trench or shaft if the excavated depth is more than 1·5 metres
  • On or near pressurised gas distribution mains or piping
  • Involving demolition
  • Involving a confined space
  • On or near chemical, fuel or refrigerant lines
  • Involving tilt-up or precast concrete
  • On telecommunications towers
  • Involving diving
  • Involving removal or likely disturbance of asbestos
  • In an area that may have a contaminated or flammable atmosphere
  • Involving the use of explosives
  • Involving a tunnel


Worksafe requires you to provide a number of pieces of information including:

  • Principle contractor details;
  • Stipulation of the high risk construction work (HRCW) to be undertaken;
  • Accountabilities and consultation of the SWMS;
  • Process Task/Risk/Control assessment; and
  • Agreement by workers to undertake the activity.


Some projects and worksites however require many other pieces of information to be included into an expanded SWMS. These can include: Emergency plans, Chemicals Used, Company Details and daily toolbox meetings. All businesses must ensure they have a read of their contract safety plan requirement before they start putting together any SWMS to cover off all your contract requirements (There’s nothing worse than not being past the front gate!).


Our experienced, SIA Approved consultants work with companies to ensure your SWMS match your processes and the contract specifications. Call us today to speak about getting your business prepared with Safe Work Method Statements: 1300 123 647 or email: safety@safetyzone.net.au.