Last Updated on September 8, 2022 by Admin
All engineers must be familiar with method statements in order to plan and carry out various actions. You absolutely need to have a method statement library if you’re a planning engineer, site engineer, construction manager, or project manager.
Method statements are crucial for projects’ health and safety, especially in the construction sector. To ensure that particular high-risk actions and activities engaged in a project are secure, a method statement is utilized in conjunction with a risk assessment.
The use of method statements is common in the construction industry as a way to manage certain health and safety risks that have been identified (possibly as a result of the creation of a risk assessment), such as lifting operations, demolition or dismantling, working at heights, installing equipment, the use of plant, and so forth. A method statement aids in project management and guarantees that all parties involved are aware of the required safety measures.
What is a method statement?
A method statement is a document that outlines the safest way to complete a task. A method statement can be compared to a collection of guidelines or a work schedule. Safe systems of work, safe work method statements, or SWMS for short, are other names for method statements. And the reason for that is that they explain the working process (or system).
It explains in a logical order how a task is to be completed safely and without putting one’s health at risk. It contains every risk noted in the risk assessment as well as the steps required to control those risks. This makes it possible to plan and resource the job effectively. Method statements provide precise instructions on how to perform work safely.
Method statements are essential for safeguarding the health and safety of construction sites. Method statements are used to outline the safety measures used in high-risk working environments in order to reduce risks that were identified during the risk assessment. They go over the PPE, health and safety contacts, and control equipment needed to keep employees and site visitors safe while tasks are being performed.
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Typical content of method statement
The contents of a method statement will vary with the work process being described. A method statement typically includes a lot of details on a job or activity, like:
- The project
- Details of the organization in control of the activity.
- The specific activity the method statement is for
- A description of the work
- The location of the activity, its boundaries, means of access and how it is segregated from other activities.
- Start date and duration of the task
- Hours of work
- Who the assessor is
- Who has key responsibilities
- The hazards associated with the task
- The hazards associated with the site and environment
- References to other documents such as risk assessments that apply to the task
- The planned work procedure, the sequence of work and control measures
- PPE requirements
- Management arrangements
- Monitoring arrangements
- First aid and welfare arrangements
- Emergency procedures
- The handling and storage of materials and pollution prevention procedures.
- Temporary works designs.
- The method for safeguarding existing structures.
What’s The Difference Between a Method Statement and A Risk Assessment?
Risk assessments and method statements are frequently mistaken since they are the two types of health and safety documentation that are utilized the most. While both risk assessments and method statements seek to increase workplace safety, they serve different purposes. To execute a work securely, they should ideally both be employed, as a method statement improves risk assessments.
- Risk assessments: These describe, evaluate, and suggest controls for the risks and hazards associated with projects. Learn more about risk evaluations.
- Method statement – They should elaborate on the risk assessment’s list of control measures, explaining how, when, and why you should put them into action.
The completion of a method statement and risk assessment are equally crucial. Method statements elaborate on the safety concerns on a building site or project that risk assessments have identified. A method statement template can assist handle all of the issues that the risk assessment has identified in a logical order because both should include thorough preparation and detail.
Clients frequently want copies of your “RAMS,” which stands for risk assessments and method statements, and you can be required to provide a method statement along with a risk assessment.
Risk assessments frequently use method statements, but they are not the same thing. In addition to the risk assessments, method statements are typically only required for work that involves higher levels of risk. The hazards and their control will be the main topics of the risk assessment. The method statement will give workers more details about how to complete the task, what procedure to use, and the safety measures that must be taken at each stage.
Method statements are not expressly required by law, unlike risk assessments. However, they can assist in ensuring that you abide by the law by offering guidance and information. Although one or more risk assessments are typically included with a method statement, these records are not the same.
A method statement improves the data collected for the risk assessment and goes farther in arranging the sequence for the activity rather than simply repeating the information found in the risk assessment. As an illustration, the risk analysis may indicate that the task needs monitoring. Following that, the method statement will include more information on the supervisor, including their name, contact information, and educational background. All the documents pertaining to the work can be connected via method statements, which might also be helpful. It could, for instance, make mention of a risk assessment, a COSHH evaluation, and a work permit.
How to write a method statement?
The use of method statements is common in the construction industry as a way to manage certain health and safety risks that have been identified (possibly as a result of the creation of a risk assessment), such as lifting operations, demolition or dismantling, working at heights, installing equipment, the use of plant, and so forth.
A method statement aids in project management and guarantees that all parties involved are aware of the required safety measures. It may be necessary for the client, principle contractor, and contractor to come to an agreement before a competent person who is knowledgeable with the process being described may write a method statement.
In order to write the statement regarding the work activity or process in issue, the first step is to examine it. It is important to identify any risks to everyone involves health or safety as well as any other potential dangers that may arise over the course of the operation.
The steps taken to reduce these risks should then be evaluated in order to determine whether they were effective. Follow the general principle of “As Low as Reasonably Practical” (ALARP), and take additional safety precautions if necessary.
A header that includes crucial details for site employees and clients usually appears at the start of the method statement. This may consist of:
- The title of the job.
- The site address.
- Company name, address, logo, contact details, etc.
- Start and end dates for the proposed work.
- Description of the work.
- Health and safety contacts.
- Issue date.
- Unique document number.
The method statement should then go on to provide more information about the specific work activity. These typically center on the type of personal protective equipment (PPE) that will be used by site workers, as well as any environmental or quality considerations that are particularly important. The following section of the method statement will typically include information such as:
- First aid procedures.
- Staff training required.
- Work permits and other permissions required.
- Scaffolding and working platforms that may be required.
- Site access and egress.
- Materials that will be handled and how they will be stored.
- Construction plant to be used and shut-down procedures.
- Emergency procedures.
- How existing structures will be safeguarded.
The final section of a method statement should include step-by-step instructions for safely carrying out and completing the work activity.
Why are method statements used in construction?
More thorough planning is required where risks are significant in order to manage the hazards and reduce those risks. You can create your method statement after performing the task’s risk assessment. The method statement will outline the work in a logical order and include details on the controls and safety precautions that are necessary at each stage (and which you identified in the risk assessments).
Before the work starts, any preparations for destruction, dismantling, or structural modification must be put in writing. A method statement that can be produced from a risk assessment is typically used to accomplish this. Method statements are created for a variety of other construction-related activities even though they are not required by law since they have been found to be a useful and efficient planning, managing, and monitoring tool for construction activity.
The fact that construction work is so diverse is another reason method statements might be helpful in building projects. After completing one project, you move on to the next in the construction industry. A new project frequently entails a new setting, a new team, and a new set of challenges. The location, the surrounding work, and the dangers will change from project to project even though you are performing the same task.
On every project, there will likely be differences in who you had to report to, where the work is done, and what’s going on in the area. To gather the details required for each project, you can (and should) go to this document and amend your method statement to account for these changes.
An instruction set is a good analogy for a method declaration. The task you will be doing is explained in full, along with how you intend to complete it safely. Method statements are employed in the building industry to help manage high-risk activities that necessitate careful planning and management.
The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) has identified method statements as one way to satisfy the regulations’ requirements and as an effective way to assess risks, manage risks, gather worker opinions, and brief workers. The Construction (Design and Management) Regulations do not specifically mention method statements as a requirement, but they are nonetheless mentioned by the HSE.
Method statements are not a requirement of the CDM Regulations, which demonstrates the HSE’s intention that implementation of the CDM Regulations should not be a paper exercise where the completion of a standard template is sufficient, but rather that it should be an essential and integral part of the construction process.
Method statements provide specific instructions on how to carry out control measures, not only recommend them. Teams can use these lines as a checklist for safety measures so there is no possibility for misunderstanding. Therefore, every member of the construction team needs to be aware of the method statement for each action that takes place on the job site.