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Safe Work Australia develops work method guide

The newly developed interactive guide aims to change the culture around Safe Work Method Statements (SWMS) to increase their use

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Safe Work Australia has developed a new SWMS interactive guide with information on the true purpose of a SWMS, when it is required and how to use it.

When conducting activities that have the potential to cause serious injury or death, a workplace must prepare a SWMS before work begins, but Safe Work Australia has found that they are often not being used as intended.

In a review into the effectiveness of these method statements, Safe Work Australia says many workplaces see the SWMS as unnecessary paperwork rather than a key step in managing the risks of hazardous work.

Subsequently, this new interactive guide has been introduced to change the culture around the SWMS ensuring PCBUs (a person conducting a business or undertaking) genuinely consider hazards and risks.

Including interactive elements and videos, the tool provides a step-by-step guide on how to complete a SWMS and reinforces the method statement’s requirements.

There will be three modules that aim to increase user understanding on the practical purpose of a SWMS:

  • understanding a SWMS
  • preparing a SWMS
  • using a SWMS.

The interactive guide will also include case studies, simple examples of control measures for various high risk construction work activities and a toolkit with jurisdictional resources.

Having this toolkit will be useful for small business who prepare their own SWMS and people new to the industry, Safe Work Australia says.

The interactive SWMS tool deals with requirements under the model WHS laws. Check with your local regulator to find out if these requirements apply in your state or territory.

Explore the tool here: Interactive SWMS guidance tool

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