What is a Method Statement?

A method statement is a document that details the way a work task or process is to be completed and is sometimes referred to as a safe system of work. It should outline the hazards involved and included a logical step by step guide on how a work activity is to be carried out in a manner which is safe and without risk to health. Well written method statements provide an ideal means of communicating vital health and safety information to those who will be doing the work and others such as contractors who have an interest in how the job will be carried out.

Method statements have a myth associated with them that they need to be long and complex. The key to method statements is that they need to be fit for purpose and most importantly acted upon. The below will assist writing a method statement.

Header information

The first section of a method statement document is the header information which should be used to provide information to your staff and/or prospective clients, this section should include but not limited to;

  • A brief description of the works, task or process
  • Your company details, logo, name, address
  • Start date, completion date
  • Main contractor details (if you are writing the Method Statement as a subcontractor)
  • Site address
  • Site contact details including emergency numbers etc
  • Document author, Health & Safety contact
  • Document number, issue date, revision date, revision number

Main hazards

The next elements to document are the main hazards that are present and the control measures that must be implemented including a list of personal protective equipment (PPE) that must be worn. This information can be extracted from your risk assessment documents. Within this section any reference to environmental or quality procedures that must be taken during the task can be identified and explained.

Task step-by-step guide

Now the document moves onto describing the task in more detail with a step-by-step guide to ensure that the task is carried out safely. This needs to include all relevant details in an order that you expect them to be carried out. The below is a list of information which needs to be considered;

  • Work details – including the step-by-step guide to how the work is to be completed
  • Staff – work force details, training, and PPE
  • Permits to work
  • Site access, egress and emergency procedures
  • Material handling
  • Scaffold & access to height
  • Background and preparation
  • Hazardous substances
  • Occupational health
  • Welfare and first aid
  • Public safety

Review & updating

The final section of a Method Statement needs to include a section on reviewing and updating the document. If the sequence or work being completed changes the document needs to be amended prior to the work starting or recommencing. A briefing register needs to be included which should be signed by all carrying out the work to confirm that the document has been read and fully understood.

Method Statements

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