Method statements are documents that detail the way in which tasks that could cause an injury should be completed to adhere to safe working practices. These are used in order to prevent potential accidents and allow a job to be carried out safely.
They fall under the requirements of the Construction (Design and Management) Regulations 2015, and are seen as one way of meeting your duty to assess, manage and communicate health and safety risks.
You might be wondering; how you write them, what tasks you need them for and how they help you win business. We’re here to answer those questions and offer you the safe systems of work advice you need.
We understand it can feel like a burden sometimes to produce method statements, especially when you’re on top of your risk assessments – but we promise they’ll do your business wonders in the tendering process!
During the tendering process, it’s important that your business stands out and has that competitive edge against your rivals. So, by proving your business is carrying out work safely and legally, you’re already on the path to success.
Method statements can also save you time and money by giving you an overview of your internal processes and projects, whilst planning timescales to keep on budget.
We really do understand that method statements are probably just one of many items on your long ‘to-do’ lists, and finding the time can be a struggle – but that’s why we want to help.
Method statements are used in most sectors but they’re predominantly used in the construction sector to look at what control measures a business has in place. From the more mainstream work – like a building project, to installing CCTV or instating a marquee, there’s a time and a place for method statements in so many industries.
The primary aim of a method statement is to ensure the right, responsible people are appointed to and, more importantly, the safety of anyone who could be affected by the work. It also gives a clear schedule to all those involved, including any special measures – like if any part of the building needs to be closed temporarily, or if power needs to be isolated, for example.
Method statements are commonly requested by businesses during the tender process. This is so the company in question can see the way you operate and see if you have sufficient safety documents to prove your business has competency and experience for the job at hand.
Businesses that can showcase high levels of quality safety measures and provide work method statements are often seen more favourably. This then gives you a competitive edge in the tendering process resulting in more business for you in the long run.
The components of a method statement can be broken down in 10 simple step by steps:
Method statements are your declaration of a safe working environment. Although it’s not a requirement that they’re shared with people working on the project, as they provide a clear plan of work, it certainly wouldn’t do any harm. Risk assessments, however, must be clearly communicated.
Your method statements will predominantly be requested off clients whom you’re bidding for work off – this could be both during the tendering process and the construction phase.
A risk assessment involves you identifying hazards in your workplace. You must then analyse these hazards to determine if they present a high risk that could harm someone. If there is a risk, you must look at ways of eliminating or mitigating the risk. Risk assessment and RAMS can often identify the need for a method statement to ensure high risk tasks are carried out safely.
Once a business conducts a risk assessment, they must create a document detailing all the risks they have identified – these are known as RAMS. Anyone should be able to pick up these documents and understand the risks and what they should do to mitigate those risks. Therefore, it is important a RAMS document includes step-by-step instructions on how follow the correct procedure, along with details of the risk itself. A risk assessment is the process a health and safety advisor would undertake to identify the risks in a business. RAMS are the documents they would use to detail the findings of their risk assessment.
Working at height, demolition, dismantling, use of plant, installing equipment and lifting operations are just a few activities that might require a method statement for businesses operating in the construction industry.
How can we help?
As an employer, it’s your responsibility to grow and develop your business.
We’ll work alongside you to find any areas that may need method statements. We’ll also go through the paperwork with you so you know you’re heading in the right direction and be by your side every step of the way.
For more information on risk assessment compliance and how we can help improve your business’ Health & Safety position, get in touch with our experts.
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