SafetyCulture Summit 2020

Method Statement Templates

Create professional method statements for different use cases

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Published October 15th, 2020

What is a Method Statement?

A Method Statement is a document used to outline a series of steps on performing a specific job or accomplishing a project and ensures that necessary precautions or control measures are communicated to those involved.

Methods of statement help provide evidence that significant health & safety risks have been identified and there are safety systems in place. Initially, they must be written after performing a risk assessment for a particular job. As the job commences, the method statement serves as a ‘live’ document that will continually be reviewed; this will help account for any sudden occurrences that may need adoption of revised work practices.

Method Statement Template

Method Statement Template

Method Statements, SOP, JSA, and Risk Assessment: Which is Which?

Standard Operating Procedures (SOP), Job Safety Analysis (JSA), and Risk Assessment are often used interchangeably with method statements, however, each serve specific purposes despite some similarities. Take a brief look on how each differs from each other:

Standard Operating Procedure (SOP)

An SOP is a written set of detailed instructions to help workers successfully and safely perform a specific hazardous task (e.g. confined space entry, welding operations, using a circular saw). Also referred to as work instructions, SOPs are best for highly skilled jobs and when the equipment and work environment change often. After creating an SOP, a  method of statement can then be used to outline the exact steps needed to perform the task.

Job Safety Analysis (JSA) 

JSA, also often called as THA (Task Hazard Analysis) or Pre-Work Safety Check,  requires those involved in an individual work task to undergo a review of a work step before actually doing it. It serves as a final check that the risk assessment and SOP are appropriate for the work task. The JSA should be completed prior to the creation of method statement.

Risk Assessment

Compared to the previous two, risk assessment is a high-level examination of a workplace.  It aims to identify hazards, assess injury severity and likelihood and implement control measures throughout a workplace, and not just those that can directly impact an individual employee.  It is often a legal requirement in some countries and acts as a first step in prioritizing hazard controls and subsequently prompts a separate JSA or Method Statement for specific tasks or jobs. Learn more about how to perform a risk assessment in our ultimate risk assessment guide.

What then is a risk assessment method statement (RAMS)?

RAMS is essentially a method of statement containing findings from the risk assessment. Often referred to as a safe system of work documents, it is performed after a risk assessment and contains detailed information about the hazard and a step-by-step working guide summarized in a RAMS template.

What is a Safe Work Method Statement (SWMS)?

A Safe Work Method Statement (SWMS) is a term used for method statements that are legally-required for high-risk construction work (HRCW) in Australia. It is part of the legal framework relating to Australian State and Territory WHS laws. The definition of HRCW and the 18 HCRW are defined within the regulations of each Australian State and Territory. 

Which high-risk industries also use a method statement?

Apart from the construction industry, methods of statement are also used in other industries that involve high-risk work tasks. Here are some of those industries:

Who should write a Method Statement?

A method statement should be developed by a supervisor, manager, or any competent person who is adept with the working processes being reviewed. In the construction industry, it may be required that method statements be agreed on between a client, contractor, and principal contractor.

Further, method statements are recommended to be written by those involved in these situations:

  • Self-employed
  • Those carrying out work that is high-risk
  • Those carrying out work that is complex 
  • Those responsible for performing risk assessments as part of a job 

How to Write a Good Method Statement?

Method statements should not be too complicated and written clearly. They should be easily understood by those who carry out the work and their immediate supervisors to avoid confusion. To write a good method of statement, here are some fundamental questions that it should answer: 

  1. What work is to be done? – this includes scope, problem statement or description of work, and equipment and tools to be used.
  2. What are the tasks involved? – list all tasks or processes to finish the work. Also determine the responsible staff or member for each task.
  3. What are the hazards that may cause potential harm to workers? – perform a basic risk assessment to identify hazards associated with the tasks.
  4. What measures are to be implemented? – determine control and preventive measures including emergency procedures in place.
  5. Was the method statement validated? – validate the method statement by having all involved worker sign off.

Method statement templates are often used by organizations to ensure consistency in documentation. We have prepared a completed method statement sample in our Featured Templates below.

Mobile App for Efficient Method Statements

Method statements are important safety documents, but can be time consuming to prepare, burdensome to capture signatures and easy to lose. 

With a digital solution like iAuditor by SafetyCulture, you can:

To help you get started, we have created  method statement templates you can download for free and fully customize – no programming skills required!

Author

Carlo Sheen Escano

SafetyCulture staff writer

Carlo Sheen Escano is a contributing writer for SafetyCulture based in Makati City, Philippines. Sheen has experience in digital marketing and has been writing for SafetyCulture since 2018. His articles mainly discuss risks in the workplace and well-known safety and quality processes used to mitigate them. Furthermore, Sheen is passionate about providing insights to global customers on how technology can help them to do the best work of their lives.