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What is a Method Statement?

A Method Statement is a document widely used in the construction industry to control identified health and safety risks (following the preparation of a risk assessment). Method statements outline the safe way of performing a specific job or accomplishing a project and ensure that necessary precautions or control measures are communicated to those involved. A method statement provides evidence that significant health & safety risks have been identified and there are safety systems in place.

This article briefly discusses: 1) the difference between method statements vs other safety systems; 2) how to make a good method statement; and 3) technology to help you streamline method statements.

Method Statement, JSA and Risk Assessment – Which is which?

These 3 safety tools all play an important role in identifying hazards and ensuring a safe working environment. Though similar, these 3 processes serve different purposes:

  • Risk Assessment is a systematic examination of a workplace to: 1) Identify hazards, 2) Assess injury severity and likelihood and 3) Implement control measures. The scope of risk assessments are much broader and can cover an entire workplace. It is often the first step used to prioritize hazard controls and can then prompt 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.
  • JSA is s a process of looking at a specific work task (i.e. preparation of chemicals) and considering what is the safest way to complete it. It involves breaking down the task into specific steps and identifying hazards and preventive measures. Learn more in our JSA guide here.
  • Method Statements as explained above are job or project focused and document the key steps of completing the project safely. These documents are communicated before work commences and serve as a guide in organizing and planning how to perform tasks efficiently and safely.

What Makes a Good Method Statement?

Method statements must be clear and should not be too complicated. They should be easy to understand by those who carry out the work and their immediate supervisors to avoid confusion.

A good method statement should fundamentally contain the following key elements:

  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.

iAuditor 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. A digital solution like iAuditor can:

To help you get started, we have created 4 method statement templates you can download for free and fully customize – no programming skills required!