A work method statement must be prepared for each high risk activity undertaken on a construction workplace.
A work method statement describes how certain work activities are to be undertaken so that workplace health and safety will be ensured.
Specifically, the statement documents the risk management process in relation to certain hazards associated with undertaking these work activities.
A work method statement must be prepared for each high risk construction activity that will be undertaken on the site.
Generally, it will be the responsibility of the person undertaking the high risk activity to prepare and present the work method statement.
The Principal Contractor must not allow the relevant person to start work on a high risk activity until the work method statement is presented and is accepted, additionally, work must not commence or continue unless it is undertaken in a way which complies with the work method statement.
Work Method Sample Text
The following information is adapted from the Workplace Health and Safety Regulations 2008 and defines high risk construction activities:
- The activity involves a person
Entering a trench that is more than 1.5 meters deep
Working in a confined space
Using a hazardous substance
An employer or self employed person is responsible for managing the risks associated with –
An excavation collapsing;
Objects falling into an excavation;
A person falling into an excavation; and
Substance exposure in an excavation, eg, carbon monoxide from plant.
An employer or self employed person needs to ensure that if a person is entering a trench more than 1.5m deep it –
Has shoring or shielding;
Is benched – not higher than it is wide, and no vertical face exceeding 1.5m;
Is battered – angle not exceeding 45° and bottom vertical face not exceeding 1.5m;or
Is approved by an engineer as safe to work in.
Written approval to vary benching and battering requirements may be obtained by an engineer.
The approval must be kept on site at all times.
Ladders used for access must be no more than 9 meters apart in the area of the trench where the work will be carried out.
Work at Heights
- during the activity, the person could fall
if the activity is housing construction work, at least 3 meters
If the activity is not housing construction work, at least 2 meters
if the activity is performed on a roof with a pitch of more than 26°
if the activity is a prescribed activity
if the activity is demolition work that is not a prescribed activity
if the activity is tilt up and precast construction work
This includes work on ladders or trestle ladder platforms and scaffolding work. Risks must be managed if a person could fall less than 3 metres (housing construction), 2.0 metres (other construction) or if work is on a roof pitch not more than 26°
Hazards that may present a risk from a fall include –
vertical reinforcing steel, the edge of a rubbish skip, a picket fence, or a stack of bricks below workers;
Unsheeted floor, bearers and joists 2 metres below workers; and
Work on a brittle roof.
Factors such as the type of activity being carried out should be taken into consideration to establish the degree of risk.
Control measures used to manage risk must comply with regulatory requirements.
An employer or self employed person carrying out work above these heights or on roof pitches greater than 26° must –
Prevent a fall; or
If prevention is not practicable, arrest the fall and prevent or minimise the risk of death or injury from the arrest of the fall.
The controls used could include –
Fall protection cover (includes an enclosed environment);
Travel restraint system;
Full arrest harness system; or
Industrial safety net.
Other High Risk Activities
The following is a list of other high risk activities which are identified in the Act.
structural alteration that require temporary support to prevent collapse
the movement of powered mobile plant at the workplace
work on a telecommunications tower
work in, over or adjacent to water where there is a risk of drowning
work on or adjacent to a road or a railway
work on or near a pressurised gas distribution main or consumer piping
work on or near a chemical, fuel or refrigerant line
work near an exposed energised electrical installation
work in an area that may have a contaminated or flammable atmosphere
work in an area where there are artificial extremes of temperature