What is a Method Statement and How do I Write One?
What is a Method Statement?
A work method statement, sometimes called a "safe system of work", is a document that details the way a work task or process is to be completed. The method statement should outline the hazards involved and include a step by step guide on how to do the job safely. The method statement must also detail which control measures have been introduced to ensure the safety of anyone who is affected by the task or process.
Method Statements are frequently requested as part of a tender process which allows the company to gain an insight into your organisation and the way it operates. They allow your company to demonstrate how it can provide goods and services in a safe and high quality manner. For this reason Method Statements become another brochure for your company and it is necessary to have well presented documentation to gain a competitive advantage over your competition.
Writing a Method Statement may seem like a daunting task, but this article will guide you through the process and enable you to approach Method Statements with confidence.
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How do I write a Method Statement?
The first task is to carry out a Risk Assessment, for details of how to do this please click Here. A Risk Assessment will highlight the significant hazards and control measures required to prevent injury or ill health whilst carrying out the task and will provide details to add to your method statement document.
You will also hear many people refer to risk assessments and method statements as RAMS. If you hear health and safety professionals referring to ‘RAMS Health and Safety’ they are referring to your businesses risk assessments and method statements.
HS Direct Ltd has a blank method statement template and a variety of example method statements for just £1.99 + VAT. Please click Here for a list of available documents.
The first section of your method statement document is the header information and should be used to provide information to your staff or prospective clients, this section might include;
- A Title e.g. Work Method Statement, or Standard Operating Procedure
- A brief description of the works, task or process
- Your company details, logo, name, address etc
- Start date, completion date
- Site address
- Site contact details including emergency numbers etc
- Document author, H&S contact
- Document number, issue date, revision date, revision number etc
Section 2 can be used as a summary of the main hazards that are present and the control measures that must be implemented, this section should also be used to list the Personal Protective Equipment that must be worn, the information for this page will be extracted from your risk assessment document. Section 2 can also be used to detail any Environmental or Quality procedures that must be taken during the task.
Section 3 is used to describe the task in more detail and relevant generic information such as;
- Staff, Training, and PPE
- Permits to work
- Machinery shutdown and lock off procedures
- Site Access and Egress
- Material Handling
- Scaffold & Access to height
- Background and preparation
- Welfare and first aid
Section 4 is the step by step guide, use this section to explain in detail the steps that must be taken to ensure the task is carried out safely, include all relevant details in the order that you expect them to be carried out