You have a duty of care to your workers; you should always be looking to ensure their safety.
This is vital for all workers, but you will have to take extra steps to protect those doing dangerous work. One way to do that is with a method statement.
There is some confusion as to what they are, when to use them, and their relationship with regular risk assessments.
In this article, we’ll be taking an in-depth look at method statements and provide you with a downloadable template to create your own.
What is a method statement?
A method statement (also known as a plan of work, safety or work method statement) is a type of health & safety document, typically used in high-risk roles and industries.
It’s called that because it outlines the method workers must use to carry out a particular role safely.
For some industries, it’s essential that they have a method statement, meaning you need to assess whether your workplace falls under this category.
They are most used in the construction sector but can be used in any industry.
Unlike risk assessments, a method statement isn’t a legal obligation. So why should you have one?
Firstly, it allows you to showcase high levels of quality safety measures. This will mean your workplace is viewed more favourably and give you a competitive edge.
They are particularly relevant in the tendering process and can result in more business for you in the long term.
That’s not all, however. There is also a practical purpose of a method statement.
What is the purpose of a method statement?
Like a risk assessment, the document should identify potential hazards that may occur during a particular task or within a certain role. It should outline the precautions you need to put in place, and the ones the workers need to take.
Keep the statement as simple as possible to avoid misinterpretation or confusion. Make sure everyone who is involved, reads, and understands the statement.
Ultimately, the safety of your staff is your main concern, and the statement should help you maintain this. With this in mind, remember, this document does not replace a risk assessment.
You can use risk and method statements in tandem. They compliment each other well. There is even a term for this: risk assessment method statements (RAMS). This refers to the two documents together.
Always conduct a risk assessment first, as this will help identify the hazards you need to address in your statement. Use the method document to expand on the control measures and detail how, when, and why you should implement them.
One other document that relates to both of the above is a permit to work. The permit authorises particular people to do certain types of work. This is essential for those taking on specific, high-risk tasks, such working at height and working with asbestos.
We’d recommend carrying out all these processes before asking an individual to undertake dangerous work.
How to write a method statement
First, you need to know what will be in the document. We’ll provide a work method statement example at the end of this article. Before that, there are a couple of main areas you need to cover:
This section should include:
- Project name and reference.
- A summary of the work.
- The location of the work.
- Start and expected completion dates for the work.
- Details about your company—include name, address, and contact details.
- Named health & safety contacts.
This section should include:
- First aid procedures, details of the qualified on-site first aider.
- Details of Permit to Work and any other legal requirements.
- Details of staff training that is required.
- All necessary equipment provided, such as scaffolding, plant, etc.
- The personal protective equipment (PPE) you’ll provide.
- Disposal of waste arrangements.
Identifying & managing risks
This section should clearly outline all risks presented by the work being undertaken. You should provide step-by-step instructions and highlight all the control measures you are putting in place to protect workers.
Download your method statement template with Croner
Every workplace is different, so each will have its own risks to tackle. Our method statement example template is general, so will need to be tailored to your organisation.
If you need any further support managing health & safety in your workplace, contact a Croner expert on 01455 858 132
This template is provided ‘as is’ and Croner Group Ltd excludes all representations, warranties, obligations and liabilities in relation to the template to the maximum extent permitted by law.
Croner Group Ltd is not liable for any errors or omissions in the template and shall not be liable for any loss, injury or damage of any kind caused by its use. Use of the template is entirely at the risk of the User and should you wish to do so then independent legal advice should be sought before use.
Use of the template will be deemed to constitute acceptance of the above terms.
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