Method statements are a useful tool within construction in Gwynedd and other areas of Wales and the UK. Where a few firms seem to struggle with getting to grips with the nature of this documentation, it’s not half the ordeal most seem to think it is. Generally, a method statement is a document that is composed when a health and safety risk on-site has been discovered, and is a very effective means of assessing risks, managing them, collecting worker’s views and briefing workers, all at once.
There’s no hard and fast rules for Method statements, but they should be written by a person of competence who is familiar with the processes described within the document. It is recommended that they should not be overcomplicated, should be clear, and should be illustrated where necessary.
Your person of competence should keep in mind that there is no character or word limit, enough to get the point across is perfect. A typical statement (though please keep in mind, there is no such thing as typical, as every job is different) should contain varying information such as the following.
- Details of an organisation (or any individuals) in control of an activity
- An activity description and explanation of how this work will be managed
- The location, boundaries, means of access to this activity and how it is segregated from others
- Details on plant and equipment which is required.
Of course, there are multiple other things which can go on one of these method statements, though this is a very basic example.
After your Method statement is composed, it is recommended that it is agreed upon between the client, contractor, and principal contractor. Subcontractors should also be involved as even if their discipline does not cover the risk identified, they are still site workers and therefore still should be aware of any potential hazards to themselves or their staff.
While indeed Method statements aren’t a requirement of the Construction Regulations, they are identified by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) as being a way of satisfying requirements of the CDM Regulations, which means that it’s well worth looking into the implementation of Method statements on your site.