Safe Work Australia launches SWMS tool

Safe Work Australia has developed a new interactive SWMS tool to provide clear information on what a SWMS is for and how to use it.

“SWMS are valuable for ensuring workers’ health and safety on construction sites,” said Safe Work Australia CEO, Marie Boland.

“By knowing the procedures that must be followed, employers and workers can manage risks, meet legal obligations, and provide evidence of due diligence in the event of an accident or injury – used properly, a SWMS can save lives.”

In 2022, 27 people died while working in the Australian construction industry, and more than 15,000 were compensated for serious injuries or illness.

A Safe Work Method Statement (SWMS) is an important tool used for the most dangerous types of construction work. There are 18 construction work activities that are classified as high-risk and require a SWMS. 

For these tasks, completing a SWMS before work commences ensures that everyone in the workplace understands and follows risk controls.

However, a review of SWMS found many people didn’t understand their purpose or were using them incorrectly. 

The SWMS tool is available online, and it can also be downloaded and plugged into existing L&D systems.

The agency said that using this tool can help employers develop better-quality SWMS, reducing the likelihood of accidents, injuries, and illnesses and promoting a safe and healthy work environment.