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Health and Safety procedures on UK construction sites are more specific than ever before and it is increasingly common practice for clients to request a method statement from a contractor and/or their sub contractors.
A method statement is a written document that essentially details a safe system of work and identifies the conceivable hazards that may arise during the work that is undertaken. Method statements are usually provided to the client by the principal contractor and/or to the principal contractor by the sub-contractor(s).
The Method statement should explain in detail the work that is to be undertaken and the necessary remedial measures that need to be in place in order to protect the site workforce and in some cases members of the pubic who may be affected by work actions.
There is no universal format for the contents of a method statement as every job is different and therefore all method statements should be job or site specific. However every method statement should include the following segments as a minimum:
The name and number (where applicable) of the contract or job
• The name and address of the company that is undertaking the works
• The intended start date on site
• Details of the nature of the work that is to be undertaken
• The number of operatives/workers who will be involved in the works
• The name(s) of the supervisor(s) or person(s) responsible for health and safety
• The anticipated date for completion of the works
• A description of how the works are to be carried out in relation to the task and site-specific hazards
• A schedule of the works and a sequence of the operations/tasks
• Details of where the work is to take place and whether this designated area requires segregation
• Where applicable the inclusion of details regarding other subcontractors who may affect your works or details of how you will affect the works of other subcontractors
• For high risk works provide a detailed description of intended emergency procedures
The inclusion of any risk assessments, COSHH assessments and/or site specific health and safety issues which will assist in the identification and management of task specific hazards
The inclusion of details regarding any equipment or plant that is to be provided for the works
The provision of any training or card schemes that the operatives undertaking the works currently hold.
For high risk works provide details of the designated First Aider
The inclusion of simple illustrations that can communicate tasks or procedures to the operatives where necessary or possible
• Details of how the works will be monitored supervised and evaluated
• Details of the person(s) who will communicate the method statement to the relevant operatives and when this communication will take place
A Method statement may also include information regarding specific necessities as per the request of the client, principal contractor, manufacturer, health and safety specialist or local authority.
Remember every job and every site is different so method statements should always be site specific and should be compiled by a competent person who is familiar with health and safety guidelines, the process of works and the site specifics.