A method statement, also referred to as a ‘safe system of work’, is a document that details how certain tasks around the workplace will be carried out to ensure that you are compliant and safe.
It is a legal requirement for any business with five or more employees to have a written risk assessment and method statement before carrying out any work.
The method statement must outline the hazards that you identified during your risk assessment, and what steps you will take to reduce any implicated risks from said hazard.
Method statements should explain how works are undertaken safely and act as a prompt rather than a word for word break down of risks, as that is the job of a risk assessment.
The method statement should also explain what control measures have been introduced to ensure the safety of anyone carrying out or affected by hazardous tasks.
Before even attempting to write the method statement, you must carry out your risk assessment as the findings from this will be the basis of your documentation.
It will highlight all the hazards in your workplace and the control measures required to reduce the risk to you, your employees and the premises.
Method statements must follow a standardised structure regardless of industry or business size.
It should open with a clear title, a brief description of the work, company details, start and completion date, site address and further administrative details.
You must then go on to summarise the main hazards present and the control measures which need to be implemented whether that is PPE, training, signs or something else. For example, if you know there is a danger of falling objects then you would state that everyone on the premises must wear hard hats.
The next section of the method statement will then delve further into the details of the task and any other relevant information such as any specific training required, site access, permits needed and first aid procedures.
The final section will outline, step by step, how the task must be carried out to ensure the safety of all those involved.
It can be an extensive task, particularly for businesses with a large number of employees or on a bigger premises, which is why many organisations choose to outsource support with this.
If you need some guidance with writing up your method statement or just want someone to take up the responsibility for you, then our experienced HR consultants can provide you with consistent, around the clock support. Just call us today on 0845 2626 260.