It may come as a shock to Site Managers across Australia, but statistics show that 75% of workers on a residential construction sites perform work that is classified as high risk, at some time during the building process.
Since the introduction of new Work Health & Safety (WHS) regulations in most states of Australia, which took full effect from 1st January 2014, these high risk construction workers (staff or subcontractors) have an extra responsibility. They must have and/or provide, Safe Worker Method Statements (SWMS) that relate directly to their work.
If high risk construction workers don’t have or provide a SWMS, not only do they risk a $3000 fine, but you as the builder or contractor are liable too, facing hefty fines or even prison time.
Although it may be tempting to download and modify a generic, online SWMS document for your employee, or to suggest to a subcontractor that they simply copy a mate’s SWMS… that can be just as risky as not having a SWMS at all.
Instead, it’s best to play it safe (pun not intended!).
Contact a Work Health and Safety (WHS) consultant, and get them to tailor SWMS documents to suit your specific work activities. Instead, we can help you find a Work Health and Safety (WHS) consultant that best suits your needs. Simply contact us HERE.
If you are waiting on SWMS from subcontractors, advise them to contact us too. We can work with them to ensure that they (and you, in turn), avoid the fines and penalties associated with WHS legislation non-compliance.