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Understanding the purpose of
method statements in the workplace

Projects and tasks within the workplace can only be successful when the people conducting them can stay safe and healthy, which is why it is important to carry out a method statement during these circumstances. A method statement can provide the structure for workers to safely manage their tasks. From construction sites to office environments, method statements play a crucial role in safeguarding workers, protecting assets, and maintaining operational excellence.

Why are method statements necessary?

The primary purpose of having a method statement is to prevent harm from befalling workers and everyone else who might be affected by work that comes with health and safety risks. When workers get injured or fall ill as a result of doing their jobs, the entire organisation suffers, and the costs manifest in different ways.

By detailing the sequence of activities, potential hazards, safety measures, and resources required, these statements serve as a blueprint for employees, contractors, and supervisors, guiding them through the work process systematically.

The purpose of method statements

Safety Compliance – By identifying potential hazards and outlining control measures, these documents help prevent accidents and injuries in the workplace whilst ensuring compliance with health and safety regulations.

Risk Management – Method statements enable organisations to assess, manage, and mitigate these risks effectively. By highlighting potential hazards and providing corresponding control measures, they empower workers to perform their duties safely.

Quality Assurance – By specifying procedures and standards, method statements ensure consistency and quality across projects, enhancing customer satisfaction and reputation whilst maintaining high standards of workmanship and service delivery.

Efficiency Enhancement – A well-crafted method statement streamlines the workflow, reducing inefficiencies and delays. By clearly defining roles, responsibilities, and timelines, these documents optimise resource utilisation and minimise downtime.

Components of method statements

1) Introduction – This section provides an overview of the task or project, including its objectives, scope, and stakeholders involved.

2) Description of Activities – Here, the step-by-step procedures for carrying out the task are outlined in detail. This includes the sequence of activities, methods to be employed, and equipment/materials required.

3) Risk Assessment – Potential hazards associated with the task are identified, and corresponding control measures are detailed to mitigate these risks.

4) Health and Safety Measures – This section specifies the health and safety protocols to be followed during the execution of the task. It includes requirements such as personal protective equipment (PPE), emergency procedures, and safe work practices.

5) Environmental Considerations – Any potential environmental impacts arising from the task are addressed here, along with measures to minimise or mitigate them.

6) Monitoring and Review – Method statements are not static documents; they require periodic review and updating to ensure their effectiveness. This section outlines the process for monitoring compliance and revising the method statement as needed.

Legal obligations

The Health and Safety Work Act 1974 states that employers, including the self-employed, must provide and maintain safe systems of work. A safe system of work can be a set of policies and measures that safeguard the wellbeing of employees. Method statements, while not being explicitly stated as the avenue for creating safe systems of work, can lay out the health and safety policies and measures that the law requires.

Conclusion

Method statements are indispensable tools for promoting safety, efficiency, and quality in the workplace. By providing a structured approach to task execution and risk management, they help organisations achieve their objectives while safeguarding the wellbeing of their workforce and the environment. Embracing the use of method statements demonstrates a commitment to excellence and responsibility, ultimately leading to enhanced productivity and success.

If you’d like support on improving health and safety within your organisation, view the range of ProCompliance IOSH approved courses available today!

 

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