Method statements are crucial business resources. However, not a legal obligation, organizations in more dangerous sectors should consider carrying one out.
While the rate of work-related fatal injuries remains low, one could always argue that a single death is too many. Life-changing injuries can also occur in certain workplaces. Method statements play an important role in mitigating these unfortunate circumstances. They outline the most effective ways to perform hazardous work operations safely.
Because of the enormous responsibility of developing a method statement, it’s important to be carried out competently. Here’s a quick guide to put you on the right track with yours.
Build Upon the Risk Assessment
Before developing a method statement, a risk assessment must be conducted first. You can then use this data to inform the content of your method statement. These measures have to be monitored very closely. Even the government has been accused of sparking confusion with its muddled guidance in its Covid-related workplace risk assessment instructions. It’s easy to slip into digressions when presenting these findings, so remain focused on the key points of health and safety and compile accurate data.
Building upon the risk assessment also gives you a plan of action to help you stay motivated. After all, the scale and seriousness of a method statement can be somewhat debilitating on its own terms. If you become overwhelmed by its development, refer back to your risk assessment, as it’s the foundation of the health and safety measures you’re attempting to establish.
Utilize a Template
Everything about the method statement must be presented in a logical order. Any confusion around the responsibilities in a dangerous job can lead to mistakes, thus compromising health and safety. Therefore, it’s a good idea to use the free method statement template provided by HS Direct. It includes spaces for all the possible workplace hazards that apply to your business, the control procedures required for every scenario, and step-by-step guides to dangerous processes. Simply fill out their form to receive the template in your inbox.
Clear communication is vital when it comes to health and safety. By ordering everything succinctly, everyone will be on the same page, making the running of a responsible and safe working environment much more likely. These measures don’t have to be strictly internal, either, so be open-minded about receiving help from quality resources elsewhere.
Amend as Needed
As your project and work environments change, so too must your method statements. Expect to make amendments at numerous points in your company’s journey. Consult those receiving the method statement and collate their feedback too. Are they happy with the information provided? Has it led to positive results? Is the wording clear enough? Where might changes be required in conjunction with upcoming processes? Method statements can be somewhat collaborative, so don’t hesitate to see what the consensus is amongst your colleagues. After all, workplace safety is a shared, company-wide responsibility.
It’s also worth asking if workers might find some information easier to understand if images and diagrams were presented in certain areas. While it might seem condescending, it can be a far more concise way to provide information about PPE, waste disposal areas, and where first aid and site access points can be located.
There you have it, a quick guide to help put you on the right track when developing a method statement.