Ethentic Ethentic Higher Safety Higher Safety Chipmunk Data Chipmunk Data
  • Higher Safety Higher Safety Chipmunk Data Chipmunk Data Ethentic Ethentic

    METHOD STATEMENTS: TIME FOR CHANGE IN 2016?

    Not required? Not followed? and Not necessary?

    The written Method Statement (MS) has been part of the construction project H&S scene since the early 1980’s and the subsequent legal requirement regarding Risk Assessment (RA) led to the acronym RAMS – Risk Assessment and Method Statement.

    HSE explain that risk assessment is a careful examination of what, in your work, could cause harm to people, so that you can weigh up whether you have enough precautions or whether you should do more.

    You MUST carry out a risk assessment but you only need to record the “significant findings” if you employ five or more people. By contrast, HSE explains that a safety method statement is “NOT required by law” and that whether safety method statements are used or not, it is essential to make sure that risks are controlled.

    Are method statements helping to control risk?

    Despite the near universal use of method statements we frequently hear comment t that “nobody reads the method statement” or that the MS is far too long and prepared without reference to those carrying out the work.

    The MS is viewed by many as the “paperwork” required and designed to satisfy clients or regulators with little relevance to how risk and precautions are communicated on the project.

    Checking that the MS is being followed is often secondary to having the statement signed by those likely to be injured and safely filed away.

    The revelation that the MS is not, or cannot be followed, often comes to light after an accident, or a visit by the regulator.

    Is it therefore time to rethink the role of Method Statements on construction projects? Questions we should ask in 2016 include:

    • Not Required? – why do line managers and H&S advisers spend so much time on something which is NOT a legal requirement and held in contempt by many?
    • Risk Assessment? – would it be better to invest that time and energy on implementing the risk assessment which already identifies the hazards and required controls?
    • Focus on checking? – would this allow more time for checking that the sensible controls required are being followed rather than preparing and shuffling around an additional document which is not required by law?
    • Greater involvement? – would such change result in greater involvement of those carrying out the work and improve their understanding of the risks and commitment to maintaining the control measures required?

    We would not want to throw the baby out with the bath water and many may conclude that their current MS system remains fit for purpose. However, our experience suggests that the construction project Method Statement is not in “good health” and in need of thorough review by all as we move into 2016.

    Some Relevant Posts

    HSE PLEA FOR FOCUS ON CONTROL NOT ‘PAPERWORK’
    Paperwork makes H&S risk assessments a “bugbear”
    ANNUAL RISK ASSESSMENT REVIEWS NOT REQUIRED
    HSE Myth Buster panel holds forth on risk assessments
    MODEL RISK ASSESSMENTS ENDORSED IN HSE GUIDE
    New guidance on risk assessment requirement simplified and updated

     

    Latest Construction Health and Safety News

    HSE ENFORCEMENT DATABASE UPDATE 17th APRIL 2019

    hselogo1Latest online register of prosecutions and enforcement notices

    Read the rest of this article »

    Posted on 17th April 2019

    TWO BRICKLAYERS INJURED IN FLOOR COLLAPSE

    Joist hangers incorrectly installed and floor overloaded with blocks

    Read the rest of this article »

    Posted on 16th April 2019

    FIRM FINED £150K AFTER BOY FELL FROM SCAFFOLD

    Ladder guard failed to prevent 12-year old accessing scaffolding

    Read the rest of this article »

    Posted on 16th April 2019

    SAFETYCAM VEHICLE TRAPS ERRANT DRIVERS

    Safer Highways reports on new approaches to roadworks health and safety

    Read the rest of this article »

    Posted on 16th April 2019

    NEW PRE-QUAL SYSTEM LAUNCHED BY MAJOR PLAYERS

    Build UK and CECA publish common PQ assessment standard

    Read the rest of this article »

    Posted on 16th April 2019

    REPORT CONFIRMS RISING COST OF OFFENDING

    Considerable increases in fines imposed on larger organisations

    Read the rest of this article »

    Posted on 16th April 2019

    CONCRETE BLOCK MAKER FAILED TO GUARD MACHINE

    Effective safety precautions absent for a number of years

    Read the rest of this article »

    Posted on 9th April 2019

    HOTEL REFURBISHMENT DISTURBED ASBESTOS

    Firm failed to act on well-founded asbestos concerns expressed by employee

    Read the rest of this article »

    Posted on 1st April 2019

    CABLE HIT CAUSED BY LACK OF PLANS AND DETECTION

    Excavation for sign erection struck live electrical cable

    Read the rest of this article »

    Posted on 1st April 2019

    HSE AND THE ‘SECRETS’ OF RISK ASSESSMENT

    hselogo1Regulator advice on successful risk assessment comes at a price

    Read the rest of this article »

    Posted on 1st April 2019

    WORKMAN FELL INTO CAR PARK VENTILATION SHAFT

    Protective grill unsecured and gave way under movement of workman

    Read the rest of this article »

    Posted on 1st April 2019

    BUILDER GIVEN PRISON TERM OVER WORK AT HEIGHT

    Unsafe working platforms and lack of silica dust control punished severely

    Read the rest of this article »

    Posted on 1st April 2019

    HSE WARNING ON SAFE DEMO AND REFURBISHMENT

    TV programme prompts stability guidance for demo & refurb project teams

    Read the rest of this article »

    Posted on 1st April 2019

    VIBRATION RISK UNCONTROLLED FOR TEN YEARS

    Company workers used sanders and air-fed cutting equipment

    Read the rest of this article »

    Posted on 26th March 2019

    BUILDING OCCUPIER FINED £1.8M OVER ROOF FALL

    Two workmen fell 4m through rooflight during leak investigation

    Read the rest of this article »

    Posted on 26th March 2019

    CONSTRUCTION SITE DEATHS SET TO FALL?

    HSE in-year fatality records for 2018/19 suggest significant reduction

    Read the rest of this article »

    Posted on 22nd March 2019

    BRICKLAYER FATALLY INJURED BY FALLING WALL

    Masonry collapsed during concrete back filling operation

    Read the rest of this article »

    Posted on 18th March 2019

    BASIC LADDER SAFETY FAILURES FINED £150,000

    Repair and maintenance firm had no excuse for errors causing injury

    Read the rest of this article »

    Posted on 18th March 2019

    HSE ISSUES REMINDER ON SAFE SCAFFOLD DESIGN

    Recent incidents and high winds prompt warning from regulator

    Read the rest of this article »

    Posted on 12th March 2019

    LORRY DRIVER DIED IN OVERHEAD POWER STRIKE

    Major company failed to communicate precautions to grab arm operator

    Read the rest of this article »

    Posted on 12th March 2019

    ASSESSMENT SHOWED RISK – PRECAUTIONS NOT TAKEN

    Workman seriously injured when falling into open unguarded stairwell

    Read the rest of this article »

    Posted on 1st March 2019

    MAJOR FIRM FAILED TO IMPLEMENT SAFE SYSTEM

    Procedures for safe plant refuelling failed to prevent death of workman

    Read the rest of this article »

    Posted on 26th February 2019

    CLIENT PROSECUTED OVER CONTRACTOR FATAL FALL

    Company breached duty to protect contractors as well as employees

    Read the rest of this article »

    Posted on 26th February 2019

    FOURTEEN YEAR FAILURE TO MANAGE ASBESTOS

    Firm failed to implement asbestos management plan following survey

    Read the rest of this article »

    Posted on 25th February 2019

    CHILD INJURED BY WALL COLLAPSE INCIDENT

    Council failed to carry out “intelligence led” condition inspections

    Read the rest of this article »

    Posted on 18th February 2019
    Ethentic Ethentic Higher Safety Higher Safety Chipmunk Data Chipmunk Data
  • Higher Safety Higher Safety Chipmunk Data Chipmunk Data Ethentic Ethentic