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Risk Assessments & Method Statements

Risk Assessments & Method Statements

So much has been written on the subject and there is a large amount of fairly poor information being supplied.

For people new to Health and Safety this can be a difficult subject, in fact many people are unduly scared of making mistakes that they will often procrastinate or ignore their health and safety obligations.

So what are Risk Assessments and method statements?, and whats the easiest way to compile them?

In basic terms:-

  1. Study your work site and work area with the work thats to be done in mind, note what hazards you see, these should be work and site related.
  2. Note who or what might be harmed during these works.
  3. For each hazard write down what you are currently doing to reduce the risks, and what you could do to further reduce them.

You now have basically performed a risk assessment and now you should take your findings and complete a written risk assessment. This can be done on a blank template or if available use a pre completed example for your work type, ensuring that your site related risks are covered and the steps taken to reduce the risks match your own, its possible that you will find information on an example that you didnt think of previously.

Once you have compiled your risk assessment you can look at writing a method statement that will describe the work to be done and includes:-

  1. The tools and equipment needed.
  2. Any assessments that have been done such as risk assessments or coshh assessments.
  3. The manpower needed to perform the work.
  4. The site welfare (toilets, drinking water, washing facilities)
  5. First aider and arrangements for first aid, including location of first aid box.

The important step next is to write down the safe work procedure, this best in bullet point format, start with arrival on site, drawings required etc, and then the work method that is to be carried out to complete the works in a safe manner.

The last portion should be a sign off sheet, as the Method Statement should be used as a briefing/toolbox talk to all persons who will be involved in the work, keep a signed copy on file and give copies to all persons who attended the toolbox talk.

Again use a blank template or a pre written method statement that matches your own, or use one that is similar and edit to suit your exact work type and site.

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